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Ground Source Heat & Air Source Heat 

What is ground and air source heat? Ground and air source systems use heat exchangers to extract latent heat from the air or ground (or sometimes lake beds) which is then used in central heating and hot water systems. Air source systems look similar to air conditioning units, while ground source systems can either be based around a deep borehole or involve a large horizontal network of buried pipes. The type of system used will vary depending on the space available and the type of sub soil/rock the property sits on.

These systems are most suitable for new-build, well-insulated properties. Under-floor central heating systems tend to work best.

How you benefit

While ground and air source can be used with traditional properties, they may not be as efficient as with new buildings, and another technology could be more appropriate. Knight Frank has expertise in this area and can appraise the property and independently advise on the best renewable energy solution. Our team has managed the installation of these systems and can minimise the risk of costs increasing late on in the process.

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  • Requires no external fuel, apart from electricity to power the heat exchanger.
  • Relatively cheap to run once installed.
  • The ground source is unobtrusive once installed.
  • Requires little maintenance.



  • Not always suitable for retro-fitting to older buildings and are not at their most efficient when used with conventional, radiator-based, central heating systems.
  • Borehole-based ground source systems require suitable ground conditions; horizontal pipe systems need a large outdoor area.