Barn conversion takes ground source route to low heating costs


15 June 2017
ground source heat pump norfolk barn conversion
The 100-year-old Norfolk barn conversion uses a ground source pump for its heating and hot water
A barn conversion in Norfolk is benefitting from year-round heating and hot water at low running costs, thanks to a ground source heat pump.

When homeowner Paul Withey set about converting a 100-year-old barn into a contemporary four bedroom home, he thought the rural location near Attleborough meant he would be tied to a conventional oil boiler for heating and hot water. However, following a recommendation from his architects, he began to investigate ground source and quickly realised it provided the ideal alternative. With government funding available under the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, opting for a ground source heat pump system was even more attractive.
Renewable heating experts Finn Geotherm specified and installed a Lämpöässä Vmi11 ground source heat pump with integral 480 litre thermal store to meet all of the 3000 sq ft barn’s heating and hot water needs. The system was installed with a secondary return to provide almost instant hot water, and a water softener added due to the hard water area. 

By involving Finn Geotherm during the planning stages of the project, Mr Withey was easily able to incorporate a plant room for the heat pump inside his home and get the required 700 metres of ground loop laid in his garden before any landscaping took place. The heat pump connected directly into the barn’s underfloor heating circuit.

He said: “I can’t speak highly enough of my heat pump system and the service I’ve received from Finn Geotherm. Our home is constantly warm throughout – there are no cold spots and every room is always warm. We’ve had two winters with the system now and I have been very impressed with both its performance and the running costs.

"Our heating and hot water bills are significantly less than we were used to paying for oil fired heating in our old house and we don’t have the additional hassles of ordering deliveries to make sure we don’t run out of fuel. The RHI payments really made the choice a 'no-brainer'. Our system will have been paid for by the RHI in seven years and during this time – and for years afterwards – we are receiving all our heating and hot water at an extremely low cost.”
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