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Barn conversion benefitting from clean, green heating

Barn conversion benefitting from clean, green heating

A barn conversion near Beccles in Suffolk is enjoying the benefits of renewable heating thanks to a ground source heat pump installed by Finn Geotherm.

Mr & Mrs B’s five-bedroom home was heated by an oil boiler installed during the original barn conversion work 15 years ago. The system was still fully operational but it was inclined to smell, and the homeowners were keen to consider cleaner, greener options. Mr B said:

“The rising cost of oil and uncertainty about future prices were a concern, but our main motive for replacing the oil-based system was ethical – to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Having looked into heat pump technology, Mr & Mrs B contacted several installers and chose Finn Geotherm. Mr B explained:

“We were impressed by the knowledge and straightforward manner of Finn Geotherm, and the specifications of the Lämpöässä ground source heat pump seemed to suit our needs perfectly. The excellent pedigree of these systems over many decades in Finland and Finn Geotherm’s long experience of installing them in the UK gave us reassurance this would be a reliable and effective system, and the installation work would be done efficiently.”

Having completed detailed heat loss surveys at the property, Finn Geotherm specified and installed a Lämpöässä Emi 28 ground source heat pump with 750 litre thermal store. The system is fed by 1600m of ground array laid in the adjacent field, connected into a new plant room created within an outhouse. A water booster set was also installed to maintain water pressure. With the plant room created in the outhouse, the oil boiler and all its components could be removed from the house, freeing up more space. The new heating system was retrofitted to utilise some of the barn’s existing radiators and underfloor heating.

With the homeowners keen to make their new heating system as environmentally friendly as possible, they also had a large solar array installed with a battery storage system, which supplies electricity to the heat pump as well as exporting surplus back to the Grid. Finn Geotherm recommended the solar installer and worked with them to ensure maximum benefit was achieved from the two systems.

“We are very pleased indeed with the heat pump,” said Mr B. “It supplies domestic hot water at the perfect temperature and has proved more than sufficient to heat our large-volume spaces. In the radiator-heated rooms, it provides a much more pleasant heat than the oil-fired system and the underfloor areas are heated very comfortably. The controls make it easy to adjust the heating if needed – the house became so toasty warm at the end of last winter that we actually had to turn it down.

“Similarly, we were very impressed with the service we received from Finn Geotherm throughout, from the groundworks through to commissioning and aftersales care too. The team was exemplary in their hard work, technical skills, customer care and courtesy.”

The installation was completed at the beginning of 2022, enabling the homeowners to qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to help fund the project. The RHI scheme has since closed and been replaced by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

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