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Architects Belfast Guide to Geothermal Heat Pumps

If you are building a new home you are probably considering what type of heating source to install. The traditional choice has been the use of boilers powered by fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Other boilers are available that are powered by burning wood chips.

In recent years house builders have another choice as the main heat source which is viable. This new heating source consists of a geothermal heat pump. This system utilises the abundance of natural heat stored under the earth’s surface referred to as free renewable energy, that never runs out.

There are three basic means of extracting heat from below the ground and these are:

  1. Horizontal heat source – this consists of a network of pipes laid horizontally just below the ground surface to extract the ground heat
  2. Bore hole heat source – this consists of drilling deep into the ground with one or more bore holes
  3. Ground water heat source – this consists of drilling into the earth and tapping into a ground water source

These systems work by extracting energy naturally stored in the ground and upgrading it using what is known as a heat pump. The initial installation cost is higher than traditional heating system but when installed the heat extracted from the earth is free and no need to buy any type of fuel. Estimates to recoup the original installation range from 3 – 5 years. The installation is virtually maintenance free. The heat pump has very few mechanical parts and therefore less prone to break downs. The heat pump can be positioned internally or externally and, with no fuel to store, negates the need for an ugly fuel storage tank. An added benefit is that the home is smoke free.

Using non polluting renewable energy to heat your home results in a reduction of harmful greenhouse gases being emitted and therefore environmentally friendly.

Architects Belfast can assist you in selecting the most appropriate heat pump system that is suited to your needs. They have a specialist division within their architectural services that specialise in mechanical heating installations.