Panasonic Heat Pump Review

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Panasonic Heat Pumps In Brief:

Panasonic has taken a different approach to designing heat pumps for residential buildings with its Aquarea models. It has specially created two ranges: one for newly built homes: the K Series, and a different type for renovations and retrofits in existing buildings: the L Series. Both types are based on the same design concepts but have differing applications.

Warranty: Panasonic offers 3 to 7 years of warranty for different models of heat pumps, which is longer than the average warranty offered by some of the other makes.

UK Grants available: one of the advantages of air-source heat pumps is that there are grants and subsidies available. These schemes, such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, can help homeowners reduce the costs of moving over to a heat pump by offering grants of up to £7,500. Consult your installer as to what grant funding may be available to you.

Panasonic Company Overview:

Panasonic is one of Japan’s most recognised brand names. It dates back to 1918 when it was founded as a company in the then-new sector of household electrical goods. Since then it has expanded globally and horizontally into many markets and has a record of innovation. It introduced its first heat pump in Japan in 1973, so it has been creating products in this sector for a long time.

Panasonic UK was established in 1972. Since then the company has grown substantially and become a leading supplier of consumer and business-related electronics products. Its headquarters are located in Bracknell, Berkshire. The company currently employs more than 400 staff.

Panasonic Heat Pump Specifications

Panasonic heat pump

Aquarea High-Performance Range of air to water heat pumps.

The indoor units are Premium White, so they match other household appliances and utilise a seamlessly integrated controller which provides a sleek black band across the unit. The functionality of the heat pumps is based on previous designs from Panasonic, with improved features.

The One model – (monobloc units) –  maintain their compactness with a size of only 598 x 600 mm, comparable to other normal household appliances. There are also Split two-piece designs, with indoor and outdoor units, similar to other products on the market.

Stylishly, the outdoor units are finished in an Anthracite Grey colour which is different to other companies’ brands and will appeal to users who feel that visual appearance is important to the aesthetics of their home.

Quietness and fan efficiency are central to these models. The L Series uses a natural refrigerant called R290 to reduce the environmental impact of the design, while the K Series utilises another environmentally friendly refrigerant called R32.

The two new K and L series display an excellent Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) of up to 5.12, providing outstanding efficiency. They are reliable even at low temperatures. The Aquarea series has several different power outputs, to match the local weather conditions and the home size. The K Series comes in 3.2, 5, 7, and 9 KW versions, while the L Series comes in 3, 5, 7, and 9 KW versions.

The new Aquarea K and L generations benefit from a reduced sound level, up to 8dB(A) lower than previous models. This facilitates a more flexible installation with greater placement possibilities. 

The units offer advanced insulation to ensure that the heat is not dissipated and is delivered to where it is needed in the household.

Both series have a smart control system that can be operated from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with information uploaded to the cloud for remote diagnostics by expert technicians. These have options for the units to be connected to solar panels and also are “smart grid ready”, so they can be connected to larger local distributed energy networks if these are available.

K Series Heat Pumps

  • Ideal solution for new build applications
  • Uses R32 refrigerant 
  • Retains refrigerant connection between indoor and outdoor units
  • Provides water outlet temperatures of up to 60°C down to -10°C
  • Available in High Performance and T-CAP ranges for extreme cold conditions
  • Offers an enhanced design with a new indoor unit built to perfectly complement the home decor, plus a stylish architecturally sympathetic outdoor unit in Anthracite Grey  
  • Seamless connectivity integration, with the ability to integrate a Wi-Fi module into the indoor unit 

L Series Heat Pumps

  • The best range for retrofit applications, when renovating a home with existing radiators
  • Utilises natural refrigerant R290 
  • Offers a hydraulic connection between the indoor and outdoor unit 
  • Provides water outlet temperatures of up to 75°C down to -10°C
  • Circulates domestic hot water up to 65°C without a heater for tank sterilisation 
  • Offers an enhanced design with a new indoor unit built to perfectly complement the home decor, plus a stylish architecturally sympathetic outdoor unit in Anthracite Grey    
  • Seamless connectivity integration, with the ability to integrate a Wi-Fi module into the indoor unit 

Panasonic Heat Pump Technical specifications:

1. Efficiency
Space Heating efficiencyUp to 5.33 COP
Energy efficiency class at 35 °C A+++
DHW COPUp to 3.30 (for 3 and 5 kW models)
2. More flexibility in design
Water temperature60 °C
Piping length improved7/9 kW: 50/30 m (up to 40 m without minimum floor area with a 5 % decrease of the capacity) – 3/5 kW: 25/20 m.
Chiller functionCooling down to 10 °C outdoor temperature
3. New smart functions
Smart grid readyFor heating, cooling and DHW modes
Remote control via mobile platformUtility remote bivalent control
4. Generation K
Minimum outdoor temperature-25°C
Maximum supply temperature for heating60°C
5. Generation L
Minimum outdoor temperature-25°C
Maximum supply temperature for heating75°C

Panasonic Heat Pumps Pros and Cons

Heat Pump Pros

  • Stylish design
  • High efficiency
  • Advanced Panasonic features
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Considered a very reliable brand
  • Good warranty length

Heat Pump Cons

  • Installation and maintenance can have issues in older homes or confined spaces
  • Repairing heat pumps could be more difficult than gas boilers.
  • The high initial cost as heat pumps are more expensive than conventional boilers

Panasonic Heat Pump Cons FAQs

Are heat pumps better than a new boiler?

A: According to a report by the Carbon Trust, heat pumps are a highly efficient form of electric heating that has the potential to deliver CO2 savings of 60-70% compared to conventional electric heating and 55-65% compared to an A-rated gas boiler.

Do heat pumps work in the winter?

A: According to the latest research by Oxford University, heat pumps do work well in cold UK winters, so there is no need to be concerned about this, contrary to some media articles.

Can Panasonic heat pumps be used with existing radiators?

A: The L range is specifically designed for retrofitting into existing heating systems.

What grants are available to offset the cost?

A: There are various incentives and grants available from the government and regional authorities, so check with your installer to find out what subsidies can be applied for in your locality.

Panasonic Heat Pump Summary

Panasonic has an enviable track record for innovation and reliability. Their models will suit all kinds of residences. Notably, they have split their range into two types, the K Series for newly built homes, and the L Series which is specifically designed to be retrofitted into existing houses, which is a strong selling point for this range of heat pumps.

Pricing is comparable with similar models on the market, Panasonic are not the cheapest by any means, but they are certainly not the most expensive heat pumps either.

The warranty is better than many competitors, and the units are quite in use. Overall Panasonic are a fine heat pump product, and definitely to be on the short-list for renovations of existing homes.

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Ollie Creevy
Ollie has been writing content online about home improvements for over 3 years. With a real interest and in-depth knowledge of heat pumps and ECO home improvement measures you can use to save on your energy bills. Ollie also keeps up to date with all the Government grants available for you to take advantage of like ECO4 and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.