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Our guide to the best air source heat pump 2024

If you’re thinking of installing an air source heat pump, you probably want to know which is the best one to get.  This article takes a look at the best air source heat pumps 2024 and highlights the main pros and cons of each one.

Which is the best air source heat pump in 2024?

Air-source heat pump technology is becoming more and more popular with homeowners looking to reduce their carbon emissions and lower their energy bills.  

We have carefully reviewed and listed the best air source heat pump on the market in 2024, for you to make the right decision for your home.  This will ultimately depend on the size of your property and your family, as well as your motivations for changing your heating system. 

Below is a summary of our top picks for 2024. Read on further down the page to see each model reviewed in detail.

Best all rounderVaillant aroTHERM
Best low/medium temperatureSamsung Eco Range
Best high temperatureDaikin Altherma 3H HT
Best for efficiencyHitachi Yutaki
Best low cost optionLG Therma V
Best for smaller propertiesNIBE F2040
Best air source heat pump 2024 in summary


Methodology

We used a number of research sources to find our recommendations for the best air source heat pump 2024.  We used trusted reviews across the web, including consumer sites such as Which.co.uk   and Trust Pilot as well as specialised industry publications.  We also used surveyed a number of heat pump installers and users of air-source heat pumps in our network.

We used a detailed scoring list to finalise our recommendations.  Ranges were given scores based on the following (not exhaustive) list:

  • Performance
  • Efficiency
  • Price
  • Flow temperature
  • Sound output
  • Warranty
  • Reputation

We then had our team fact check the listings to make sure they are up to date.

Our recommendations for the best heat pumps in 2024 are based on a matrix scoring of all the above.

Best air source heat pump – model types

Before we get to our recommendations we should explain a bit about the different different types of new heat pumps  on the market.  This article mainly concerns air to water heat pumps which are the most common type of heat pump in the UK.  You can read more about the difference between air to air and air to water models elsewhere on our site.

Within this category, there are several different types of unit and each one is suited to different property sizes and requirements.  For example, in a property with underfloor heating or lower temperature radiators already installed, low temperature heat pumps are the better choice.  But if you have an older property, a high temperature heat pump will be a better option.  It will work much better with a traditional central heating system.  High temperature heat pumps typically heat water to a similar temperature to gas boilers (around 75-80°C).

We can split the heat pumps into two further categories.

Monobloc

These consist of one single outdoor unit which connects to the central heating system. Although quick and cheaper to install, they do not heat water.  This means that you will need to install a hot water tank or cylinder as well. They are larger units which you should position for easy connection to an existing central heating system. There is no flexibility on where the unit can be located. Because they are larger, they are noisier than split units.

Split

These comprise one outdoor fan unit and one indoor unit. One advantage of this type of system is that there is often a model with an integrated water tank or cylinder, and the outside unit is smaller and quieter than a monobloc unit. Generally speaking you can also connect the indoor unit to a separate water cylinder if you prefer.  The indoor unit is connected to the heating system while the outdoor unit can be placed in any location on a property up to 75 metres away.  This offers a lot of installation flexibility. But it does mean that the initial cost and installation is much more complicated and therefore, more expensive than a monobloc system.  It also requires a certain amount of indoor space for the second unit.

Output

Something else to consider is how much output you will need to heat the property with maximum efficiency. Air source heat pumps are available in a range of different output sizes. The type and size of property determines what output is required to heat it. Put simply, the bigger the area to be heated, the larger output will be required. Typically, units can provide different levels of output – from as little as 2-3 kW up to 16 kW. Obviously, the higher the output, the larger the unit and cost.

Best air source heat pump – good all rounder

Vaillant aroTHERM 400v

Vaillant aroTHERM heat pump
Range of heat pumps with mono or split units. Indoor units with separate hot water cylinder or integrated tank are available.

Vaillant have years of experience and a great reputation for their gas boilers.  We love their heat pumps too.  They are an excellent choice if you’re looking for an all rounder.

The Vaillant aroTHERM plus is a high temperature heat pump with great heating capacity. It can be connected to an existing heating system and combined with an indoor Vaillant uniTOWER with an integrated hot water tank.  

The aroTHERM split is a low temperature heat pump. This is, therefore, better suited to underfloor heating and low temperature radiators. It can be used to heat hot water but requires a separate tank or cylinder to be installed.

The FlexoTHERM is a new type of heat pump that can be used as an air source, ground source or water source unit.  It has a large internal unit however, which does quite a good deal of internal space.

The noise level and energy efficiency rating will vary, depending on the output level of the model chosen.  For guidance the 3-12 kW output is rated at A++.  However if you install the unit with a VCR control unit and app (which means heat can be controlled in each room) this increases to A+++. With so many variables, it is difficult to weigh up the cost of installation, but typically this should fall within £3,000-9,000.  There are guarantee options available for up to seven years.

Advantages

  • Good choice of models to suit most requirements and property sizes
  • Some units use R290 refrigerant gas which has a very low global warming potential if it leaks
  • Flexible installation – units can be floor or wall mounted depending on available space
  • Low noise levels
  • Operates in low temperatures (down to -28°C)

Disadvantages

  • For maximum benefits you need to install the whole heat pump system, including the controller.

Best air source heat pump – low/medium temperature

Samsung Eco Heating System

Samsung Eco Range heat pump
Range of heat pumps with mono or split units and a TDB Plus unit for hot water and heating

The Samsung Eco Heating System offers the option of a TDM Plus outdoor unit for both hot water and heating. This design is exclusive to Samsung and means you only need one unit, which will link to an existing heating system and hot water tank.

If there isn’t a hot water tank already installed, there is an option called a ClimateHub indoor hydro unit. This has an integrated hot water tank to provide both hot water and heating.  

The TDM Plus can also connect to a third party system to offer a cooling system in the summer.

There are a ranges of outputs available up to 16 kW and it has an energy rating of A+++. Costs can vary from as little as £2,200, up to around £9,000.

Advantages

  • Good choice of models with varying outputs to suit different property sizes and requirements
  • Some units use R32 refrigerant gas which has a low global warming potential if it leaks
  • Lower initial cost
  • Operates in temperatures as low as -25°C
  • Solar compatible
  • TDS Plus can provide air conditioning in the summer

Disadvantages

  • Some units use the R410A refrigerant, which is less environmentally friendly if it leaks

Best air source heat pump – high temperature

Daikin Altherma 3H HT

Altherma 3H HT
High capacity heat pump with separate hot water cylinder or indoor unit

High temperature heat pumps can be a great choice if you live in an older home with a natural gas boiler currently installed.  This is especially true for cold climates or colder regions of the country. A typical gas furnace will run at 65/70°C – meaning it will produce water heated to this temperature.  A typical air source heat pump is designed run at 40/45°C.  This means that if you replace your gas boiler with an air source heat pump you may have to make significant energy savings upgrades to your home to reduce energy losses.

With a high temperature heat pump you may be able to avoid these expensive upgrades.  These types of heat pumps are generally more expensive to install.  But over the course of the whole project you may save money.

We recommended the Daikin Altherma 3 H HT last year and we continue to recommend it in 2024.  In our opinion it is still the best high temperature heat pump on the market.  It is a split system comprising an outdoor and indoor unit. There is a choice of indoor wall-mounted unit and separate hot water tank/cylinder, or an integrated floor mounted unit. The water temperatures supplied are the same level as many gas boilers at 70°C and its energy efficiency rating is up to A+++ depending on the model chosen. The cost ranges from around £6,000-11,500 and it has a three year guarantee with an option to extend to five years.

Advantages

  • Easy to install and configure
  • Suitable for traditional heating system i.e. doesn’t require new radiators, underfloor heating or extra insulation
  • Has low sound mode
  • Operates in temperatures as low as -28°C
  • Refrigerant gas type R32, which has a low global warming potential if it leaks

Disadvantages

  • High initial cost

Best air source heat pump – most efficient

Hitachi Yutaki

Hitachi Yutaki heat pump
A range of high efficiency air source heat pumps with mono or split units. Indoor units with separate hot water cylinder are available.

These units offer extremely high efficiency and lower energy consumption.  They have wireless remote control so that room temperatures can be set to the right level for maximum economy.

The Yutaki S range is a split system that provides heating and cooling from a compact unit.  You can choose a third party water cylinder, or plump for the Combi model which incorporates a hot water tank.

The M range is the monobloc system.  This saves space inside as the whole unit is installed outside.

The models offer a range of outputs available up to 24 kW.  All have an energy rating of up to A+++. The cost is from £3,500-7,000, but this can go higher depending on the model required.

Advantages

  • Compact and efficient heating
  • Quiet
  • Improved energy efficiency in cold weather via a smart defrost cycle
  • All units operate in temperatures as low as -20°C
  • Yutaki-M and Yutaki-S heat water to 60°C and the Yutaki-S80 high temperature heat pump to 80°
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Uses the R32 climate friendly refrigerant
  • Some models can provide cooling
  • Offers savings over time

Disadvantages

  • Yutaki-M models have a slightly lower output when compared to other brands

Best air source heat pump – lower cost option

LG Therma V

LG Therma heat pump
Range of heat pumps with mono or split units

The LG THERMA V offers a range of high temperature and low temperature heat pumps and can be used together with the LG Smart ThinQ app to control the system.

It comes in 3 types.  The split model is flexible and easy to install for any type of home.  The indoor unit can be connected to a separate water tank.  Or you can purchase an indoor unit with an integrated water tank.

The Hydrosplit model ensures no risk of refigerant leakage.  The exterior unit and indoor unit are only connected by water pipes.  The refrigerant is sealed within the outdoor unit.  This system is also allows for an easier installation.

If you are short of space, you can opt for the Monobloc model.  This means you’ll need no indoor unit and the system can be connected straight to a water tank.

There are a range of outputs available of up to 16 kW with an energy rating of up to A+++. The cost is typically from around £2,000-6,000.

Advantages

  • Range of models with varying outputs to suit all requirements
  • Some units use R32 refrigerant gas which has a low global warming potential if it leaks
  • Lower initial cost
  • Some units can operate in temperatures as low as -25°C
  • High temperature option can heat water to 65°C

Disadvantages

  • May need to replace existing radiators and upgrade insulation with low temp version

Best air source heat pump – for smaller properties

NIBE F2040

NIBE F2040 air source heat pump
Monoblock unit that requires separate hot water tank/cylinder for water storage

Scandinavian firm NIBE do a range of efficient heat pumps.  They are a great option if you don’t have a lot of space.  The F2040 is a compact heat pump with discreet appearance and low noise levels. But it still works in temperatures as low as -20°C.  

If you’re looking for a high temperature heat pump you can opt for the S2125 which supplies water up to 75°C.  The Scandinavians know a thing or two about colder climates and you shouldn’t go far wrong with this brand.

The output is from 8- 16 kW, depending on the model.  NIBE F2040 units are priced from £3,500-9000.

Advantages

  • Easy to install/maintain
  • Very straightforward – simple to operate
  • Silent function available
  • Domestic units operate in temperatures as low as -20°C
  • Compact

Disadvantages

  • High initial cost
  • Some customers have complained about long callout times to resolve issues

Best air source heat pump 2024 – in summary

In this article, we have looked at the best air source heat pumps in 2024 to help you choose the right heat pump for your property.  When making the final decision on HVAC systems, there are number of factors to consider:

  • The age and type of your property
  • The size of your property – how many rooms
  • How many people live in your property
  • How many bathrooms
  • How well your home retains heat – insulation
  • Whether you already have underfloor heating installed
  • Whether you already have lower temperature radiators installed
  • How much space is available outside your property for outdoor units
  • Whether you have a hot water tank or cylinder
  • Whether your main goal is to heat your home efficiently or to reduce your family’s reliance on fossil fuels
  • What type of fuel are you switching from
  • What climate zone you are in
  • If you apply for government assistance with the initial cost

It is also important to understand that the initial cost will be affected by:

  • What type of heat pump: air-to-air, or air-to-water
  • Where it’s a monobloc or split system
  • The size of output required
  • Whether a hot water tank also needs to be installed
  • Whether you need to make changes to your heating system e.g. installing underfloor heating
  • The available space inside and outside your home
  • The energy costs in your area

Further reading

If you’re looking for more information about the financial commitment and potential savings of an air source heat pump, you can read more in our article “how much does an air source heat pump cost“.  You can also read more about what the installation of your new system will involve in our air source heat pump installation guide.  This article details the types of home improvements you may need to make before installing an air source heat pump on your property.