Water, Air & Ground Source Heat Pumps

Do I need bigger radiators to have a heat pump?

It’s a common myth that heat pumps only work with underfloor heating. The truth is that they work well on any emitter system, although you may have to increase the size of your radiators to keep your home feeling warm and cosy.

Heat pumps are considerably more efficient than other conventional central heating systems. This is because they operate at much lower temperatures, but radiators must be sized correctly so that they can distribute the same amount of heat as with a regular boiler.

Compared to conventional boilers and emitter systems that operate at around 70-80°C, heat pumps have a flow temperature (the temperature water flows around your emitter system) of around 35-50°C. This has led to a somewhat misleading term of heat pump radiators being called ‘oversized’, when in actual fact they’re accurately sized as part of the survey process.

These following factors all determine the size of emitter required:

  • Size and shape of the room
  • Heat loss
  • Ambient temperature (for instance your bedroom may not need as much heat as your living room)

In terms of cost, replacing your radiators for a heat pump system varies. Typical radiators can cost anywhere between £100 and £300 depending on type and style but in many cases radiators are already oversized for the room. It might also be more economical to improve your home’s insulation instead of replacing radiators. Another alternative worth looking into is underfloor heating, as it can effectively heat a room at the lower end of the flow temperature band (around 35°C).

Making significant changes to your home can be a little daunting. Luckily we’re here to help, contact us and speak to one of our advisors.

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