Expert warning: installing heat pumps may mean you'll need brand-new radiators

Excited about the heat pumps grant? There may be additional costs, including new radiators, expert warns

The government announcement of a £5,000 heat pump grant to help homeowners thinking of switching to carbon-neutral heating will make many at least consider the environmentally-friendly heating option. However, what many do not realise – and what critics of the grant have already pointed out – is that heat pump installation will require additional expenses.

While energy-saving tips can help you reduce your bills even with an existing gas boiler, heat pumps are a more energy-efficient option in the long run. But did you know that installing heat pumps will likely have to involve improving insulation – and more?

Heat pump installation may require new radiators

Namely, a heat pump system may require you to replace your old radiators with new ones, according to Chris Harvey - Central Heating and Radiator Expert At Stelrad. Chris agrees that 'It goes without saying that heat pumps are better for the planet than today’s standard gas boilers, and this is, of course, a good thing.'

white room with heat pumps and cupboard

(Image credit: TBC)

At the same time, Chris points out that installing heat pumps is 'not just a case of replacing an old gas boiler.' Chris says that, in his experience, 'we would be needing to inform our customers that if they made the switch to renewables that they would need to have the correct heat loss calculations completed. This is because the size of their radiators will likely be required to be increased in size - it is great to change the heat source, but radiators are the mechanism which heat transfers into the room – a very important point that consumers will need to consider.'

white dining room with table and chandelier

(Image credit: TBC)

Fortunately, it's relatively easy to find radiators that are compatible with heat pumps – Chris recommends K2s (double panel), K3s (triple panel), or verticals (double panels which due to their style do not take up space on a wall as they are vertical). The only thing to bear in mind is the additional cost of replacing your radiators. If your old radiators already were due for a replacement, you may find that installing heat pumps at the same time, especially with the new heat pump grant, is a good idea. If you've already recently upgraded your heating system, you may want to think twice.

Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.