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What Are the Best Air Source Heating Pumps in 2020
Air Source heating systems are some of the most cost-effective eco-friendly heating solutions around. But lots of different companies manufacture them so which are the best to choose. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about air source heating systems and share our recommendations of the best manufacturers in the market right now.
Air source heating systems are a big deal right now. Lots of people want to switch over to low-carbon eco-friendly heating systems and air source heat pumps offer a solution that is affordable, simple to install, and cheaper than many other options.
But a question we get repeatedly asked is which air source heat pump should you buy? In this guide, we are going to seek to answer that question by giving you a rundown of the best air source heat pump manufacturers on the market right now.
We will also tell you everything you need to know about air source heat pumps and compare them with the cheapest and greenest heating systems on the market right now. After reading this article, you should feel ready to make an informed decision about which air source heat pump is the right one for you.
Table of Contents
- What is an air source heat pump?
- Best air source heat pumps?
- How does an air source heat pump work?
- What are the different types of air source heating systems?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of an air source heating system?
- Is there a cost-effective alternative to an air source heat pump?
- How to get a cheap energy-efficient gas boiler with low installation costs
- Don’t just take our word for it
What is an air source heat pump?
An air source heating system is an eco-friendly heating system that is capable of heating your home and your hot water without burning gas or LPG. It works by sucking up air from outside your property and using it to heat up a refrigerant which can then be used to heat your radiators, underfloor heating, or hot water.
The pump itself is the device at the centre of this heating system that offers a simple, effective, and affordable alternative to a regular boiler.
It helps this system to be extremely eco-friendly. It does use some electricity but still greatly reduces your carbon footprint. If you have solar panels or a wind turbine that can generate green energy, it even has the potential to make your heating system be totally carbon neutral.
Best air source heat pumps?
The popularity of air source heating systems means there are no shortage of companies looking to move into the market and therefore plenty of choices.
The right system for you will depend on a number of factors including the size of your property, whether you use radiators or underfloor heating, and the climate of the region where you live.
Broadly speaking, there are four main manufacturers that we would recommend you consider. We have profiled each of them below along with their most popular and reliable models:
1. Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan Monobloc
Price – £5,000 – £9,000
Mitsubishi Electric has been manufacturing high-quality electrical devices for well over a century now so it is no surprise they are one of the best air source heat pump manufacturers in the world too.
They offer a wide range of pumps featuring some of the most advanced technology around and also available at extremely competitive prices.
Their most popular air source heat pump is the Ecodan Monobloc. It is a self-contained unit that can work in the most extreme of conditions. Even if it dips as low as -25 °C outside, this air source heat pump can still heat your home. That means unless you live in Greenland or Siberia, this is a good pump for you.
The Ecodan Monobloc benefits from being a fairly quiet model and is also extremely low maintenance. It is also at the lower end of the Mitsubishi price range and so represents excellent value for money.
2. Daikin Altherma ERSQ AV1
Price – £7,000 – £9,000
Daikin is a well-known name in the air conditioning market and has a worldwide reputation for its climate control technology. It is, therefore, an obvious company to move into the air source heat pump industry and has enjoyed considerable success.
Their popular Altherma ERSQ AV1 is towards the top end of their range but still offers terrific value for money. It comes with inverter compressors that continuously adjust the compressor speed to the demand of the home. This means you don’t have to do too many system stops and starts which can use up more power. This feature can save an extra 30% of your energy usage.
It’s another model that is fairly quiet and comes with a reputation for being very low maintenance. It can also work in conditions as low as -20 °C. Not the cheapest system on the market but definitely one of the best.
3. Samsung EHS Monoblock
Price – £4,000 – £8,000
The South Korean electrical manufacturer Samsung seems to be in every market you can think of, so it will come as no surprise to learn they make air source heat pumps too. They have not just jumped on the bandwagon either. Samsung has spent years researching and developing its technology resulting in a product range which is competitively priced and high performing.
The Samsung EHS Monoblock is at the lower end of the range but offers a superb all-round product. It is a lightweight unit that can be suspended off the ground. It is superbly quiet and works in temperatures as low as -25 °C
A big plus point it the hot water generation which can be as hot as 55 °C and the entire system is both low maintenance and high-quality. A really impressive set-up from a well-known brand.
4. Nibe F2040
Price – £6,000 – £12,000
Nibe is probably not a manufacturer you recognise but they have already developed a fine reputation for their domestic heating systems in Poland, Czech Republic, and Scandinavia.
It has offices around the world and its air source heat pumps are amongst the most energy-efficient on the market. Their units have all been designed with ease-of-installation in mind and every model comes with an anti-vibration water connection.
The F2040 range comes with a NIBE Uplink app that can provide you with a quick overview of the device and the current status of the heat pump and your heating system. If there is ever a problem, your app will send you a notification to allow you to remedy it asap.
Nibe devices are not the cheapest but like most Scandinavian products, they are extremely well made and require very little maintenance.
How does an air source heat pump work?
Air source heating systems looks a bit like air conditioning units. The unit is fixed to the outside of your house and then plumbing into your radiators or underfloor heating system.
The process it uses to heat your home I actually very simple and can best be described in five simple steps:
- The pump sucks in air from outside your property. It uses this air to heat a refrigerant liquid using a process that has been compared to a refrigerator in reverse.
- The pump, powered by a small amount of electricity, compresses this liquid to increase its temperature.
- It then condenses back into a liquid in a process that releases the stored heat.
- This heated liquid is then pushed around your radiators or underfloor heating system to heat your home.
- The excess heat from this process is then used to power a hot water cylinder providing enough hot water for all your everyday needs.
What are the different types of air source heating systems?
There are two main types of air source heating system. They use the same basic process but heat your home in different ways:
- Air-to-water heating system – This uses the air source heat pump to generate heat which is circulated around your home using a traditional wet heating system. It can not only heat your home but provide you with hot water too.
- Air-to-air heating system – This system also uses an air source heat pump but it generates its heat as warm air which is circulated in your home using fans. Air-to-air heating systems don’t require radiators or underfloor heating systems but it also cannot generate hot water and is not eligible for the Government’s Renewable Heating Incentive.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an air source heating system?
There are a number of advantages to choosing an air source heating system.
The key five that most people consider are:
- Eco-friendly – Air source heat pumps are very eco-friendly and leave a far smaller carbon footprint than traditional gas or LPG boilers allowing you to do your bit for the environment.
- Cheaper than other green heating systems – compared to other eco-friendly heating systems, such as a ground source heat pump, air source heating systems are much cheaper to buy.
- Low running costs – An air source heat pump costs much less to run than a gas boiler meaning so your energy bills should always be lower.
- Easy Installation – An air source heat pump is much simpler to install than other environmentally-friendly heating systems. This means less disruption and lower installation costs too.
- Eligible for the Renewable Heating Incentive – This government scheme will pay you a fixed rate for every kW of energy you generate using an air source heat pump. This means you can save even more money and sometimes even run a profit.
These are all great news but there are some disadvantages to opting for an air source heating system as well.
The main ones are:
- Noise – The condensing unit outside your property can be noisy. You shouldn’t be able to hear anything inside the house unless you have an open window close by. But if you are in the garden, the noise could be audible. If the unit is close to a neighbouring property, it could also create noise that disturbs them too.
- Cold air – The condensing unit also blows out cold air. This can bother some users if it has been installed close to a patio or a regularly used section of your garden.
- Levels of heat – Some air source heating systems do not generate as much heat as traditional systems. As a result, you may need to install larger radiators in big rooms to generate enough heat to keep the whole room warm. This is less of an issue with the best systems, such as the ones recommended in this guide.
- Electricity – An air source heating system does use electricity. It doesn’t use a lot, but it does still mean you are not completely carbon neutral and your electricity bill will be higher too.
- Upfront costs – Air source heat pumps are the cheapest eco-friendly heating system out there. But they do still cost a lot more than a regular gas boiler. Over time, they will pay for themselves, but you will still need to find a sizable amount of money up-front to install such a system.
Is there a cost-effective alternative to an air source heat pump?
All four of these air source heating systems are high-quality, low maintenance, and terrific value for money. But there is no getting away from the fact that all of them involve a high upfront cost.
Lots of people want to generate their heat in an environmentally-friendly way, but the reality is that for many people, an air source heating system such as one of these is unaffordable. So, what other options do they have?
Air source heating systems are about the cheapest eco-friendly heating system out there. The only cheaper option is to buy a new gas or LPG boiler. You will never be able to go completely carbon neutral with one of these, but a new gas boiler can still help you reduce your carbon footprint quite significantly.
Modern gas and LPG boilers are far more energy-efficient than they once were and they are getting better all the time. If you replace a boiler that is a decade or more old, you will be significantly reducing the amount of carbon you are generating.
Combine a modern eco-friendly gas or LPG boiler with a smart thermostat that enables you to cut down on wasted heat, and you can actually cut your carbon footprint an awful lot and save a great deal of money too.
How to get a cheap energy-efficient gas boiler with low installation costs
Buying a brand new gas or LPG boiler is still not cheap but it is possible to get a high-quality energy-efficient boiler at a competitively low price and make big savings on the installation costs too.
If you buy your new boiler through an online installation company like HEATABLE , you could be able to save yourself a tidy sum of money.
Because HEATABLE is an online operation which steers clear of traditional marketing, it has very low overheads. It operates nationally which means it can also get great discounts from manufacturers and these savings are passed on to their customers.
If you are interested in getting a gas or LPG boiler at the lowest possible price, head over to the HEATABLE website. They have an online form that you can complete, which takes around 90 seconds. They will then give you a fixed price quote for a range of boilers that will suit your property.
They have lots of brands to choose from include highly recommended models from manufacturers like Worcester Bosch, Viessmann, and Baxi.
We suggest you pay particular attention to the warranties that are on offer through HEATABLE. They have exclusive warranty extensions on some boilers that can give them up to ten years coverage.
You can also choose between paying the full amount on completion of the installation or opting for one of their great finance deals. With HEATABLE, you can spread the payments for your boiler over 3, 5, 7, or even 10 years. Their standard APR is just 9.9% but there are regular 0% APR offers available too.
Don’t just take our word for it
It is not just us here at Heating Force who are impressed with what HEATABLE has to offer. On their website you will see they have more than 500 5* ratings online.
On TrustPilot, HEATABLE has an impressive 4.7/5 score with 95% of people rating the service as either good or excellent.
HEATABLE are one of the new online installation firms that is shaking up the entire boiler industry and it is clear from their customers, that people are very impressed with what they have to offer.f
Air source heating systems are hugely popular and the market is getting more and more crowded. A growing number of readers have been asking which systems are best to use which is why we have written this article.
In this guide, we have profiled the top four manufacturers and highlighted their most popular and best-regarded models. We have also given you the lowdown on how air source heating systems work, the pros and cons of the systems, and explained why a gas boiler could still be an option through HEATABLE if you can’t afford the upfront costs.
Have you got an air source heating system? Do you use one of the models we have recommended in this guide? How does it work for you? Do you have any tips or suggestions for our readers? First-hand experiences are always excellent in helping readers to make an informed decision so please do share yours with us using the comment box below.