Do You Need a Booster on a Heat Pump Water System?

If you want an energy-efficient way of heating your water but don't want to use solar panels, then you may be considering installing a heat pump system. These water heaters extract air from the outside of your home and use it to create hot water via a refrigerant system.

As you've started to look at heat pumps, you'll have come across some models that have an electric booster built in and some that don't. These boosters allow the system to switch to electric water heating at certain times. When is a booster useful?

Your Hot Water Usage Varies

While you may use a steady amount of hot water generally, there may be times when your usage increases. If this is likely to happen in your house, then having the back-up of an electric booster may be useful. For example, say your children have all grown up and left home. Some are at university and some have moved into their own homes and started their own families.

During university holidays, your hot water usage increases for every child who returns home to live with you during these breaks. Plus, if the whole family gets together at Christmas and stays with you, then you'll use a lot more hot water. Your heat pump may not be able to cope alone with these kinds of usage increases. However, a booster gives you another way to heat your water when you need to use more of it.

Your Weather Sometimes Gets Cold

While heat pumps can convert colder air to hot water, this takes more energy. It can take longer for a heat pump to heat a lot of water effectively in cold weather extremes. While your heat pump will still work, it may not produce as much hot water as you like when you need it. If you add a booster to the mix, you can switch to electric water heating when the heat pump struggles for optimum efficiency. If your winters are generally mild with the occasional cold snap, then a booster gives you a guarantee of hot water that you otherwise might not have had.

The best person to turn to for advice here is your hot water installation plumber. They install all kinds of hot water systems where you live, including heat pump operations. As well as having local weather knowledge, they can assess your potential usage needs and help you decide if a booster is a good idea.