Underfloor Heating and Geothermal Energy
Underfloor heating is the best way to ensure that householders derive the benefit from ground source heat pumps, the next big thing in energy-efficient heat generation. Experts believe that if the conditions are right then a geothermal heat pump can save a household some £480 a year in energy bills, more than can be generated with photovoltaic (PV) panels. Ground source heat pumps may sound like they burrow to the earth’s very core, but are far less science fiction than that. They are in fact a network of buried pipes which lead to a ground level heat pump which distributes a mixture of water and anti-freeze. As the ground absorbs and retains the sun’s heat, it warms the liquid, which is then extracted by the pump and made even warmer. The pumps require electricity for their initial power, so are technically not renewable energy sources. They are, however, highly energy-efficient, so long as your house fits the bill. The piping coils can be fitted vertically, so a massive garden is not necessary, although a digger will need to be able to get into a back yard. What is crucial is the kind of heating system in the property itself. Low heat systems such as underfloor heating are the best, while more conventional radiators will not work very well with ground source heat pumps.