Air Source Heat Pump Cost

Air Source Heat Pump Cost

Written by  John Davies
Last updated: October 18, 2023

Air source heat pumps are an increasingly popular way to heat up homes. They work equally well as the primary source of heat in the home or as a supplement to existing heating systems. But how much does an air source heat pump cost?

Air Source Heat Pump Cost Breakdown

The system tends to cost more than its new gas or oil-fired central heating system equivalents. However, a sound heat pump system will more than make up for it by saving on energy bills. Keep in mind that because it does not generate energy independently, the air source heat pump produces more energy than it consumes electricity. Their overall efficiency can be three or four times higher than most other heating systems.

Product Cost

An air-source heat pump costs anywhere between £4,000-8,000 depending on the model and its output capacity. You may find yourself paying to improve the insulation of your home as well. Keep in mind that heat pumps are not particularly useful unless you have high-quality insulation.

However, the systems are made by a variety of different companies, and their pricing schemes vary considerably. For example, a Mitsubishi unit costs between £2000 and £5000 without installation. Meanwhile, Daikin and Samsung units typically cost about £1000 less.

The unit with the best reviews and reputation is the Nibe F2040. They are smart units integrated into your phone and immediately alerting you if anything goes wrong. They also have the best specs in terms of energy savings and cut the bills immediately and dramatically. However, these cost a good deal more than the competition, fetching £7000 without figuring in installation. 

Installation Cost

The installation of an air source heat pump costs £1,000-2,000. Therefore, the process will likely cost you £5,000-£10,000 at the end of the day.

However, if you install ground source heat pumps, the system will cost significantly more. The process requires installing pipes beneath the ground and may cost somewhere between £11,000 and £15,000. 

What Impacts the installation Cost Price

The main factors contractors will take into account when giving you a quote on Air Source Heat Pump system will include, but are not limited to:

  • The size of the home
  • The degree of insulation in the home
  • The pump size you require
  • The brand of the pump and unit
  • The pumps performance specs
  • Your desired room temperature

Aside from the installation itself, other factors will affect your financial outlay. The installation of an Air Source Heat Pump system often requires the overall upgrade of other elements in your home, such as the insulation and existing heating infrastructure.

For example, if your home heating is based on electrical storage heaters, you may need to install new pipes and radiators throughout your home. If your home has a central heating system, the overhaul will be less drastic. However, you may still want to upgrade to larger radiators and install underfloor heating. As a general rule of the thumb, the older your home and heating infrastructure are, the more expensive this system is to install.

It is often less expensive to install an Air Source Heat Pump system in a house that is being newly built than an existing one. This is especially relevant for ground source heat pumps, which require digging and are easier to put in with the foundations than later. Therefore, a good proportion of newly built homes are fitted for Air Source Heat Pump systems.

The size of your home and its layout will also have a significant impact on the price. The installation for a detached house is estimated at £8000 to £16000. Meanwhile, installation in a terraced unit or semi-detached house can cost £7000 to £10000. The process is most affordable in a flat and should run about £6000 to £8000.

How Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work?

Air Source Heat Pumps are kind of amazing. They take the air blowing outside, no matter how cold it may be, and transform it into hot air that is then transmitted around the home. In the process, they produce about three times as much energy as they consume. The secret is in its use of energy that already exists in the environment instead of creating its own.

External air is blown through a system of tubes.

The system fills the air with a refrigerant, which helps transform it from liquid to gas. The gas undergoes compression, which adds heat as it passes through a heat exchanger. The exchanger is surrounded by cool air, which turns warm and is then circulated around the home. In the meantime, the refrigerant returns to its cool liquid state and restarts the process, heating the entire property in the process.

There are two types of pumps. One is an air-to-water system, which relies on radiators or an underfloor heating system. In another variation, they can heat water through a storage tank. The second is the air-to-air systems, which typically use fans to circulate air. Many people prefer the first system since the second variety cannot be used to heat water.

The system uses electricity. However, it is still considered a renewable system. That is because the air running through the Air Source Heat Pumps is heated by the sun. Therefore, the system is environmentally friendly and recognized as such by the UK government for grant purposes.

Pros & Cons

Like any home heating system, Air Source Heat Pumps have advantages and disadvantages.

There are significant advantages the system has over most comparable systems:

  • It is a very efficient source of heat and hot water for most homes.
  • If you use an Air Source Heat Pump with a renewable tariff, it will have no carbon imprint whatsoever.
  • Saves on energy bills in the long term.
  • It participates in the Renewable Heat Incentive program, and therefore, installation costs are offset by payments.
  • The system is low-maintenance and typically lasts a long time without breaking down.
  • The better Air Source Heat Pump Systems will also cool your home in the summer.
  • The system is very safe as it does not introduce flammable or explosive materials. It is one of the safest heating systems out there.
  • The system does not require gas pipes to work. Therefore, it is probably the best heating system for homes that cannot or prefer not to link up to the gas system.

However, an Air Source Heat Pump system is not the right fit for every home. It has some significant downsides, including:

  • The temperature emitted is lower than most conventional boilers – therefore, it could require investment in larger radiators and improved insulation.
  • Need outdoor space and can be noisy.
  • Expensive to install and works best with a water tank.
  • Don’t work as efficiently in extremely cold weather. When the temperature outside is less than 0°C, it does not operate at total efficiency or capacity. At below -20°C, the unit will not work correctly.
  • Air Source Heat Pump systems require a good deal of space, comparable to a large air conditioner, which can be a problem for smaller flats and units. It can be particularly problematic if you have a small garden space which the equipment would curtail.
  • It is a reasonably noisy installation, and if you live in a quiet environment, the sound can be noticeable.

Can Air Source Heat Pumps Save You Money?

The short answer is yes. Energy bills with Air Source Heat Pumps will inevitably be significantly lower because you do not have to spend any money on generating heat within the system.

However, the exact amount of savings will vary from home to home, depending on size and insulation. However, users have reported saving anywhere over 25% on their heating bills and sometimes far more than water heating expenses.

If we take a typical 4-room house as an example and compare the bills from other heating sources to those associated with Air Source Heat Pumps, we get the following results:

  • If you are switching from an old gas boiler, you can save about £560–£650 annually
  • When switching from an old oil boiler, you may save about £930–£1,100 annually
  • If you switch from an old oil boiler, you can save about £1,365–£1,610 annually.

Remember that if you have a newer and more efficient version of any of these systems, you may be saving significantly less. However, an Air Source Heat Pump system is more efficient than any of these other systems, even at their highest level of performance.

Air Source Heat Pumps will also save you money on service and replacements compared to most equivalents. They are notoriously reliable and usually last well over 20 years when properly maintained. However, to ensure that it is operating at the highest performance level, it should be serviced and examined every few years.

One of the great things about the system is that you can perform a lot of the maintenance yourself, even if you are not DIY-minded. A lot of the attention the system requires is non-technical and straightforward. For example, you need to constantly make sure that a plentiful supply of air is available. You will have to check for leaves and rubbish and keep plants from growing near the unit. While a bit of a pain, all of this maintenance is free!

Are There Grants Available?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) grant covers Air Source Heat Pumps. To qualify, all you need is to conform to the following standards:

  • Generate heat from a renewable source (such as Air Source Heat Pumps).
  • Use your Air Source Heat Pumps system to serves a single household.

This initiative was launched by the government to reduce UK carbon emissions and hit its renewable energy targets. Some heat pump system owners are set to receive £1,300 per year annually according to current standards.

One of the best ways to use the RHI resources is by appropriating them to the upfront cost of installation. Many installers participate in the grant system and will help you reduce upfront costs by using it.

What is the Bottom Line?

We do not recommend using Air Source Heat Pumps as the primary heating source in older and less insulated homes. In those cases, it may struggle to keep the house as warm as you would like. Therefore, you may want to combine it as part of a hybrid system and integrate it with a conventional boiler in older and less energy-efficient homes.

Another issue is the performance of Air Source Heat Pumps in freezing climates. If you live in a particularly frigid area, you may find yourself struggling to keep the home appropriately warm. Fortunately, the average UK winter temperature is in range of the best performance levels of these units. However, they will struggle in really tough winters.

However, if your house is a modern and well-insulated home located in a temperate weather zone, an Air Source Heat Pump may be the right solution for you. It will save you a bundle of money, and you will be significantly contributing to a greener future by lowering your carbon footprint.

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