What Are Portable Heat Pumps?

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Portable heat pump

Not every home will be able to make use of a standard heat pump system – especially smaller homes with little space to install such systems. But that doesn’t mean you have to solely rely on fossil fuels to keep your home warm. Now, portable heat pumps can be used in your home to heat up or cool down the room you’re in, potentially helping you save on energy bills and helping you reduce the carbon emissions of your home. 

But what are portable heat pumps, who are they suitable for, and when might you want to consider them as a renewable heating and cooling system for your home? Stick with Heat Pumps UK, and we’ll answer all this and more below. 

How Do Portable Heat Pumps Work?

Portable heat pumps work just like any other heat pump – in that through compressing and condensing air, heat can be extracted and then used to heat your home. To cool it, a refrigerant is compressed and blown through the condenser, cooling it down and helping it absorb heat from the indoor area. 

Whether heating or cooling, portable heat pumps work on the same principles as all other heat pumps, except that their exhaust pipe is attached and needs to be put out of a window – similar to some tumble driers. And, of course, a portable heat pump is portable, meaning it can be pushed from room to room to be used in different places, focusing heating or cooling on a specific room, rather than your whole house.

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When Portable Heat Pumps Make Sense

It’s true that portable heat pumps won’t be for everybody. For example, if you already have a standard air source or ground source heat pump installed, then portable heat pumps would be a waste at your property, since you’re already benefiting from their technology and lower carbon emissions in your home. 

However, if you don’t already have heat pumps because your property doesn’t have the proper outdoor space, then it could be worth thinking about portable heat pumps for your home. They’ll bring a range of benefits your way, and will let you focus your heating and cooling in just the room you’re in, rather than your whole house. 

It’s also worth remembering that as a portable device, there’s little installation involved, so rather than having a permanent solution, you have a temporary one that can be moved if you move. It’s a lot more flexible to opt for portable heat pumps, so it might be worth considering if you think you may move soon, or you live in rented accommodation and can’t have a more permanent installation. 

What Are Single Hose And Dual Hose Portable Heat Pumps? 

Single Hose Portable Heat Pumps

In single hose portable heat pump systems there is only one hose. The heat pump sucks the air into the room and heats or cools it as necessary, and then any heat or moisture that needs to be expelled will be sent through the hose to the outdoors.

Single hose portable heat pumps are ideal for smaller rooms.

Dual Hose Portable Heat Pumps

As you might have guessed by the name, dual hose portable heat pump systems use two hoses. One for removing waste air, moisture and heat, and one for bringing in fresh air. The single hose pumps need to draw air from inside the room, but dual hose pumps allow the system to draw in a continuous supply of fresh air whilst heating and cooling your home. 

Because of this more optimised system, dual hose portable heat pumps are great in larger rooms. 

Pros & Cons Of Portable Heat Pumps

Targeted heating and coolingCosts
Energy efficient Limited in coverage
Reduces carbon footprintNoise whilst operating
No installation
Compact size


Targeted Heating And Cooling 

Because portable heat pumps are so easy to move wherever you need them, you can target specific rooms because you’re in them and they’re the ones that need the most attention to keep you comfortable. The ability to target your system to meet your specific requirements is unique for any heating and cooling system. 

Energy Efficient 

Since you have an all-in-one system that can help you heat and cool your home, you’ll certainly use less energy than you would if you were running the two units separately. With proper insulation in your home, you should be able to heat your room thoroughly and then switch off your portable heat pumps again to maintain the heat, rather than continuously running it, again, saving on the amount of energy you use. 

Reduces Carbon Footprint 

Heat pumps are a greener option than almost any other heating or cooling system because it relies only on air to run, no fossil fuels in sight. Using a portable heat pump is a much greener option than relying on a fossil fuel boiler to heat your home, for example. 

No Installation 

Portable heat pumps don’t need installing in the same way regular air source and ground source heat pumps do in your home. They’re a complete unit, so you won’t need to connect it to your central heating system or anything like that, making them a great option for people who aren’t searching for such a permanent heat pump solution. 

Compact Size

Their compact size means you can use them comfortably in almost any room without worrying about them getting in your way.



Portable heat pumps aren’t exactly cheap (although they are certainly significantly cheaper than having a full heat pump system installed). Dual hose heat pumps are also much more expensive than single hose systems, too, so that may be something worth considering when thinking about purchasing portable heat pumps. 

Limited In Coverage 

Because of their much smaller size, they won’t cover as much as your regular heating system will. They’re limited to a room, and they might be limited in how much of that room they can realistically heat or cool, too. If you have larger, open plan spaces in your home, then portable heat pumps may not be the right choice for you. 

Noise Whilst Operating

Portable heat pumps aren’t silent when in operation, either, so it’s worth bearing this in mind if you are wanting to use them in bedrooms or living rooms where you might be disturbed by their noise. 

Portable Heat Pumps vs An Entire Heat Pump System

Of course, there’s no question that the more superior system in every way is an entire air source or ground source heat pump system. They’re better at:

  • Increasing energy efficiency of your home
  • Saving you money
  • Cutting down carbon emissions 
  • Heating and cooling your home 

But as we’ve already covered today, it’s not always possible to have a regular heat pump system. If you’re unsure which is more suitable for you, then work with Heat Pumps UK today. We’ll find you the best heat pump deals and then put you in contact with an installer in your area who will be able to talk with you some more about the best heat pump solution for you and your home. 

What Are Portable Heat Pumps Summary

Portable heat pumps are a great option for those for whom a regular heat pump system just won’t work, and who want to still save money, make their homes more energy efficient, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. 

Work with Heat Pumps UK today, and we’ll put you in touch with heat pump installers near you that can advise on whether portable heat pumps, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, or another heat pump system altogether is right for you. 

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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.