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Air source heat pump cost. Everything you need to know.
As we move towards cleaner, greener and more sustainable energy solutions, air source heat pumps have become a popular choice for keeping homes warm all year round. Not only are heat pumps a much cleaner source of energy for heating than gas or oil, but they are highly cost-effective too. The upfront air source heat pump cost can be a great investment for many properties.
Air source heat pumps can help you save on heating bills and generate highly efficient heating from clean energy. Furthermore, an air source heat pump may qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme from the UK government, which financially supports customers who switch onto renewable energy sources.
Here we examine the upfront air source heat pump cost, the long-term benefits, and all the pros and cons to consider.
An air source heat pump warms your home with heat extracted from a cooler place – the air outside of your house. Instead of generating heat, it brings the existing heat in the sun into your home. Many people compare air source heat pumps with refrigerators because they work in reverse ways and create opposite effects.
The appearance of air source heat pumps may confuse some customers since they look similar to air-conditioning units. The perfect size of the pump depends on your house’s dimensions as the larger your property is, the bigger the air source heat pump should be to provide enough heat.
This heating system is said to be more economical compared to other expensive systems, such as gas boilers, electric storage heaters. The initial air source heat pump cost can vary depending on many factors but, if the property is suitable with the correct insulation to ensure maximum efficiency, air source heat pumps can be a good long-term investment. In general, a heat pump can produce more heat energy than the electrical energy they need to operate. Once you decide to install an air source heat pump system, you'll need to choose between at least two main types: air-to-water and air-to-air.
What is an air source heat pump?
How much does an air source heat pump cost?
An air source heat pump costs between £9,000 and £11,000 on average. When calculating the total cost, you should take into account the upfront investment and the running cost.
Air source heat pump cost
To buy an air source heat pump, you may need to invest more than buying a new gas or oil-fired heating system, however the lower running cost saves on heating bills over the longer term. Different elements, such as pump brands, heat outputs and the size of your property, can affect the cost of the heat pump. Averagely, a standard air source heat pump would cost you from £4,000 to 8,000.
An air source heat pump installation would cost you £1,000 to 2,000. However, there are further factors you need to consider.
Do you need new underfloor heating or an air distribution system?
Since an air source heat pump may not work well at a property with poor insulation, do you need to improve your insulation first to get the maximum benefit?
Air source heat pump running costs
The long-term savings on energy use can compensate the upfront air source heat pump cost. For the long term, it’s a good way to save money on energy bills.
Let’s make a comparison between a modern gas boiler, an electric heater and an air source heat pump. While the efficiency rate of the first and second once are respectively 90% and 100%, the same rate of an air source heat pump can be three or four times higher.
The exact running cost depends on each household. It’s a good idea to speak with an expert who can help you calculate and find the right number based on the energy consumption of your family.
You can use the free Air Source Heat Pump Cost Tool to get a quote from a local installer. You'll also be able to speak to an expert to see if a heat pump is the best solution for you.
Are air source heat pumps worth it?
If you are planning to install an air source heat pump in your home, don’t forget to consider some features of the heating system that can affect your house appearance and your daily habits.
You need enough space for an external condenser unit, which can also affect the appearance of your home.
Your family may need to get used to the sound because of the condenser. The solution to reducing the sound is using sound insulation for heat pumps.
Air source heat pumps are good at maintaining heat for a long period of time rather than quickly providing heat. Furthermore, in extremely cold weather, air source heat pumps may not be enough to keep you warm if your home is not well insulated and has modern Double Glazing. Luckily, the UK is not known for severe winters.
As you can see, there are solutions for most of the drawbacks and the advantages of air source heating pumps are worth considering. The next step for potential customers will be estimating how much an air source heat pump would cost.
Air-to-water heat pumps
If your house has an air-to-water pump, the heat you consume is extracted from the outside air and transferred to the wet central heating system. This type of air source heat pump can generate hot water and heat for other activities in the house.
Compared to heat generated by gas or oil boilers, heat from air-to-water pumps is cooler. Therefore, this type of air source heat pump requires a large surface area to release the heat and function effectively. The ideal houses for air-to-water heat pumps are the ones that have large radiators or water underfloor heating.
If you are planning to renovate or extend your home, consider incorporating larger radiators or underfloor heating. The incorporation can be simpler, easier and cost less than retrofitting your current heating system.
Air-to-water heat pumps are the most popular option in the UK and can be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme of the government.
Air-to-air heat pumps
Currently a minority of the UK homes are using air-to-air heat pump systems. Taking heat from the outside air, they circulate the heat using fans. The special feature of air-to-air heat pumps is that they can work as air-conditioners in hot days by operating in reverse, providing your house with cool air.
Since air-to-air heat pumps do not produce hot water, you may need an additional heating system for your home. It’s important to remember that air-to-air heating pumps do not qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme.
We've got you covered with a panel of air source heat pump installers nationwide. All of our partners are vetted to ensure they meet the highest standards in the industry. Wherever you are in the U.K. we can connect you with a suitable local specialist to offer a tailored quotes and complete the work for you.
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What are the benefits of an air source heat pump?
Air source heat pumps are a modern, clean and energy-efficient heating system that can make your home more self sustainable and cost-effective to heat.
Air source heat pumps don’t require as much maintenance as gas and oil-fuelled boilers.
The amount of electricity they consume is less than the one of energy they can deliver.
The lifespan of this system is longer than the one of the traditional heating systems, between 15 – 25 years.
Air-to-water heat pumps qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which financially support people who switch to green energy. For instance, a typical home could receive approximately £7,000 after seven years of using an air source heat pump.
Using an air source heat pump is a brilliant way to save your family from any danger caused by fuel explosion since your heating system doesn’t need fuel to operate.
Friendly to the environment: Air source heat pumps can help you take care of not only your family but also your planet. They generate less CO2 compared to many other heating systems and can become zero carbon if your electricity comes from a renewable source.
Easy to install: Air source heat pump installation doesn’t require any digging like installing a ground source heat pump. It will surely make some changes to your daily schedule, but the most important is that you can still enjoy your beautiful garden.
Last but not least, you never have to sacrifice any of the advantages mentioned above even when the temperature falls to -20°C. That weather condition is not a challenge for air source heat pumps.
There are two main things you need to consider before installing an air source heat pump. The condenser unit needs to be located outdoors and requires space around to circulate air. Meanwhile, you also need enough space inside for a unit containing pumps and hot water. The good news is the indoor unit is usually smaller than a typical boiler.
The installation is simple and quick. For example, if you choose an air source heat pump over a ground source heat pump, you won’t need to dig your garden.
Overall, before deciding to install an air source heat pump, go through the following questions to make sure the air source heat pump is the best choice for your home:
Is your property well insulated? An air source heat pump may not function well in a poorly insulated place.
Do you have enough outside and inside space for the units?
Do you have an underfloor heating system? If you don’t, you might want to consider one. An underfloor heating system is the best companion of an air source heat pump.
It’s also important to comply with the regulations of the area you’re living. If you live in a listed building, the installation will change the appearance of the building. In that case, remember to request the consent from your local authority before beginning with the air source heat pump installation.
For your financial benefit, it’s a wise decision to speak with your home insurance to know if the insurance covers the changes to the heating system.
Are air source heat pumps efficient?
An air source heat pump can help protect the environment by reducing carbon footprint along with other technologies like Solar Panels. If you’re currently using a gas or oil boiler, the improvement can be significant making the upfront air source heat pump cost worthwhile.
The level of efficiency of air source heat pumps also depends on how you use your heating system over the long term. An air source heat pump needs more time to warm up your space and can maintain the heat for a long time. Thus, you should consult your installer about the best time to start and turn off the pump. Also, don’t forget to check your condenser unit positioned outdoors to remove leaves and insects stuck inside the unit.
Last but not least, every two or three years, you should contact the maintenance service to ensure your heat pump is still working well.
How does an air source heat pump work?
Your home can remain warm and cosy all year round because your air source heat pump works well even when the outside temperature drops to -20°C.
An air source heat pump operates through three steps:
Evaporation: The air source heat pump circulates the outside air through tubes filled with a refrigerant. The refrigerant becomes warmer and turns from a liquid into a gas.
Compression: The gas passes through the compressor of the heat pump, which increases pressure and heat for the gas.
Condensation: At the last step, the hot gas passes through a heat exchanger surrounded by cool air or water, releasing its stored heat into that. The heat is then circulated around your house and used in different activities.
The refrigerant condenses and cools down, starting a new heating cycle.
Can I replace a boiler with an air source heat pump?
Yes, you can. Many houses in the UK are using boilers and will need to upgrade to a renewable energy option for heating. An air source heat pump is a modern and energy-effective option, but there are some things to consider when replacing a boiler with an air source heat pump since the latter produces a less instant burst of heat but maintains heat for a long period of time.
A solution you could also consider is a hybrid air source heat pump system. An air source heat pump may not be the main system for small homes with insufficient insulation. However, it can be the partner of an existing heating system and boiler.
In a hybrid heating system like that, an air source heat pump plays the role of a “base load” while the boiler works only when hotter water is needed.
Our Expert Says
"The initial Air Source Heat Pump cost can be a great investment that saves money in the long-term whilst adding value to a home. It's always a good idea to compare quotes and prices from at least three local installers"
Do air source heat pumps work with radiators?
The answer is “Yes”, but you may need to upgrade your radiators. Having radiators means that you’re currently using a gas-fired heating system. When you switch to the new air source heat pump, you will need bigger radiators for the new system.
What's the best air source heat pump in the UK?
The best air source heat pump for all the houses in the UK doesn’t exist but you can find the perfect one for your home.
According to the condition of your house, your energy usage, the room temperature you want for your place and, of course, your budget, an expert can help you find the best air source heat pump.
We recommend using the free Green Energy Compare comparison tools to get options, prices and free expert advice.
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