Heating Up with Efficiency: A Guide to Hot Water Cylinders with Integrated Air Source Heat Pumps

Hot Water Cylinders with Integrated Air Source Heat Pumps

Finding the right hot water heater can be a challenge for homeowners. While familiar, traditional options like electric or gas boilers can be heavy on energy consumption and, consequently, on your wallet. But the ring has a new contender, offering a greener and more economical approach: the hot water cylinder with integrated air source heat pump.

This innovative technology leverages the power of ambient air to heat your domestic hot water. Intrigued? This blog post delves into hot water cylinders with integrated air source heat pumps, exploring their inner workings, the benefits they bring, and some factors to consider before making the switch.


How Do Hot Water Cylinders with Integrated Air Source Heat Pump Work?

Imagine a magic trick where you pull heat out of thin air – essentially, what an air source heat pump does. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Extracting Ambient Heat: The heat pump doesn’t create heat; it extracts it from the surrounding air, even in cold weather conditions. A fan draws in outside air, which passes over an evaporator coil containing a refrigerant.
  1. Heat Transfer and Compression: The refrigerant in the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air, causing it to change from a liquid to a gas. This gas then enters a compressor, where it’s compressed, further increasing its temperature.
  1. Transferring Heat to Water: The hot, high-pressure refrigerant travels to another coil within the hot water cylinder. This coil acts like a heat exchanger, transferring the heat from the refrigerant to the water stored in the tank.
  1. Back to the Beginning: The refrigerant cools down and expands in an expansion valve once the heat is transferred. It returns to the evaporator coil, ready to pick up more heat and repeat the cycle.

The heated water in the cylinder is then readily available for your showers, baths, and taps, providing a reliable and efficient hot water source.

Benefits of Hot Water Cylinders with Integrated Air Source Heat Pumps

There’s a lot to love about this innovative technology. Here are some key benefits that might make you consider switching:

  • Energy Efficiency: Hot water cylinders with integrated air source heat pumps can be significantly more energy efficient than traditional electric or gas heaters. They extract heat from the environment, reducing reliance on electricity or gas for heating. This translates to lower energy bills and a lighter impact on your wallet.
  • Environmentally Friendly: By utilizing renewable energy from the ambient air, these systems contribute to a greener environment. They produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional water heaters, making them a sustainable choice for eco-conscious homeowners.
  • Government Incentives: Many governments offer rebates or incentives for installing energy-efficient appliances. Researching these programs in your area could make switching to an air source heat pump hot water cylinder even more financially attractive.
  • Consistent Hot Water: Unlike traditional gas or electric heaters that may struggle to meet peak demand, hot water cylinders with integrated air source heat pumps can maintain a consistent hot water supply, ensuring you never run out of a refreshing shower.
  • Space-Saving Design: Many air source heat pump hot water cylinders are designed to be compact, making them ideal for homes with limited space.

Things to Consider Before Installation

While these water heaters offer numerous advantages, weighing all factors before deciding is essential. Here are some key considerations:

  • Initial Cost: The upfront cost of installing a hot water cylinder with an integrated air source heat pump is typically higher than a traditional hot water heater. However, the long-term energy savings can offset this initial investment.
  • Climate Suitability: While these systems can extract heat from cold air, their efficiency may be impacted in frigid climates. Researching how well they perform in your specific region is crucial.
  • Installation Requirements: Installing an air source heat pump hot water cylinder requires a qualified technician. Depending on the model, the unit needs proper ventilation and may involve some ductwork.
  • Backup Heating: These systems primarily rely on ambient air for heating. While some models may have built-in electric backup heating elements, it’s essential to consider if additional backup is needed for your specific climate.

How to Optimize Heat Pump Hot Water Cylinders

  • Configure the inlet and exhaust to take warm air from a loft space in the summer.
  • Reprogram the cylinder to only come on during daylight hours to take advantage of lower ambient temperatures.
  • Wire the PV input terminals to an external programmer to control the unit.

Making the Switch: Key Next Steps

If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of installing a hot water cylinder with an integrated air source heat pump, here are some helpful steps:

  1. Research and Compare: Several reputable manufacturers offer these systems. Research different brands and models, comparing their features, efficiency ratings, and capacity to meet your hot water needs.
  2. Consult a Qualified Installer: Get quotes from experienced HVAC technicians or Heating Contractor specializing in installing air source heat pump hot water cylinders. They can assess your home’s suitability, recommend the most appropriate system size, and provide an accurate installation cost estimate.
  3. Consider Government Incentives: Research any government rebates or incentives available in your area for installing energy-efficient water heaters. These programs can significantly reduce the upfront cost of switching to an air source heat pump system.
  4. Factor in Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and longevity, just like any appliance. Ask potential installers about recommended maintenance schedules and any associated costs.
  5. Enjoy the Benefits!: Once installed, you can start reaping the rewards of a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly hot water solution. Consistent hot water supply and potential cost savings will make the switch worthwhile.

Beyond the Basics: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does a hot water cylinder with an integrated air source heat pump last?

A: With proper maintenance, these systems can have a lifespan of 10-15 years, similar to traditional hot water heaters.

Q: How noisy are these systems?

A: The noise level of an air source heat pump hot water cylinder is comparable to a standard air conditioner unit. Most models operate at a quiet level that wouldn’t be disruptive in a residential setting.

Q: Can I integrate this system with solar panels?

A: In some cases, yes. Certain models may be compatible with solar panels, allowing you to enhance further your hot water system’s sustainability and energy efficiency.

Q: What happens if the outdoor temperature is very low?

A: While air source heat pumps can extract heat from cold air, their efficiency may decrease in freezing climates. Some models incorporate backup heating elements that can kick in during such situations.


Hot water cylinders with integrated air source heat pumps represent a significant step forward in efficient and sustainable hot water solutions. By harnessing renewable energy from the surrounding air, these systems offer homeowners a chance to reduce their energy bills, minimize their environmental impact, and enjoy a reliable hot water supply. While factors like initial cost and climate suitability require consideration, the long-term benefits make this technology a compelling option for environmentally conscious homeowners looking to invest in a future-proof hot water solution.

The Daikin heat pump hot water cylinder is unavailable in the UK. The Valiant aroSTOR is a good alternative. However, Daikin is introducing a new refrigerant split cylinder that will work on a multi-split system in the UK soon.

Researching different models, consulting with qualified professionals, and exploring potential government incentives can help you make an informed decision about whether a hot water cylinder with an integrated air source heat pump is the right choice for your home.

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