A Guide to High Temperature Heat Pumps Written by Josh Jackman Updated on 31 October 2023 ✔ A high temperature heat pump can heat your home as quickly as a gas boiler✔ They’re three times more efficient than gas boilers✔ They don’t require new insulation or radiators, unlike regular heat pumpsHigh temperature heat pumps are an excellent solution for many properties. And with heat pump costs coming down rapidly, you can affordably replace your gas boiler while helping the climate.These machines can be installed without extra hassle, and they heat your home at the same speed as a gas boiler, making them an attractive prospect.In this guide, we'll explain how they work, and why you should – or shouldn’t – look into purchasing one for your home.If you want to see if a heat pump would be right for you, pop your details in this quote tool to receive free quotes from our expert installers. What type of central heating do you currently use? Gas boiler Electric boiler Oil boiler Other / not sure Get started What’s on this page? 01 What is a high temperature heat pump? 02 How is a high temperature heat pump different to a regular heat pump? 03 Pros and cons of high temperature heat pumps 04 High temperature heat pump costs 05 Can you buy high temperature heat pumps in the UK? 06 Are all homes suitable for a high temperature heat pump? 07 Is it worth getting a high temperature heat pump? 08 How do high temperature heat pumps work? 09 Next steps 10 High temperature heat pumps: FAQs What is a high temperature heat pump?A high temperature heat pump is a renewable energy system that can heat your home to the same level of warmth – and at the same speed – as a gas boiler.It can reach between 60°C to 80°C, which allows you to heat your home quicker than regular heat pumps, without needing to buy new radiators or insulation.One of the ways it achieves this feat is by using superior refrigerants to low-temperature heat pumps.Most high-temperature heat pumps use R290 or R32, which are both better for your home and the climate, and also come with industry-leading weather compensation controls.These technological advances mean that on average, high-temperature heat pumps have to raise their flow temperature above 65°C less than 1% of the time, according to a recent government report.That's right: the heights gas boilers can hit are now almost completely pointless.Check out how a high temperature heat pump works later in this article for more information. How is a high temperature heat pump different to a regular heat pump?High temperature heat pumps can provide domestic hot water at the same temperature as boilers – around 60°C to 80°C – while regular heat pumps supply water at 45°C to 55°C.However, regular heat pumps are catching up, with an increasing number of models reaching 60°C to 65°C, and high temperature heat pumps rarely have to actually reach these higher temperatures.Because of this fact and their usually superior refrigerants, high temperature heat pumps are now usually just as efficient as low-temperature heat pumps.A spokesperson for high temperature heat pump manufacturer Vattenfall told The Eco Experts: “The system is almost three times as efficient as a central heating boiler,” and this sentiment was backed up by a recent government report.This also relates to the other main difference between the two types of heat pump: high-temperature heat pumps are more cutting-edge.Unfortunately, our most recent National Home Energy Survey found that only 51% of people are aware of heat pumps, let alone high-temperature ones. Fortunately, that doesn't include you. What type of central heating do you currently use? Gas boiler Electric boiler Oil boiler Other / not sure Get started Want to get a better idea of what it’s like to own an air source heat pump? Check out our case study with Louise, from South London.Louise had a 12-kilowatt air source heat pump installed to reduce her reliance on fossil fuels, and received £5,000 off the upfront cost through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Now, Louise can enjoy a warm, even temperature throughout the house, without fluctuations.Take a look at the full interview with Louise to learn more. Pros and cons of high temperature heat pumps Pros You won't have to install new radiators or insulation They're typically just as efficient as other heat pumps They're more efficient than boilers They're more eco-friendly than boilers Cons They're usually more expensive than regular heat pumps They usually cost more to run than a gas boiler – for now They're heavier than regular heat pumps High temperature heat pumps are usually around £1,000 more expensive than regular heat pumps.But they're just as efficient as their low-temperature counterparts, which means you’ll likely spend roughly the same on your energy bills – but you won't have to install new radiators or insulation.Depending on your home, it therefore may be cheaper to get a high temperature heat pump. High temperature heat pump costsHouse sizeNumber of bedroomsHigh temperature heat pump sizeCost100m²35kW£11,000200m²410kW£14,300300m²5-616kW£17,600High temperature heat pumps cost £11,000 for the average three-bedroom household, including purchase and installation.This is 10% more than an air source heat pump costs on average, and more than double the price you'll pay for a gas boiler.On the other hand, you'll future-proof your house against a potential gas boiler ban, and you won't have to get new insulation or radiators to do it. Can you buy high temperature heat pumps in the UK?You can buy the following domestic high temperature heat pumps in the UK:Daikin Altherma 3 H HTTrianco Activair High Temperature Heat PumpDaikin's high temperature air source heat pump is available in 6-12 kW models, can supply water up to 70°C, and works when it’s as cold as -28°C outside.You can either get a wall-mounted unit and hot water cylinder, or a single, floor-standing unit with an integrated hot water cylinder.You can buy Trianco's model in 9 kW, 15 kW, or 22 kW varieties.Vattenfall is also set to bring its high temperature heat pumps to the UK. The company, which is owned by the Swedish state, has already rolled out its 60°C to 80°C machines in the Netherlands.Vattenfall’s commercial director, Mark Anderson, said: “The high temperature heat pump solution is innovative, simple to install and could be the solution to help decarbonise homes in the UK that are heated using traditional gas boilers.” Are all homes suitable for a high temperature heat pump?Most homes are suitable for a high temperature heat pump.If your property currently has a gas boiler and you're unable or unwilling to change your radiators or add insulation, a high temperature heat pump could be the perfect solution.They're also a good option for listed buildings, properties which aren't connected to the gas grid, and homes that are extremely difficult to insulate.Replacing a gas boiler with a high temperature heat pump is also relatively straightforward, and places you at the cutting edge technologically.But whatever your decision, we'd still recommend insulating your home as much as you can, as it's the quickest, most cost-effective way to improve your property's energy efficiency and cut your heating bills. Is it worth getting a high temperature heat pump?It's worth getting a high temperature heat pump in many situations.They typically cost 10% more to buy and install than regular low-temperature heat pumps, but most UK homes need to also buy new radiators and insulation if they're getting a regular heat pump.If the cost of these extra measures adds up to the same or more than the difference in price between the two types of heat pump, you should consider opting for a high temperature model.They typically come with a better refrigerant and superior weather compensation controls, and can reach higher temperatures if necessary – even though it rarely is. How do high temperature heat pumps work?There are four main ways in which high temperature heat pumps work, either through their design or components, and they are as follows.A design optimised for specific refrigerantsThe most modern refrigerants can produce higher output temperatures in machines that use altered pressures and temperatures, though this reduces the overall amount of heat produced by a heat pump.That means the efficiency rate of a high temperature heat pump that works in this way will be lower than a standard heat pump.Christopher Wood, an Associate Professor at Nottingham University, told The Eco Experts: “A refrigerant is a liquid that conveniently evaporates at a certain temperature.“With conventional refrigerants, as the temperature goes higher, the efficiency drops dramatically. That is a function of the process.“The pursuit of a high temperature heat pump is the pursuit of a refrigerant that can do this at a higher temperature.”Cascade systems with two separate refrigeration cyclesCascade heat pumps use two cycles – one low temperature and one high temperature – with a different refrigerant in each.The refrigerant in the low temperature cycle will evaporate at an extremely low temperature and condense in the heat exchanger at a relatively low pressure and temperature.This allows heat to move to the evaporator, which makes the second refrigerant evaporate as well, then condense at a still relatively low pressure – keeping the output high.Enhanced Vapour Injection (EVI)EVI involves adding another loop to the heat pump cycle, which allows a small fraction of condensed refrigerant to leave through an expansion valve, into a counter flow heat exchanger.This results in a superheated vapour that can then be injected into the compressor, increasing the heating capacity. You'll use more electricity this way, but it'll also increase the machine's efficiency.Natural refrigerants and sorption productsThese are gas-fuelled high temperature heat pumps that use a sorbent to absorb refrigerant vapour and create a new solution.This solution is then pumped up the same pressure as the condenser, and the refrigerant is extracted from the sorbent into the generator, through heating.This type of high temperature heat pump is not available to domestic properties in the UK. Next stepsHigh temperature heat pumps are the best option for many homes, but it all depends on your property.They cost about the same to run – and Nottingham University’s Dr Wood told us “there’s no reason why technological advances can’t be made in this field.”If you want to see how much a heat pump would cost you, try our custom-built tool. Pop in a few details, and our professional suppliers will then get in touch with their best prices. High temperature heat pumps: FAQs What is the highest temperature a heat pump can produce? The highest temperature a heat pump can produce water at is 80°C – the same temperature that boilers can reach.Regular heat pumps usually supply water at between 45°C to 55°C, though an increasing number of machines are able to reach 60°C to 65°C.For many homes in the UK, this level of heating is sufficient. Are high temperature heat pumps expensive to run? High temperature heat pumps cost roughly the same to run as low temperature heat pumps.This is because their efficiency ratings are the same as low temperature heat pumps, due to their superior refrigerants and weather compensation controls.They are however more expensive than gas boilers, because electricity costs much more than gas – for now. Do heat pumps work in extreme temperatures? Heat pumps all work in extreme temperatures.High temperature heat pumps can continue functioning at air temperatures as low as -28°C, while regular heat pumps usually work at -10°C and can even put up with -25°C, depending on the model.And heat pumps work excellently in hot weather. Written by: Josh Jackman Lead Writer Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.