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A Comprehensive Guide to Heat Pumps and Underfloor Heating

Compared to traditional gas boilers, heat pumps are a more sustainable source of heating for homes. In this expert guide, we will explore the energy efficiency of heat pumps and understand why underfloor heating (UFH) is the perfect heating system to complement them. You will discover:

  • How heat pumps work more efficiently than other heat sources.
  • Why underfloor heating is best suited to be used with heat pumps.
  • The difference between ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps.
  • Which type of underfloor heating is best to use.
  • How heat pumps and UFH can save you money.

How does a heat pump work?

In short, a heat pump absorbs renewable heat from the air (for air source heat pumps) or the ground (for ground source heat pumps) and converts it into energy that can heat your home and provide hot water. Air source pumps absorb heat from the outdoor air and use electricity to heat their liquid refrigerant, which serves as the heat source for the heating system. Ground source heat pumps operate similarly to underfloor heating systems, with pipes laid underground outside your home to circulate water, gently absorbing natural geothermal energy from the earth.


They are a more energy-efficient home heating option compared to traditional heat sources, and they work best when combined with a water-based heating system like underfloor heating. If you are considering improving your home’s energy rating, our range of water-based underfloor heaters is an ideal heating system to use in conjunction with a heat pump.


What are the benefits of using UFH with a heat pump?

As a cleaner and more sustainable heat source, heat pumps can reduce your carbon footprint and are seen as the future of home heating as we strive to reduce global carbon emissions. Heat pumps operate at lower temperatures compared to traditional oil or gas boilers, which means they are much more efficient in underfloor heating systems than standard radiators. Underfloor heating is designed to operate at lower temperatures while still providing the same level of heat as radiators. This advanced technology means that water-based underfloor heating systems are 40% more efficient than central heating systems and have lower operating costs.


The energy emitted by heat pumps is also significantly greater than the energy they use, so installing a heat pump alongside an energy-efficient UFH system can help you save a significant amount on heating costs. In many cases, the cost of installing a heat pump and water-based underfloor heating system can be offset by the savings they generate in the long run.


Which is better for me, a ground source heat pump or an air source heat pump?

If you are considering installing a water-based underfloor heating system (also known as hydronic or wet systems) throughout your entire home, then a heat pump is an ideal heat source. Air source heat pumps are well-suited for home renovation projects as they offer relatively simple installation and take up minimal space. These pumps are installed on the exterior wall of your home and have similar dimensions to typical boilers or air conditioning units.


Ground source heat pumps are most commonly installed in new construction projects as they require a more extensive installation process. The underground pipes can be installed as a horizontal “array” on the ground outside your home (pipes laid in a horizontal loop a few meters below the garden surface) or as a vertical array with pipes installed vertically several meters below the garden surface through deeper drilling.


To make the most of the energy efficiency of a heat pump, you should ensure that other parts of your home are also operating in the most efficient way possible. In addition to the hydronic heating solution, installing insulation throughout your home will help you save energy, maintain a warm home, and keep out cold air.


Which underfloor heating system is best to use?

All our water-based underfloor heating systems can be used with a heat pump. The hydronic systems deliver hot water through pipes installed in the subfloor of your home, providing perfect comfort for your needs. While hydronic systems are often recommended for new construction projects due to higher installation requirements, we also offer a range of systems that are highly suitable for home renovation projects. Our VLo series of slim water-based underfloor heating solutions are designed specifically for installation in home renovation projects.


Find out more about the best UFH systems to use with your new heat pump in our expert articles.


Can you save money by using a heat pump with underfloor heating?

While the upfront cost of a heat pump may be higher, its enhanced performance means that the long-term cost savings it provides can offset the initial purchase cost. Installing energy-efficient UFH technology with a low-carbon heat pump can significantly reduce your energy expenditure, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds per year.


To learn more about how much money you can save by using UFH and a heat pump, please read our information guide.


Get a free online quote now to find the perfect underfloor heating solution for your home and learn the exact cost of purchasing a new system.

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