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Solar panels are an investment in your home and your family's future. (image credit: Adobe)

When deciding on the best solar panels, UK homeowners have more choices than ever before. Sometimes, the options can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top panels from major industry brands and help you choose the right fit for your home. 

Choosing the best solar panels for home use is an important decision. It’s a large investment and also has an impact on the infrastructure of your house. What's more, your solar panels will likely sit on your roof for up to 30 years. Investing in solar panels in the UK can be a large upfront outlay, but over their lifespan, you’ll be able to make that money back and then some, all while living more sustainably.

When deciding on the best solar panels, UK homeowners have more choices than ever before. Sometimes, the options can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top panels from major industry brands and help you choose the right fit for your home. 

Choosing the best solar panels for home use is an important decision. It’s a large investment and also has an impact on the infrastructure of your house. What’s more, your solar panels will likely sit on your roof for up to 30 years. Investing in solar panels in the UK can be a large upfront outlay, but over their lifespan, you’ll be able to make that money back and then some, all while living more sustainably.

Best Solar Panel Brands

  1. Best Overall: Project Solar Evolution Ultramax 
  2. Best for Small Roofs: Panasonic HIT N 245W
  3. Most Efficient: SunPower Maxeon 3
  4. Best Low-Profile Panels: Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235
  5. Best Output: LG NeON R

1. Best Overall: Project Solar Evolution Ultramax 

Price: Enquire for bespoke quotes

Output: 345W

Warranty: Lifetime product and performance warranty; up to 30-year peak power warranty

Project Solar UK came onto the solar energy scene about 10 years ago and has quickly become one of the largest firms in the UK. The company both designs and installs its solar panel systems, and each sale gets a dedicated project manager who ensures the installation happens within seven to 10 days — and that it’s done to high standards.

Project Solar UK has been aggressive at wooing customers from long-standing brands, offering perks including lifetime warranties on its solar panels and £7,500 in cash to customers who successfully refer a friend that converts to installation. Its Evolution Ultramax 345MB-66 solar panels are some of the best on the market.

Prices vary based on the size of your roof and location. 

Project Solar Evolution Ultramax Pros and Cons

Project Solar Evolution Ultramax ProsProject Solar Evolution Ultramax Cons
Industry-leading warrantyRelatively new brand
85% power output guarantee after 30 yearsMaximum output isn’t as high as other brands

Project Solar Evolution Ultramax Technical Specs

Project Solar’s monocrystalline solar modules employ a high-efficiency cell technology called passivated emitter and rear contact, or PERC. It promises to improve cell voltage and current and generate up to 10% more power per square metre compared to standard solar panel modules. Interestingly, it also promises better low-light performance to help you generate more energy in darker months of the year. 

In addition to Project Solar’s PERC cell technology, the Evolution Ultramax features an ultra-reflective backing sheet that helps increase the absorption of sunlight. Meanwhile, an array of five wiring configurations along the back helps decrease natural energy loss.

The Evolution Ultramax promises 19.34% maximum efficiency, which is about the standard for solar panels in this class. But, impressively, Project Solar’s peak power warranty guarantees these panels will output no less than 80% of their original output capability after 30 years. 

Project Solar UK Add-Ons

Project Solar UK offers a number of options to enhance your solar panel system. Its range of Blackline mounting brackets provides both durability and a discreet appearance. You can also upgrade to a Tigo Optimizer, which helps you harvest energy more efficiently from panels in shady areas of your roof and get more out of your system. This is ideal if you have a more complex roof or if it’s partially shaded by trees. 

Project Solar also offers devices for monitoring your solar panel system’s energy performance, zone heating controls for your radiators, an EV charger that draws power from your solar panels and a wide range of smart home energy-saving devices.

Our Opinion of Project Solar UK

A lifetime warranty is a very attractive feature when investing in something as costly and permanent as solar panels for your home. And with a promise of 80% performance after 30 years, Project Solar UK’s solar panels seem a safe investment you can count on. If you’re living in your forever home and don’t plan to move, the Evolution Ultramax 345MB-66 could be the best solar panel in the UK for you.

If, however, you can anticipate having to move within the next decade — if you’re in your first home, or you anticipate your family growing — a less expensive option with a shorter warranty could be preferable. 

2. Best for Small Roofs: Panasonic HIT N 245W

Price: From £250-295 

Output: 245W

Warranty: 25 years

Most people know Panasonic as a longstanding brand in the electronics industry, but it has been developing solar panel technology for over 40 years. Thanks to this, Panasonic has many types of solar panels to suit all sorts of needs, and the HIT N 245W model is a solar panel that can take green energy to the masses.

In the past, solar panels for homes in the UK were only realistic options for larger suburban and rural homes. But the Panasonic HIT N 245W’s compact design — just under 160 cm in length and less than 80 cm wide — can adapt to roofs of many shapes and sizes. Its flexibility for landscape or portrait orientation makes it one of the best options for homeowners in urban environments. It’s also lightweight at just 15 kg and provides a 19.4% maximum efficiency.

It’s also worth considering the Panasonic HIT N 295W. It’s ever-so-slightly smaller than the 245 at 150 cm long and offers more power at 295 watts. The downside is it’s more square in shape, so there’s less flexibility in terms of installation design.

Panasonic HIT N 245W Pros and Cons

Panasonic HIT N 245W ProsPanasonic HIT N 245W Cons
Flexible design options for any roof shapeAt the lower end in terms of power
Industry-leading warrantyNot cost-effective if you have a larger roof

HIT N 245W Technical Specs

Panasonic’s HIT solar cell technology realizes 18% more power than other types of monocrystalline panels (namely, mono-PERC panels). This means you need fewer modules to achieve the energy performance you need — another reason it’s great for small houses or homes with complicated roofs. 

Another great feature is the drainage lines built into the frame. These help channel water and keep it from accumulating. 

Each panel weighs just 15kg and offers a 19.4% module efficiency, with a cell conversion efficiency rating of 22%, making it one of the most efficient solar panels on the market.

Panasonic Add-Ons

Panasonic recently unveiled its EverVolt 2.0 battery storage system, which is designed to fully integrate with its solar panels. Solar batteries store excess energy your panels produce during the day for use at night or during bad weather. For those seeking broader sustainability goals or simply want to avoid peak energy rates, Panasonic’s integrated solar power system can be a great investment.

Our Opinion of Panasonic

If you live in an urban area, have a small home, outbuilding or just have a house with a complex roof structure, the HIT N 245W modules may be the best solar panels in the UK. The flexibility of their installation options, the energy potential per square metre, their robust build quality, slow degradation and 25-year warranty make these panels hard to beat.

But they are expensive. If you have a larger home, this might not be the best solar panel for you. We recommend considering investing in some of the larger solar panels listed in this guide instead.

If you fit the criteria listed above, the HIT N 245W or HIT Compact 295W is exactly what you need.

3. Most Efficient: SunPower Maxeon 3

Price: From £350

Output: Max 400W

Warranty: 25 years

SunPower launched in 1985 and quickly became one of the more respected solar panel manufacturers, with more than 1,000 solar technology patents under its belt. Offering panels for both commercial and residential customers, SunPower solar panels had generated more than 18,000,000 MWh of solar energy as of 2019. 

SunPower has carved out a niche for developing the highest-efficiency solar panels on the market, launching the current reigning champ, the Maxeon 3, in 2019. SunPower’s Maxeon range has also regularly shown some of the lowest degradation rates in the industry. With 25-year warranties on its modules and a robust build, SunPower’s high-quality panels are sold with an expectation of lasting 40 years. 

SunPower Maxeon 3 Pros and Cons

SunPower Maxeon 3 Pros SunPower Maxeon 3 Cons
Market-leading efficiencyPanels must be installed by a SunPower-certified company
40 years of useful product lifeSome of the most expensive systems on the market
Industry-leading warranty

SunPower Maxeon 3 Technical Specs

SunPower’s innovative design for the Maxeon 3 range of solar panels includes no grid lines. The all-black modules have back-contact conductivity, which allows them to absorb more sunlight. SunPower’s Maxeon 3 panels also degrade at a rate of just 0.25% per year for 24 years, meaning after that period of time, they can still reach efficiency levels of 92%. 

SunPower Add-Ons

SunPower has released an alternating current (AC) solar panel version called the Maxeon 5. This panel includes integrated microinverters that convert the​ generated electricity from direct current (DC) to AC. You then have the option to either use this AC energy in your home or export​ it to the national grid.

Our Opinion of SunPower

SunPower’s Maxeon 3 panels are a great choice for homeowners with limited roof space. But while there is no doubting SunPower’s impressive specifications and metrics, there are other brands on this list that offer better value if you’re on a tight budget. Yes, that 25-year warranty is impressive, but more and more solar panel brands are matching this warranty length. If you have a large home with an equally large roof, you might want to consider a less-expensive system.

4. Best Low-Profile Panels: Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235

Price: From £300

Output: Max 235W

Warranty: 25 years

Sharp has been trading for nearly 110 years and is known for making very efficient solar PV panels that stand the test of time. While other companies on our list of the best solar panels in the UK may have overtaken Sharp for efficiency, the brand’s offerings remain high-end favourites for many homeowners and perennial best-sellers.

The Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 is one of the top-selling solar panels in the world, thanks to its ultra-sleek appearance. Its rail-free mounting system sits flush with your roof, almost blending in completely. For those seeking residential solar panels with a low profile, the Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 is a great option. 

Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 Pros and Cons

Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 Pros Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 Cons
Discreet, rail-free mountingExpensive
Heritage brand with great customer supportNot the most powerful option on the market, with 14.4% efficiency
Industry-leading warranty

Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 Technical Specs

As well as its sleek, rail-free mounting system, the Sharp Sunsnap ND-F2Q235 provides 14.4% efficiency with 235-watt production in its 60-cell panel design. 

Sharp Add-Ons

Sharp doesn’t directly offer any add-ons for its solar panels. However, when quoting you for your system, your local installer can likely suggest a range of enhancements, from smart immersion tank heaters to electric car chargers.

Our Opinion of Sharp 

Sharp is another long-standing brand in the solar and consumer electronics markets, and this reputation coupled with its 25-year warranty makes it a safe bet. You know what you’re getting with Sharp, and its discreet, rail-free mounting system is perfect for anyone in an urban area – and those living in a listed home or in a neighbourhood with strict home aesthetic requirements. 

However, at 235W of maximum power output and 14.4% efficiency, it’s one of the least powerful and efficient options on our list. You will get value out of it, but if a discreet solar panel installation isn’t vital for you, it is worth considering other options. 

5. Best Output: LG NeON R

Price: From £265 (excl. VAT)

Output: Up to 440W

Warranty: 25 years

The NeON R LG440QAC-A6 is LG’s flagship, high-performance, high-efficiency solar panel. Its 66-cell design generates nearly 4% more electricity than competitors’ modules. This is due to the panel’s design: The wiring is integrated onto the back of the panel, so there’s no incidental shading of the cells at certain times of day. As a result, you’ll need to install fewer panels to meet your energy needs. LG also improved the cells in the R model to generate more energy at higher temperatures. 

At 25 years, LG’s warranty is among the longest you’ll find. Plus, improvements to the build quality and silicon used in the panels are meant to slow the degradation process. In fact, LG claims that after the 25-year warranty expires, NeON R solar panels should still generate 92% of their power capacity. ​​It’s worth pointing out that this lower rate of degradation, combined with the increased power output, adds up to a significant amount of extra energy that you’ll be getting over the long life of the NeON R. 

If the R isn’t for you — it’s pricey — there are other panels in LG’s NeON series that offer similarly high power output and efficiency. The NeON H, for instance, offers many of the same features as the R for a bit less money. 

With more than five decades in the electronics and semiconductor industries, LG is one of the top solar panels brands you can invest in. 

LG NeON R Pros and Cons

LG NeON R ProsLG NeON R Cons
Superb build quality from a trusted brandExpensive
Industry-leading warranty
Lightweight design
One of the most efficient solar panels you can buy

LG NeON R Technical Specs

LG’s NeON R LG440QAC-A6 has a durable design that includes 2.8-mm tempered glass with an anti-reflection (AR) coating, plus a frame made from anodised aluminium. Its 66-cell photovoltaic configuration is designed for better efficiency, and it provides one of the most robust power outputs on the market at 440W. LG also offers one of the longest warranties at 25 years, and once this period is up, LG promises that your solar panels will still produce at 92.5% output.

LG NeON R Add-Ons

LG doesn’t currently offer any add-ons to its solar panels. However, most local dealers and solar energy suppliers will offer a range of add-ons when building your system. These typically include options for indoor zone heating, electric car chargers and other smart devices that draw energy from your LG solar panels.

Our Opinion of LG

LG is one of the most trusted brands in consumer electronics, and its energy solutions maintain the brand’s standard of quality and reliability. We like that its solar panels are manufactured in an environmentally sustainable way. LG has been eliminating harmful substances from its manufacturing process and has a commitment to reducing greenhouse gases generated during production.

LG’s solar panels are efficient in most weather conditions. The company has refined its cell technology to improve power outputs per square metre while lowering system costs and offering some of the longest warranties on the market. Plus, they’re some of the best solar panels in the UK if you have limited roof space.

Even though they are on the more expensive end, LG solar panels represent the best value for money when you take all of these things into consideration. Some of the newer brands in the industry might be offering similar specs at lower prices and much shorter warranties. Remember, this is a long-term investment in your home. It’s worth stretching your budget for the best solar panels you can afford.

Best Add-Ons for Your Solar Panels

There is a growing number of smaller firms out there developing accessories you can use to get enhanced performance from your solar panels in other areas of your home life. For instance, if you drive an electric car, the Zappi V2 Car Charger can divert energy from your solar panels into your car’s battery. Or the Solar iBoost can divert excess solar energy to your immersion tank to heat your hot water.

There are voltage optimisers that help reduce the power consumption of your electrical appliances and systems to divert energy to a battery system in the event of a power cut. 

Depending on which renewable energy company you go with, you’ll also have different mounting options for your panels. Some people mount panels on a rack system, while most choose a flat-roof mount for a lower profile.

Best UK Solar Panels: Verdict and Recommendation 

When choosing the best solar panels in the UK, we were focused on finding the highest value for your money. There are plenty of cheap solar panels out there. You could spend less than you would on some of the options on this list, but solar panels are such a large and long-term investment, you want to get it right. 

As well as price, we also took into consideration power output and panel efficiency, as well as build quality and the degradation of cell performance over time. We looked for solar panels that offer a long warranty but will still have a high performance at the end of the warranty period.

LG’s NeON R panels ticked many boxes. With a long warranty, huge 440-W power output, above-20% module efficiency and strong performance rate after 25 years, these panels are hands-down the best solar panels in the UK. And LG is a company that is still going to be around at the end of your system’s warranty. 

Of course, everyone has different home energy needs and different priorities for their solar panel system. This is why we ranked runners-up according to the best warranty, best efficiency, best for small roofs and lowest-profile design.

All of the solar panels on this list will serve you well. Whichever you choose, make sure you get several quotes from different suppliers before making a choice. Prices can vary, and it’s best to be fully informed of your options.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The total price of a solar panel system will vary based on the size of your roof, your location, the number of panels you need to meet your energy needs, and many other factors. Is your roof south-facing? Is your house multi-level or partially covered by shade? There are many variables that can make your system straightforward to assemble, or very complex. 

Other external factors like supply chains, local availability, government incentives and local electricity rates will also affect the cost of solar panels. How much you get back from your system also depends on these factors, plus whether you finance your solar system or pay cash. By paying cash, you are spending less per watt of energy generated because you’ll have no broker fees to cover. When investing in one of the more expensive solar panel systems, this can make a real difference.

Your local installer can give you a free quote on your bespoke system, but for a ballpark figure, a solar panel system to support the average family of three people would cost around £6,000.

Frequently Asked Questions: Solar Panels

Here are the answers to some common questions about solar panels in the UK:

How do solar panels work?

Image credit: Adobe

Sunlight hits the solar cells, and the increased temperature causes electrons to move, creating a current. Then plates and wires in the solar panel turn the current into usable electricity. The electricity generated is in the form of DC (direct current) and an inverter is required to convert this to AC (alternating current). The electricity can then be used to power household appliances, as well as sold to the National Grid via your energy supplier.

How does weather affect solar panels?

Of course any reduction in sunlight will affect the amount of power produced by solar panels – so cloudy or rainy days will result in lower power output. That said, if it’s light enough to see, then solar panels will continue to produce electricity. One misconception is that solar panels work best in summer because it’s hot, however, excessive heat can actually reduce the efficiency of a solar panel and result in a lower output. And, while the efficiency of solar panels goes up in winter, the shorter days (and generally cloudier conditions) mean that power output is less than in the summer.

Do solar panels work on cloudy days and in the shade?

Basically, yes. Of course any reduction in the sunshine reaching a panel will result in reduced output when compared to a clear, sunny day. Ideally you would avoid any potentially shady spots when fitting your panels, and install them on a south-facing roof.

What is a solar inverter?

Solar inverters convert the direct current (DC) electricity that’s produced by solar cells into usable alternating current (AC) electricity that you can use in your home. Any unused AC electricity can also be sold back to the National Grid through your energy supplier.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels generally have a lifespan of around 30 years. After this point, their efficiency starts to wane and they generate less electricity from their cells. Most solar panels these days claim to be able to generate 85-90% of their output potential after 25-30 years.

How many solar panels are needed to power a typical house?

There are many factors that make it hard to define a “typical” house,  such as geographic location, but as a rule of thumb, it takes about four solar panels to support the annual electricity needs of one person. So, if there are three people in your household, expect to need about 12 panels. Of course, if your roof is shaded or any number of other factors are at play, this could be slightly more or less.

What are the disadvantages of solar energy?

While it has myriad advantages, there are some downsides to solar energy. First and foremost is the weather. We cannot control the weather, and solar panels are wholly dependent on the sun. If you live somewhere like California or Spain, this isn’t much of an issue for you. But in the UK, dark winter months and long periods of rain reduce how much energy you create.

What’s more, storing the solar energy you generate is difficult. While there are indeed battery storage systems that you can buy to store your solar energy, these are quite costly and won’t be an option for everyone.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the number and type of panels installed, as well as the installation fee, which will vary on the type of house and location. However, a good rule of thumb is that solar panels take 11-14 years to pay for themselves. Well, that was before the cost of living crisis which has seen extraordinary increases in our energy bills. According so some calculations, that estimate has come down to as low as four years.

Do solar panels void my roof warranty?

When you install solar panels on your roof, your roof warranty will indeed be voided for the section of your roof that is housing the panels. However, your solar energy installer should provide you with a new warranty covering this section of your roof. It’s important to ask about this when you seek a free quote for your local supplier. Likewise, you should also check the details of your existing roof warranty before making any decision.

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With more home heating brands entering the renewable energy market, choosing the best air source heat pump for your home isn't as straightforward as it once was. But this is actually a good thing for consumers. More choice means better prices and more opportunity to get a unit best-suited to your needs.

Air source heat pumps are growing in popularity. Compared to the best ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps are more affordable and much cheaper and easier to install.

With more home heating brands entering the renewable energy market, choosing the best air source heat pump for your home isn’t as straightforward as it once was. But this is actually a good thing for consumers. More choice means better prices and more opportunity to get a unit best-suited to your needs.

Air source heat pumps are growing in popularity. Compared to the best ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps are more affordable and much cheaper and easier to install.

For those new to renewable heating systems, an air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air — even in temperatures as low as -20 to -25 degrees C — and converts it into energy that can power your home heating and hot water. The system includes a fan that is installed on your property. The fan passes air over an exchanger coil that contains refrigerant fluid. This fluid boils and turns into vapour, which is then compressed at a high temperature to power your heating and hot water.

Air source heat pumps come as air-to-air or air-to-water. An air-to-air unit will heat (or cool) your home using a system of fans, while an air-to-water pump will heat water that can be used to circulate to radiators and store in a hot water storage cylinder.

Best Air Source Heat Pump Systems

  1. Best Overall: Samsung EHS Monobloc
  2. Most Efficient: Hitachi Yutaki
  3. Most Powerful: Vaillant flexoTHERM 400V + aroCOLLECT
  4. Best for Cold Climates: Daikin Altherma
  5. Best for Small Homes: Nibe F2040

1. Best Overall: Samsung EHS Monobloc

  • Price: From £3,500 to £7,500
  • Efficiency: A++
  • Warranty: 7 years
  • Max Power: Up to 16 kW
  • Min Temperature: – 25 degrees C

Samsung is one of the most well-known brands in the world, making everything from phones to TVs to, yes, air source heat pumps for your home. Samsung invested heavily in the research and development of renewable energy technology and has made one of the most efficient, powerful and competitively priced air source heat pumps in the form of the EHS Monobloc. It’s the perfect all-rounder.

What we love about the EHS Monobloc is that, along with its efficiency and 16-kW output, it’s also one of the smallest units you can buy, about 40% lighter and more compact than the average competitor. By investing in a Samsung air source heat pump, you can rest assured that the company will be around for the life of your heat pump and that it has excellent customer support.

Samsung EHS Monobloc Pros and Cons

Here are the major benefits and disadvantages of purchasing a Samsung EHS Monobloc air source heat pump:

Pros:

  • Operates at temperatures as low as -25 degrees C
  • Very energy efficient
  • Slimline design
  • One of the more affordable options

Cons:

  • Can be hard to find sometimes due to popularity

Samsung EHS Monobloc Technical Specs

The Samsung 16-kW EHS Monobloc air source heat pump is composed of an inverter compressor that operates according to the external temperature. The outdoor unit is light and compact, which not only makes installation easier and cheaper, but it’s also more discreet on your property. The slimline design also helps reduce sound. As a result, the EHS Monobloc is extremely quiet, producing a sound power of 66 dBA.

The top-of-the-range EHS Monobloc has a heating output of 16 kW and 14 kW for cooling in the summer. Hot water can be heated up to 65 C, which is suitable for just about any use. The unit can also operate in temperatures as low as -25 C and as hot as 35 C, making it perfectly suitable for anywhere you might live in the UK.

Here’s are the major Samsung EHS Monobloc specs:

ModelSamsung EHS Monobloc
Output5 kW up to 16 kW
Energy GradeA++
Heating Capacity16 kW
Cooling Capacity14 kW
Sound Power66 dBA
Lowest Operating Temperature-25 degrees C
Dimensions940 x 1420 x 330 mm
Weight108 kg

Samsung EHS Monobloc Add-Ons

There aren’t many add-ons for air source heat pump systems; however, Samsung offers a pre-plumbed cylinder unit that you can purchase as an additional extra with the EHS Monobloc. This add-on can reduce your installation time, which cuts down on the overall cost.

Our Opinion of the Samsung EHS Monobloc

The Samsung EHS Mono is perhaps the best all-rounder out there. They generally get great reviews, and the company’s seven-year warranty is one of the more generous offerings on the market. While an EHS Mono will serve anyone well, it’s particularly best suited to people for whom space is a primary concern. If you live in a small terrace property or have a small garden, this is one of the best heat pumps in the UK for you.

2. Most Efficient: Hitachi Yutaki S80

Price: From £4,000 to £7,000

Efficiency: A+++

Warranty: 5 years

Max Power: 11 kW (14 kW and 16 kW options available with lower efficiency rating)

Min Temperature: -20 degrees C

Hitachi has long been a stalwart of the consumer electronics market and, like other popular heat-pump manufacturers, it moved into the home renewable energy systems market some time ago. Its Yutaki range of air source heat pumps, which includes the S80, the S and the M ranges, are some of the most energy-efficient air source heat pumps in the UK.

All Hitachi Yutaki pumps deliver an A+++ energy rating, and with an efficiency of 500%, you not only stand to reduce your running costs but save thousands over the life of your heat pump. The Yutaki S80 effectively converts every kilowatt of electricity into 5 kW of heating energy. Compared to traditional boilers, it will reduce your electricity bills by up to 60% and CO2 emissions by 50%.

Hitachi Yutaki S80 Pros and Cons

Here are the major benefits and disadvantages of purchasing a Hitachi Yutaki S80 air source heat pump:

Pros:

  • Extremely energy-efficient
  • Offers potential for large cost savings over its lifetime
  • Very quiet operation

Cons:

  • Low maximum output compared to other models

Hitachi Yutaki S80 Technical Specs

Like the Samsung EHS Monobloc, the Hitachi Yutaki units are compact and highly efficient. And designed by a brand like Hitachi, with a legacy in the electronics market, you can imagine that they come loaded with some intuitive features. A wireless remote control enables you to adjust room temperatures from wherever you may be, while a One-Touch button lets you put the system into holiday mode for when you go away.

Hitachi eschews the standard electrical element in the Yutaki S80 heat pump. Instead, it employs a Cascade R134a Heat Pump Circuit, which helps the system obtain its high efficiency rating. The unit can produce hot water at temperatures up to a staggering 80 C. Other features include a weather compensation control.

Here’s are the major Hitachi Yutaki S80 specs:

ModelYutaki S80
Output11 kW (14 kW and 16 kW options available at lower energy grade)
Energy GradeA+++
Heating Capacity11 kW
Sound Power63 to 65 dBA
Lowest Operating Temperature-20 degrees C
Dimensions1380 x 950 x 370 mm
Weight116 kg

Hitachi Yutaki S80 Add-Ons

The Yutaki S80 system comes with a controller and a pack of anti-vibration feet to help further reduce sound. You can also buy an optional 185- or 250-litre cylinder tank, temperature sensors and a three-way motorised valve for domestic hot water heating, as well as space heating.

Our Opinion of Hitachi

Efficiency should be one of your key priorities when switching to a renewable energy system, and the Hitachi Yutaki S80 is one of the most efficient you’ll find. Because it can generate five times as much energy as it uses, you’re not only lowering your carbon footprint, but also making huge savings on your energy bill over time. With its handy app and timer and holiday mode, you can fine-tune your operation to make even more efficiencies. If you are moving into a new build or if you need to replace your boiler and live in a medium-size home, this is likely the best air source heat pump for you.

3. Most Powerful: Vaillant flexoTHERM 400V + aroCOLLECT

  • Price: From £7,000 to £10,000
  • Efficiency: A+++
  • Warranty: 7 years
  • Max Power: 19 kW
  • Min Temperature: -10 degrees C

The flexoTHERM range of Vaillant heat pumps is unique in that the units can utilise three different heat sources: ground, water and air. When connected with Vaillant’s aroCOLLECT brine air system, they become some of the most powerful air source heat pumps you can buy.

Vaillant, of course, is one of the major brands in home heating and has won awards for its designs. The flexoTHERM heat pump models are available in two categories: 230V in 5-, 8- and 11-kW options, and 400V in 15- and 19-kW outputs. It’s the 400V range that really brings the power, aided by Vaillant’s state-of-the-art EVI compressor technology that balances maximum efficiency with high outputs.

Vaillant Pros and Cons

Here are the major benefits and disadvantages of purchasing a Vaillant flexoTHERM air source heat pump:

Pros:

  • Future-proof, with options for ground, air or water source heating
  • One of the quietest heat pumps you can buy
  • Powerful and efficient

Cons:

  • Lowest operating temperature is just -10 C
  • Costly, with multiple units required

Vaillant flexoTHERM 400V Technical Specs

The flexoTHERM 400V works in conjunction with Vaillant’s aroCOLLECT air source brine collector module as a three-phase air source heat pump. The aroCOLLECT module utilises the ambient air temperature to warm the brine fluid just like a ground source system would, ensuring minimal heat loss.

As well as being A+++ rated for efficiency, the unit’s modulating ventilators restrict sound, making it one of the quietest air source heat pumps on the market. Meanwhile, its integrated EVI super compressor helps give this Vaillant heat pump its incredible power.

Here’s are the major Vaillant flexoTHERM 400V specs: 

ModelVaillant flexoTHERM 400V
Output15 kW and 19 kW
Energy GradeA+++
Heating CapacityUp to 19 kW
Sound Power39.8 dBA
Lowest Operating Temperature-10 degrees C
Dimensions1183 x 595 x 600 mm
Weight200 kg

Vaillant flexoTHERM 400V Add-Ons

Vaillant manufactures a range of uniSTOR hot water cylinders for use with Vaillant heat pumps. Capacities range from 150 up to 300 litres, and the cylinders are made of 100% recyclable stainless steel. The units also come with a 25-year guarantee. 

Our Opinion of Vaillant

Vaillant is one of the biggest and most trustworthy names in home heating and has wonderful customer support. The multi-source flexoTHERM range of Vaillant heat pumps is incredibly versatile and is best suited for large properties or even commercial buildings given its large power output, as well as cost. For large heating needs, you can even install up to seven flexoTHERM Vaillant heat pumps together, which, paired with the aroCOLLECT unit, will provide maximum efficiency and reliability. 

4. Best for Cold Climates: Daikin Altherma

  • Price: From £6,000 to £10,000
  • Efficiency: A++ to A+++ depending on model
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Max Power: Up to 16 kW depending on model
  • Min Temperature: -20 degrees C

Many may not realise, but Daikin has a 90-year history in the home heating market and has built a reputation for developing innovative technology. Daikin’s Altherma range of air source heat pumps has an option for most types of properties and is designed to work in tandem with your existing radiators to keep costs at a minimum.

What’s also great about the Altherma air source heat pumps is that they can operate in extremely low temperatures. In fact, all the heat pumps in Daikin’s Altherma range can operate in conditions as low as -20 C. At the same time, Altherma heat pumps can produce hot water at temperatures from 55 C to 80 C depending on the unit you buy.

Daikin Pros and Cons

Here are the major benefits and disadvantages of purchasing a Vaillant flexoTHERM air source heat pump:

Pros:

  • Can operate efficiently in extreme cold
  • Slim design
  • Works with existing radiators to save installation costs

Cons:

  • Expensive

Daikin Altherma Technical Specs

Daikin’s Altherma range is quite varied and is comprised of the Altherma Monobloc Low Temperature, Split System Low Temperature, High Temperature Split, Altherma 3 with Bluevolution R32 and the Altherma Hybrid. Within these models, there are also a range of output options extending up to 16 kW in the Low Temperature and High Temperature models, and 8 kW in the Altherma 3 and Hybrid.

The Low Temperature and High Temperature models are the most affordable and popular with consumers. The High Temperature model can produce maximum hot water temperatures of 80 C, but this comes at the expense of energy efficiency, with a rating of just A+. The Low Temperature models are rated A+++.

The Low Temperature models offer a couple of options. The Monobloc version houses all of the components within the single unit. This is installed outside on your property, and only a single wire delivers the energy to your home. The Split System Low Temperature model has an indoor and an outdoor unit (with the option to wall-mount the indoor unit). The outdoor unit can be installed up to 50 metres away, giving you more flexibility. Because of its versatility, we’ve focused on the Split System Low Temperature model in the table below.

Here’s are the major Daikin Altherma specs: 

ModelAltherma Split System Low Temperature
OutputUp to 16 kW depending on the model
Energy GradeA++ to A+++
Heating CapacityUp to 15.6 kW
Sound Power56 dBA
Lowest Operating Temperature-25 degrees C
Dimensions1440 x 1160 x 380 mm
Weight143 kg

Daikin Add-Ons

Daikin doesn’t offer a wide range of add-ons, but with some models in its Altherma range, you can add optional storage. The Altherma Monobloc, for instance, offers the option to include a hot-water storage tank to increase your hot water capacity, while the Split System Low Temperature model gives you the choice between an optional hot water tank or a floor-standing indoor unit that contains a hot water tank inside.

Our Opinion of Daikin

Daikin’s Altherma range of air source heat pumps is ideal for those who are doing home renovations or replacing their old boilers. The Altherma range’s compact design reduces the complexity of installation (and cost) and means you can more easily slot the system into your existing piping network and radiators.

It doesn’t often get down to -25 C in the UK (save for parts of Scotland), but having an air source heat pump system that can operate at temperatures that low and still produce hot water and heating in an energy-efficient manner gives one a lot of peace of mind throughout the winter months.

5. Best for Small Homes: Nibe F2040 

  • Price: From £6,000 to £9,000
  • Efficiency: A++
  • Warranty: 7 years
  • Max Power: 16 kW
  • Min Temperature: -20 degrees C

Nibe is a Swedish company that has been developing home heating systems for more than 60 years. As you might expect from a Scandinavian firm, due to its emphasis on practical design, Nibe air source heat pumps are among the easiest and most cost-effective heat pumps to install.

The F2040 range of air-to-water heat pumps is one of the company’s more popular products, owing not only to its easy installation but also to its low operating temperature, generous output and the company’s great customer service.

Nibe Pros and Cons

Here are the major benefits and disadvantages of purchasing a Nibe F2040 air source heat pump:

Pros:

  • Quiet operation
  • Compact
  • Easy installation

Cons:

  • Some Trustpilot reviews suggest long callout times for engineers

Nibe F2040 Technical Specs

Here’s are the major Nibe F2040 specs:

ModelF2040-6, -8, -12, -16 models
Output6 kW to 16 kW
Energy GradeA++
Heating CapacityUp to 14.5 kW
Sound Power50 to 61 dBA
Lowest Operating Temperature-20 degrees C
Dimensions900 x 1025 x 420 mm to 955 x 1145 x 450 mm
Weight66 to 135 kg

Nibe Add-Ons

Nibe offers quite a wide range of accessories for use with its F2040 models (F2040-6, -8, -12 and -16). These range from control modules to better integrate your climate system at home to wall-mounting brackets and heat recovery ventilation units. Nibe also makes optional stainless-steel hot water cylinders. 

Our Opinion of Nibe

The Nibe F2040 range is so popular because it’s really the best air source heat pump for small- to medium-size properties. The units themselves are very compact, reducing the amount of space they consume on your property. They can also be wall-mounted to free up floor space. What’s more, the F2040 models only need 150 mm of clearance space from any wall next to which you may install it, and 1 metre of open space in front of the unit. This gives you a lot of flexibility in a small space.

People also love the attention to detail in the design. Fan blades are designed to move air with little noise, while anti-vibration connections also help make the F2040 one of the quietest air source heat pumps you can buy. And with options ranging from 8.7 to 15.8 kW, it should output plenty of heat, even in cold temperatures, to warm the average UK terrace home.

Air Source Heat Pumps Verdict and Recommendation

When choosing the best air source heat pumps in the UK, we looked at a variety of factors, from output and efficiency to warranty life, price and design. While air source heat pumps are less intrusive to install than ground source heat pumps, they do require installing a large unit on — and in — your property. A compact design is an important consideration, as well as a unit’s output capability and energy efficiency.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, Samsung tops our list. The South Korean firm may not have the legacy in this market that firms like Daikin or Vaillant have, but it has brought its design creativity and technological prowess to an increasingly crowded market and created a unit that offers the best of all worlds. Its EHS Monobloc system is powerful, energy-efficient, compact and backed with a seven-year warranty. And with an aggressive pricing structure that makes it affordable to most consumers, the Samsung EHS Monobloc stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. 

Of course, other homeowners have more specific needs. This is why we’ve scoured the whole of the market to find the best air source heat pumps for those who may need something more powerful or more efficient. Or maybe you live someplace where it’s cold all year long and you want the most efficient heat pump for your climate. This list answers those questions.

How Much Does an Air Source Heat Pump Cost?

Like any heating system, whether traditional or renewable, the cost really depends on a number of factors, such as the size and location of your home, and your overall heating needs. You can expect most units will fall within the £5,000 to £8,000 price range, and installation in an average UK home probably starts at around £5,000.

While this may seem like a huge amount of money — and it is — remember that you will make this initial investment back over time through reduced energy bills and payments from the UK government via the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. Given that the average air source heat pump should last 20 to 25 years, your system should easily pay for itself by the end of its life.

FAQ: Best Air Source Heat Pumps in the UK

Does an air source heat pump work during winter?

Air source heat pumps work in any season, even during the winter. You might think that an air source heat pump will only work during the summer months, but it can actually extract heat from the air during the winter. What’s more, they can also act as air conditioning units, helping to cool your home during the hot months of summer.

What are the advantages of an air source heat pump?

Air source heat pumps use four times less energy than a traditional gas boiler in order to supply the same amount of heat to your home. This means you might save up to £300 or more per year on your energy bills while cutting your carbon footprint at the same time. What’s more, unlike ground source heat pumps or even solar panels, air source heat pumps installation is much more straightforward — and cheaper.

What are the problems with air source heat pumps?

While they can still operate in cold weather, air source heat pumps become less energy efficient in the cold because they have to work harder to extract heat. So while you reap huge energy savings in the warmer months of summer, when offsetting air conditioner costs, it’s balanced out by more modest efficiency in the winter.

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Choosing the best ground source heat pump for your home isn’t always simple, but the way this technology works is: It draws heat from the earth and transfers it into your home to be used for your heating and hot water.

The ability of ground source heat pumps to harness ambient, low-level heat and convert it into usable energy will not only lower your energy bill and carbon footprint; it will also increase the value of your property. But how do you know which heat pump is best for your home? In this guide, we've rounded up the best ground source heat pumps for overall value and performance according to a few key areas of need. 


SolStock / Getty Images

Choosing the best ground source heat pump for your home isn’t always simple, but the way this technology works is: It draws heat from the earth and transfers it into your home to be used for your heating and hot water.

The ability of ground source heat pumps to harness ambient, low-level heat and convert it into usable energy will not only lower your energy bill and carbon footprint; it will also increase the value of your property. But how do you know which heat pump is best for your home? In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best ground source heat pumps for overall value and performance according to a few key areas of need. 

Best Ground Source Heat Pump Systems

  1. Best Overall: Worcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi
  2. Best for Large & Commercial Property: Vaillant flexoTHERM
  3. Most Efficient: Kensa Evo
  4. Best Warranty: Ecoforest ecoGEO
  5. Most Powerful: Viessmann Vitocal 350-G

1. Best Overall: Worcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi 

Price: From £8,000 

Efficiency: A++

Warranty: 2 years

Max Power: 10.2 kW

Worcester-Bosch is one of the giants of home heating. Its range of Greenstore ground source heat pumps is highly regarded, highly efficient and offers a wide range of outputs to suit any type of property or heating need. 

Worcester-Bosch ground source heat pumps come in two versions: as a combi model or a system model. The combi versions include a built-in hot water cylinder, while the system models must be installed alongside a separate, Greenstore solar-ready cylinder. The combi range will suit the needs of most users and is a little more affordable while being just as strong and energy-efficient.

Worcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi Pros and Cons

Worcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi ProsWorcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi Cons
Built-in 185-litre cylinderMaximum flow temperature — 20 degrees Celsius — is lower than others on this list
Low energy consumptionHeavier and bigger than other heat pumps due to the built-in cylinder
High efficiency rating
Very quiet

Worcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi Key Features

One of the big benefits of the Worcester-Bosch Greenstore 11 Combi is its built-in 185-litre cylinder. This means it’s a bit bigger and heavier than other systems on the market, but there’s no need to install a cylinder elsewhere on your property. The Greenstore 11 Combi also offers efficiencies up to 400%. This means that for a single kilowatt of energy, up to 4 kW of energy could be generated for your home.

Other novel features include a room temperature controller and weather compensation technology that monitors the conditions outside and programs your pump to make adjustments if needed. What’s more, its low-energy-consumption design helps keep electricity costs down.

Here are some key features of the Worcester-Bosch system:

ModelGreenstore 11 Combi
Output rating10.2 kW
Maximum flow temperature20°C
Warranty2 years
Dimensions 1,800 x 600 x 645 mm
Weight218 kg

Worcester-Bosch Add-Ons

Worcester-Bosch currently only offers a small range of accessories for its Greenstar traditional boilers. It’s worth checking with local heating supply merchants, too, as they will likely offer accessories you can use with your Greenstore heat pump system. 

Our Opinion of Worcester-Bosch

Worcester-Bosch is one of the oldest brands in domestic heating. It pioneered the development of traditional boilers, and the company was an early investor in developing renewable energy technology. Its air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps are built to a very high standard, and all are built to at least an A grade for energy efficiency.

There is arguably no bigger brand in home heating, and no company with a better reputation than the Worcester-Bosch group. By investing in one of its systems, you can rest confident in its durability and customer support should something ever go wrong. Of all the brands on this list of the best ground source heat pumps in the UK, Worcester-Bosch offers the most options for different home types and energy needs. 

2. Best for Large & Commercial Property: Vaillant flexoTHERM 

Price: From £5,600

Efficiency: A++ to A+++

Warranty: Up to 7 years

Max Power: 19 kW

Long known for its efficient traditional boilers, German manufacturer Vaillant has ventured into the renewable heating systems market and has a number of solid options for homeowners. Its flexoTHERM units are multi-source heat pumps, meaning they can harness power from the ground as well as other sources, such as water or air. 

The Vaillant flexoTHERM range brings the quality German engineering you’d expect from a brand of Vaillant’s standing, as well as extensive product support from Vaillant’s engineering teams. Of all of the heat pumps on this list, Vaillant, as one of the most trusted names in domestic heating, offers some of the best product support.

Vaillant flexoTHERM Pros and Cons

Vaillant flexoTHERM Pros Vaillant flexoTHERM Cons
Extremely quietNot as powerful per unit as other heat pumps on this list
App controlUses boreholes, which are more expensive
Up to 65°C flow temperature
Superb customer service

Vaillant flexoTHERM Key Features

What really sets the flexoTHERM heat pumps apart from others on the market is their near-silent operation. Vaillant’s units have all been awarded Quiet Mark accreditation and emit noise levels equivalent to a standard refrigerator. 

This precision German engineering also delivers in other areas. The flexoTHERM’s vapour-injected compressor provides higher efficiencies and thus more flexibility for your domestic hot water (DHW) system. These compressors are also backed by warranties lasting up to seven years and should run for at least 15 years. 

Here are some Vaillant flexoTHERM key features:

ModelVaillant flexoTHERM
Output rating5 kW up to 19 kW
Maximum flow temperature65°C
WarrantyUp to 5 years
Dimensions 1,183 x 595 x 600 mm
Weight151 – 200 kg

Vaillant Add-Ons

Vaillant offers a number of accessories for use with its flexoTHERM ground source heat pumps. The fluoCOLLECT water-to-water stainless-steel heat exchanger provides water source adaptation, enabling your flexoTHERM heat pump to work as a water source heat pump. There’s also a passive cooling module that provides passive cooling functionality for your flexoTHERM pump. 

Our Opinion of Vaillant 

Vaillant ground source heat pumps are efficient, reliable and quiet heating systems, and the flexoTHERM model is available in a range of outputs. The flexoTHERM is one of the best heat pumps for commercial properties and larger homes, as up to seven individual units can be installed together to meet greater power needs. At the same time, Vaillant’s GreeniQ technology helps ensure maximum efficiency and reliability.

3. Most Efficient: Kensa Evo 

Price: From £6,000

Efficiency: A+++

Warranty: 2 to 5 years

Max Power: 17kW

Based in Cornwall, Kensa has been manufacturing and installing ground source heat pumps since 1999, winning awards for its different designs. Kensa was the first company, in fact, to create a ground source heat pump option for people in small flats and apartments with its Shoebox range. It was also the first manufacturer to create a ground loop array system with individual heat pumps inside properties. 

Kensa’s multi-award-winning Evo range of ground source heat pumps offers a 15% gain in efficiency compared to its previous models, earning an impressive A+++ efficiency rating. For homeowners, this helps minimise running costs and maximise income via the government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. The Evo also features Kensa’s custom-built control panel and system manager, the first of its kind and developed exclusively for use with ground source heat pumps.

Kensa prides the Evo on its simplicity, promising easy installation and setup compared to other systems, and user reviews online generally praise the company for its knowledge and realistic sales pitch. 

Kensa Evo Pros and Cons

Kensa Evo Pros Kensa Evo Cons
Best-in-class A+++ efficiency ratingWarranty just 5 years for core heat pump unit
Third heat exchanger recovers internal waste heat
Stainless steel build and weather compensation reduce corrosion

Kensa Evo Key Features

The Kensa Evo delivers heating and hot water efficiencies of 4.7 SCoP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) at 35°C along with significantly reduced noise outputs. Users will benefit from 15% efficiency enhancements over Kensa’s Compact range. The range offers output options from 7 kW up to 17 kW, and with the Evo Kensa introduced a number of performance enhancements.

New self-adjusting, pressure-controlled hot water system and domestic hot water boost controllers synchronise to heat pump cycles to minimise energy use. And there are now integrated water pumps for both the ground side and load side. The Evo also boasts a third heat exchanger to recover internal waste heat from the compressor circuit, thus helping its efficiency. 

Kensa has also opted for a radical new design aimed at simplicity for installation and durability. Stainless-steel heat exchangers eliminate the risk of corrosion, and weather compensation is fitted as standard.

Here are some key features of the Kensa Evo:

ModelKensa Evo
Output rating7 kW up to 17 kW
Maximum flow temperature62°C
Warranty5 years
Dimensions 1,145 x 600 x 575 mm
Weight153 – 170 kg

Kensa Add-Ons

Kensa offers a fairly wide range of accessories for its Evo ground source heat pumps. Most are different installation customisations, from straight and slinky pipes to pond mats, purge pumps, underground and above-ground manifolds, and purging kits. 

Our Opinion of Kensa

The Kensa Evo is best suited for medium to large homes, both existing properties and new-build developments. Heating a home this size, you’ll want the most energy-efficient option available, and the Evo is the best on the market. There is also a good range of output options available to suit specific homes’ needs. Evo models are available in 7-, 9-, 13-, 15- and 17-kW options. 

What’s more, because the Evo is eligible for rewarding payments from the Domestic RHI scheme, you have the opportunity to earn a bit of cash back by using it. Couple that with its minimal maintenance and lack of need for annual servicing, and the Evo is efficient at both in terms of energy and lowering your utility bills. 

To find out which Evo model is best for you, contact the company via its website for a free quote.

4. Best Warranty: Ecoforest ecoGEO 

Price: From £7,000

Efficiency: A++ to A+++

Warranty: Varies

Max Power: 22 kW

Ecoforest was one of the first European manufacturers to develop the technology needed for geothermal heat pumps. The company’s inverter technology that powers its compressors makes the ecoGEO one of the most reliable units on the market. This particular model is one of the more popular ground source heat pumps because it is five times more efficient than traditional fossil fuel systems.

As well as the 5-22 kW model we’re recommending here, the ecoGEO also comes in 1-9 kW and 3-12 kW versions in its Basic range. Ecoforest’s Basic range allows installation with a wide range of DHW cylinders and can even be used with existing cylinders in certain situations, giving you great flexibility of design. Costs range depending on the size of your home and system needs. Reach out to your local supplier to get a free quote for your bespoke system.

Ecoforest ecoGEO Pros and Cons

Ecoforest ecoGEO Pros Ecoforest ecoGEO Cons
Up to 70C flow temperatureRequires extensive groundwork
Quiet operationAntifreeze needs replacing every three or so years
Strong compressor increases energy savings

Ecoforest ecoGEO Key Features

Ecoforest’s ecoGEO is the most powerful option on our list of the best ground source heat pumps in the UK. It brings a heating capability of up to 22 kW on a single-phase supply. Users also appreciate its quiet operation and compact installation.

A High Temperature Recovery system allows for DHW production at up to 70°C without electrical support, as well as simultaneous production of DHW and heating/cooling. The open-loop system also includes integrated management of four different emission temperatures, dual buffer tanks for heating and cooling, one DHW tank, one pool and hourly control of DHW recirculation.

Ecoforest’s ecoSMART advanced controls also let you set your home’s heating even when you’re not there. As well as heating and air conditioning your home, the ecoGEO can also heat your swimming pool.

Here are some key features of the Ecoforest ecoGEO:

ModelEcoforest ecoGEO
Output rating5 kW to 22 kW
Maximum flow temperature70°C
Warranty7 years
Dimensions 1060 x 600 x 720 mm
Weight186 – 194 kg

Ecoforest Add-Ons

Ecoforest offers a couple of accessories that can enhance your ecoGEO heat pump system. Its AU range of air source units comes in multiple power options (50 kW / 100 kW / 150 kW) and can be used in conjunction with your ecoGEO ground source heat pump. When running multiple sources of energy capture like this, Ecoforest also offers its ecoSMART e-manager.

Our Opinion of Ecoforest

The Ecoforest ecoGEO is the one of the best ground source heat pumps for people with large properties or high heat loads. You should also consider the ecoGEO even if your home is smaller but you would like to expand into the loft or build an extension at a later date. The ecoGEO’s 22-kW output is one of the best in the marketplace for residential ground source heat pumps, and the company has even more powerful options for those with commercial properties to heat. 

5. Most Powerful: Viessmann Vitocal 350-G 

Price: From £10,000

Efficiency: A++

Warranty: Up to 7 years

Max Power: 42.3 kW single-stage / 85.6 kW two-stage

Like Vaillant, Viessmann is a trusted brand in the home heating industry. Long a manufacturer of traditional boilers, it has expanded into ground source heat pumps and has options to cover a wide range of needs. The company’s Vitocal models are some of the most popular ground source heat pumps due to their power and efficiency.

The Viessmann Vitocal 350-G is the most powerful model in the range, providing single-stage heating outputs from 20.5 to 42.3kW and two-stage from 41 to 84.6kW. The two-stage can also achieve flow temperatures of up to 70°C thanks to its powerful EVI (enhanced vapour injection) refrigerant circuit compressor. The novel device uses an enhanced vapour injection to cool the refrigerant so that it can be more densely compressed. This enables the Vitocal 350-G to deliver temperatures high for modernisation projects and radiator heating systems.

Viessmann Vitocal 350-G Pros and Cons

Viessmann Vitocal 350-G Pros Viessmann Vitocal 350-G Cons
Low running costsOne of the more expensive units you can buy
Up to 70°C flow temperature (65°C for single-stage unit)
Quiet operation
Extremely powerful

Viessmann Vitocal 350-G Key Features

What’s unique about the Vitocal 350-G is that for higher heat demands, you can pair units in a primary-secondary arrangement and extend their power. For instance, with two Vitocal BW 351.B42 units at 42.3k W each, you double your output to 84.6 kW. This makes the Vitocal 350-G range by far the most powerful ground source heat pump for residential use. And thanks to its EVI compressor, the Vitocal 350-G can achieve an extremely high seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) of 5.4, which contributes to its ultra-low running costs.

It also boasts a low-vibration design, making it one of the quieter options at this output segment of the market. The Vitocal 350-G range also includes water/water heat pumps that let you push your output all the way up to 104.6 kW.

What’s more, the Viessmann Vitocal 350-G comes already equipped to utilise power from a photovoltaic system should you install one of these as well. An intelligent control unit increases on-site consumption of power generated from your solar panel system. 

Here are some key features of the Viessmann Vitocal 350-G:

ModelViessmann Vitocal 350-G
Output rating20.5kW to 42.3kW
Maximum flow temperature65°C (single-stage) / 70°C (two-stage)
WarrantyUp to 7 years
Dimensions 1085 x 780 x 1,267 mm
Weight315 kg

Viessmann Vitocal 350-G Add-Ons

Viessmann offers a couple of extras you can use with the Vitocal 350-G units. The Vitoconnect 100 is a WiFi interface that enables you to remotely operate your heating system via the ViCare app, as well as supporting remote maintenance.

The ViCare app allows you to adjust heating times from anywhere, as well as see a running tally of your cost savings.

Our Opinion of Viessmann 

The Vitocal 350-G range is really best suited for people who need a lot of heating power. It’s perhaps the best ground source heat pump for families living in a fully detached home. All of those external-facing walls will mean higher heat demands, and a Vitocal 350-G will certainly deliver. Other large residences or restoration projects will also benefit from this type of power. 

As well as being powerful, the Vitocal 350-G also does a lot of other things well. It’s one of the more efficient ground source heat pumps, meaning your running costs will be low. We also like that it’s compatible with solar panel systems. The best solar panels should work in tandem with your other green energy systems. Viessmann has planned ahead for you and made your transition to solar energy seamless.

Ground Source Heat Pumps Verdict and Recommendation 

When choosing the best ground source heat pumps in the UK, we looked at a variety of factors, including output, efficiency, warranty length and, of course, price tag and operating costs. For overall build quality, performance and value for money, Worcester-Bosch’s Greenstore tops our list. The company has been in the game a long time, and its systems are not only incredibly durable, but they also offer flexibility and can future-proof your home. 

We love that the Greenstore combi range comes with a built-in 185-litre cylinder. Sure, it’s a bigger unit than other ground source heat pumps in the UK, but it streamlines your system and eliminates the need to install a separate cylinder. And if you envision installing solar panels on your home in the future, investing a little more into the company’s Greenstore system range allows you to connect the two systems to work in tandem when that time comes. 

This flexibility expands when you consider the range of output options available — 5.4 kW up to 10.2 kW — and the minimum A+ efficiency ratings of all of the units in the range. In our view, and for your money, there is no safer bet than a Worcester-Bosch Greenstore ground source heat pump system. 

Of course, other homeowners have more specific needs. You might live on an exceptionally large property, or maximum efficiency might matter most to you. To this end, we looked at the whole of the market to see which ground source heat pumps best meet some of those more niche needs. 

How Much Does a Ground Source Heat Pump Cost?

Because every home and its energy needs are different, prices really vary. The cost of a ground source heat pump system is also dependent upon where you live and what rates your local installers will charge. Generally, though, a typical ground source heat pump system will range from £8,000 upwards. 

Remember: this doesn’t include installation. The total cost of installing a ground source heat pump in the UK after labour can run from £15,000 up to £30,000, depending on the size of your property.

However, there are ways to make this more cost-effective. For starters, ground source heat pumps fall within the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. This scheme pays homeowners for any heat they generate with renewable energy. These payments continue for seven years after the date of installation. What’s more, a ground source heat pump system qualifies for the UK government’s Green Homes Grant, which will contribute up to £5,000 per household toward installation. 

When you factor in the grants, the RHI payments and that ground source heat pumps are cheaper to run than traditional gas heating, over time, you should make back your investment and then some. 

Frequently Asked Questions: UK Ground Source Heat Pumps

Here are some common questions about ground source heat pumps:

What are the disadvantages of ground source heat pumps?

High installation costs are really the only major downside of ground source heat pumps. The installation costs will dwarf the price you’d pay for a traditional boiler, but you need to remember that after the initial investment, the running costs are quite low. Over time, you’ll also save money due to their high efficiencies, which will help you make back your investment. What’s more, there are many grants available to help with that initial installation cost.

How does a ground source heat pump work?

A ground source heat pump works by extracting heat from the ground and transporting it to your central heating system via a network of underground pipes. When you get deep enough underground, the earth has a constant temperature of around 10-12°C. The soil heats these pipes, and you can harness this heat for your radiators, hot water or whatever heating elements you use. 

What type of home is best for a ground source heat pump?

New-build homes are better candidates for ground source heat pumps than older houses. This is because it is a lot less costly and more straightforward logistically to install a system while a house and garden are being developed than to tear apart an existing framework. If you do have an older home and still want a ground source heat pump, you need to ensure your garden is big enough to support a system that can heat your home. Your local supplier can advise you on your garden’s suitability when you reach out for a free quote. 

What is the life expectancy of a ground source heat pump?

Though warranties tend to range from two to five years, most mass-market ground source heat pumps should last you around 20-25 years. This is about double the life of a traditional combustion boiler. What’s more, the ground heat exchanger element of the system is engineered to last for more than 100 years. The exchanger is the most expensive part of your ground source heating system.

Can you use a ground source heat pump in the UK?

You may be thinking that for ground source heat pumps, UK weather isn’t suitable. It’s true, the UK isn’t a warm climate. But even in a temperate climate like ours, the earth stays at a fairly constant warm temperature all year round. This means ground source heat pumps are not only highly efficient but also very stable systems for heating your home. What’s more, their energy output is around three to four times greater than the energy required to run them.

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