Air source heat pumps are an excellent choice for keeping your home warm, lowering heating costs and helping the environment by reducing your carbon emissions. However, installing one of these systems merits additional considerations, as they differ to a considerable extent from how traditional boilers work.
In addition to understanding how an air source heat pump works, you also need to make an informed decision about what the best air source heat pump for your home is. This is precisely the aim of this article. Here, you will learn about the best air source heat pumps in the UK, how to compare them, and what to consider when choosing the right one for you.
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After analysing and reviewing several models, we put together the following list of the best heat pumps in 2023 by the best air source heat pump manufacturers. Whilst it doesn’t include all the available options, it definitely can help you find which heat pump is the best.
The Daikin Altherma 3 range consists of a low-temperature range (Altherma 3 R) and a high-temperature range (Altherma 3 H HT). Altherma 3 R air source heat pumps include monobloc and split models. They require hot water tanks to allow for domestic hot water and heating. They are also compatible with low-temperature radiators and underfloor heating.
The Altherma 3 H HT range, on the other hand, only includes split air source heat pumps. Two out of the 3 available models have integrated hot water tanks. The third one requires a separate tank for domestic hot water. All the units are compatible with traditional central heating systems, and the outdoor components have a low sound mode.
Nibe F2040 units are one of the most straightforward options available among the best air source heat pumps. These heat pumps consist of a monobloc outdoor fan unit which can be controlled with integrated smart technology. They also require a separate indoor hot water tank.
In addition to monobloc and split, the Samsung Eco Heating System range features TDM plus models, which is another option for outdoor units exclusive to Samsung. TDM plus models heat water for domestic use and heat the air in a ducting system to warm up the property. This is something that usually requires 2 separate outdoor units.
The aroTHERM air source heat pump range includes 2 types of outdoor units: the aroTHERM plus and the aroTHERM split. The former is a high-temperature air source heat pump that can be connected to an existing wet central heating system. It is also possible to add a Vaillant uniTOWER control unit with an integrated hot water storage tank.
The aroTHERM split is a low to medium-temperature air source heat pump, more suitable for low-temperature radiators and underfloor heating. It requires a separate hot water storage cylinder to allow for hot running water
The Vitocal range features some of the most compact outdoor units on the market. The Vitocal 100-A is the most compact monobloc air source heat pump of the 3 models included in the range. However, it requires a separate tank for domestic hot water.
The second model, the Vitocal 200-A, can achieve a maximum flow temperature for hot water of 60°C, even in outdoor temperatures of -10°C, and can be combined with an existing central heating system. You can combine it with a boiler to cover your home’s heating demand and improve the efficiency of the central heating system.
Lastly, the Vitocal 222-A can be combined with an indoor unit that has an integrated 220L hot water storage tank. Therefore, you won’t need a separate cylinder for domestic hot water.
The Grant Aerona³ R32 range is named after the refrigerant these air source heat pumps use: the R32. Its GWP is 3 times lower than that of the R410A refrigerant used in other heat pump systems.
Aerona³ R32 models are more suited to homes that use underfloor heating or low-temperature radiators. They also require a separate hot water cylinder to provide your taps and showers with hot water.
The Ecodan range from Mitsubishi includes a variety of air source heat pumps tailored to different needs. For instance, if you live by the coast, you can opt for one of their Coastal Protection units. These are less likely to degrade under coastal climate conditions. Other units have been designed to achieve the lowest noise levels possible.
The THERMA V range includes units that can operate in temperatures as low as -25°C and heat water to a maximum of 65°C. On the other hand, the hot temperature heat pumps in the range can heat water up to 80°C. These come in split and monobloc options.
THERMA V units are compatible with smart heating control. You can control your air source heat pump from anywhere you are with the LG SmartThinq app.
Hitachi developed its Yutaki heat pump range to be as energy efficient as possible. For instance, the Yutaki S80 can heat water up to 80°C even if the outside temperature is -25°C. There is also the Yutaki S Combi, which has an integrated water tank for domestic hot water. Additionally, all units in the series are easy to install and maintain.
To get the best air source heat pump for the best price, we recommend comparing quotes from certified installers in your area. Fortunately, this is something we can help with. Just complete our form and we’ll provide you with up to 3 free quotes from installers within your area. It only takes 30 seconds and brings you quotes to compare with no obligation to accept any of them. Click the button below to get started.
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Even if the above list is helpful in itself to compare models, in this section, we’ve provided more information and explanations that will help you make an informed decision.
There are 2 types of air source heat pumps: air to water and air to air. Air to water heat pumps are designed to generate heat from the air outside and transfer this to the water in a central heating system.
Air to air heat pumps are more like air conditioning units that can heat the air. They generate heat from the air outside and transfer it to the air in a property’s ventilation system. Air to air heat pumps generally require a full installation of an outdoor fan unit and a full ventilation system to distribute air around the property. This makes them very difficult and potentially more costly to install.
Low-temperature heat pump models are more suited to properties with underfloor heating or low temperature radiators. High-temperature heat pumps, on the other hand, are more appropriate for traditional central heating systems, as they can provide water temperatures of around 75-80°C.
Monobloc heat pumps consist of a single outdoor unit, whereas split heat pumps have an outdoor and indoor unit. Monobloc air source heat pumps save indoor space and are easy to install and maintain. Split models are generally quieter to run, may include an integrated hot water storage tank in their design, and allow flexible installation.
Air source heat pumps come in different output sizes, measured in kilowatts (kW). The bigger your home, the higher your air source heat pump’s output size must be. These are some estimates:
Refrigerant gases are essential for an air source heat pump to work. However, these gases may negatively impact the environment in case of a leak. How much they can affect the environment is expressed in their global warming potential (GWP), which is a comparative value that indicates the greenhouse effect of a gas. For instance, CO2 has a GWP of 1.
Below, you will find a table with the most common refrigerant gases used in air source heat pumps and their GWPs. The higher the GWP, the more damaging it is if released into the atmosphere.
|Global Warming Potential of Refrigerant Gases|
In addition to the general pros and cons of air source heat pumps, there are other factors and circumstances you should consider when choosing the best air source heat pump for your home. Here are some of them:
Air source heat pumps costs might be out of reach for many. From those reviewed in this article, the Samsung Eco Heating System range offers the most affordable models. At £2,200, they are around £800 cheaper than the cheapest models in the Vaillant aroTHERM and Grant Aerona R32 ranges.
Including installation and other potential additional expenses, an air source heat pump’s total cost could be anywhere between £8,000 and £18,000. Among the factors affecting the final price we can mention:
Lastly, the running costs of heat pumps must be taken into account as well. These depend on factors such as:
However, you should also know that financing a heat pump with a grant is possible. It can help you save a considerable amount of money upfront.
Most air source heat pumps will still run at very low temperatures. Nevertheless, focusing on our list of the best heat pumps in 2023, only models offered by Daikin, Samsung, LG, and Hitachi will run in -25°C temperature conditions.
Air source heat pumps are low-carbon heating systems and efficient alternatives to gas boilers. Compared to boilers, they are more environmentally friendly than gas, oil and even electric models. However, they need refrigerant gases that pose a risk to the environment in case of a leak.
To minimise possible negative effects on the environment, you can choose an air source heat pump using a refrigerant with the lowest GWP. In this regard, some units in the Vaillant aroTherm range use the R290 refrigerant, with a GWP of 3. This is certainly low, considering that 1 is the minimum possible (equivalent to that of CO2).
If you own a large house with multiple bathrooms, you may want to consider models within the LG THERMA V and Hitachi Yutaki ranges. These can heat water up to 80°C, run more radiators, and cope with higher demands for hot water.
At GreenMatch, we are committed to helping you navigate the transition to more sustainable ways of heating your home. So, if you want to go green and get an air source heat pump for your home, we can definitely help you get the best deal.
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