Heat pumps are the most popular of the green heating systems, due to their ultra-low running costs. The fact they consume electricity makes them very convenient, and as they are such reliable low maintenance systems.
They are without doubt the goto heating system for any new build property. They can be connected to an underfloor heating system, or to reasonably small heat pump radiators, due to the low heat loss of the modern new build. If radiators are being used, they can be designed in at the right size from the word go in a new build.
However what do you do when you want to switch to a greener and lower running cost heat pump system, when you are retrofitting it an existing heating system, designed to suit a traditional boiler?
A heat pump runs at a much lower temperature than a traditional boiler (typically 40-45oC for a Heat Pump, compared to 65oC for a traditional boiler.) Consequently it is necessary for the heat pump radiators to be sized much larger, to provide the same heat to the room when the central heating water is so much cooler.
This can easily mean radiators with double or triple the output of your existing radiators. So what should you do. Many installers simply install larger standard double panel, double convector radiators, but this can lead to a loss of lots of extra wall space and a room dominated by large radiators.
We suggest you say no when your installer suggests this.
What we recommend and suggest is that you perhaps spend slightly more, and go for heat pump radiators that don’t take up more wall space.
when you upgrade your radiators to suit a heat pump your new radiators do not have to be physically bigger, just more efficient and higher output.”
This is achievable in 2 ways. Firstly, and most economically, is using triple panel radiators quad convector radiators. These look just like standard radiators, however they are much deeper, but don’t take up extra wall space and look much less imposing.
The second is to use high efficiency, low water content and fan assisted radiators. These radiators provide the extra heat by simply being that much more efficient at delivering heat, and therefore do not need to be larger. They can also be fan assisted, and provide boosts of extra heat when required. Some can even be used for summer time cooling. Naturally these radiators are more expensive, however they look much nicer than a standard radiator, especially the Jaga range which are very stylish and come in a range of finishes and colours. Myson also do a good value range.
“Heat pumps are the ideal heating solution for both older properties as well as new builds.”
Remember that Heat pumps work perfectly well on a retrofit, and not just on new builds, as long as the heat emitters are correctly sized (and certainly higher output than the radiators you would have currently.)