Skip to content
We've helped thousands of households get free energy upgrades in the last 7 years
Warma UK logo
Heat Pumps Radiators

Do Heat Pumps Work with Normal Radiators?

Heat pumps are the most efficient low carbon source of heating for people’s homes and the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme is helping keep installation costs down for households. 

The government wants to phase out 80% of gas boilers by 2035. With this in mind, many homeowners are turning to air source heat pumps to heat their homes. 

Heat pumps are roughly three – four times more efficient than gas boilers, they’re eco-friendly, and can significantly reduce heating bills if installed correctly.  

But a question that often arises and can cause some confusion is: Can heat pumps work with normal radiators? The answer is yes, they can. However, there are certain factors to consider for optimal performance. 

Understanding Heat Pumps 

Air source heat pumps absorb the air from outside, convert it into a fluid, which is then heated with a compressor and sent to your home’s hot water system. 

One of the reasons heat pumps are so efficient is that they operate at a lower flow rate temperature than gas boilers.  

They release heat more slowly and at a slightly lower temperature than boilers, around 40° C compared to 60 °C for boilers. Because of this a larger surface area of a larger radiator will help disperse heat so that your home will feel the same temperature as it would with a boiler. 

The key to Heat pump efficiency and saving you money 

Just because radiators with gas boilers can operate at a higher temperature, they don’t necessarily need to. By increasing the size of your radiators, you can get enough warmth from the lower temperature water produced by a heat pump to maintain the same room temperature but at a much lower cost. 

Heat pumps are much better than boilers at regulating a stable temperature in your home. A boiler will usually fire up at full power to get a room to a desired temperature, switch off when it reaches that temperature, let the room cool and switch on again at full power to heat the room up again. This is very inefficient in comparison to a heat pump that heats a room much more gradually but then regulates that temperature more effectively to keep it stable. 

How Heat Pumps Work with Radiators 

Just because heat pumps operate at a lower temperature doesn’t mean you’ll need to change all of your radiators and in some cases, you don’t need to change any.  

In older properties, expect to change about a third of radiators for larger ones but remember, each installation is different and it all depends on what radiators you currently have, their size and material, steel or cast iron radiators for example are not as efficient at conducting heat as aluminium radiators.  

Still haven’t installed a heat pump? Worried about the costs? No worries, Warma UK has got you covered! We can survey you home to work out the optimal system and if you’re eligible, install heat pumps for FREE. Yes, you read that right… for FREE! Click the link below to see if you’re eligible for a free Air Source heat pump grant. 

See if you're eligible for free air source heat pump
See if you're eligible for free air source heat pump

Benefits of an Air Source Heat Pump  

Installing an air source heat pumps to replace your gas boiler offers several benefits: 

Energy Efficiency and cost savings: Air source heat pumps are highly energy efficient, as they extract heat from the outside air instead of relying on fossil fuels. This can result in significant cost savings on your heating bills. 

Environmentally Friendly: By using renewable energy from the air, air source heat pumps help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Quiet Operation: Air source heat pumps are designed to operate very quietly, they sit outside and at full power will generate about 40db of noise, that the equivalent of a quiet whisper. 

Stable and consistent temperature in your home: Because of the efficiency of a heat pump, they can run almost constantly when it’s cold to maintain your desired temperature.  It’s best to set a day and night temperature and the heat pump will quietly maintain this temperature comfortably and consistently and avoid drastic dips and rises. 

Considerations for Installation 

When installing air source heat pumps with normal radiators, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind: 

Heat Distribution: Radiators may require larger surface areas or modifications to ensure efficient heat distribution. It is recommended to consult with a professional HVAC technician to assess the compatibility of your existing radiators with the heat pump system. 

Heat Pump Sizing: Proper sizing of the air source heat pump is crucial to ensure optimal performance. An oversized or undersized pump will not work efficiently and could lead to higher energy bills. Factors such as the size of your home, insulation levels, and climate conditions need to be taken into account. This is exactly the same as when choosing a gas boiler. 

Home’s insulation: Your home’s insulation plays a important role in maintaining energy efficiency. Good insulation reduces the amount of heat that escapes from your home, meaning the heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your house warm. However it’s been proven that a home only needs average levels of insulation for a heat pump to work effectively. 

Type of radiator: Consider the type of radiators you have. Modern radiators designed for low-temperature operation are more compatible with heat pumps. If you have older, high-temperature radiators, some of these may need to be replaced. 

Maintenance Tips for Optimal Performance 

To maintain optimal performance and efficiency of your air source heat pump  consider the following maintenance tips: 

Annual servicing: The same as a boiler, heat pumps require an annual check up. This involves cleaning filters and some general basic performance checks. 

Seasonal Adjustments: Weather compensation is the term used that involves telling your heat pump how hard to work at certain temperatures. Your installer should set this at installation. This setting is vitally important and is often overlooked by inexperienced engineers and can lead to the heat pump using much more energy than it needs which will cost you more money.  

Apply for free air source heat pump 

If you’re considering an upgrade to a more energy-efficient heating system, now is the perfect time to apply for a free air source heat pump. Warma UK specialises in helping homeowners access heating grants, making the transition to greener energy both affordable and straightforward.  

With our expert guidance, you can navigate the application process for heating grants with ease, ensuring you receive the support needed to install an air source heat pump at no cost. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your home’s efficiency and comfort with Warma UK’s assistance. 

See if you're eligible for free air source heat pump
See if you're eligible for free air source heat pump
Athira Harish