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All about air-to-water heat pumps

Heat pumps come in various forms and for different purposes. So which one best fits your heating requirements? Or do you also want to cool your house with it? And what about your domestic hot water in the kitchen and bathroom?

The purchase and installation of a heat pump

It is important to read up on the topic before you go ahead with purchasing a heat pump. And of course an installer can also offer good advice for your particular situation. Make sure you look for installer with plenty of experience in installing heat pumps. The installation of a heat pump that uses air as the source of heat usually takes just one day, whereas installing a heat pump that uses heat from the ground is a more complex job and can take several days. In either case, installation is not a do-it-yourself job.

System configuration

The choice of a suitable alternative to a central heating boiler also has consequences for your total heating system. Do you have underfloor heating or only radiators in the house? Everything must be properly coordinated and adjusted. This has an effect on the savings you will achieve and these can be greater if you also have solar panels or use a solar water heater. Whatever the case, all the elements of your system must fit together perfectly and work well together.

Air-to-water heat pumps

With heat pumps there is usually an indoor unit. This often looks like a central heating boiler, and may be available in a free-standing or wall hung unit. An air-to-water heat pump also has an outdoor unit, which looks like the kind of small air conditioning unit that you regularly see abroad in warmer countries. The air-to-water heat pump draws heat from the outside air and conducts that heat through a water circuit, such as radiators or underfloor heating. You can use this heat for tap water in the kitchen and bathroom and for central heating. 

Cooling in the summer

The Daikin Altherma system uses air-to-water heat pump technology and is a fully equipped system for heating your home and producing domestic hot water. It is a flexible and cost-saving alternative to gas-fired central heating boilers and also provides cooling in the summer.

Why choose an air-to-water heat pump?

The air-to-water heat pump is often chosen during a major renovation to provide existing houses with a heating and cooling system that reduces the environmental impact of a home. During a typical renovation, it is often not possible to install a ground-source heat pump, as this involves major ground works. A heat pump that extracts heat from the outside air is a good alternative, because no radical changes, such as a borehole, have to be made for this system. So it's cheaper to install and also a lot cheaper to purchase.


Less of an advantage with an air-to-water heat pump is that its efficiency on very cold days (when the temperature is lower than 5°C) will be considerably less than other heat pump systems, such as the water-to-water heat pump or ground-source heat pump. That doesn't mean it won't have the capacity to heat your home. You can still heat your house even when it's a very low temperature outside, but it will then cost the heat pump relatively more energy to achieve the same comfort levels.

Do the heat pump check now to see if your house is already suitable for a heat pump and, if so, which type.