If your home is well insulated and you are looking to make even more energy savings, then switching to air source heat pumps could be an effective option.
Air source heat pumps are ideal for homes with no mains gas available (because the installation costs alone are high), or if you want to replace electric central heating, such as night storage heaters.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how much air source heat pumps cost, what affects the cost of air source heat pump, how to save money on an air source heat pump, how to know if a heat pump can save you money and reduce your energy bills, how to know if a heat pump is the right choice for your home and how to find and hire someone to install a heat pump.
If you would like to find out whether air pumps are the right choice for you and your home, keep reading to find out.
How Much Do Air Source Heat Pumps Cost?
We’ve collected some prices below to help you compare the costs of different types of heat pumps. All prices include VAT, but exclude the cost of any hot water cylinders.
|HEAT PUMP BRAND AND OUTPUT||ESTIMATED SUPPLY COST||ESTIMATED INSTALLATION COST||TIME REQUIRED||TOTAL ESTIMATED COST|
|Samsung G6 (5kW to 16kW)||£2,450 to £4,300||£3,000 to £10,000||2 to 5 days||£5,450 to £14,300|
|Mitsubishi Ecodan (5kW to 14kW)||£2,600 to £6,100||£3,000 to £10,000||2 to 5 days||£5,600 to £16,100|
|NIBE (8kW to 17kW)||£3,350 to £8,820||£3,000 to £10,000||2 to 5 days||£6,350 to £18,820|
|Vaillant AroTHERM (5kW to 12kW)||£3,360 to £5,400||£3,000 to £10,000||2 to 5 days||£6,360 to £15,400|
|Daikin Altherma Low Temperature Heat Pump (11kW to 14kW)||£5,000 to £6,800||£3,000 to £10,000||2 to 5 days||£8,000 to £16,800|
The estimated supply cost for the Samsung G6 (5kW to 16kW) heat pump is between £2,450 to £4,300.
The Mitsubishi Ecodan (5kW to 14kW) is between £2,600 to £6,100, the lower being for power outputs nearer to 5kW, and the higher end of the price point being for outputs of 14kW.
Looking next at the NIBE (8kW to 17kW), your prices will range between £3,350 to £8,820.
To have the Vaillant AroTHERM (5kW to 12kW) brought in to heat your home, you can expect a supply cost of between £3,360 to £5,400, depending on your chosen output.
Finally, the Daikin Altherma Low-Temperature Heat Pump (11kW to 14kW) comes in at between £5,000 to £6,800.
On top of the costs for the actual heat pump, you will also need to take into consideration installation fees, too.
This will fall in the region of £3,000 to £10,000, depending on the complexity of the installation and the size of your team. It’s likely to take between two to five days for installation to be complete, so it’s good to bear that in mind if you’re wondering about how quickly you’ll start to feel the benefits of your new energy system.
Total Estimated Costs
Here are the total estimated costs, including supply cost and installation fees:
- Samsung G6 (5kW to 16kW) – £5,450 to £14,300Mitsubishi Ecodan (5kW to 14kW) – £5,600 to £16,100
- NIBE (8kW to 17kW) – £6,350 to £18,820
- Vaillant AroTHERM (5kW to 12kW) – £6,360 to £15,400
- Daikin Altherma Low-Temperature Heat Pump (11kW to 14kW) – £8,000 to £16,800.
What Affects the Cost of Installing an Air Source Heat Pump?
Several factors impact the cost of an air source heat pump, from size to output and environmental concerns. Let’s go through them to establish the areas you need to look out for if you want to keep your costs as low as possible.
The Size of Your Home
The size of your home concerns the overall plot, but also the number of rooms and how many bathrooms your property has.
How Much Heat You Need
The answer to this question lies in how much heat you use daily at home and it will be relative to the size of your home.
This includes not only the temperature of your house but also hot water for washing up, showering, doing the laundry or used to power your underfloor heating.
The amount of heat you need affects the strength of output you need in turn from your heat pump system, impacting the base cost of the product, but also the running costs.
If you’re unsure of the output you need, an accredited installer should always calculate the heat demand of your flat or home before providing a quote, and they should be willing to explain this calculation to you so you can feel confident you’re getting the right system for your needs.
Your Choice of Heat Pump
Also known as air-to-air heat pumps, air source heat pumps are semi-renewable systems because they extract the heat from the sun which is contained within the outside air.
Air source heat pumps work by taking the heat from the air and boosting it to a higher temperature using the hot air to heat water for central heating or underfloor heating systems.
The two types of air source heat pumps are:
- Air-to-water heat pumps – these heat water which is then pumped around the radiators in your home central system. The lower temperature of the water will also suit an underfloor heating system.
- Air-to-air heat pumps – the heat extracted from the outside air is used to heat air which is then pumped around the house in ducting. This type of heat pump cannot be used to heat water.
The air-to-water heat pump is the most popular type of heat pump because of its ability to heat water.
Air-to-air heat pumps are suitable for flats and properties without radiators or underfloor heating.
Adding a Hot Water Cylinder
Heat pumps are often sold with a cylinder as a bundle, but if you need to buy one separately you can expect to pay between £850 and £3,500 depending on brand and size.
If You Need to Replace Your Radiators
Sometimes it might be necessary to replace your radiators while you’re having an air source heat pump installed to ensure you have good heat distribution throughout your home.
New radiators cost between £170 and £370 depending on size and output, including installation. For full information on new radiators, check out our guide here.
Whether You Need to Improve Your Home’s Insulation
To help your heat pump run as efficiently as possible, it’s a good idea to draught-proof your home – you may also want to improve the insulation in your home to keep as much heat in as possible.
The cost of adding or upgrading your existing insulation varies according to the size of your house and the type of insulation you choose.
For example, the cost of insulating a loft in a terraced house starts at £170 for blanket insulation and rises to £1,720 for blown fibre insulation. For more detailed information on insulation, see our guide here.
If You Live on the Coast
Living on the coast comes with great benefits – but the salty and humid air can cause premature corrosion in air source heat pumps.
For this reason, some brands such as Mitsubishi’s Ecodan air-to-water heat pump, offer ‘coastal protection’ heat pumps. Mitsubishi’s model is coated with acrylic resin to protect the pump from the destructive effects of salt and humidity.
This adds an extra £350 to the cost of Mitsubishi’s heat pumps.
Controlling Your Heat Pump
Much like your boiler, you’ll need controls for your heat pump. This can add £500 to £800 to the total cost.
How Can I Save Money on An Air Source Heat Pump?
Now we know how air source heat pumps can become more expensive, let’s look into the ways you can keep the costs low.
Choose the Right Pump for You
It sounds simple, but by choosing the right pump size and output for your home, you can look to save the most money.
There is nothing to be gained from purchasing a pump that’s capable of a far bigger output than you need in your property – it’ll only cost more to instal and to buy, and won’t improve your heating efficacy.
Instead, the best thing to do is to get the right size and output for your home, ensuring you spend only what you need to on your heating system.
Make Use of Government Grants
If you own your own home or are a private or social landlord, you may be eligible to apply for the government’s grant of up to £5,000 under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
This gives you £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump. You must have a MCS registered installer apply for the grant on your behalf.
Can a Heat Pump Save Me Money and Reduce My Energy Bills?
To understand how heat pumps can save you money and reduce your energy bills, it’s best to look at figures from the Energy Savings Trust, which suggest that replacing your current heating system could potentially save you hundreds of pounds.
The below figures have been generated to reflect the potential savings for a 4-bed detached house.
|CURRENT HEATING SYSTEM||POTENTIAL SAVINGS FOR OLDER SYSTEMS (G-RATED)||POTENTIAL SAVINGS FOR NEWER SYSTEMS (A-RATED)|
|Gas Boiler||£560 to £650||£105 to £110|
|Oil Boiler||£930 to £1,100||£285 to £330|
|LPG Boiler||£1,365 to £1,610||£565 to £660|
If your home has a gas boiler currently, changing to an air source heat pump can save you between £560 to £650 if your current gas boiler is rated G; while you’ll be looking at savings of between £105 to £110 if you have an A-rated system.
For oil boilers, the savings for a G-rated system are between £930 to £1,100, and an A-rated system will save you between £285 to £330.
Finally, looking at an LPG boiler, if your system is currently rated G you can look to save £1,365 to £1,610, and an A-rated LPG boiler switching to an air source heat pump can reap you savings of between £565 to £660.
Is An Air Source Heat Pump the Right Choice for My Home?
A question you should actively seek the answer to before starting on your energy project is to simply find out if your home is suitable for an air source heat pump in the first place.
As a rule of thumb, before considering installing an air source heat pump, you should make your home as energy efficient as possible by insulating and sealing all gaps. These measures will reduce your home’s heating needs to a level that will suit an air source heat pump.
Here are a few ways in which you can see if your property matches the profile necessary:
- If your home is off the mains grid and you rely on electricity, LPG, oil or solid fuels (which are more expensive than gas), you will gain more from installing an air source heat pump
- If your home is well-insulated and retains heat well, it will benefit more from air source generated heat because the temperature is lower (think loft and cavity wall insulation)
- If you are planning on installing an underfloor heating system – or have one installed already – then air source heat pumps can generate the heat you need
Advantages of Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps are regarded as semi-renewable technology and offer several benefits:
- Their use reduces the amount of electricity you use, thereby reducing the CO2 you generate
- Air source heat pumps require little maintenance after installation
- They perform a dual role, heating in winter and can provide cooling in winter
- More efficient use of electricity than storage heaters
- Grants may be available to pay towards installation costs
Disadvantages of Air Source Heat Pumps
To help you make an informed decision, below are some of the disadvantages of air source heat pumps to be aware of:
- If you are switching from a gas central heating system you may not realise any savings, unless you are replacing a very aged system
- You will require space outside your home to install the heat pump, so it may not be suitable for every property
- The operating temperatures you can achieve are lower than with gas or electrical heating systems and so you will have to make adjustments
How Do I Find and Hire Someone to Install an Air Source Heat Pump?
Unlike other heating technologies, air source heat pumps require a level of expertise different to the traditional heating systems. A poorly installed heat pump will not heat your home properly, and you may take a very long time to recover your investment in energy savings.
It is up to you to ensure the installer you appoint is experienced and has a verifiable work history installing heat pumps.
One of the best ways to go in the first instance is to seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours. If they have had an air source heat pump installed recently, then it’s a good time to see if they’d recommend their traders to you.
It’s also a good idea to search the MCS register to help find you a certified installer to fit your heat pump to ensure no issues.
You can also use HouseholdQuotes to find a suitable fitter, which can help to save you up to 40% on your quote.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
The most important part of any job is obtaining a written quote to ensure you don’t get stung with any additional fees once the project is underway.
Part of the recruitment process will involve you seeking out your trader’s experience, seeing their references and any photographs or videos of their previous work to make sure their work lives up to their words or others’ recommendations.
All traders should be certified to fit air source heat pumps, as well as be carrying insurance to cover themselves and you in the event of any issues during the project. For peace of mind, it’s always best to check this out first before the project gets started.
If you think installing an air source heat pump is the change you want to make to your household heating, make sure to follow our final checklist to ensure everything is taken care of.
- First, make sure your home is suitable for an air source heat pump – there’s no use starting any work until you know this!
- Ensure your home is as well insulated as possible to make the most of the air pump
- Find out if you are eligible for any government grants to help with the cost of installation
- Understand what type and output is right for you and your home, based on the size of your property
- If you live on the coast, make sure to take into consideration the impact corrosion from the sea air can have on your equipment, and choose an air pump suited to those conditions
- Find a suitable trader using HouseholdQuotes to help you save up to 40% on your project fee
- Ensure to get a written quote first to help avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the job.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Air Source Heat Pumps Expensive To Run?
EDF Energy says that air source heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat your home and that the running costs are lower than you’d typically pay for your heating system.
To find out how much you could save by switching to this energy source, take a look at this calculator to determine your potential savings.
Does the Government Offer Grants for Air Source Heat Pumps?
There are government grants available for air source heat pump installations, making it all the more inviting to change.
If you live in England or Wales, you can potentially save money by asking your installer to claim a grant under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
Launched in April 2022, this scheme replaces the Renewable Heat Incentive. The scheme offers grants of up to £5,000 towards the cost of installing a ASHP, subject to certain conditions.
Note that you must use an MCS certified installer in order to apply.
Are Air Source Heat Pumps Cheaper Than Gas Boilers?
A critical factor that determines the payback period and the savings you’ll make by switching is the type of heating fuel you are replacing.
Replacing a gas boiler with a G energy rating will save you between £560 to £650 per year; while an A energy rated gas boiler will give you savings of between £105 to £110.
Further to this, the approximate annual savings you can expect from an air source heat pump installed in a four-bedroom detached house are as follows:
- Save between £350 and £560 per year if replacing an oil heating system
- Save nearly £1,900 per year if replacing an LPG fired heating system
- Save between £700 and £1,300 if replacing an electric night storage heating system
What’s the Cheapest and Most Efficient Heating System?
To fully understand the cheapest, most efficient heating system, we need to first understand the type of property in question. For example, mains gas may be cheaper on paper, but for an off-grid property, the ability to have that type of fuel for your home will be non-existent.
Take a look at our dedicated page on efficient heating systems to make an informed decision about your home, and the best heating systems for your situation.
Can I Replace My Gas Boiler With an Air Source Heat Pump?
It is possible, and recommended, that gas boilers are replaced with air source heat pumps – this is owing to their lower carbon emissions.
Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work in the Winter?
Heat pumps will continue to work in the winter, and while temperatures are above freezing, the pump will work effectively to produce all the heat your home needs.
To read more about how heat pumps work in the winter, take a look at this page from the Renewable Energy Hub.
Can Heat Pumps Heat a Whole House?
Heat pumps can heat a whole house – the effectiveness of this lies in you choosing the right energy output for your property size, taking into consideration your insulation levels, amount of floors, and ceiling heights. If you are unsure about this, your contractor will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work With Radiators?
Air source heat pumps do work with existing radiators in your home, but there is a chance that the radiators may need to be tweaked to ensure your system runs as effectively as possible.
This is all to do with heat output, which a heating engineer will be able to help you with if you’re unsure.