Ground Source Heat Pump Installation Costs
The cost of a ground source heat pump installation is an important question. However, the more important question relates to the quality of the design and installation.
A cheaper installation is not a better installation unless it performs well over a long life – a ground source heat pump installation is not a commodity item.
Your initial concerns should be focussed on:
- the experience of the gshp installation designer
- the quality of the installation of the ground heat exchanger
- whether the capacity of the gshp is well matched to the heating load (and cooling load) of the building
- whether the gshp installation is well matched to the heat distribution system in the building
- the coefficient of performance expected from the installation
- whether the installer is offering to maintain the system, with performance guarantees.
Ground source heat pump "whole of life" costs
If you can get a satisfactory answer to these enquiries then cost becomes a consideration. Beware that if you address questions of cost before quality there are many short cuts that an installer can take to reduce his costs. These include:
- using cheaper materials for the ground heat exchanger
- providing a smaller ground heat exchanger than is required to achieve a low running cost over an extended period
- failure to take time to understand the detailed parameters of the building and perform a full thermal model to inform the optimium design for the installation
- failure to co-ordinate the main components of the installation (ground heat exchanger, ground source heat pump, controls, and heat distribution circuits).
A well-designed gshp installation has many enduring advantages including a lifetime of service at low running costs from an automated system that runs itself and a low "whole of life" cost.
Beware of going for a "cheap" option!
See also Ground source heat pumps.