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Which are the Best Air Source Heat Pumps?

Best air source heat pumps

Installing an air source heat pump in your home is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions and lower your heating costs. Making the decision to install an air source heat pump is not one to be made lightly as they are quite different to the traditional boilers we are used to.

However, if you decide to go ahead, you need to be sure that you are choosing an efficient and reliable model. To help you make your choice, we reveal the best air source heat pumps on the market today.

IMPORTANT: Between September 2020 and March 2021, you can apply for a government grant to cover two-thirds of the cost of installing an air source heat pump. Click here for more information.


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What is an air source heat pump?

Air source heat pumps are a renewable heating technology which is becoming popular as an alternative to fossil fuel boilers.

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside your home. In the case of an air to water heat pump*, a large fan is placed outside the home where it can draw in air. The refrigerant liquid that holds the heat is compressed to increase its temperature, and the resulting heat is transferred to a cylinder of water. The heated water is then ready to supply your taps and for use in a wet central heating system. Air source heat pumps can still extract heat in temperatures as low as -25°C in some cases.

Which is the best air source heat pump?

More and more companies are manufacturing air source heat pumps which can leave you unsure of which one to have installed. To help find the perfect air source heat pump for your home, we've compared some of the most popular models available. Whichever air source heat pump you choose to install will be highly efficient, helping to reduce your energy bills. So picking an overall winner out of the models we've compared here is tough.

If you live in a particularly cold area

Your biggest concern will be if the appliance can still operate when the temperature drops during winter. Out of these models, the Samsung and LG THERMA will be able to extract heat in temperatures as low as -25°C, so you won't have anything to worry about in the UK.

For larger homes

The Hitachi S80 is the best choice as it can heat water to 80°C to handle a higher demand for hot water for more radiators and bathrooms.

If energy efficiency is a priority

Along with the Nibe and the Hitachi, the Samsung model is one of the most efficient here with an ErP rating of A+++ but isn't likely to cost you as much as the others, with prices normally ranging from £1,750 to £4,000.

If the environment is a priority for you

You may want to consider the Grant Aerona³ 12kW R32 or LG THERMA which use the R32 refrigerant with a lesser impact on the environment than some other models.

Best air source heat pumps and prices

Air source heat pump installation in a typical home usually costs between £4,000 - £11,000. This may sound like a big price tag but when you consider that it could be efficiently heating your home for around 20 years with reduced heating bills, it will soon start paying for itself.

Using the table below you can get a quick understanding of what each of the models has to offer before we go into more detail about each one individually.

Manufacturer Model Available Outputs (kW) ErP Energy Efficiency Rating Potential Price
Daikin Altherma 3 4, 6, 8 A++ £6,000 – £8,000
Nibe F2040 8, 12, 16 A+++ £6,000 – £8,500
Samsung EHS Mono 16 A+++ £1,750 – £4,000
Vaillant aroTHERM 5, 8, 11, 15 A++ £3,000 – £7,000
Viessmann Vitocal 200-A 2.6 – 11 A+++ £5,500 – £9,000
Grant Aerona³ 6 – 16 A++ £4,000 – £7,000
Mitsubishi Ecodan QUHZ 4.5 A++ £4,000 – £6,000
LG THERMA V R32 5-16 A++ £4,000 – £6,000
Hitachi Yutaki S802 11,14, 16 A+++ £4,000 – £6,000

The prices in the table above are estimates and don't include the cost of installation, which will vary depending on who carries out the work. We highly recommend getting quotes from at least 3 different installers to give you the greatest chance of finding the best deal for your home.

While it might feel that the costs are already beginning to add up, you can begin to make these initial costs back via reduced energy bills and Renewable Heat Incentive payments during the lengthy lifetime of an air source heat pump.


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Daikin Altherma

Over the past 90 years, Daikin have built up a worldwide reputation for the quality of their forward thinking air conditioning and climate control technology.

The Daikin Altherma with Bluevolution Technology 3 is an air-to-water system that can operate in temperatures as low as -25°C which means your home will get heating from the air even in the depths of winter. It is the first air-water heat pump in the UK using R32 as a refrigerant and achieves an overall seasonal efficiency of A++. You also have the option of controlling your heating via an app on your smart device.

The indoor unit is designed for easy installation and maintenance as all the hydraulic components are accessible from the front. It needs to be combined with a separate domestic hot water tank with a capacity of up to 500 litres with or without solar support. The outdoor unity has handles for easy installation as well as an out-blow grill and factory mounted suction grill as extra safety features.

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Nibe F2040

Nibe are a Swedish company that's grown to become a leading manufacturer of domestic heating products in many countries across Europe.

The Nibe F2040 is a highly efficient air source heat pump shown through its ErP rating of A+++. You won't have to worry about the installation of this appliance as that's been designed to be as smooth as possible, thanks to it being fitted with an anti-vibration water connection.

By downloading the Nibe Uplink app to your smart device, you can get quick overviews and status updates of the appliance and the heat it's generating. Should there be an issue with your air source heat pump, which is very rare, then an alert will be sent to your device immediately.

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Samsung EHS Mono

You're probably more familiar with Samsung's phones than their air source heat pumps but after years of research, they've released the EHS Mono range.

The unit is compact and lightweight which makes them simple to install and you have the option of it being wall mounted or floor standing. The EHS Mono is capable of achieving high water temperatures of 55°C and can still extract heat from the air in temperatures of -25°C. It even operates quietly.

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Vaillant aroTHERM

Vaillant are a trusted manufacturer of gas boilers and also have a range of renewable products available from ground source heat pumps to solar thermal.

Vaillant's aroTHERM air source heat pump is a compact unit that makes installation easy. The appliance comes MCS accredited and Quiet Mark approved as it ultra-quiet operation. It can be easily integrated into domestic heating systems which means that the installation will cause very little disruption.

To further improve performance and give extra protection from corrosion the unit has a blue fin coated evaporator with anti-hydro coating.

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Viessmann Vitocal 200-A

The Viessmann Vitocal 200-A is not only an air source heat pump but also said to be an 'ornament for your garden' thanks to its extremely modern design. The unit and can integrate with both new and existing heating systems.

It can achieve a maximum flow temperature of 65°C for heating as well as convenient domestic hot water heating. It does all of this while operating extremely efficiently and quietly while only incurring minimal electricity costs.

Not only can you rely on the Vitocal 200-A to heat your home, it's also capable of reversed operation in the summer, meaning that it can cool your home during the warmer months and is compatible with energy from solar panels. The Vitocal 200-A is user friendly thanks to the Vitotronic control unit, featuring a plain text and graphic display plus the option of remote control with the ViCare app and Vitoconnect.

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Grant Aerona³

Grant's range of MCS approved air source heat pumps is the Aerona³ and is the third generation of ASHPs by Grant. These pumps are single phase, DC inverter driven and have an ErP energy rating of A++. They incorporate in-built weather compensation and a base tray heating element to prevent ice formation and can extract heat in temperatures as low as -20°C. Available outputs include a a 6, 10 or 16kW model as well as the new 12kW R32.

The Aerona³ 12kW R32 inverter driven air source heat pump is the latest addition to the range. It uses a more 'environmentally friendly' refrigerant (R32) which has a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) rating than other typical heat pump refrigerants. It is the first monobloc R32 air source heat pump to be launched in the UK and is suitable for S-Plan heating control systems.

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Mitsubishi Ecodan QUHZ

The Ecodan QUHZ from Mitsubishi is a monobloc air to water heat pump system with a thermal store. It features low noise output and has a built in monitoring system to enable you to track and potentially reduce your energy use.

The Ecodan system includes an outdoor unit which only requires a supply of electricity and water and an indoor hot water cylinder (thermal store) which acts just like a standard hot water cylinder works alongside a boiler providing your heating and taps with hot water.

The Ecodan can be installed in new builds or alongside existing heating or in a hybrid system if you are keeping your gas boiler as a back up. The Ecodan can be controlled using a wireless controller or via an app on a smart device.

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LG THERMA V R32

The THERMA V R32 air to water heat pump uses with R32 refrigerant, an environmentally sustainable refrigerant which has a Global Warming Potential 70? lower than that of R410A. It is a highly efficient model with a A+++ rating thanks to the Revolutionary Scroll Compressor.

The THERMA can operate in temperatures as low as -25°C and heats water to a maximum of 65°C. The user interface is intuitive enabling quick and easy use and lets you programme heating schedules based on your lifestyle. You can also monitor your energy consumption on a daily or monthly basis and control it remotely via the G SmartThinQ™ app on your smart device.

The THERMA is an all-in-one heating solution with 3 main components built-in to allow easy installation without additional refrigerant piping work and easy access for servicing.

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Hitachi Yutaki S80

Hitachi's Yutaki-S80 high temperature heat pump produces hot water up to 80°C thanks to an energy-efficient, secondary Cascade R134a Heat Pump Circuit instead of an electrical element which gives a boost from 45°C to 80°C. It will operate all year-round even in temperatures as low as -20°C.

The Yutaki S80 has an energy efficiency rating of A+++ so will keep energy usage to an absolute minimum. It will provide both heating and hot water with a hot water recovery time which is the same as a traditional boiler.

The S80 is ideal for new builds and replacing boilers in existing homes and even older properties where higher water supply temperatures may be required to keep the house warm. It is not intended to work in a hybrid system alongside a back up boiler.

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Comparing air source heat pumps

When trying to choose the best air source heat pump for your home, there are several key features to consider apart from the price.

Types of heat pump

There are two types to choose from: air to water or air to air. Air to water heat pumps are the most popular, as air to air only provides space heating and not hot water production.

There is also a difference between monobloc or split heat pumps which refers to how the system is set up in your home. A monobloc has all of its components (apart from the hot water cylinder in your home) in one compact unit outside the home. A split heat pump includes an outdoor with the heat exchanger and refrigerant as well an internal unit inside.

Most homes in the UK are ideal for a monobloc air to water heat pump, but a split system may be suitable for more complicated installations as it can be installed up to 30m away from the home offering a more flexible installation.

Efficiency

Air source heat pumps are exceptionally efficient, as for every kW of energy they use, they generate three times as much usable heat. While some heat pumps may be labelled with better efficiency ratings than others, it is important to remember that the actual efficiency you achieve will be greatly influenced by other factors like the level of insulation, the outside temperature, and your demand for hot water.

Power

Air source heat pumps are available in a range of different outputs to suit different sizes of homes. It is important to install the right output, but a professional heat pump installer will be able to advise you on this topic.

Is an air source heat pump right for your home?

There are many pros and cons of installing an air source heat pump but if you like the sound of enjoying the ways an air source heat pump could be benefiting your home, such as:

Reduced energy bills

Air source heat pumps are highly efficient heating systems that have the potential to lower your energy bills.

RHI payments

Air to water heat pumps are eligible for quarterly payments over 7 years through the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Better for the environment

Heat pumps use only a small amount of electricity to run and are capable of generating significantly less carbon than fossil fuel heating systems.

Heat your home all year round

Make use of your air source heat pump all year round even in the coldest UK winters.

Easy to maintain

Aside from annual servicing heat pumps a they require very little maintenance and can be left alone to heat your home.

Long lifetime

Many can last for up to 20-25 years. That’s around twice as long as a modern boiler.

However, it is important to note that air source heat pumps are not suitable for every type of home. For an air source heat pump to be effective your home needs to have:

  • A high level of insulation
  • Outside space for the fan unit
  • Large radiators or underfloor heating for maximum heat delivery as heat pumps deliver heat at a lower temperature than boilers
  • A small amount of electricity to operate
  • A hot water cylinder

To get the best price on an air source heat pump for your home, it is important to compare multiple quotes from different companies. This can take time but we can help make your research a lot easier.

To get free quotes for an air source heat pump, complete our enquiry form today. We will find you up to 3 quotes from MCS certified heat pump installers in your area.

Adam

About the author

Adam

Adam is our resident home heating expert. His experience and advice has helped millions of customers improve the efficiency of their homes and save money.

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