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Last updated: 09 June 2021

Air Source Heat Pump Cost - 2021 Guide

How Much Does an Air Source Heat Pump Cost?

An air source heat pump is a low carbon and effective alternative for space and water heating in your home. The UK Government has created schemes aimed at fostering the use of low carbon heating technologies by homeowners, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for heat pumps. The owners of dwellings equipped with air source heat pumps have the possibility of benefiting from this scheme.

For a UK’s average dwelling, these are the costs and incentives of installing and using an air source heat pump:

  • Installation cost: £8,000-18,000
  • Annual running cost: £450- 960
  • Annual RHI grant: £874-1,856

The values above are based on a specific case. If you want to know how we got them, as well as more in-depth information about air source heat pump costs, read the paragraphs below.

Air Source Heat Pump Cost & Savings

If you are already considering the installation of an air source heat pump, GreenMatch provides you with a free-of-charge and with no obligation service that allows you to request quotes and compare different heat pumps, so that you can find the most suitable one. Just fill in the form on the right to request offers.

What Are the Benefits of an ASHP?

Is installing an air source heat pump really worth it? Domestic air source heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular and affordable for UK homes. The government has also been stressing on moving toward low carbon technologies to build a better future and achieve Net Zero targets.

Take a look at the following list of benefits of air source heat pumps when compared to more conventional domestic heating systems in the UK, such as gas, oil, coal, or electric boilers:

Advantages of an ASHP:

  • Minimal maintenance is required when compared to cobustion systems
  • Works as a cooling mode in summers, eliminating the need for an additional air conditioner
  • Homeowners can get incentivised through grants like RHI
  • Uses a small amount of electricity input and has a high Coefficient of performance (COP)
  • Works even a low temperatures like -20°C in the cold winter months

Other important benefits of air source heat pumps are that there’s no fuel usage required in their operation, so they’re a safer option than gas and oil boilers and have lower carbon emissions, and have a lifespan of 20 years.

Air Source Heat Pump Prices (Complete Breakdown)

With the purpose of better illustrating the economic benefits of air source heat pumps for the domestic sector, a specific case has being designed. Based on the heating needs of an average UK home, we’ve calculated the different costs that the installation and use of an air source heat pump would imply. The costs have been divided into:

Cost Breakdown

The first step regarding the computation of the costs of an air source heat pump is defining the energy needs of the building, in this case, a medium-size UK home with 2 - 3 bedrooms. There are many factors that influence those energy needs, space and water heating needs, in particular. 

What Is the Installation Cost?

When calculating the costs of buying an air source heat pump equipment and installing it in the dwelling, it’s a common practice to combine them into a more general cost: the air source heat pump installation cost. According to the features of the dwelling, the air source heat pump cost has an approximate value of £8,000-18,000. The exact price would be dependent on various factors such as the size of the heat pump, type such as air to water heat pump or air to air heat pump, size of the property, and annual energy consumption.

Installation cost (air source heat pump + installation): £8,000-18,000

The installation cost includes, as stated above, the purchase of the heating system and its installation in the dwelling. The first of these expenses depends on the manufacturer. In the UK’s air source heat pump market, there’s a varied range of manufacturers/ suppliers, from Japanese and Korean big conglomerates to European companies. 

When it comes to the installation, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) developed a set of standards for installers based on international and European ones. The possession of the MCS by an air source heat pump installer guarantees a higher quality of installation to customers. Many of the installers of air source heat pumps in the UK are accredited by one or more of the manufacturers as official installers of their products.

House Heating

What Is the Running Cost?

The running costs depend on the performance of your air source heat pump.

From a financial point of view, what makes air source heat pumps very appealing, aside from the RHI scheme, is the considerable running savings they produced when replacing any conventional space and water heating technology, and even many relatively new ones. These low running costs are a consequence of the high efficiency of air source heat pumps. Unlike most energy systems, heat pumps have an efficiency rate higher than 100%.

When working in heating mode, that efficiency rate is called Coefficient of Performance (COP), with typical values between 2.5-3.5 for air source heat pumps. In cooling mode, the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) normally varies between 12 to 15. If we take the heating mode, for example, 1 kW of electricity consumed by the air source heat pump could generate 3 kW of space heat.

For our specific case study, the fulfillment of the space and heating needs of the average dwelling would result in a cost of £450-960 per year. A medium size UK home with 2-3 bedrooms could have an annual running cost of £680.

Annual running cost: £450-960

The running costs of heat pumps have been calculated based on the following data and assumptions:

ASHP Running Cost Calculator
Factors Calculations Based On
Electricity Price 17.4p per kWh
Average COP of an ASHP 3
Heat Demand of a Medium UK home 12000 kWh
Electricity Input Required 12000/3= 4000 kWh
Annual Running Cost of ASHP 4000*0.17 = £680

What Is the Maintenance Cost

The best part about air source heat pumps is that they require very little maintenance and when you install a good quality heat pump, you can easily expect it to last for 20-30 years. This is already a plus for many UK homeowners who are looking to move towards low carbon heating solutions.

According to data from different manufacturers, a typical servicing of an air source heat pump could cost you between £150-200. They are a low maintenance heating technology when compared to the traditional gas or oil fuelled boilers, giving them an edge in this aspect. 

Maintenance cost (air source heat pump servicing): £150-200

Apart from regular servicing, there are other ways you can maintain your heat pumps for keeping them working efficiently. There is a chance that air source heat pumps can get iced over during extremely cold winter months.

This may prevent the heat pump from working at optimal efficiency. If this happens, you should make sure to turn on the defrost setting which usually comes with heat pumps to melt the ice. In case of further complications, you can check with your manufacturer.

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How Much Can You Save with an ASHP?

Although the installation price could be quite high, it is estimated that an air heat pump can save an average of £350 a year if switching from a gas heating system or even £700 a year if it replaces an electric system.

This environmentally friendly solution will save homeowners a significant amount of money on their standard heating bills. Further savings are assured if the system qualifies to receive benefits from the UK’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Air source heat pumps cost depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your home, how well insulated it is and what room temperatures you are aiming to achieve. The savings made by switching to an air source heat pump will depend on your current system, as well as what you are replacing it with. Your savings will be affected by:

  • Heating system: if you have the opportunity to decide on a particular system, opt for underfloor heating since it can be more efficient than standard radiators. If underfloor heating is not possible, use the largest radiators you can find.
  • Fuel costs: although a heat pump requires air for power generation, electricity is still needed to power the heat pump. The amount of savings will vary depending on the fuel you are replacing.
  • Current heating system: if your current heating system is inefficient, you are more likely to see reduced running costs with a newly installed air source heat pump.
  • Controls: learn how to adjust the heating in order to get the most out of your heat pump. You will need to have your heating running for longer hours but adjusting your thermostat to a lower temperature may still provide the same comfort.

Savings for England, Scotland, and Wales:

Heat Pump Savings for England

Air Source Heat Pump Grants in the UK

RHI

Households equipped with an air source heat pump may be eligible to receive the Renewable Heat Incentive, a UK Government grant aimed at encouraging not only householders but also businesses and communities to use renewable heat technologies.

If the requirements for eligibility were met, quarterly payments would be received over a period of 7 years. The amount of these payments depends on a number of factors. In the example, the features of the house and the technology employed allow for a grant of £875-1,860 from the Government every year for 7 years.

Recent Changes to the RHI Scheme

On 1 April 2021, changes to the RHI scheme have come into force. Applicants who commissioned their eligible heating system on or after 1 March 2019 can now apply for accreditation to the RHI scheme.

Applications that have been unable to comply with the 12-month submission rule can now re-apply until the scheme ends on 31 March 2022.

Read more on ofgem site.

Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant scheme was launched in September 2020, in England. The grant enabled homeowners to get vouchers of up to £5000 and up to £10,000 for low-income households, in order to encourage them to opt for low carbon technologies and energy-efficient ways to heat up their homes.

The grant has been closed for new applications on 31 March 2021. The UK government is focussing on building a low carbon future for homes and businesses in the UK, and therefore we can expect further schemes and grants to incentivise people investing in renewable and low carbon technologies. 

Find the Best Air Source Heat Pump in Your Area

During the last decades, the energy market has been experiencing a rapid and constant increase in the demand for sustainable solutions. That has led to the proliferation of many green options and companies.

Among them, heat pumps constitute a well-established industry in Central and Northern Europe. Consequently, the state of the art of heat pump technology, and, particularly, air source heat pump technology, is considerably advanced.

If we add the effort by governments to make these systems more accessible for consumers, it’s easy to explain why installing an air source heat pump for space and water heating is a viable and even attractive alternative to conventional solutions.

It is essential that you choose the right installer to fit your heat pump, as a high-quality installer will help you throughout the process from making a purchase decision to providing good after-sales service through the course of installation and usage.

If you want to install an air source heat pump but are not sure how to proceed, GreenMatch is here to help. To get tailored offers, simply fill in the form and we will provide you with up to four quotes from suppliers in your area. This service is free and non-binding.

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