Eco Happy (Solar Expert)

Published March 27, 2024

We have conducted a comprehensive overview of the heat pump market to identify the brands that are leading the way for a greener future of home energy. Whether you are actively looking for a heat pump, just starting to explore the idea – or even if heat pumps aren’t on your radar – this guide provides essential insights about the way forward.

The government views ground source and air source heat pumps as the low-carbon heating solution that will help the UK reach net zero by 2050.

However, many homeowners are anxious about moving from a heating system they are comfortable with to something unknown and more expensive. Our spotlight on the best heat pump brands will help you navigate the low-carbon, versatile heat pump options out there. We’ll also explore heat pump costs, performance, efficiency, applications, and other factors to consider when purchasing a heat pump.

Choosing the Best Heat Pump Brands

How did Eco Happy choose our best heat pump brands? In our search, we canvassed a large pool of experts and consumers. The industry and consumer feedback we considered included:

  • Feedback from our clients
  • Feedback from our network of installers and heating engineers
  • Our own market research, including articles and analyses by industry experts
  • Customer reviews on Google and consumer sites like Trustpilot
  • Product awards

We also considered price and warranty and focused strongly on crucial criteria such as performance in cold temperatures, reliability, efficiency, price (excluding installation), and noise levels.

We only considered brands that have an MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) installer network. This is important because MCS certification can access government funding of £7,500 for a heat pump through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) on your behalf. Read more about heat pump grants on Eco Happy’s website.

Top 7 Heat Pump Brands

Let’s jump into our top 7 heat pump manufacturers.

1. LG Electronics

Founded in 1958, LG Electronics is a South Korean multinational specialising in electronics, home appliances, telecommunications, and air conditioning lines.

LG has a superb air source heat pump range called THERMA V that has been well received by UK homeowners. The THERMA V lineup comprises four highly efficient models with power output options from 5 kW to 16 kW.

What we like about the LG THERMA V heat pumps:

  • These heat pumps use the low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant R32. R32, otherwise known as difluoromethane, is a low-global warming refrigerant commonly used in air conditioning and heat pump systems due to its relatively low environmental impact compared to traditional refrigerants.
  • Its GWP is around one-third that of the widely used R410A. This makes an LG heat pump a real environmental winner.
  • The range boasts an efficiency rating of up to A+++ – a 50%+ reduction in energy bills is promised.
  • THERMA’s air source heat pump enjoys a deserved reputation for its quiet operation. The units feature LG’s R1 scroll compressor to help reduce noise levels.
  • Some models can perform effectively at chilly temperatures of under -20°C.
  • A smart control system called ThinQ lets you connect and control all smart LG appliances in your home.

Product pick: The classy THERMA V R32 Monobloc S is the best performer in the LG range. This air source heat pump represents the second generation of LG’s successful R32 Monobloc series. The mono unit combines the indoor and outdoor units in one package, while many heat pumps just comprise two parts (indoor and outdoor). Monos, therefore, take up less space and make less noise overall.

Warranty: A 7-year warranty is available if the air source heat pump is installed by an engineer who has completed LG’s training programme.

Prices: £3,500 to £8,000

2. Viessmann

Viessmann is a German manufacturer founded over 100 years ago. Experts in energy-efficient heating, cooling, and climate control solutions, the company prides itself on setting the standard for the future. Viessman’s environmental commitment includes continual innovation towards more eco-friendly technology and optimising the use of renewable energy.

The Viessmann Vitocal heat pump portfolio is versatile and wide-ranging. It is arguably the most versatile of the top brands and includes one of the best air source heat pumps for home modernisation projects – the Vitocal 150-A.

What we like about Viessmann heat pumps:

  • Viessmann offers a very wide range of heating and cooling setups. The Vitocal range includes ground source and air source heat pump systems as well as large heat pumps specifically designed for bigger properties.
  • Power outputs range from a low of 2.1 kW to a mighty 200+ kW.
  • The range is rated up to A+++ for efficiency, guaranteeing a sharp drop in your energy consumption.
  • It’s possible to combine an air source heat pump from this range with a boiler for hybrid heating.
  • Vitocal pumps provide a flow temperature to radiators of up to 70°C. For context, it’s almost double the heat of a hot shower.
  • Some units benefit from the R32 refrigerant.
  • The nifty Vitocal App supports smart remote control of your heat pump.

Product picks: the Vitocal 150-A is a compact, attractive monobloc with a maximum power output of 14.9 kW, which is perfect for smaller home modernisation projects. It connects easily to existing radiators. Alternatively, the Vitocal 350-G high-temperature ground source heat pump with power up to 42.3 kW is ideal for apartment blocks with a radiator network.

Warranty: A 2-year warranty is offered as standard.

Prices: £3,500 – £15,000

3. Vaillant

Vaillant is a 150-year-old business that started in Germany and is today one of the largest heating companies in Europe, with a strong presence in the UK. While Vaillant products are designed in Germany, they’re manufactured in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the company covers all bases, offering ground source and air source heat pumps as well as hybrids.

You can expect fine craftsmanship combined with efficiencies that will reduce your energy bills significantly in the years ahead.

What we like about Vaillant heat pump systems:

  • Vaillant provides five broad heat pump options as part of its THERM portfolio. There is something to suit every setting here – from new to refurbished and older buildings. In addition, you can enjoy heat in winter and cooling in summer.
  • Vaillant enjoys Quiet Mark approval which means their units are barely audible. The super quiet aroTHERM plus records 28 dB(A) at a distance of 3 m in silent mode. This is about as quiet as a wristwatch ticking.
  • The energy efficiency rating is up to A+++.
  • Hot water flow of up to 70°C.

Product picks: The most popular units include the flexoTHERM which is available in 5, 8, 11, 15, and 19 kW. With the possibility to connect up to three sources of energy – earth, water, or air – the flexoTHERM delivers the flexibility its name implies.

The geoTHERM is an impressive ground source heat pump that provides outputs from 22 kW to 46 kW. If you are looking for a heating/cooling system for a multi-family house or apartment block, the geoTHERM is well worth considering.

Warranty: The standard is 2 years but extended cover depending on the model and plan may be possible.

Prices: £4,000 to £9,000

4. Worcester Bosch

When it comes to heating systems, Worcester Bosch has one the finest reputation in the UK. Worcester Bosch is a UK-based company founded in 1962 that has collected an impressive 14 Which? Best Buy heating awards in recent times.

While the company is best known for its excellent range of boilers, it has been designing and making heat pumps for decades. Worcester Bosch offers a tried and tested range of heat pumps.

What we like about Worcester Bosch heat pumps:

  • The company’s Compress range lists five air source heat pump models in different sizes within each model.
  • The range caters to many different scenarios and has an air source heat pump for almost all homes from large to small and old to new.
  • Many units work effectively to an outside temperature of -25°C, ensuring you’ll be snug and comfortable on the coldest night.
  • The top energy efficiency is A+++.
  • Noise levels across the models vary from 32 dB(A) to 61 dB(A). The heat pumps enjoy the Quiet Mark stamp of approval.

Hybrid picks: The Compress 3400i and the Compress 5800i are compatible with a boiler, allowing you to run a hybrid heating system. Some homeowners appreciate the option to switch to boiler heating if their heat pump is battling to heat in very low temperatures.

Warranty: Standard 2 years with 7 years available under an umbrella scheme. An MCS-endorsed umbrella scheme governs best practices around the installation and maintenance of low-carbon and renewable systems.

Prices: £3,500 to £14,000

5. Panasonic

Panasonic is a Japanese company founded in 1958. Panasonic introduced the first air source heat pump in Japan as early as 1973. As a major player in the heating and cooling sector, with a presence in over 120 countries, the company sells a wide range of ground and air source heat pumps in the UK.

Why we like Panasonic’s heat pump offering:

  • Panasonic’s flagship heat pump system is the Aquarea series. Aquarea heat pumps are perfectly suited for new installations, refurbishments, retrofit projects, houses with low-consumption needs, and homes in cold climates.
  • Panasonic heat pumps can generate heat at temperatures as low as -28°C and maintain capacity with no backup heating at -20°C. This definitively answers the question, “Do heat pumps work in cold weather?”.
  • Water heating up to 65°C is possible.
  • The efficiency rating is top-notch at A+++.

Product pick: The new Aquarea All-in-One Compact is a terrific unit. This model should definitely be considered for small to medium-sized, well-insulated homes. From 3 kW to 9 kW, the units are quality, affordable options that promise low running costs. The All-in-One has a very tidy 598 mm x 600 mm footprint and also features R32 refrigerant.

Warranty: A market-leading warranty of 7 years, covering parts and labour when installed by a professionally qualified PRO Partner.  

Prices: £4,000 to £10,000

6. Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Electric was founded in Japan in 1921 and is a well-recognised global brand. Mitsubishi’s heat pumps are known for their reliability, quiet operation, and advanced features, such as zoning capabilities and energy-saving modes.

Mitsubishi’s Ecodan range of air source heat pumps is built in the UK. They are widely trusted by homeowners, self-builders, engineers, and commercial clients.

Why we like Mitsubishi’s Ecodan heat pump lineup:

  • Ecodan heat pumps are capable of providing reliable heating performance down to -15°C or lower. The latest model operates robustly at -25°C.
  • Water heating up to 75°C is achievable.
  • Eco-friendly R32 refrigerant is a feature in many units.
  • While noise levels within the Ecodan product range are generally low, standout performers, such as the monobloc Ultra Quiet PUZ air source heat pump, use Mitsubishi’s latest advancements in quiet technology to achieve significant improvements over older models.
  • A neat smartphone app empowers you to manage your home and water heating precisely.

Product pick: The latest offering is the new Ecodan R290 air source heat pump. This impressive heat pump has a guaranteed operation range down to -25°C and is capable of heating your radiators to 75°C, all with a pleasingly low GWP.

Warranty: 5-year cover is standard with an extended 7-year warranty available.

Prices: £5,000 to £12,000

7. Daikin

Daikin is a Japanese company founded in 1924. The company has always been renowned for its innovation and has increasingly focused on sustainability when designing its products. Daikin first started using heat pump technology in the 1970s.

Daikin is well established in the UK, providing residential and commercial air conditioning, heating, and ventilation – including heat pumps.

Daikin specialises in air source heat pumps but also markets hybrid heat pumps such as the Altherma Hybrid. This model combines heat pump technology with a gas boiler to provide more energy-efficient heating than a traditional boiler.

What we like about Daikin’s product offering:

  • Daikin’s Altherma range comprises seven air source heat pumps and two hybrid heat pumps. The various models are suitable for small and large new builds and older homes, and also to replace existing heating systems.
  • An energy efficiency rating of up to A+++ is listed.
  • A water heating temperature of up to 65°C is achieved.
  • Some units perform effectively down to -28°C.
  • Noise levels range from 30 dB(A) (comparable to a person whispering) to 62 dB(A) (comparable to a normal conversation).
  • Awards: Daikin’s Altherma 3 Low Capacity Monobloc won the Domestic Heat Pump of the Year award at the ACR News Awards (2023).

Product picks: The Altherma 3 Monobloc is a single-unit design that can connect to a variety of heating and cooling systems, including underfloor heating, low-temperature radiators, and heat pump connectors. It also connects to hot water tanks to effectively deliver hot water as well as heat.

The Altherma 3 Monobloc’s adaptability, compact design, and stellar performance have won it plenty of praise. It is a super air source heat pump for newer builds.

Warranty: 5 years standard with the possibility to increase to 10 with an extended plan.

Prices: £3,500 to £9,000

Important Factors When Choosing Your Heat Pump

The positive news is that according to a 2023 report, 80% of homes that switched from a gas boiler to an electric heat pump were happy with their new heating system.

However, the right heat pump for you will depend on several factors like your home size and configuration, your heating requirements, and your budget. To ensure you make well-informed decisions, it’s good to pay attention to the following:

Energy efficiency

Everyone loves an energy-efficient heat pump because it consumes less electricity to generate the same amount of heating. This means lower carbon emissions and lower energy bills! The efficiency measure of a heat pump is known as COP (Coefficient of Performance). A COP of 4:1 means that the heat pump generates 4 kW of heat energy for every 1 kW of electricity used.

The best air source heat pumps have a COP of 4 or higher and enjoy the highest efficiency rating – A+++. Heat pumps with slightly lower COP values are awarded the slightly lower rating of A++. This still represents a COP of over 3 so it is a very efficient operator.

Warranty

A decent warranty covers the cost of repairs or replacements during the warranty period so that you’re not hit with unexpected expenses. If your heat pump malfunctions, it can be a fairly costly affair. Damaged ground source heat pumps are usually even more expensive. The message here is that a longer warranty provides tremendous peace of mind.

A longer warranty also reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Heat pump warranties are currently lower than boiler warranties, so don’t expect the 7-10 years like those provided by the best boiler brands. For your new heat pump, you want to try to secure a warranty for at least 5 years. Also, enquire if there are extended options and umbrella schemes that will buy you additional cover.

Power

The best heat pump manufacturers offer a wide spread of power outputs. Your property setup, heating requirements, and local climate (especially for air source heat pumps) will determine your chosen output.

It’s worth mentioning that an air source heat pump generally performs at a lower power output than a ground source pump. They range from around 4 kW to 19 kW, compared to 40 kW+ for a powerful ground source system.  

Noise level

Are heat pumps noisy? For split heat pumps with an indoor and outdoor unit, the indoor unit is generally quieter but you should expect some noise from the outdoor setup. For minimum indoor noise, look for something around 30 dB (A). For outdoor units, 40 dB(A) is quieter than a fridge and 50 dB(A) is quieter than an electric toothbrush – so pretty acceptable noise levels.

If low ambient noise is important to you, be sure to search for Quiet Mark-approved heat pumps.

User-friendliness and smart controls

Sometimes, the most efficient designs can be over-complicated. If your A+++ air source heat pump is frustrating or onerous to use, you probably won’t reap the full benefits of its super efficiency.

The most user-friendly heat pumps are easy to manage with intuitive controls and simple interfaces. Features such as remote WiFi access and integration with smart home platforms and voice control are important to consider when evaluating heat pumps as you future-proof your home.

Price

Heat pumps are more expensive than traditional heating systems. An air source heat pump, including the installation cost, can set you back over £12,000. Heat pump installation gets really expensive when you have a ground source heat pump that needs pipework installed. Here, the overall cost can head north of £30,000 in some cases.

Be sure to look for MCS-accredited heat pumps. Not only do they come with more quality assurance but you can apply for a £7,500 grant through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme when buying an accredited system.

Using renewables to power your heat pump

Given the push to reduce carbon emissions and transition to cleaner energy, it’s vital that you can connect your heat pump to renewable energy sources such as solar or wind. Most quality heat pumps will provide this compatibility.

FAQs

How long does a heat pump last?

The average heat pump has a lifespan of about 15 years. Modern top-tier heat pumps are expected to last longer, provided they are well-maintained and serviced. The best units should deliver over 20 years of service.

How efficient are air source heat pumps?

When properly installed, the best air source heat pump boasts a COP of more than 5. The COP indicates the heat pump’s efficiency. A COP of over 5 says that for every unit of electricity used, the heat pump generates 5+ units of heat.

Are all heat pumps capable of both heating and cooling?

Not all heat pumps have both heating and cooling capabilities. Some heat pumps are built for heating while others are designed for cooling. However, an air source heat pump can perform both functions. The technology of a purpose-built air source heat pump enables it to reverse the refrigeration cycle and both heat and cool. Some ground source pumps can also cool.

What maintenance is required to keep a heat pump operating efficiently?

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your heat pump running smoothly. Cleaning or replacing air filters, inspecting and cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and a thorough annual inspection by a professional will help prevent breakdowns and extend longevity.

Conclusion

With the UK Government hoping for 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028, heat pumps will feature prominently in home heating discussions in the years ahead.

Wherever you are on your heat pump ‘journey’, Eco Happy is a great resource to learn more about all things heat pumps, including the technology, heat pump products and installation, finance schemes, and a variety of related topics. Contact Eco Happy at any time for professional advice on heat pumps, hybrids, or other heating solutions.

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