Will My Existing Radiators Work With A Heat Pump?

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How Do Heat Pumps Work With Home Radiators?

Amidst fresh incentivization to replace gas boilers with renewable heating systems such as air source heat pumps, the clamour is on for all sorts of information surrounding green heating solutions.

The BestHeating Advice Centre is, as ever, committed to bringing you all the latest news from the world of home heating, and this blog will focus on the operation of heat pumps, and their compatibility with typical household heating devices.

In particular, we’ll examine how to determine whether existing home radiators are suitable for use with heat pumps, and what to look for if new models are required.

Milano Windsor Metallic Silver Horizontal Traditional Column Radiator

Can Heat Pumps Operate With Radiators?

In short, yes. Both ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps are operational in cohesion with radiators, though concerns exist surrounding the maximum output temperature achievable via heat pumps.

One popular misconception that exists is that heat pumps have numerous special requirements to function properly and deliver an optimal performance. For instance, it has been suggested that only properties with underfloor heating and premium insulation are suitable homes for heat pumps.

Whilst typically, both elements would play a part in providing a good setting for a heat pump installation, they are not absolutely essential features to ensure it will work correctly.

Indeed, radiators can work well with heat pumps as aforementioned, and in most cases, existing radiators won’t even need replacing if a heat pump is chosen to replace a gas boiler or alternative fossil fuel heating solution.

But with the UK government determinedly encourage households to follow this path and embrace renewable heating options, it’s best to be able to understand what capabilities your existing radiators would need to facilitate heat pumps.

How Can I Tell If My Existing Radiators Will Work With A Heat Pump?

Milano Urban White Vertical Double Column Radiator

Right from the bat, the very best way to determine whether or not your existing radiators will work with a ground or air source heat pump is to enlist the services of a heat pump engineer. Such a professional will be able to accurately calculate the suitability of the rads, and tell if they’ll be able to work to their full capacity and adequately heat the home.

Heating engineers can also advise if additional heating devices such as heated towel rails might be required to supplement the level of heat output, or if an altogether different vice such as underfloor heating might prove a better option.

Essentially, considering that low flow temperatures are typically emergent from heat pumps, the surface area that delivers warmth generally needs to be larger than it would do when powered by a gas or oil boiler.

If you have particularly large, powerful radiators already installed, you are unlikely to encounter any issues. And the possibility that your current rads will remain suitable for heat pumps also increases if they incorporate a low water content. Such radiators are ideally suited to heat pump systems given that they take a while longer to warm up, but deliver an excellent heat output when they do.

Are Radiators The Best Option To Use With Heat Pumps?

Lazzarini Way Grosetto V White Designer Radiator

In some cases, radiators will be a very appealing option to team with heat pumps. And if you’re forking out to switch from a gas boiler to a heat pump, the prospect of keeping your existing radiators in place might be an especially appealing one.

However, radiators cannot necessarily be considered the very best option to complement the performance of air source heat pumps or ground source versions from an energy efficiency perspective.

Given that a large heating surface area is required to achieve comfortable temperatures with heat pumps, underfloor heating is widely considered to be an excellent means for transmitting impressive warmth throughout the home, even if it might take a little while to do so.

All in all, a household featuring underfloor heating, in addition to complementary sizeable designer radiators or alternative smaller heating devices like towel rails, could be considered to make up the perfect setup for heat pumps.

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Milano Isabel Antique Graphite Cast Iron Radiator

There’s all sorts of information and guidance surrounding air source heat pumps, alternative green heating options and much more in the BestHeating Advice Centre, so be sure to check back to keep up to date with all the latest home heating news.

If you would like to get in touch with us for any further help or advice though, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can do so by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below, or by getting in touch via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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