Installing heat pumps into flats and apartments has been challenging in the past. The biggest problems have been finding a way to vent the heat pump and connecting multiple units together.

You also need to have enough space inside the flat to fit equipment, not to mention the lack of attic space to run pipework and cables.

Now, however, there are new designs and systems that have been developed specifically for installation into flats and apartments.

These new heat pumps are much more compact, making them easier to install and requiring less space inside the property.

They also come with pre-installed ventilation, so there is no need to worry about where to vent the heat pump. And, they can be easily connected to multiple units, making it possible to heat an entire block of flats or apartments with just a few heat pumps.

Can You Install A Heat Pump In A Flat?

Yes, it is entirely possible to install a residential heat pump in a flat. In fact, there are now several different types of heat pumps that have been specifically designed for installation in flats and apartments.

These new heat pumps are much more compact, making them easier to install and requiring less space inside the property.

Related: Heat Pump Advantages and Disadvantages

Heat Pump For Flats

Ground Array Design

Since the ground array is going to be there for a while you need to ensure it is able to cope with the load.

This means that it must be positioned in an area with good drainage and is not going to cause any problems for pedestrians or vehicles.

You also need to make sure that the site can support the weight of the equipment and that there are no underground services that could be damaged.

Now, this isn’t going to be cheap. Boreholes are expensive to drill, so you need to factor that into the equation. Also, the heat pumps themselves are not cheap, so this is a significant investment.

That being said, if you can afford it, a ground array is the best option. It will provide you with a constant supply of heat, even in the depths of winter, and it will last for many years.

If they’re going to be installed individually, each flat requires a relatively shallow (30-60m) borehole and a heat pump.

If you’re going to have a ground array, a number of boreholes are drilled and the heat pumps are installed in a plant room.

The plant room can be located anywhere on the site, but it must be close to the boreholes. It also needs to be big enough to accommodate all the equipment, which includes the heat pumps, the control system, and the buffer tank.

Heat Pump Selection

Next is selecting a heat pump. Since we are talking about multiple units, a district scheme, or a ground array, you need to select a heat pump that is designed for this type of installation.

For a district scheme, you need to choose a heat pump that can be connected to multiple units. This is usually done via a manifold, which distributes the heat to each unit.

You also need to make sure that the heat pump has enough capacity to cope with the demand. This will depend on the number of flats in the block and the size of each flat.

Finally, you need to make sure that the heat pump is compatible with the existing heating system. If not, you may need to replace the entire system, which will be expensive.

The disadvantages are:

  • The need for a plant room which could take up valuable space
  • Tenants can only purchase the energy from one source
  • Since pipes will be installed all around the property, they would all need to be well insulated.
  • A new high powered electricity supply may be required

The alternative is to share the ground array and install a small, quiet heat pump in each home.

The heat pump basically sits on the floor of the airing cupboard with the hot water cylinder above on a shelf.

Because heat pumps are connected to the flat’s own electricity supply, occupants pay for heating using their regular energy bills and may change tariffs to find the cheapest and/or greenest option.

Design The Heat Distribution System

A simple radiator system can be used, but choose ones that run at lower temperatures than a traditional boiler system.

The larger the radiators, the lower the temperature and the more efficient the heat pump will be. In fact, radiator size is a trade-off between efficiency and performance.

Radiators with rated outputs of two or three times the room’s maximum heat loss typically operate at 45-50°C and provide good heat pump performance.

Find Good Installation Partners

The first step is to find a reputable installer who has experience with heat pumps and drilling boreholes.

Once you have found someone you trust, they will be able to help you choose the best unit for your needs and walk you through the installation process.

Don’t forget, there will be a serious amount of disruption. So, choosing a reputable and experienced contractor that can work quickly will help to minimize the disruption and keep everyone (relatively) happy.

Even if you are installing a ground array, the process is relatively straightforward. The boreholes are drilled, the heat pumps are installed, and the pipes are laid.

The only difficult part is connecting the system to the existing heating system. This will usually require some modifications to the existing system, which is why it’s important to hire a reputable installer.

Once the system is up and running, you should notice a significant reduction in your energy bills. In fact, you may even be able to generate income by selling excess heat to your neighbors!

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}