Alpha Hydro paired with underfloor heating in rural Kent home

26 February 2024

Eco-minded homeowner has utilised the Alpha Hydro heat pump with underfloor heating in recent renovation of rural three-bedroom house.

With high energy prices still fuelling the cost-of-living crisis, and the UK simultaneously navigating its 2050 net zero ambitions, homeowners are increasingly seeking home heating solutions that are kind to their bank balance and the planet.

For gas engineers, this means having several options in your arsenal to recommend to customers that meet the brief of cost-saving and energy efficiency, whilst also being reliable and convenient to install.

In response to the increasing need for greener heating alternatives, Alpha launched its Hydro heat pump – a single-phase solution which pairs with a pre-plumbed 200 litre cylinder and Smartech controls to provide the ultimate in renewable heating efficiency.

Cleverly designed to be as efficient as possible, the air source heat pump solution utilises low-temperature heat from the outdoor air and increases the heat within the system. This can then be transferred, for example, to water for radiators or underfloor heating in the home.

Roddy Paine’s rural property is not on the gas grid, meaning his family relied on an oil-fuelled central heating system to warm their home. Roddy said: “We really found the oil system quite awkward. There had been a number of times when we run out of oil or didn’t remember it was due a refill and were left without heat, or ended up running around last minute to get an oil delivery. It was also quite expensive, at just over £2,000 per year, and quite smelly!

“Knowing we wanted to move away from oil, but gas not being an option, we contacted Alpha to ask for their expert advice on what our options were.”

Roddy’s home was kitted out with 16mm underfloor heating throughout and the installer on Roddy’s project removed the pump on the supplied manifold and utilised the Delta T controlled pump on the cylinder, which was more than adequate to run the entire system.

The heat loss report conducted for the installation identified that the total heat source required to heat the building must provide an output of 10.1 kW. Therefore, the installer recommended Alpha’s Hydro 12kW unit with Hydro Pre-Plumbed cylinder.

Roddy adds: “When planning our home renovation we considered a ground source heat pump initially, however this was prohibitive cost-wise. Determining exactly what was required with a heat pump solution came down to our knowledgeable installer and Alpha’s own team of experts. We trusted them entirely and so when they recommended this specific air source heat pump, we were happy to proceed.

“Our plumber fitted the underfloor heating throughout our entire property, and then our heat pump and cylinder installation only took two days. It was so convenient with minimal disruption.”

The scope of works provided on Roddy’s annexe project included:

  • Building a suitable base for the air source heat pump (ASHP) with the correct condensate drainage
  • A new power supply from close control unit (CCU) to rotary isolator
  • Run and insulate a 28mm flow and returns in wall from pre-plumbed cylinder (PP CYL) to ASHP, and fitting primary pro pipe insulation
  • A new cold main to airing cupboard
  • Run new domestic hot water (DHW) pipe to airing cupboard and insulate.
  • Underfloor heating manifolds to be installed in airing cupboard
  • Heating Expansion Vessel to be sized according the underfloor heating circuit volume
  • Allow for 32amp breaker for ASHP
  • Allow for 20amp breaker for PP CYL
  • Power supply to be run to airing cupboard for PP CYL with 13amp fused spur
  • Underfloor heating circuit to comply with heat loss calculation


The most noticeable difference in using the Hydro heat pump compared to a boiler is that it is a low-temperature system best suited to continuous operation. This contrasts with the tried and tested gas boiler which switches on and off during the day to keep the house at a required level.

Another standout feature of the Hydro is its built-in weather compensation probe. This is designed to ensure the precise monitoring of inside and outside temperatures. By ensuring timely changes in the heat delivered, the weather compensation will help to keep the desired levels of heat in the property constant without the homeowner noticing any fluctuations. This is one of the reasons heat pumps are so energy efficient.

Roddy continues: “I’m not entirely au fait with plumbing technology but our installer was able to explain the system to me and we run it on a low continuous temperature. Paired with our underfloor heating, our new heat pump solution keeps our home at a cosy 20 degrees with very little interference required from our part. We’ve had it for a year and have noticed almost no change in our electricity bills – with a £2,000 saving per year on oil, it’s a win-win.

“The ease of installation of our heat pump and its reliability since it has been fitted made us realise just how inconvenient the oil central heating system in our home is. The Smartech controls allow us to manage our heating even when we’re not at home.”

Dan Wilden, National Renewable Manager for Alpha, adds: “Our Hydro heat pump is the perfect solution for eco-minded homeowners looking to embrace energy efficient technologies. Operating at lower temperature for longer, homeowners like Mr Paine no longer need to worry about turning the heating on and off. Instead, homes can be kept at a consistent desired level, for ultimate comfort this winter.

“For installers, it is vital to understand the requirements of this system as they will be obliged to ensure that it is set up correctly for optimum performance. At Alpha, we offer top-notch training courses to educate installers on fitting these newer technologies, ensuring they do this to the highest standards.”