Which are the Best Ground Source Heat Pumps?
The best ground source heat pumps are manufactured by Kensa, Nibe, Vaillant, Viessmann and Worcester Bosch. All of the ground source heat pumps by these manufacturers could help to lower, not only your carbon footprint, but your heating bills too.
What is a ground source heat pump?
A ground source heat pump absorbs heat from underground – where temperatures sit at a constant 10°C to 15°C all year round. To do this, a network of pipes is buried in the garden and a refrigerant fluid circulates through them to absorb the heat and take it back to the home. The liquid is then heated further by a heat exchanger before heating the home.
Some outdoor space is essential for the installation of a ground source heat pump. So, if you don't have a garden area then you'll need an alternative heating system. For those with garden space, there are two options for how the ground source heat pump pipes should be installed. These include being buried in a horizontal or vertical borehole.
Normally, the installation of a ground source heat pump doesn't require planning permission. However, if you live in a listed building or conservation area then you may need to contact your local council.
If your property is suited to a ground source heat pump then you could stand to benefit in a number of ways:
- Lower heating bills
- Less reliance on your energy supplier
- A smaller carbon footprint
- Increased property value
- Quieter operation than gas boilers
- Government payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
Which is the best ground source heat pump?
One of the best ground source heat pumps is the Viessmann Vitocal 222-G. Not only will the Vitocal 222-G heat your home in a highly efficient manner, it will also provide domestic hot water too. This is thanks to being fitted with an integral hot water cylinder with a capacity of up to 220 litres.
Unlike other renewable heating systems, the Vitocal 222-G can provide cooling during the summer months by harnessing the cooler underground temperatures too.
The only downside to the Vitocal 222-G is that it's warranty period of 2-5 years is beaten by other models. If warranty is important to you then look no further than the Vaillant geoTHERM which comes with a parts and labour warranty of up to 7 years.
Comparing ground source heat pumps
To find the best ground source heat pump for your home, it's important to consider the following:
- Output rating
- Dimensions of the unit
- Length of the warranty period
- Efficiency rating
- Potential cost
- If it's Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified – required for Renewable Heat Incentive eligibility
Best ground source heat pumps and prices
In the table below, we've compared key information about the best ground source heat pump models side-by-side.
|Manufacturer||Model||Available Outputs (kW)||ErP Energy Efficiency Rating||Potential Price|
|Vaillant||geoTHERM||22, 30, 38, 46||A++||£8,000 – £12,000|
|Viessman||Vitocal 222-G||6.1 – 10.0||A++||£6,000 – £7,500|
|Nibe||Nibe F1145||5 – 17||A+++(17kW – A++)||£9,000 – £10,000|
|Kensa||Evo||7, 9, 13, 17||A++||£8,000 – £12,000|
|Worcester-Bosch||Greenstore 6 System||6, 7, 9, 11||A+||£4,500 – £8,000|
The above prices are estimates but many ground source heat pumps tend to cost £8,000 to £12,000.
Nibe ground source heat pumps
A Nibe heat pump could potentially lower your energy bills by as much as 75%. This is thanks to minimal electricity being needed to power the heat pump during operation.
Nibe ground source heat pumps are split into 2 ranges: the F Series and the more recent S Series.
Nibe S Series
- Output ratings from 6 kW up to 25 kW
- Integrated wireless connectivity
- User-friendly touchscreen display
- Use the uplink app to control the heat pump from your smartphone
- Automatically adjust the heating based on the weather conditions
- Integrated hot water heater (180 litres)
- Also boasts cooling technology
- Can be used with voice assistants
|Nibe S Series Heat Pumps||Output Ratings (kW)||Efficiency||Warranty|
|S1255||6, 12, 16||A+++||2 -7 years|
|S1155||6, 12, 16, 25||A+++||2-7 years|
Nibe F Series
- Operational costs are kept to a minimum
- Smart energy-saving technology
- Outputs ranging from 5 kW up to 60 kW
|Nibe F Series Heat Pumps||Output Ratings (kW)||Efficiency||Warranty|
|F1255||6, 12, 16||A+++||2-7 years|
|F1155||6, 12, 15||A+++||2-7 years|
|F1145||6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17||A+++||2-7 years|
|F1355||28, 43||A+++||2-7 years|
|F1345||24, 30, 40, 60||A+++||2-7 years|
Vaillant ground source heat pumps
The most popular Vaillant ground source heat pumps are in the geoTHERM range. However, they also manufacture a diverse range of flexoTHERM multi source heat pumps which can be adapted to take heat from the air or water as well as the ground.
These heat pumps are amongst the most quiet during operation and have been awarded Quiet Mark accreditation as a result.
|Vaillant Ground Source Heat Pumps||Output Ratings (kW)||Efficiency Rating||Warranty|
|geoTHERM||22, 30, 38, 46||A++||Up to 7 years|
|flexoTHERM multi source||5, 8, 11, 15, 19||A+++||5-7 years|
Viessmann ground source heat pumps
Viessmann have an extensive range of ground source heat pumps to choose between with outputs from 5.6 kW all the way up to 96.1 kW. Their Vitocal range of heat pumps offer a number of benefits for new builds, semi-detached, detached homes and larger residential properties.
If you're looking for a heat pump that can meet your domestic hot water demands then the Vitocal 222-G has an integral hot water cylinder.
|Viessmann Ground Source Heat Pumps||Output Rating (kW)||Efficiency Rating||Warranty|
|Vitocal 200-G||5.6, 7.5, 9.7||A++||5-7 years|
|Vitocal 222-G||5.8, 7.5, 10.4||A++||5-7 years|
|Vitocal 300-G||5.7, 7.6, 10.4, 13, 17.2||A++||5-7 years|
|Vitocal 350-G||25.4, 34.7, 42.2, 52.3||A++||5-7 years|
|Vitocal 350-G Pro||27.2, 34.3, 56.1, 76, 96.1||A++||5-7 years|
Mitsubishi ground source heat pumps
Mitsubishi Ecodan Monobloc heat pumps can take heat from the ground or a water supply, such as a lake. These are powerful models with outputs of 45 kW and 60 kW that can be installed as single modules or stacked together to increase the power output (up to 960 kW).
The system delivers water flow temperatures of up to 65°C and is MCS certified which means that it's eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive.
|Mitsubishi Ground Source Heat Pumps||Output Rating (kW)||Efficiency Rating||Warranty|
|Ecodan Monobloc||45, 60||A++||3-7 years|
Worcester Bosch ground source heat pumps
Worcester Bosch ground source heat pumps are available as either combination (combi) or system models. All models in the combi range have an integrated hot water cylinder (185 litres) for domestic hot water storage. Meanwhile, the system range of heat pumps require you to have a separate hot water cylinder installed. It's important to note that this hot water cylinder must be heat pump compatible.
|Worcester Bosch Ground Source Heat Pumps||Output Ratings (kW)||Efficiency Rating||Warranty|
|Greenstore LECP Combi||5.4, 6.6, 8.7, 10.2||A+
(Greenstore 11 – A++)
|Greenstore LECP System||5.4, 6.6, 8.7, 10.2||A+
(Greenstore 11 – A++)
Kensa ground source heat pumps
Kensa offers a fairly extensive range of ground source heat pumps. Output ratings ranging from 3 kW up to 30 kW are available across 3 ranges: Evo, Shoebox and Twin Compact.
All of Kensa heat pump ranges are highly efficient, come with a warranty of 5 years and are eligible for RHI payments. The main difference is price. Shoebox heat pumps are the most affordable (from £3,510) while the Twin Compact range has the highest price tag (from £9,230). Evo heat pumps sit in between with prices of the models in this range starting at £5,862.
A key benefit of all single-phase Kensa heat pumps are the electrical 'soft starts' which ensures that energy consumption is kept to a minimum during start-up.
|Kensa Ground Source Heat Pumps||Output Ratings (kW)||Efficiency Rating||Warranty|
|Evo||7, 9, 13, 15, 17||A++||5 years|
|Shoebox||3, 6||A+||5 years|
|Twin Compact||12, 15, 16, 17, 20, 24, 30||A++||5 years|
Ground source heat pump installation costs
Ground source heat pumps aren't the most affordable heating systems. And installation is fairly complex which means that the installation costs can be fairly high too.
The total cost of installing a ground source heat pump can come to between £10,000 and £18,000. In some cases, these costs can stretch to over £30,000.
However, while high, these prices don't tell the whole story. This is because you will likely be making significant energy bill savings and could also be receiving RHI payments.
|Existing System||Energy Bill Saving per year||RHI Payment (1 January - 31 March 2018)|
|Gas Boiler (G-rated)||£505 - £580||£2,335 to £2,750|
|Gas boiler (A-rated)||£65||£2,335 to £2,750|
|Oil boiler (G-Rated)||£900 to £1,110||£2,335 to £2,750|
|Oil boiler (A-rated)||£570 to £665||£2,335 to £2,750|
|LPG boiler (G-rated)||£560 to £665||£2,335 to £2,750|
|LPG boiler (A-rated)||Increase of £55 to £65||£2,335 to £2,750|
|Coal||£525 to £645||£2,335 to £2,750|
So, if you're currently heating your home with gas, oil, LPG or coal then you could actually see a return on your investment over time.
Is a ground source heat pump right for you?
Ground source heat pumps require plenty of outdoor space as pipes need to be buried underground. This also means that access is required for digging equipment. Depending on the amount of space available, ground source heat pump pipes can either be installed in a vertical or horizontal borehole. Pipes buried in a vertical borehole go further underground and don't cover as much area as those in a horizontal borehole. Plus, if you live in a listed building or conservation area then you may require planning permission.
Fortunately, post-installation, a ground source heat pump needs very little maintenance over the years. Much less maintenance than a boiler, which should be serviced on an annual basis.
As an alternative, you may want to consider an air source heat pump. Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside and use that to provide central heating and hot water. Like a ground source heat pump, air source systems require some outdoor space but not as much and no pipes need to be installed.
Get quotes for a ground source heat pump
When it comes to ground source heat pump installation, it's important to compare quotes. By comparing quotes you can be confident that you're getting the most competitive price from the best person for the job.
At Boiler Guide, we've made finding and comparing quotes easier than ever. All you have to do is complete our simple online form, letting us know a few important details about the work you'd like doing.
Once you've completed the form, you'll get free no-obligation quotes from up to 3 ground source heat pump installers in your area.
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