Air, Ground And Water Source Heating (AGW Source Heating)
Air, ground and water source is a free source of energy which can be used to heat or cool your home.
The heat from outside air can be absorbed by a pump, called as Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) and used to heat radiators in your home or your underfloor heating system or even supply the house with hot water.
Even when the temperature is under zero degree, ambient air contains heat and can be use to heat your home.
Solar energy stored in the ground can be collected and used to heat your home using a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP). Around meter below the earth\\'s surface, the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Depends of the country or area you live in; ground temperatures below 6 meters range from 10 and 16 °C, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year. This ground temperature is warmer than the air above, during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer.
A GSHP uses pipes which are buried in the garden to extract ground heat in the winter providing enough energy to heat and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and transfers heat back into the ground by cooling your home in the summer.
The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need. Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.
A ground sources heating system is much more energy-efficient as an air source heating system, because underground temperatures are more stable than air temperatures through the year. Unlike air source heating system which is relatively easy and cheaper to install, the setup cost for a ground source heating system is higher, but the difference is usually returned in energy savings in 3 to 10 years.
Another technology option is so called Hybrid System, which uses combinations of several different geothermal resources or a combination of a geothermal resource with outdoor air (Dual System).
These appliances combine the best of both systems. Dual-Source Heat Pumps have higher efficiency ratings than air-source units and cost much less to install than a single geothermal unit and work almost as well but are not as efficient as geothermal units.
Another efficient method to reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems is combining ground source heating system with solar heating to form a Geosolar System with even greater efficiency.
For homes which are near to rivers, streams and lakes, Water Source Heat Pumps (WSHP) can be the lowest cost option to provide heating. The same technology used to extract heat from the ground is used to extract heat from water. The water source, used as main source of energy, has to meet requirement and quality criteria like the necessary volume, depth and an adequate supply of relatively clean water.
There are local codes and regulations to be taken in consideration and respected regarding groundwater discharge.
All types of heat pumps described above can be used for residential and commercial building applications. Which one of these is best and most suitable to your needs depends on the climate, soil and water conditions, available land, and local installation costs at the site.
Benefits of Air, Ground, Water Source (AGW) Heating Systems
Big savings in running costs of your heating system;Using the free energy of AGW source you can reduce your cost for heating /cooling and hot water in your home up to 65%. The exact figure depends on several factors such as where you live, the size of your house and whether or not you use the cooling function, heat pumps produce more energy (as heat) than they use (as electricity), so their efficiency is more than 100%.
Save the environment;
Switching from a fossil fuel based heating to a more modern, renewable source of energy like an AGW source heating system has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the use of nonrenewable energy sources. Heat pumps are efficient, reliable, last longer and are non-polluting.
Grants and government incentives available in most EU countries;
In many EU countries, governments and regional authorities are offering subsidies to homeowners to switch from fossil fuel based heating to a more modern, renewable source of energy like AGW source.
Before you start…
Before you decide about installing an environmentally friendly system to generate your own heat, make sure your home is as energy efficient as it can be.
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Saving Energy in Your Home and Garden
Before you purchase and install an air, ground or water source heating system, you want to consider the following:
Your garden has to be suitable for a ground loop;
In case of a ground source heating system the ground has to be suitable for digging a trench or borehole.
In case of a water source heating system, the water source has to meet few important criteria like; volume, depth and adequate supply of relatively clean water.
What type of heating system you will use;
Ground and water source heat pumps can perform best using Underfloor Heating. If your heating is based on radiators use the largest radiators you can because the water will be warm rather than hot. Here is our link to;
AGW Source Heating Manufacturer and Suppliers
Find a qualified installer;
Your installer should be able to advise you on what type of heating is most beneficial for you.
The performance of a heat pump depends on appropriate installation and integration with the building’s existing heating system, as well as appropriate control by the customer. Here is our link to;
AGW Source Heating Contractors
You will need to learn how to control the system so you can get most out of it. Your installer should explain to you how to control the system.
AGW source heat pumps require little maintenance on your part. Required maintenance should be carried out by a competent service contractor, who should inspect your unit once a year.Local, national and EU grants, funds and financial support are available for domestic, community and commercial Renewable Energy projects. See Information Service Category on the left hand side of the page.