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Mythbusters: Setting the record straight on heat pumps

We're busting a few myths around heat pumps, from how much they cost, to how large they are, to how much noise they make.

We're busting a few myths around heat pumps. As a relatively new concept to the UK, there are a few misunderstandings flying around about how well they work, how noisy they are, and how much they cost. 

But all across Europe, heat pumps have been widely adopted as the eco-friendly heating solution that’s better for the planet, and the pocket. In fact, there are over 20 million heat pumps in use across Europe. It’s a mature technology that works, and it’s proven to keep millions of homes warm and comfortable. 

So, let’s tackle some of the myths about heat pumps and give you the complete picture:

Myth #1: They’re expensive

Fact: A heat pump is typically three or four times as efficient as a gas boiler, which means you don’t have to buy so much energy. And that means lower energy bills for your home in the long term. 

Heating bills quickly add up. When you install a heat pump, you could save up to £378 per year compared with an oil boiler and up to £251 compared with a gas boiler, simply by being more energy efficient. Over a lifetime, your heat pump could save you up to £3,000 compared to a gas boiler.

And now, with some fantastic government funding in place, they’re less expensive to install than a standard boiler. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme gives you up to £7,500 off cost and installation, making your heat pump an even more economical choice. In some cases, it could even be free. 

Win £7,500 to fuel your home heating upgrade

Enter our brilliant new competition! Government funding for heat pumps has increased to £7,500 and we're matching it, with an additional £7,500 for one lucky winner. From now until the end of April 2024, you can enter our prize draw to win £7,500 towards a Daikin heat pump installed by one of our Sustainable Home Experts.

So, you can receive up to £15,000 in total to switch from a fossil fuel boiler to a low carbon heat pump - and create a more sustainable climate at home. 

Myth #2: They’re noisy

Fact: While it’s normal for heat pumps to make some noise, they are much quieter than most people think.

A Daikin outdoor unit is usually no louder than 60 decibels, just like an electric toothbrush or a normal conversation. And the indoor units are even quieter. They make a gentle whirring noise, measuring 30 decibels at most. That’s quieter than a refrigerator. It’s as soft as a whisper. 

In fact, heat pumps aren’t even allowed to be noisy. They’re not permitted to produce more than 65-70 decibels, depending on their power. That’s the same noise level as your dishwasher. And, for extra peace of mind, all heat pumps must have a CE label stating their sound level. 

Myth #3: They’re large and unsightly

Fact: The outdoor unit for a heat pump isn’t as big as most people believe. Your installer will find a discreet place to place it on the side of your house. Plus, if you choose a monobloc heat pump (the all-in-one solution), you won’t need an indoor unit at all. 

Daikin’s latest models have been redesigned specifically for home environments, with unobtrusive styling that will blend into any setting. And we can even provide bespoke vinyl wraps (to match your brickwork, for example) to help the unit merge into the background completely. 

The Altherma 3 Low Capacity Monobloc is our most compact and stylish design yet. Designed specifically for smaller homes, it’s an all-in-one outdoor unit. It’s so compact, the outdoor unit will even fit under a window. And thanks to its whisper-quiet operation, you’ll hardly notice it’s there. 

Myth #4: They can only be used for heating

Fact: Despite the name, heat pumps can also be used to cool your home. Some heat pumps, if combined with convector units, can also be used for cooling. These heat pumps can cool by reversing the process of transferring heat from one place to another. 

A heat pump is an all-in-one year-round home comfort solution that keeps you warm in winter, and cool in summer. It provides heating, cooling and hot water management with just one energy-efficient unit. 

But remember, not all heat pumps have the capability of cooling. So if this is a specification you’re looking for, consult your installer first to make sure you choose the right model.

Heat pump outside unit
Heat pump outside unit

Myth #5: They’re only suitable for new homes

Fact: Heat pumps are suitable for virtually any property. They’re ideal for homes of all shapes and sizes, whether new build or older. While it can be easier to plan a heat pump installation into a new build, there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be installed in older houses or renovation projects. 

The amount of work needed to install a heat pump will depend on your existing heating system. Your installer will be able to tell you what modifications need to be made.

At Daikin, we recommend air source heat pumps for many UK homes. Our innovative design means they’re simple to install, with no expensive groundwork, and in most cases no planning permission required.

Myth #6: They need loads of maintenance

Fact: A heat pump won’t need any more maintenance than your boiler. Your heat pump should be serviced every year, just as you might expect with a boiler. This will ensure it’s running efficiently and it will help to extend its life. 

They’re safer too. Because heat pumps don’t use flammable gasses, they are fundamentally much safer than a gas boiler. They don’t require annual safety checks to the same extent and your servicing will be focused on maintaining maximum efficiency. 

And the good news is that a well-designed heat pump installation is likely to outlast a gas boiler. The typical lifespan of a heat pump is between 15 and 20 years. So, you can sit back and relax, knowing that you’ll be saving money, and reducing your carbon footprint, for decades to come. 

Myth #7: They can’t cope with cold winters

Fact: If air source heat pumps work by drawing warmth from the air outside, what happens when the temperatures drop? Quite simply, you don’t need to worry. Daikin heat pumps continue to function perfectly when it gets cold outside. In fact, our heat pumps can cope down to -25°C.

Heat pumps absorb the warmth generated when atoms and molecules move quickly through the air. This process still takes place, even when the temperatures drop below freezing. 

An air source heat pump will take the heat energy from outside air, even on a cold day, and concentrates it into usable heat for your home, warming radiators or underfloor heating systems. Keeping your home cosy and warm, whatever the weather.