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With the rising popularity of renewable energy sources, heat pumps have become effective alternatives to fossil fuels. Aside from the financial incentive offered from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, switching your fossil fuel boiler out for an air or ground source heat pump has lots of benefits.

The biggest of these is their positive impact on the environment. Ground and air source heat pumps are a low carbon heat source. They use electricity – not fossil fuels – to efficiently heat a home. 

When designed and installed correctly, heat pumps are also incredibly efficient.

As well as being an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to a fossil fuel boiler, air and ground source heat pumps are low maintenance once installed. A gas boiler tends to need replacing roughly every ten years, whereas the life space of a ground source heat pump is generally 20-30 years.

What is a Heat Pump? 

A heat pump extracts heat energy from the air or ground, even when it is cold outside, and uses it to warm your home.

A well-designed heat pump system transfers around three to four times more energy into a property as heat then it uses to extract it. As a result, heat pumps are incredibly efficient.

What is the difference between an Air Source Heat Pump and a Ground Source Heat Pump?

The main difference between the two types of heat pumps is simply where they get heat from - air source heat pumps absorb heat from the air, whereas ground source heat pumps absorb heat from the ground.

Which type of heat pump should I choose?

Both systems offer energy saving benefits that will help you cut energy costs and heat your home efficiently and effectively. Our team of specialists at Pure Green Energy are here to help you decide what is right for you.



EfficiencyMuch more efficient than boilers, but generally less efficient than a ground source heat pumpGenerally more efficient than air source heat pumps
AestheticsUnit located close to the propertyGround loops are invisible once fitted
SoundAll produce some noise, but some are much quieter than you might expectVery quiet operation
PlanningCan fall under permitted development, but also need to meet MCS020 standardsPlanning permission is generally not required (subject to groundworks & archaeological considerations)
SiteSuitable for smaller sitesSuitable for larger sites
Property suitabilitySuitable for most properties – number of required heat pumps is dependent upon property sizeGenerally more suitable for medium to large properties


Air Source Heat Pump

Air source heat pumps look similar to air conditioning units and are typically mounted alongside an external wall outside a property. The external unit is connected to an internal unit containing circulation pumps and hot water, which is normally smaller than the average boiler. They are easier to install than ground source heat pumps as they don't require the ground to be dug up. The size of the unit will depend on the size of your home or building. 

Ground Source Heat Pump 

The first consideration for a ground source heat pump does you have enough outdoor space to fit a ground loop. The ground loop can be installed in two ways, vertically or horizontally, but each will take up a certain amount of space and that the ground is suitable for digging. You will also need some space indoors to fit the heat pump unit – this is about the size of a fridge and can create a low-level humming sound, similar to an extractor fan or air conditioning unit.

More planning and labour are required to install a ground source heat pump. Once installed, the pipework for your ground source heat pump will not be visible and will not change the look of your property or functionality of your garden.

To find out more or get a quote

Contact our expert team and we’ll be happy to help and advise you.

What our customers say:

"The service has been absolutely perfect. We are delighted with what has been done and the friendly and efficient way we have been looked after. We’ll miss ‘the lads’, whose presence has been a delight. Clearly, we’ll be recommending Pure Green Energy at every opportunity"

Graham lambie - Air Source Heat Pump
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