How much does an air source heat pump cost in the UK? This is a commonly asked question that regularly crops up when considering replacing traditional heating systems with a heat pump installation.
Air source heat pumps can be a very cost-effective way of heating your home. In the UK, the average price of an air source heat pump is around £5,000 to £8,000, with the installation costs on top of that. However, there are a number of options available to householders which can help make the cost of an air source heat pump more manageable.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about air source heat pumps, including how much they cost, the savings you could make on your energy bills, and how investing this type of heating system can prove a worthwhile investment in the long run.Thinking of switching to an air source heat pump? Enter your postcode to find out more about heat pump installations and get the help you need from expert heat pump installers to make the switch successfully.
What is an Air Source Heat Pump?
An air-source heat pump is a type of renewable heating system that uses electricity to extract heat from the outside air and use it to heat your home. They work very similarly to a fridge, except in reverse – instead of using cold air to cool refrigerant filled tubes, they use hot air to warm them up.
This refrigerant is then compressed to create a high-pressure gas, which is then passed through a heat exchanger. This heats the water that circulates through your radiators and provides heating for your home. In some instances they can even be configured to provide hot water for the home.
Air source heat pumps run on electricity which can be supplied by the National Grid or through renewable energy source, such as solar panels or wind turbines. Using renewable energy means that you will be impacting on your household’s carbon footprint and contributing to the UK’s renewable energy targets.
What Costs Do You Need To Consider With Heat Pump Installation?
The cost of an air source heat pump will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the type of heating system you are replacing and the quality of the installation.
To replace an existing heating system including installation, you can expect to pay around £7,000-£10,000, but this will depend on the brand and heat output of the heat pump. When compared to a new gas boiler which usually costs in the region of £1,500 -£3,500 to buy and install, you can see that air source heat pumps can at first appear to be an expensive option.
In addition to the cost of the heat pump unit itself, you will also need to factor in the cost of heat pump installation. It is important that your heat pump system is installed by fully qualified professionals, and this is where Heat Pumps UK can assist you.
So Why Make the Switch To A Heat Pump?
While the purchase and installation costs may seem high, air source heat pumps provide significant savings over time that can easily outweigh the initial costs. These include:
Cheaper Energy Bills
Air source heat pumps can be up to 50% more efficient than gas boilers, which means you will use less energy to heat your home and therefore see a reduction in your energy bills. In fact, the savings you could make on your energy bills by switching to an air source heat pump could more than £1,000/year in some instances, but this depends on the existing fossil fuel heating system that you are replacing.
The Energy Saving Trust, for example, estimates that a households replacing an old electric storage heater with a standard air source heat pump could potentially enjoy fuel bills savings of £1,100/year. Replacing an old G-rated oil boiler would bring estimated savings of £455/year, while replacing an old G-rated gas boiler could net fuel bill savings of £385/year. See full list of estimated savings from switching to an air source heat pump.
Added Value to Your Home
Installing an air source heat pump can also add value to your home. A recent study by the Energy Saving Trust found that on average, a property with an air source heat pump is worth £6,000 more than one without. Since an air source heat pump installation usually works best with underfloor heating or upgraded radiators, this will inevitably improve the heating infrastructure in a home and therefore add to the home value.
Government Grants and Incentives
The government offers a number of grants and incentives which can help reduce the cost of installing an air source heat pump. One such incentive is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which aims to encourage households to switch from old inefficient boilers to renewable energy alternatives. The free grant amount has increased more recently to £7,500, potentially covering a large percentage of the costs for heat pump installation for many typical households.
How Much Do Air Source Heat Pumps Cost to Run?
Unlike gas boilers, air source heat pumps are powered by electricity. This means heat pump running costs depend on how much electricity you draw from the grid.
The average UK household uses around 3300 kWh of electricity per year. At a price of 34p per kWh (the average price of electricity as per September 2023), this would cost £1,122 per year to run an air source heat pump.
However, if you combine your air source heat pump with renewable energy technology, such as solar panels, you could significantly reduce the running costs. That way you will be saving money both on your gas bills and your electricity bills by minimising your use of fossil fuels.
How Much Will You Save on Your Energy Bills?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on a number of factors, such as:
- The size of your home
- The type of air source heat pump you install
- Your energy usage
- The price of electricity and gas in your area
However, it’s fair to say that switching to an air source heat pump could save you hundreds of pounds every year on your energy bills with some households experiencing savings of up to 50% on their heating alone.
When Will Gas Boilers be Phased Out in the UK Altogether?
The government had originally announced that gas boilers would be phased out in new homes altogether by 2025, but this target was revised by 10 years to 2035, in an announcement made in September 2023. This means that no new build houses can be fitted with a gas boiler and that all households will need to switch to an alternative heating system when the time comes to replacing their boiler.
However, this does not mean that you have to switch to an air source heat pump. You may choose to install a different type of heating system, such as a biomass boiler or a ground source heat pump.
In the September 2023 announcement made by the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, the Government weakened its plan to phase out gas boilers and said that people would not be forced to rip out their existing boilers and replace it with a heat pump. The requirement only applies when people are due to change their boiler and even then, not until 2035, and that exemptions will apply to those for whom the change would hit them financial the hardest, so they will not have to switch at all.
Thinking of getting ahead and switching to an air source heat pump? Enter your postcode here to find out how Heat Pumps UK can help you.
What Help is Available With The Cost Of Switching To An Air Pump?
Clearly, expecting households to be in a financial position to make the transition to air source heat pumps and other renewable energy technologies is unrealistic. That’s why the UK government has introduced a number of schemes to help people with the costs. The current schemes that may provide financial assistance or grants are the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
Through the two schemes you may be able to claim:
- £7,500 off the purchase and installation cost of an air source heat pump
- £7,500 off the purchase and installation cost of a biomass boiler
- £7,500 off the purchase and installation cost of a ground source heat pump
These grant values were increase by the Government by 50% to £7,500 from 23 October 2023 in an attempt to make boiler alternatives, such as heat pumps, a more attractive proposition to UK households. The cash grants are free and do not have to be repaid.
How to Reduce Your Energy Bills
As well as switching to an air source heat pump, there are a number of other things you can do to reduce your energy bills:
- Install insulation in your home – This is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce your energy bills because it will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer so you won’t need to use as much energy to keep it at a comfortable temperature.
- Install a smart thermostat – A smart thermostat will allow you to control your heating from your phone, so you can make sure it’s not on when you’re not home or when you’re asleep. This can save you a lot of money on your energy bills.
- Upgrade your boiler – If your boiler is more than ten years old, it is likely that it is not energy efficient. Upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient boiler (or better still, an air source heat pump) can save you up to hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bills.
- Install solar panels – Solar panels can help you to reduce your reliance on energy from the grid, which could save you a lot of money in the long run. You can even sell extra electricity back to the grid to profit from your solar panels.
- Install a smart meter – A smart meter will help you to track your energy usage and identify where you can make savings. This can help you to reduce your energy bills by up to £300 a year.
- Turn off unused appliances – What many people don’t realise is that even when appliances are not in use, they are still using energy. By turning off unused appliances, you can save yourself a lot of money on your energy bills.
- Switch to LED light bulbs – LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs, meaning you will save money on your energy bills as well as help the environment.
- Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when they are full – Washing machines and dishwashers use a lot of energy, so it’s best to only run them when they are full. This will save you money on your energy bills as well as help to conserve resources.
Air Source Heat Pump Conclusions
As you can see, the answer to how much an air source heat pump cost in the UK is not always straightforward. It depends on your individual circumstances and what type of heating system you currently have.
However, if you are thinking of making the switch, it is important to find a trusted installer who can find you the best deal and successfully install your heat pump system – whether air source or ground source heat pumps are most suitable for your household heat demand – so you can enjoy savings for years to come. You may even be able to qualify for heat pump grant assistance under the various government-backed schemes, especially the boosted Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
So, what are you waiting for? Find out what heat pump options are open to you today.