Your central heating system plays an important role in your home - keeping you supplied with the heat and hot water that make life so much more comfortable.
The most common fuel used in boilers is gas, followed by heating oil, and occasionally liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Although rare, some boilers burn coal (usually in the form of coal pellets) or biomass (usually in the form of wood chips). Electric central heating boilers are also available.
New gas (and oil) boilers have to be of around 90% efficiency or higher (an A or B energy efficiency rating) and generally use condensing technology to achieve this. If your boiler is more than fifteen years old, you may want to consider replacing it with a new energy-efficient one.
A ground source heat pump works on the same principle that fridges and air conditioning systems work on - making one place cooler while making another place warmer - or the other way around. If you consider how warm the back of a fridge gets, while the inside of it gets cold, then you begin to get an idea of how this system works.
Ground source heat pumps, fuelled by electricity, work by making the earth outside a home colder, by running a refrigerant fluid through pipes that are buried in a trench or a borehole, while delivering warmth at the heat exchanger indoors . That heat is transferred to the water running through the pipes inside a house to warm radiators and provide hot water.
Ground source heat pumps typically reach temperatures of around 50°C, which is significantly lower than with a boiler, which can reach a temperature as high 90°C (although it's recommended that you set the temperature lower than this). So, you will need to run a heat pump for longer to achieve the same level of comfort, and it tends to work better with underfloor heating, rather than radiators. Although much more expensive to install, they can be as cheap to run as gas central heating. they are a good option to consider if you live off the gas network.