Heat From Air

Air to Air vs Air to Water Heat Pumps: Which One is Right for You?


As the world continues to embrace sustainable energy solutions, heat pumps have emerged as an efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. Among the various types of heat pumps, air to air and air to water heat pumps are two popular choices.

In this article, we will compare and contrast these two technologies, highlighting their key features, benefits, and considerations. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of which option might be the best fit for your heating needs.

Let’s begin!

Air to Air Heat Pumps.

Air to air heat pumps are designed primarily for space heating and cooling purposes. These systems extract heat from the outdoor air and distribute it throughout your home via an air handler or ductwork. The heat is then transferred to the indoor air, providing warmth during winter and cooling during summer.

Benefits of Air to Air Heat Pumps.


Air to air heat pumps excel at providing both heating and cooling, making them a versatile solution for year-round comfort.


These systems are generally more affordable to install compared to air to water heat pumps, especially if you already have an existing ductwork system in place. There are also various Government schemes and grants that can aid buyers who are looking to install an air source heat pump today. Find out more here!

Easy installation:

Air to air heat pumps are relatively easy to install, requiring fewer modifications to your home compared to air-to-water systems. If you are worried about how this installation process may look or if you have any questions about this, then be sure to check out our guide!

Zoning capabilities:

With an air to air heat pump, you can easily create different temperature zones in your home, allowing for personalized comfort and energy savings. Paired with systems such as programmable thermostats, you can create the perfect balance within your house and save heaps on your energy bills.

Save space:

Air to air heat pumps may require the installation of air ducts throughout the property, but once they have been installed, each room will feel more spacious. This is because there is no need for radiators which take up wall room and floor space. For newer, less spacious properties, air to air heat pumps could definitely help you make the most of your space


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Considerations for Air-to-Air Heat Pumps.

Outdoor noise:

Air-to-air heat pumps have an outdoor unit that can generate some noise, which might be a concern if you live in a noise-sensitive area or close to neighbours.

Efficiency limitations:

These heat pumps are generally less efficient than air-to-water heat pumps when it comes to heating water for domestic use.

Not compatible with traditional central heating systems:

If you have an existing central heating system and want to replace a gas boiler with an air source heat pump, air to air heat pumps are not for you. As they only heat the air in a property, they cannot be connected to the central heating system and are completely incompatible.

No hot water:

Air to air heat pumps do not heat the water in a property. This means you will need a secondary source of heat to provide hot running water throughout your home. While this is possible through solar power and other water heating solutions, it is still a separate cost that is avoided when installing an air to water heat pump.

Air to Water Heat Pumps.

Air to water heat pumps, on the other hand, are primarily designed to provide heating and hot water for domestic use. These systems extract heat from the outdoor air and transfer it to a water-based central heating system, such as underfloor heating or radiators.

They are the more frequently seen air source heat pumps on the market, and come with a number of benefits and considerations.

Benefits of Air to Water Heat Pumps.

High energy efficiency:

Air to water heat pumps are known for their excellent energy efficiency, offering significant savings on heating and hot water costs.

Reduced carbon footprint:

By utilising renewable energy from the air, these heat pumps contribute to reducing carbon emissions, making them an environmentally friendly choice.

Hot water production:

Air to water heat pumps can efficiently heat water for domestic use, eliminating the need for a separate water heater or boiler.

Quiet operation:

Since the main unit is located indoors, air to water heat pumps operate quietly and are not affected by external noise.

Considerations for Air to Water Heat Pumps.

Higher installation costs:

Air to water heat pumps generally have a higher upfront installation cost due to the additional components required, such as a hot water storage tank.

Space requirements:

These systems require adequate indoor space for the installation of the main unit and the storage tank. Approximately 495mm wide x900mm high x345mm deep for a small domestic water tank.

Reduced cooling capabilities:

Air to water heat pumps are primarily designed for heating purposes and may not provide as efficient cooling as air to air heat pumps.

Which Heat Pump is Best?

Having learned the advantages and disadvantages of these air source heat pumps, you should now be able to make a decision on which would be best suited to your circumstances.

However, as there is a lot to consider when getting an air source heat pump installed, we would recommend seeking the advice of a local heating engineer. They can ensure you get the right solution for your home’s unique circumstances.

Choosing between an air to air and air to water heat pump depends on your specific heating and cooling needs. If you require a versatile system that provides both heating and cooling with ease of installation, an air to air heat pump might be the right choice. On the other hand, if energy efficiency and hot water production are your primary concerns, an air to water heat pump would be a suitable option.

Ultimately, consider factors such as upfront costs, available space, and noise considerations to make an informed decision. With either option, you’ll be taking a step towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Want to start cutting your emissions as soon as possible? Our team can provide you with quotes to compare the best prices and all you have to do is get in touch with us, and you can get a head start on the UK’s heat pump revolution.

After all, Your Green Future Starts Here!

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