How to Heat a Barn Conversion: Your Choices

How to Heat a Barn Conversion: Your Choices

Transforming a barn into a stunning contemporary home is one of the most exciting projects you can undertake, combining traditional charm with the thrill of designing a new home.

At Bespoke, we help people just like you design and construct their dream barn conversions. However, the reality of converting a barn is often more complicated than you might first think.

It’s worth remembering that barns were never designed with human inhabitation in mind, and though they’re ideally suited to conversion, they need significant adaptation to become the gorgeous, comfortable family home you’re dreaming of.

Those adaptations include lighting, interior architecture and plumbing, but perhaps the biggest addition to a barn you’ll have to make is heating.

There are a number of heating options out there for the modern barn converter, but which is right for your project? Join us as we share a few of your options:



Provided your barn conversion is linked to the gas grid (many aren’t), gas heating is an option for your barn conversion. Gas heating is well established in the UK, but it will tie you to gas prices and is far from the greenest option available. You’ll also have to consider the aesthetic impact of radiators throughout your property.

Indeed, there are a number of options available to you which not only help drastically reduce your carbon footprint but cost significantly less, like…


Ground Source Heat Pumps

Barn conversions often have the benefit of a significant amount of undeveloped land surrounding them. This makes them ideal for ground source heat pumps.

There are two types of heat pumps: ground source and air source. However, it’s the former which is better suited for barn conversions thanks to the scale of most barn conversions.

Ground source heat pumps require boreholes or trenches to be dug near the property, which are used to lay pipes ins.

These pipes are laid deep enough that they receive constant warming from the earth. Then, a mixture of water and anti-freeze is run through the pipes, which is heated and then brought back into your property via a heat exchanger to warm your home, via underfloor heating or traditional radiators. It even heats your water!

Because it relies on heat from the earth, you’ll get consistent free energy throughout the year at no cost to yourself, beyond the initial (and somewhat substantial) outlay. Best of all, the heat is supremely eco-friendly and over the long term, ground source heat pumps are the most cost-effective way to heat your barn conversion.


Biomass Boilers

If your conversion isn’t well suited to a ground source heat pump, another eco-friendly option is to install a biomass heater.

Unlike a traditional heater, a biomass boiler doesn’t burn oil or gas in order to create heat. Instead, it utilises recycled wood pellets to create much cleaner, greener energy for your property. These boilers typically have between 89% and 91% efficiency and can provide both heating and hot water for your property.

It’s another option for your barn conversion, and potentially a valuable one should you not own the land immediately surrounding your property.