Call us 24/7
Watch our company video

Commercial Ground Source vs Air Source Heat Pumps

February 23rd, 2023

Last updated: June 9th, 2023

When you are responsible for a commercial building, you have the potential to make a big difference to the environment. The choices you make on things like heating and air conditioning can make a bigger impact than the choices you make regarding domestic buildings.

In this guide, we’re exploring commercial ground source vs air source heat pumps. What are the differences and which are better for your property?

If you need advice, you’re in luck. Robinsons Facilities Services offer expert installation and servicing for both types of heat pumps.

Let’s explore some of the key differences.

Source of Heat

Of course, the main difference is the source of the heat. As you will have garnered already, ground source heat pumps use heat from the ground, while air source heat pumps use heat from the air. Both models compress the heat they extract to make it more powerful, suitable for heating a commercial property.

Ground source heat pumps use pipes buried in the ground to extract heat from the earth. The ground temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year, so this type of heat pump can provide heat even in colder temperatures.

Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, extract heat from the outside air. They are more efficient in milder temperatures and have a reputation for struggling to provide enough heat in extreme cold conditions. This might be slightly unfair, though. Air source heat pumps with modern designs can usually withstand up to at least -10°C, and some can even work at temperatures as low as -25°C. Heat pumps are popular in Scandinavian countries, so you know they can handle British temperatures most of the time.


Ground source heat pumps are generally more efficient than air source heat pumps. Because the ground temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year, it takes less energy to extract heat from the ground than it does from the air.

The most important consideration, though, is the fact that they are much more environmentally-friendly than other forms of heating. This means that efficiency is only one of the things to take on board.

That said, this is definitely an energy-efficient heating method that can hugely reduce your gas or energy bills. Heat pumps and heat recovery units are popular options for making long-term savings which is why so many people are currently investing in them.


The installation process for ground source and air source heat pumps is not the same, of course. Ground source heat pumps require more extensive installation as they involve burying pipes in the ground. This can be a more complex and time-consuming process than installing an air source heat pump. They use bore holes for this and this can be a demanding job, depending on the space you have available, the installers may have to go deep into the ground.

Air source heat pumps are typically easier and quicker to install. They require an external unit to be mounted on the wall or placed on the ground outside the building. This unit contains the compressor and heat exchanger, which extracts heat from the air. The convenience of an air source heat pump is great but they don’t quite have the same efficiency.

Cost of Setup and Installation

Ground source heat pumps tend to be more expensive than air source heat pumps, mainly due to the cost of installation and the demands of having to dig deep to fit the equipment in. They also take up some outdoor space. However, they are generally more efficient and can provide more significant savings on energy bills over time.

Air source heat pumps are cheaper to install, but their efficiency can be affected by external temperatures. In colder temperatures, they may need to run for longer to achieve the same level of heat output as a ground source heat pump.

Of course, there isn’t just one set price, and it can vary greatly depending on your location and needs.

Heat Pump Servicing

Maintaining both types of heat pumps is essential for commercial buildings as they are critical equipment that must operate efficiently and reliably and keep your property warm. This is important for both the business and its employees, and it is necessary to ensure a safe workspace in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act, so don’t take any chances if there are issues.

We can create a maintenance schedule tailored to the needs of your business, taking into account its operations and employees. This schedule outlines the required maintenance work and visit frequency, considering the crucial nature of the heat pump system and the annoyance and disruption (plus the cost) that downtime or breakdowns can cause.

If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of a commercial ground source heat pump, get in touch with the team at Robinsons Facilities Services.

For many businesses, it makes sense from both an environmental and a financial standpoint to have a commercial ground source heat pump installed.

We’re experts when it comes to commercial ground source heat pump installation and maintenance, and we serve a wide range of commercial clients across Yorkshire.

Working across Yorkshire, we cover North YorkshireWest YorkshireEast Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all commercial ground source heat pump enquiries. Contact us today for all plannedreactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.

Regular industry news and company updates, delivered straight to your inbox.

  Information on how we handle your data is contained in our Privacy Policy