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Nibe S ground source heat pump review
We review the Nibe S and evaluate its efficiency, cost, and features as we continue to look for the best ground source heat pumps in the UK.
The Nibe S series comes in a variety of options, up to 16kW (image credit: Nibe)
The Nibe S series refers to intelligent, inverter-controlled ground source heat pumps; it’s one of the best ground source heat pumps available. The Nibe S1255 comes with an integrated hot water cylinder. The S1155 does not have a cylinder, making it ideal for smaller properties with less hot water demand. The Swedish firm Nibe has long been considered a leading player in the inverter technology field, with more than 60 years of experience.
The Nibe S comes with a high seasonal performance factor, which keeps operating costs low. The speed control and brine control function of the heat pump adjusts itself to maximise the capacity of the existing collector system, allowing for greater efficiencies.
The combination of speed control of Nibe S1155/S1255 and Nibe F1155/F1255/F1355 and the brine control function allow the heat pump to adjust itself to maximise the capacity of the existing collector system, neither too much nor too little.
The S series was designed with a push-to-open aluminium door and a touchscreen control that allows you to swipe through the interface with ease to view the performance of your heat pump. The Nibe S series can connect to Wi-fi and Google Home so that users can adjust the temperature via their phones or voice assistant for maximum comfort.
Nibe is known for its ease of installation and will offer an extended warranty of up to seven years if the ground source heat pump is installed by a Nibe Pro installer and registered within 28 days of installation.
The Nibe S Series is an installer-friendly modular system with high efficiency, remote control, low sound levels and low energy DC circulation pumps making it suitable for larger homes. The S1255 comes with an integrated water heater and up to 16kW of power. Operating costs are minimal but it delivers a high-temperature range of up to 65°C.
Guarantee options: 7-year warranty if installed by Nibe Pro Installers
Price range: £8,000 to £12,000.
Max power: 16kW
The Nibe S ground source heat pump is rated A+++ for efficiency (image credit: Nibe)
Highlights: The Nibe S1255 comes with a built-in hot water cylinder for water on demand
Key Benefit: Highly efficient, with an efficiency of A+++ (depending on the unit)
Maximum Flow Temperature: A maximum flow temperature of65°C
Capacity: 180 litres (S1255)
Dimensions: 1,800mm (h) x 600mm (w) x 620mm (d)
Pros and cons
There are both pros and cons to purchasing the Nibe S ground source heat system. It’s important to consider the benefits (and disadvantages) of every ground source heat pump before making your final selection. Some of the advantages include:
Attractive design: Nibe has made changes to the design of the S Series, which now has a new look with a push-to-open aluminium door and a sophisticated touchscreen interface.
Wireless connectivity: The Nibe S series comes with integrated wireless connectivity and voice assistant support so that users can connect or even interact with their heat pump anywhere, at any time.
Minimal operating costs: The NIBE S series has a high seasonal performance factor, which reduces operating costs. The smart technology adjusts the indoor climate or it can be adjusted remotely from a cellphone to maximise efficiencies and minimise energy consumption.
However, there are a few disadvantages to consider:
Size: The Nibe S1255 comes with a built-in hot water cylinder. This can be beneficial because hot water is more readily available on-demand, but it does make the unit a lot bulkier than some of the alternatives on the market. However, the S1155 does not have an integrated cylinder, making it a more compact unit.
Cost: Ground source heat pumps are more expensive than air-source heat pumps to install, which can be a disadvantage. Bear in mind that its connection to the ground enables the pump to perform a lot more efficiently, especially when air temperatures are lower in the winter.
How does the Nibe S series heat pump work?
As a ground source heat pump, the Nibe S uses the solar energy stored in the ground and the bottom of lakes to create an optimal indoor climate. It offers heat during winter, hot water and cooling during summer days. The pump gathers heat from the ground through collectors buried at a shallow depth or via deeper boreholes. The Nibe S uses a mixture of water and an environmentally friendly antifreeze that circulates through a closed loop, absorbing and transferring thermal energy to the heat pump.
How does the Nibe S ground source heat pump compare to other heat pumps?
The Nibe S series is priced fairly for its efficiency, attractiveness and ease of installation. The closest competitor in its price range would be the Worcester-Bosch Greenstore LECP. The Worcester-Bosch Greenstore LECP comes with a slightly larger built-in water cylinder (185-litres) and comes in at a similar price of £8,000 – £12,000. However, its energy efficiency (A+), maximum flow temperature (20°C) and maximum power output (10.2kW) are all lower than the Nibe S.
If you are looking for similar efficiency and output, at a slightly lower price, the Kensa Evo range is a good bet with an A+++ efficiency rating and 17kW output. The maximum flow temperature is the same as the Nibe S series, but it doesn’t come with its own hot water cylinder.
You could also stay in the Nibe family by opting for their F-series ground source heat pumps. Like the S series, the Nibe F-series is an inverter-controlled ground heat pump, but it’s far more powerful with an operating range of up to 43kW. It’s lower maintenance than the S series and doesn’t require an annual inspection. Two compressors provide efficient output and reliability, making it a solid choice for properties with larger heating requirements than the Nibe S can meet.
The Nibe S series can be controlled via an app (image credit: Nibe)
What does the Nibe S ground source heat pump cost?
The Nibe S ground source heat pump is considered a premium product, but it’s not the most expensive on the market, especially considering its low installation costs. Here’s how it compares to others:
Cost (excluding installation and labour)
Worcester-Bosch Greenstore LECP
Maintaining the Nibe S
To maintain your Nibe S ground source heat pump (and the warranty), an annual service is required. Your service technician will clean and swap out the filters, clean the coils and fans, ensure that the airflow hasn’t been impeded by debris and dust and will clean the supply and return the registers inside the home.
Nibe S Series add-ons
The Nibe S series is highly customisable with several accessories available for purchase at an additional cost.
The Nibe FLM 345 is an exhaust air module with a built-in fan. Energy is recovered from the recycled exhaust air of the ground source pump and stored in the soil or rock collector when not in use. The Nibe ERS S10-400 is a heat recovery ventilation unit that can be used in larger homes to boost efficiencies, while the Nibe RMU S40 is a room unit with a touchscreen that can be used to control and monitor your heat pump within a different room to where the heat pump is installed. If you opt for the Nibe S1155, you can also purchase an external hot water cylinder or immersion heater to supply enough hot water to meet your household’s demands.
What the professionals say
“I’ve worked with Nibe equipment for over seven years and class it as the best in the industry, bad installations cause issues, not the equipment. Best controller in the industry along with an easy to use online portal for customers.”
“These are the Rolls Royce of the heat pump brands. More expensive than most imports (whose life expectancy is barely 5 years) but 100% reliable and has reasonable running costs. They last 30 years in the harsh Scandinavian climate.
“Note ALL heat pump systems need 2 things: A properly insulated property and a professionally certified (MCS) installer. DO NOT fall for cowboy installers. No MCS, no installation. Also, heat pump systems are not about saving money, they are about getting a 24/7 climate-controlled home environment for the same cost as your previous ‘a few hours a day of heating’ system.”
“So far we are delighted with our new heat pump. It is much quieter and less obtrusive than our previous one. We have only had it a matter of months so cannot say how it will get through its first winter but are optimistic.”
“The experience with NIBE’s UK customer service has been poor, to say the least. e.g. massive waits on the customer service line before there is an answer, then promises made about callbacks which never happen. Hence the whole process of calling up again, and again, to chase has to be gone through. Additionally, the cost of servicing is not cheap (£200+ plus per year) and in fact, the electricity consumption is quite high. So I doubt very much that we have made any savings at all by using NIBE despite also having an RHI (which was also a hassle to get).
“In summary, their technology is unreliable and expensive to run and their customer service is abysmal. I would not use NIBE again.”
There’s a lot to like about the Nibe S Series ground source heat pumps. Available in varying output sizes, with smart wireless controls, multiple accessories and minimal operating costs, the Nibe S isn’t cheap by any means but it certainly is flexible. If the bulkier water cylinder isn’t to your liking, or if you have low ceilings which impede your installation, you can opt for the Nibe S1155 which comes with a separate hot water cylinder that can be added or removed.
Its integrated wifi and voice assistant capabilities make the S Series a seamless part of any connected home, while smart technology will adjust the indoor climate automatically to maintain comfort levels.
We would recommend the Nibe S for larger homes that need high output and high efficiency. It’s not a budget option, but ground source heat pumps rarely are. A solid warranty and dependable brand name, plus the ability to add accessories and improve efficiencies over time, means that the Nibe S is a good long-term investment for homeowners that want to cut energy costs over time.
In order to compile this review, we evaluated thousands of online customer reviews, visited professional forums, and read several non-paid media articles. We compiled a score, totalling 100 points, rating the Nibe S series against the criteria most consumers would consider before making a ground source heat pump purchase.
The score comprised the following:
The warranty period offered by the brand, for a total of 10 points;
The overall reputation of the brand is based on online reviews, for a total of 15 points;
Trust pilot reviews, for a total of 5 points;
Awards and accolades (e.g. Which? Best Buy Awards) for a total of 5 points;
Customer service performance, for a total of 10 points;
The price range, for a total of 15 points;
Efficiency ratings, for a total of 15 points;
Installation and maintenance network and reviews, for a total of 15 points;
The total warranty period for a total of 10 points.