There are different types of heat pump. The most commonly-used in the UK today are air-source heat pumps which extract heat from the outdoor air. But it’s also possible for heat pumps to extract heat from the earth through a series of pipes laid underground. These are known as ground-source heat pumps. And heat can also be extracted from bodies of water such as rivers or lakes, and water-source heat pumps can be used to do this.
Heat pumps can also deliver heating in different ways. The heat extracted from air, earth or water can be delivered into a home via water or air. An air-to-water heat pump, for example, extracts heat from the air and transfers this to water which flows around the home in radiators or through an underfloor heating system. Alternatively, that heat can be transferred to air which is delivered by indoor units into the house. This would be known as an air-to-air heat pump.
Each method of extracting heat and delivering it has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s very important to discuss a heat pump system with an expert installer to ensure you are making the best choice for your property and your heating needs. An installer will be able to describe the initial costs of a system and provide information on issues such as operating costs and maintenance requirements too.