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Last updated on February 29th, 2024

Air source heat pump cost guide

If you’re looking for a clean way to heat your home whilst saving money on your energy bills, then an air source heat pump could be for you.

With the announcement of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), an air source heat pump may be something you wish to explore for your home. The grant is running from 2022 – 2025.

With the grant, you can get:

Keep reading to find out more about the average air source heat pump cost in the UK.

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump collects and uses energy from the outside air to heat the air inside a building. Not only is it a very energy-efficient way of generating heat, but it’s supported by the government’s new Clean Heat Grant, which will replace the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

The installation of an air source heat pump does generally cost more than a traditional heating system but is usually offset by very low maintenance costs. They can be installed anywhere in the UK to provide heating and are a good option if you’re planning to minimise the environmental impact of your home.

It’s expected that air-to-water heat pumps will grow in popularity in the UK, which is both thanks to the grant and because they can deliver a home’s heating and hot water on-demand.

ItemCost rangeAverage cost
Supply air source heat pump: Air-to-water (5kw - 17kw)£5,000 - £9,000

£7,000
Install air source heat pump: Air-to-water£6,000 - £11,000£8,000
Supply and install air-to-air air source heat pump (heating capacity 5kW)£2,000 - £4,000£3,000
Option - upgrade to larger radiators (assume 10 in property)£2,000 - £5,000£3,000
Option - underfloor heating throughout£5,000 - £15,000£10,000
Option - replace all heating system pipework (i.e. microbore to larger diameter)£2,000
Upgraded insulation - cavity wall£500 - £3,000£2,000
Upgraded insulation in roof (blanket roll)£500 - £2,000£1,500
Upgraded floor insulation£1,000 - £5,000£3,000

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

How much does an air source heat pump (ASHP) cost?

On average, the supply and installation of an air source heat pump will cost in the region of £2,000-£20,000.

Air-to-water is the more expensive option, costing an average of £15,000 for supply and installation. Air-to-air on the other hand is around £3,000 for supply and installation.

Air source heat pumps are typically the more expensive option than many traditional heating systems, but the benefit to the environment is considerable.

The high cost of air source heat pump installations is often deemed a problem for many homeowners, especially when compared to a new gas boiler installation. However, the real benefit comes from carbon-free emissions and the significant reduction of ongoing energy bills. And with the BUS grants available until 2025, it may be a viable option for you now.

Chat to an expert at GE National about air source heat pumps

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Factors affecting the cost of air source heat pump installation

When calculating the cost of your air source heat pump, here are some things you need to keep in mind:

  • Size of your property: If your property is big then it would need a more powerful heating source, which will push the price up
  • Insulation: If the property is not insulated properly, then the heating needs to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature
  • The pump brand: Some brands of air source heat pump cost more than others
  • The pump’s performance and efficiency: More powerful and efficient pumps will cost more
  • Room temperature: If you want a higher room temperature, you may need a more powerful pump
  • Radiator upgrades: As a general rule, radiators for a heat pump system will need to be two and a half times larger than normal (say a gas combi boiler) to provide the same heat output

Air source heat pump cost calculator

In order to answer the question, ‘how much does an air source heat pump cost?’, you need to take into account the installation cost as well as performance cost.

Air source heat pump installation cost

The cost to install an air-to-water air source heat pump is around £15,000.

You can get a more reliable quote if you post a job with your specific requirements. We will forward it to heat pump installers in your area and they will send you their quotes.

Air source heat pump running cost

So, how much do you spend on running this heat pump? That depends on three factors.

  • The coefficient of performance of the heat pump: How efficient the pump is (the ratio of the power input and power output)
  • Required room temperature: Since these heat pumps are designed for a temperature of 50o C, you will get lower efficiency if you require higher temperatures. That would lead to higher running costs
  • The temperature of the heat source: You will get better efficiency if the pump is installed in an area with lots of sunlight and good airflow

Air source heat pump installation quote

To get an accurate air source heat pump installation quote, you would need to provide a comprehensive description of what you need. This includes the size of the property you want to heat, the power and brand of the pump you want, where you want it installed, and how warm you want your rooms.

We also recommend that you get quotes from at least three reliable sources so you can get the best price. To make it easier for you, we offer a ‘get a quote‘ feature where you list your job requirements and we get a quote from tradespeople in your area. Try it now!

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

Reduce the air source heat pump price with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

To help homeowners invest in green energy solutions, the government has introduced the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). 

You’ll soon be able to apply for the heat pump grant, which, if successful, will contribute up to £7,500 for you to swap your gas boiler for a low-carbon heat pump. It’s been introduced as part of government plans to cut emissions and has the potential for huge cost savings, especially when it comes to installing your new air source heat pump.

With the grant, you can get:

  • £7,500 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler
  • £7,500 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump

You can get one grant per property.

Air source heat pump installed outside house

Benefits of air source heat pumps

There are a number of benefits that come with installing an air source heat pump:

  • Cheaper energy bills
  • Installation costs subsidised by the government (for eligible homes)
  • Lower carbon emissions
  • Minimal maintenance needed
  • Heats air and water for your home
  • Doesn’t use fossil fuels
  • No danger of dangerous gases being emitted

One thing to note is that, during winter, you may need to have your ASHP on constantly. This is because heat pumps deliver heat at a lower temperature over much longer periods. This is different to a gas boiler, which typically feeds radiators at 70 degrees Celsius.

Calculate savings from an air source heat pump

You could save the following on annual energy bills if you upgrade to an air source heat pump:

  • £8 – £385 if upgrading from a gas boiler
  • £830 – £1,100 if upgrading from electric heaters
  • £15 – £455 if upgrading from an oil boiler
  • £50 – £460 if upgrading from an LPG boiler
  • £1,100 if upgrading from coal

(Source: Energy Saving Trust, figures based on July 2023 energy prices, figures based on average sized 3 bedroom UK property).

How does an air source heat pump work?

There are two main types of ASHP available: air-to-water and air-to-air.

Air-to-water air source heat pump

An air-to-water heat pump is the most common model in the UK and works by absorbing heat from the air outside before transferring the heat to water. This type of heating system distributes through your wet central heating system and works more efficiently at lower temperatures than a standard boiler system.

An air-to-water heat pump is particularly well-suited to underfloor heating, where it gives out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time. Air-to-water is also well suited to underfloor heating due to the large heat transfer surface area.

The installation cost for an air-to-water air source heat pump is around £6,000 - £11,000.

The supply cost of an air-to-water air source heat pump is anywhere between £5,000 - £9,000 .

Please note these costs do not include the cost of the underfloor heating. You can find out more about the costs of underfloor heating here.

Air-to-air air source heat pump

An air-to-air heat pump uses a fan system to absorb warm air from outside and circulate it around your home. This type of heating system doesn’t support water heating and isn’t eligible for the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

The cost for a professional to supply and install an air-to-air air source heat pump is usually in the region of £2,000 - £4,000.

Do air source heat pumps work in winter?

An ASHP will work in the winter months. As a general rule, heat pumps will operate down to -20 °C, but the efficiency of the unit will reduce in freezing conditions. This is because the unit will require more electricity to extract heat from the outside air.

If the ASHP doesn’t cover the home’s complete heating/hot water requirements over winter, please ask your tradesperson to advise backup options. The options are specific to each property but may include a top-up gas boiler, electric immersion heater, or electric boiler.

Air source heat pump location

The key requirement for the location of an air source heat pump is somewhere with good airflow. For example, a garden rather than an alleyway. You’ll also need it to be on flat ground and somewhere with good access around the unit for maintenance.

South-facing or direct sunlight is not a priority for the unit. Your installer should advise the best location when quoting.

There is a good range of ASHP covers/protective units on the market in various colours and materials. Ask your tradesperson about the suitability before purchasing one so as not to restrict airflow to the unit.

Useful air source heat pump checklist

  • Speak to a local air source heat pump expert for their professional advice and accurate quotes
  • The installation cost for an air to water ASHP is £6,000 - £11,000, but the new heat pump grant scheme may contribute up to £7,500 towards this
  • Shop around for fair and competitive prices for an air source heat pump
  • Always hire a tradesperson with proven experience and ideally a heat pump installer who is accredited to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

FAQs

Do I need to keep my old heaters and furnace after I install an air source heat pump?

It depends on the type you install.

An air-to-air heat pump will heat your home but not the hot water, so you’ll need a heat source for this.

An air-to-water heat pump should heat your home and water, but you may want a backup/top up for winter.

While an air source heat pump provides energy-efficient heat, it might not be sufficient by itself when the temperatures drop. That is why you might need to have a backup for the colder days.

How long does the air source heat pump take to install?

On average, it takes 3 days to install. A ductless system can be installed in 1 day.

What is a ductless system?

This is a system that does not require air pipes. These use devices similar to bathroom wall fans to blow air.

How long will an air source heat pump last?

If you maintain it properly, your heat pump could last 15 to 20 years.

How can I get the best out of my air source heat pump?

Your house should be well insulated, this will make sure you get the best out of your pump.

If new insulation is something you need to consider, check out the cost of cavity wall insulation.

Will an air source heat pump affect my property’s value?

An air source heat pump unit should be considered a functional piece of the home’s heating/hot water system. So just as maybe 10 years ago, if a property had a brand new gas combi boiler installed, that would appeal to buyers of a property as something that didn’t need upgrading for the next 10-20 years.

What is a Solar Assisted Heat Pump? (SAHP)

An SAHP system works by absorbing atmospheric heat via an external source. The heat it collects turns into energy used for hot water. It does this by evaporating the heat in the air along with any solar radiation from the sun. They’re great for reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills. Also, unlike other solar hot water systems, they give you hot water regardless of whether the sun is out.

How do I maintain a SAHP unit?

Solar Assisted Heat Pumps are maintained in the same way as Heat Pumps and Solar PV systems. They require little upkeep and only need cleaning every few months. However, the heat pump element does need a regularly scheduled service to keep it in good working order. It’s also worth making sure the pumps aren’t overshadowed by any trees to maximise sunlight absorption. If maintained properly, SAHP systems last up to 20 years.

Are SAHP’s easy to install?

Although they’re not common in the UK homeowner market, Solar Assisted Heat Pumps are a great renewable energy source. They’re worth considering alongside Heat Pumps and Solar PV systems to meet your home’s energy demands. They take around a day to install and can be put almost anywhere, as long as the maximum pipe length between the body of the unit and the extra evaporator is no longer than 15 metres.

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Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

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What others think of this article:

Checkatrade

Hi Charan, I recommend contacting a tradesperson to get more information. You can do this by filling in our request a quote form.

Charan

I am interested in installing one via the govt grant

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