Heat Pumps use heat from the surrounding environment, to provide heating for your home. This is a cheaper, more sustainable alternative to current central heating systems that require gas or oil. There
are two types of heat pump: ground, and air.
If you already have solar panels, alongside optionally some Solar Thermal Heaters and/or Wind Turbines, these can be extremely effective at providing your home with more than enough heat to live in luxury. These work especially well when your home already has insulation.
Heat your home using the air surrounding you.
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the air, which can then be the source for radiators, underfloor heating systems, or to warm your convector’s or hot water in your home.
The technology is identical to that seen in refrigerators, except that a refrigerator extracts heat from the inside; heat pumps extract heat from the outside. Even if the outside temperatures are close to -15 Celsius, they still heat your home effectively.
Air source heat pumps are easier to install than ground source, and operate most effectively when you have the proper insulation for your home.
Heat Pumps work best when used in combination with Solar Thermal panels -- if you are primarily interested in heating your water, then you may instead be interested in a Solar Thermal installation.
Heat your home with energy from the ground.
Ground source heat pumps use pipes which are buried beneath your garden, to extract heat from the ground. Like Air Source Pumps, this can be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.
The system is based on a circulation of water and antifreeze around a loop pipe (the "ground loop") which is buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year - even in the middle of Winter.
How long the loop can be will depend on your home size, and the amount of heat required. Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is tight, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.
When combined with Air Source, Ground Heat Pumps can be especially effective, especially over long periods.