Heat From Air

Solar Panels vs Heat Pumps: Decoding the Green
Energy Dilemma.

So, you’re thinking about making the switch from your carbon-producing gas boiler to renewable energy. In today’s rapidly evolving world, the quest for sustainable energy solutions has never been more critical.

Two contenders often hailed as eco-champions are solar panels and heat pumps. Should you opt for solar panels or a heat pump? Both are natural, energy-efficient energy sources that are resilient to gas prices. So, what if you used both, for a carbon-free home?

Let’s dive into the intricacies of both and analyse solar panels vs heat pumps to help you make an informed decision.

What are Heat Pumps?

There are many types of heat pumps. Air-to-water heat pumps use the free air from outside, creating renewable energy that’s strong enough to heat your hot water and home. This method is not only four times more efficient than your carbon-producing gas boiler, but by using free air, you’ll never receive a gas bill again.

Advantages of heat pumps.

High Efficiency: Heat pumps can achieve efficiencies of over 300%, making them incredibly energy efficient.

Year-Round Functionality: Unlike solar panels, heat pumps can provide both heating in winter and cooling in summer.

Reduced Carbon Emissions: They produce fewer direct emissions compared to conventional heating systems that burn fossil fuels.

Long Lifespan: Well-maintained heat pumps can last up to 20 years or more.

Considerations of heat pumps.

Installation Challenges: Depending on the type of heat pump and your property, installation may require specific considerations and potentially significant upfront costs.

Electrical Consumption: Heat pumps rely on electricity to operate, which means you’ll need a reliable power source.

What are Solar Panels?

Solar panels sit on top of your roof, using the sun’s rays to create clean, green, carbon-free electricity for your home by absorbing sunlight through photovoltaic (PV) cells. By using solar panels to keep your heat pump running, you’re harnessing the power of the sun and the free air outside for a low-carbon, efficient and toasty home.

Advantages of solar panels.

Renewable and Abundant: The sun is an infinite source of energy, making solar power a sustainable choice.

Reduced Energy Bills: By generating your own electricity, you can significantly lower your reliance on grid-supplied power.

Low Maintenance: Solar panels require minimal upkeep, with a lifespan of around 25-30 years.

Government Incentives: Various schemes and grants encourage the installation of solar panels, making them a financially attractive option.

Considerations of solar panels.

Dependent on Sunlight: Efficiency drops during cloudy or overcast days, and at night, you’ll need a backup power source.

Initial Investment: While costs have decreased over the years, the initial outlay for solar panels can still be substantial.

What is the Difference between heat pumps and solar panels?

We couldn’t talk about solar panels vs heat pumps without mentioning the key differences.

Solar panels create free electricity from the sun’s rays, to power any electric device in your home. Heat pumps take the free thermal energy from the air outside, apply pressure, and use it to heat your water and home.

By using solar panels and heat pumps together, you won’t need a carbon-producing gas boiler at all. Instead, you’ll benefit from a low-carbon home that won’t be held ransom by rising bills either.

Efficiency comparisons.

Because solar panels depend on the position towards the sun, your solar panel installation needs to be precise. From the angle of your panels to where they sit on your home, it all has an impact on efficiency.

Heat pumps transfer energy rather than generate it, making their efficiency a key reason to use them to heat your home. Not only four times more efficient than gas boilers, just like solar panels, heat pumps rarely require maintenance either. The great thing about heat pumps, is that they can work effectively, down to temperatures as low as  -25 degrees Celsius, as seen across much of Scandinavia.

Installation comparisons.

solar panels vs heat pumps both have different installation processes..

The process of installing both systems will need experts to help. At Heat From Air, a clean energy expert will conduct a free home energy assessment for your heat pump and solar panels. Your solar panels will be an ideal match for a sloped roof without sun obstructions that cause shading. As for your heat pump, it’ll sit snugly by the side of your home, which could be paired to other heating devices such as underfloor heating for even better performance. The options really are limitless!

Cost Comparison.

The price of both solar panels and heat pumps have an upfront investment that’s heavily offset by attractive government grants such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). If you choose to invest in a heat pump, we have various payment plans, offset by a government grant and aftercare guarantee.

The average installation cost of solar panels will set you back about £6,500 for a three-bed semi-detached house with four occupants. But the figures will vary depending on the size of your home and how much energy you want to produce.

Heat pumps can range from as little as £6,000 up to £18,000 depending on the system, size, property work and other circumstances that will need to be talked about at the site survey. Get in touch to find out more!

CO2 Emissions.

Your boiler cupboard hides a dirty secret, and removing the carbon emission-generating gas boiler could be the most impactful decision you ever make for the environment, saving 75% on carbon emissions and increasing to 100% when on a fossil-free electricity energy tariff. Thankfully, both heat pumps and solar panels, especially combined, make a great environmental alternative to your gas boiler. Verdict: Both win!

How Long Do They Last?

Both solar panels and heat pumps will last significantly longer than your average gas boiler, with life spans ranging from 15-20 years for a heat pump and, since solar panels do not have any moving parts, you can even expect them to last for up to 40 years.

Combining Solar Panels

To heat your home with as little carbon as possible, you can install a heat pump with solar panels or combine your heat pump with a green fossil-free electricity energy tariff. Using a combined system of solar energy with heat pumps is the most impactful way to reduce your home carbon emissions to close to none while also drastically cutting your energy bills.


Deciding how to power your home in the post-boiler revolution is a decision that you can take lightly – that is, light on your pocket and the planet. By combining both solar panels and heat pumps, you’ll be able to harness nature’s power of sun and air to stay cosy in Winter.

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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