Do heat pumps work with existing radiators?

an air source heat pump

Heat pumps can work with existing radiators, but some considerations are essential to ensure optimal performance. Air source heat pumps operate by transferring warm air from the outside air temperature to warm up your home. When it comes to using existing radiators with an air source unit, a few factors need to be taken into account:

Compatibility: Traditional radiators are often designed to work with higher-temperature systems like gas boilers. Air source heat pumps generally operate with lower-temperature water. While heat pumps can work with existing radiators and gas boilers, it’s important to assess whether your existing radiators can efficiently distribute water at the lower temperatures produced by the ground source heat pump.

Sizing and Surface Area: Radiators with larger surface areas are better suited for the air source unit. This is because heat pumps work most effectively when distributing water over a larger surface area at lower temperatures. If your existing radiators are not appropriately sized (too small), it might be necessary to consider resizing or replacing them for optimal performance.

Professional Assessment: To determine whether your existing radiators can work effectively with an air source heat pump, it’s recommended to consult with our professional installer. We can evaluate your current system, assess the compatibility of the traditional heating system with the new unit and recommend any necessary changes.

Modifications: Depending on the assessment, your existing radiators might need changing to enhance their performance with the lower temperature output of a unit. This could include adjustments to the radiator sizing and rebalancing the existing system.

Can I use radiators with an air-source heat pump?

Yes, it can be used and heat pumps can work with them. But it’s important to choose heaters that can handle the lower temperatures. For the best energy economy, you should increase the size of all radiators in your house and warm every room that can work with lower water temperatures.

What kind of radiator is needed for a heat pump?

It’s important to consider the lower temperature output radiator that can effectively distribute water at these systems.

Here’s what you should look for:

1. Low-Temperature Capability: A radiator which can work at lower temperatures is equipped to provide a flow temperature with adequate heat output, producing water at temperatures of around 40-55°C (104-131°F).

2. Larger Surface Area: larger surface areas are better suited. Since heat pumps and radiators work the best when distributing water over a larger area at lower temperatures, radiators with large surface space enhance efficiency and performance.

3. Modern Panel Radiator: These radiators are designed to have low temperatures and provide efficient water distribution at lower temperatures.

4. Compatibility with Heat Pump Controls: Consider radiators that can work seamlessly with the controls of your new unit. This compatibility ensures that you can optimize the performance and energy efficiency of your property.

5. Underfloor Heating (UFH): UFH systems are another excellent option to consider with heat pumps. UFH distributes water evenly across a room, operating at the lower 55 degrees Celsius temperatures favoured by heat pumps. It can often be used in combination with radiators for comprehensive solutions.

6. Cast iron radiators:

Cast iron radiators are known for their ability to retain and radiate heat over an extended period. While they can work with heat pumps, they might take longer enough heat to reach the heat pump engineer’s desired temperature due to the lower temperature output of the heat pump.

Get your heat pump installation estimate today

Radiators must cater to low-flow temperatures

One critical aspect of using radiators is their ability to cater to low-flow low flow temperatures. Heat pumps operate most efficiently when the water temperatures they produce are lower than 55 Celsius. Radiators that with heat pump technology can emit sufficient heat pump work at these lower temperatures are essential to ensure both energy efficiency and comfortable heating.

UFH and air source heat pump installation

What to consider when picking heat pump radiators

Consider factors such as the radiator’s surface area, design, and the air source heat pump output capacity. Ensuring that the radiators are designed to work efficiently with the lower temperature output.

Variations of output temperature depending on your heating solution

The output temperature of radiators can vary based on factors like the operating mode, indoor air temperature, settings, and outdoor climate. It’s important to understand that the unit adjusts its output to meet your heating needs while maintaining energy efficiency.

Can heat pump systems work with a combination of radiators and underfloor heating?

Yes. This combination can heat pumps allows you to harness the benefits of both traditional heating systems and methods and create a well-balanced and efficient system for your home. Here’s how it works:


Radiators are a traditional method of heating that at high flow temperature can effectively provide quick bursts of warmth. However, radiators are more efficient when operating at lower temperatures, a high flow temperature which aligns well with the heat output of a heat pump. Consider modern panel radiators that are designed to work efficiently with lower-temperature water.

heat pump with underfloor heating

Underfloor Heating:

UFH is a more even and gentle solution that distributes warmth evenly across the upper floors of a room. This method operates at lower temperatures, making it an excellent match for heat pump systems. UFH can create a comfortable, warm and cosy environment while optimizing the house for energy efficiency.

Advantages of Combining the Radiator and Underfloor Heating:

1. Zoning: You can create different zones within your home, using radiators in some areas and underfloor heating in others.

2. Efficiency: Both hot water radiators and underfloor heating operate at lower temperatures, which maximizes the efficiency of your system. The heat pump doesn’t need to work as hard to produce the required warmth, resulting in less energy costs and savings.

3. Comfort: The combination of these two provides the house with a blend of quick warmth, low temperature, and consistent, gentle water distribution. This balance contributes to a comfortable house and warm living environment.

4. Design Flexibility: underfloor heating systems come in various styles and designs, allowing you to choose options while providing a comfortable home.

5. Comprehensive Solution: Underfloor heating can be particularly beneficial in rooms with larger floor areas, while the radiators upstairs can be effective in smaller spaces. The combination offers a comprehensive solution for different room sizes.

When combining underfloor heating with a heat pump system, it’s important to ensure that the system is properly designed and balanced.

Are radiators the best option to use with heat pumps?

It can be a suitable option to use with heat pumps, especially when chosen carefully. However, underfloor heating systems are often considered the best match for heat pumps due to their ability to distribute water evenly at the lower temperatures produced by heat pumps.

Can I use the radiator that is already installed in my home for heat pump systems?

Yes, however, here are some additional tips:

  • Heat pumps operate at lower temperatures than traditional gas boilers, so you may need to increase the size of your radiators to ensure that they can work effectively.
  • If your system is old and inefficient, you may want to consider an upgrade.
  • You will need to have our installer assess your existing radiators to determine if they are suitable for use with the unit.

Consult with MML Plumbing to get their advice on whether or not your home’s sufficiently existing radiators can be used with your old system.

Reliable Heat Pump Installers

Efficient Heating Upgrade: Expert Air Source Heat Pump Installations

Considering an upgrade for your heating? Choose MML Plumbing Ltd. We are the best at designing and installing the air-source heat pump. Our skilled experts make sure the installation goes quickly and works well, giving you a steady flow of hot water and comfortable warmth. Contact us right away to get a quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top
× How can I help you?