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Can Heat Pumps Be Used in Flats Or Apartments?

As the popularity of heat pumps continues to rise in the UK, many residents are switching to this eco-friendly and efficient heating system.


While homeowners typically have the freedom to decide whether to install a heat pump or not, most apartment dwellers want to know if heat pumps are also suitable for apartments. Therefore, the question of what type of heat pump can be installed in apartment buildings is pressing.


Fortunately, we have already researched which heat pumps can be used in apartments and the advantages of installing them, so you don’t have to worry about installing a heat pump. Our brief guide will provide you with all the details you need to know before purchasing a new heat pump. If you need basic information about how heat pumps work before reading this article, we will provide that as well.


Can air source heat pumps be used in apartments?

An air source heat pump is a heating system that uses outdoor air to generate domestic hot water and indoor heating. Since air source heat pumps require access to natural airflow from the outdoors, the equipment must be installed in outdoor spaces.


While some apartment buildings may have sufficient installation space, air source heat pumps are not as commonly used in apartments compared to other heating systems. Instead, air source heat pumps are more commonly used in other property types, such as detached or semi-detached houses.


Apartments with installed air source heat pumps usually require smaller equipment than houses. Although this may result in producing less heat, it can be balanced out as apartment interiors are typically smaller. Therefore, air source heat pump heating systems remain highly efficient for apartments, provided the apartments have good insulation.


It’s worth noting that air source heat pumps are considered permitted development, so you don’t need to apply for installation permission. However, this applies only if you are the owner of the property. Additionally, if you live in an apartment building, you may still need to consult the building’s regulations.


If you are a tenant, you can contact your landlord to inquire about the installation of an air source heat pump.


Can ground source heat pumps be used in apartments?

Ground source heat pumps work by circulating a liquid refrigerant through underground pipes. The natural heat from the ground is transferred to the liquid, which generates heat in a heat exchanger for radiators, hot water, and underfloor heating systems.


Ground source heat pumps are cost-effective and highly efficient, making them an ideal heating system for apartments. Ground source heat pumps can also be integrated with existing heating systems, such as boilers or radiators in older apartment buildings.


To use ground source heat pumps in apartments, the building must have existing infrastructure for it. Without this infrastructure, ground source heat pumps cannot be installed in apartments. Like other heat pump systems, ground source heat pumps are considered permitted development for property owners.


These heat pumps are suitable for apartment living as each resident can have their own equipment and be billed according to their electricity usage. Although it’s a shared-source heat pump system, residents can monitor their own electricity usage and connect their devices to their own power supply.


For well-insulated buildings, heat loss is not a significant issue. Ground source heat pump systems require almost no servicing and don’t use natural gas.


heat pump installation

Advantages and disadvantages of using heat pumps in apartments



Low operating costs: Heat pumps are energy-efficient, resulting in energy savings as they utilize natural elements for heating without involving material costs. Residents only need to pay for the electricity used to run the heat pump, leading to significant cost savings compared to conventional boilers, which require more energy to heat a house.


Lower energy bills: Installing a heat pump in an apartment is more cost-effective compared to other indoor heating methods. Especially in the case of ground source heat pumps, they can be integrated with existing radiators and central heating infrastructure in apartment buildings.


Versatility: Heat pump systems are more versatile than other heating sources. They can be used in almost any building, take up less space, and can be integrated with solar panels, existing radiators, and underfloor heating. They can be used for hot water, heating, and cooling.


Environmentally friendly: More environmentally conscious residents are opting for heat pumps instead of standard heating methods. Heat pumps have lower carbon emissions because they use natural heat sources instead of natural gas or electricity for heating. This domino effect reduces operational and energy costs.




Expensive installation: Purchasing and installing a heat pump comes with costs. Without considering additional installation costs, the equipment itself can be expensive. However, considering the reduction in operating and energy costs, the investment pays off quickly. You can see a return on investment in about a decade, especially when utility prices are continually rising.


Limited types of apartment heat pumps: Apartments typically have limited space, and if your apartment is not on the ground floor, outdoor space is even scarcer. Air source heat pumps are a good option for apartments with balconies and terraces, but this also restricts the range of equipment you can choose from. You also need to consider the noise levels and regulations of the building. Some equipment has noise reduction features, but they usually come at a higher price.


Efficiency of ground source heat pumps requires existing infrastructure: Some apartment buildings may already have the necessary infrastructure for installing heat pumps. If this infrastructure is absent, ground source heat pumps cannot be used in apartments. Using ground source heat pumps requires laying underground pipelines. The system works by circulating a refrigerant liquid through the pipeline loop, drawing heat from the ground. The heat is then transferred to indoor equipment. If your building lacks the framework to support heat pumps, your choice of heat pumps is limited.


Where should apartment heat pumps be installed?

Most heat pumps have indoor and outdoor units. The indoor unit allows you to control the heat pump system, while the outdoor unit serves as the pipeline. In apartments, the outdoor unit needs to be installed on an exterior wall, balcony, or terrace, provided there is enough space to place the equipment.


The outdoor unit requires additional space to ensure proper air circulation, and you may need to consider the noise it generates. Some apartment buildings may have regulations on noise control.

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When should the heat pump not be running to save money?

While heat pumps are known to be cost-effective compared to traditional heating systems, it’s not advisable to keep the heat pump running all day. This would result in energy wastage and higher electricity bills. It’s best to make sure the heat pump is turned off when not in use.


When using a heat pump, it’s essential to strike a balance between comfort and energy efficiency. You can set the heat pump to operate during the times you are most likely to need heating, such as in the morning and evening when the temperature drops. Using a programmable thermostat can help you regulate the heating schedule efficiently.


Moreover, heat pumps can operate in a different mode called “economy” or “energy-saving” mode, which optimizes energy consumption by running at lower power levels when the demand for heating is lower. This mode can help you save on energy costs while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.


It’s also crucial to keep the heat pump well-maintained and regularly serviced to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency. A well-maintained heat pump operates more efficiently, which can lead to further energy savings.


Overall, the decision to install a heat pump in an apartment should take into consideration factors such as available space, existing infrastructure, noise regulations, and individual preferences for comfort and energy efficiency.


PlumbNation’s Quality Heating Equipment:

If you are considering installing a heat pump, purchasing a new boiler, or making your home more energy-efficient, PlumbNation is your best option. We offer hundreds of top-quality heating and bathroom products at affordable prices.


Our professional team is always ready to assist you and address any questions or concerns you may have.


In conclusion, heat pumps can indeed be used in apartments, and they offer several advantages such as low operating costs, lower energy bills, versatility, and environmental friendliness. However, it’s essential to assess the specific requirements of your apartment, including available space, existing infrastructure, noise regulations, and individual preferences before choosing the right type of heat pump.


By making an informed decision and maintaining the heat pump properly, you can enjoy the benefits of an energy-efficient and eco-friendly heating system while living in your apartment.


Please note that this information is accurate as of the time of writing and may be subject to changes or updates. It’s always best to consult with a heating specialist or professional before making any decisions related to heat pump installation in your specific apartment building.

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