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Solar Thermal Panels vs Heat Pumps: Which to Choose for Your Home?

Understanding the differences between solar thermal panels and heat pumps can help you choose the best renewable heating system for your home. There are many advantages to both, but one may be the better choice for your home than the other. This article will help you decide whether solar thermal or heat pumps work best for you.

Key Takeaway

Solar panel vs home heat pump—each has its benefits and factors to consider before installing one in your home. To choose between them, think about what features are most important to you and weigh them against the advantages and disadvantages of each. Ultimately, depending on your location, heating requirements and space, you may be able to accommodate either.

Which Is Better: Solar Panels or Heat Pumps?


Solar thermal panels

  •   Lower electric bills since they produce free energy
  •   Require little maintenance once installed
  •   Although solar panels work best during the summer months, they also produce electricity on cloudy days and during the winter

Air-source heat pumps

  •   Depending on the heat pump’s model, they can provide cooling and heating
  •   ASHPs are more efficient than other heating and cooling systems
  •   You don’t have to dig to install an air source heat pump, unlike a ground source heat pump

Ground source heat pumps

  •   In geothermal heat pumps, fossil fuels are not burned to generate heat
  •   GSHPs require little energy to operate, reducing home energy costs
  •   Unlike ASHPs, ground source heat pumps are nearly unaffected by temperature changes and work in most climates


Depending on your current heating system, you could be saving the following.

Solar thermal system: At 5.5 p/kWh for a well-positioned 4kWp PV system in SE England and a cost of £6,200, a person home all day can save and earn £390 each year.

Air source heat pumps: When replacing a G-rated gas boiler with an ASHP at a typical detached three-bedroom home, with radiator upgrades, £395 could be saved annually.

Ground source heat pumps: When replacing a G-rated gas boiler with GSHPs fitted with oversized radiators on a typical detached four-bedroom house, an annual saving of £870 is possible.

Other Factors

Solar panels: Solar panels are not a full substitute for your existing heating system. They’re also suitable only for installations with a hot water cylinder. This means solar thermal is not an option if you have a combi boiler.

ASHPs: They become less efficient during the winter and require the installation of outdoor space.

GSHPs: A large amount of outdoor space is required for their installation, especially if they are to be installed horizontally. There may be some disruption during installation, which may take two to three days.

Finding Your Ideal Home Heating Solution

To help you choose the best home heating solution, consult an experienced installer, such as Centraheat. Our team can assist you in choosing the ideal system for your home. Contact us today to learn more.

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