How to choose a heat pump
What to consider when choosing the best heat pump for your circumstances
Heat pumps are the new buzzword across Europe as a sustainable alternative to heating. Not only can they provide an all-in-one solution to heating, cooling and hot water, they also rely on renewable energy. So which one's right for you?
There are several types of heat pump. The right one for you will depend on your needs, budget and home. So before you invest, let's look at the various heat pumps and see what works for you.
Is a heat pump right for my home?
A heat pump is effective and sustainable. Installing a heat pump to warm and cool your home is a great choice in a new build, as well as in renovation.
How to choose the right heat pump?
Air-to-air heat pump
Air-to-air heat pumps are usually referred to as air conditioners. They have an indoor and an outdoor unit, called a single split system. You can also choose one outdoor unit that connects to up to five indoor units, known as a multi-split system.
Their main functions are heating and cooling. With some multi-split systems, you can even connect to a hot water tank. They are a single-room solution and the cheapest and simplest to install. They come in various types: wall-mounted - the most common - floor-standing and concealed.
Air-to-water heat pump
The main functions of air-to-water heat pumps are heating, cooling and hot water through connections with emitters.
Air-to-water heat pumps can be low, mid or high-temperature. They usually have an indoor and an outdoor unit and work by connecting to various emitters. Often they have integrated hot water tanks.
Low-temperature heat pumps are for systems that don't require water temperatures higher than 55°C. They are best for new build homes, as they can connect to underfloor heating, heat pump convectors and low-temperature radiators.
High-temperature heat pumps are best for older homes and boiler replacements. They can connect to high-temperature radiators that seomitmes require water temperatures up to 70°C, and heat pump convectors.
Mid-temperature heat pumps are suitable for most types of homes. They are compatible with most radiators.
Ground-to-water heat pump
Ground-to-water heat pumps or ground-source heat pumps generate heat from the ground and are suitable for new builds and replacement of existing ground source heat pumps. They can operate very efficiently even in areas that reach extremely low temperatures. They only have an indoor unit and require the most extensive installation, with drilling in the ground to fit the heat exchanger.
Ground-to-water heat pumps can be installed horizontally or vertically.
- A horizontal closed loop comprises pipes arranged in a plane in the ground, just below the frost line (approximately 1-2.5 metres deep). Installation requires a large area to ensure sufficient heat extraction from the ground.
- A vertical system consists of pipes arranged in one or more boreholes, extending deep into the ground (approximately 15-120 metres). They require more extensive work and tend to be used when the area is too small to support a horizontal system.
Ground-to-water heat pumps connect to underfloor heating, heat pump convectors and low-temperature radiators.
Hybrid heat pump
Hybrid heat pumps use a combination of fossil, electricity and renewable energy. They generally have an indoor and an outdoor unit, with the indoor unit operating as a boiler.
Hybrid heat pumps can automatically switch between heat pump only, combined or gas-only operations to ensure efficiency.
They are a good alternative for gas condensing boilers, as they can use existing gas connections. They can connect to high and low-temperature radiators, underfloor heating and heat pump convectors.
You can combine your existing boiler with a new outdoor unit and use renewable energy. A multi-outdoor hybrid heat pump lets you combine your indoor unit with air conditioners.
Energy-efficient heat pumps tailored to your needs
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to heat pumps. The perfect system for you will depend on many factors, including your needs, budget and home.
Consult with experienced installers to ensure you find the best solution for your lifestyle.