Costs and Benefits of an Air Source Heat Pump Installation

28 February 2024

Heat Pumps

Air source heat pump installation is among the easiest and most accessible solutions for homeowners and landlords looking to replace expensive, inefficient and costly gas central heating systems. They provide excellent energy efficiency and sustainability, utilising the ambient energy within the air to deliver heating and hot water.

One of the questions we’re often asked is around pricing – and how long it might reasonably take for a new air source heat pump to pay for itself, in reduced energy bills and other returns or savings.

Let’s talk about the advantages of an air source heat pump, some of the many factors that will influence your installation cost, and, realistically, what you might expect to save each year and into the future.

The Pros and Cons of Air Source Heat Pump Installation

Air source heat pumps offer a range of compelling benefits, not least reducing the carbon footprint of your home and ensuring your property is sustainably powered, with minimal reliance on the national grid or fossil fuels. Changing attitudes mean eco-friendly properties are in high demand from buyers and investors looking for rental assets that comply with fast-evolving regulatory standards.

Other positive aspects of fitting an air source heat pump include:

  • Safer home heating, with no exposure to possible gas leaks – a factor that may be particularly relevant for properties with old piping that could need replacing.
  • On-demand heating and hot water, with a heat pump system that, when fitted with a hot water cylinder, can provide continual heated water to meet the requirements of your household.
  • Reduced installation costs with grant funding of up to £7,500 available through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme – the grants available for air source heat pumps were increased in October 2023.
  • Minimal maintenance or ongoing costs. Heat pumps use very little electricity to power the components and otherwise work efficiently and autonomously.

There are no particular downsides, but it’s always worth consulting a renewable energy expert who can advise on the right placement of your unit and the size of heat pump you require. Most issues with heat pumps are due to the pump being too large or too small for the home or the number of occupants.

It’s also important to ensure your air source heat pump is fitted in an area with sufficient natural air circulation and where the low-level noise produced won’t cause a disturbance – such as directly outside a bedroom window.

Variables That Impact the Cost of an Air Source Heat Pump Installation

Like any heating unit or appliance, the cost of an air source heat pump may differ considerably depending on your home, heating requirements and the internal heating infrastructure you have – such as underfloor heating, radiators and a water storage tank.

The factors that tie into the total installation cost may include:

  • Property size: the larger your home and the higher your desired temperature, or the more people who live in your residence, the larger your air source heat pump will need to be to keep pace with demand.
  • Insulation: homes with poor insulation or outdated glazing may require preparatory work to ensure the heat pump won’t be stretched, working at maximum capacity at all times – which may mean it needs replacing sooner than necessary.
  • Pump brand: there are numerous brands, manufacturers and styles of air source heat pump units, and your preferences may affect your overall budget.

Super-efficient air source heat pumps cost a little more. Still, they may justify the additional expense if you want optimal reliability and a heating solution that easily maintains a constant internal temperature.

However, if you’re planning to apply for grant funding, please note that the scheme supports installations with a maximum capacity – a pump that operates to 45 kWth (kilowatt thermal capacity) or above will not be eligible.

Long-Term Returns on Renewable Home Heating Systems

While the primary reason eco-friendly heat pumps provide cost reductions is that they utilise ambient heat from the air – massively cutting back on reliance on electricity and eliminating any gas supply usage – they may also provide hidden advantages.

For example:

  • Properties with advanced, sustainable heating systems that cost very little to run may be easier to sell and command a price premium in return for the efficiency these homes offer compared to similar properties fitted with a gas boiler.
  • Carrying out other heat retention projects such as installing double or triple glazing, improving your insulation or fitting underfloor heating can maximise the efficiency of your heat pump – meaning you require very little electricity to power the pump itself without any heat generated escaping the building.
  • Homes with great insulation and modern heat retention improvements also attract higher prices on the property market, where buyers prioritise homes that require no ongoing maintenance or that will conform to energy assessment thresholds for landlords.

If you have a gas boiler that was fitted several years ago or that is reaching a point where it would require replacing, your cost savings when switching to a heat pump may be greater.

While a comparably sized boiler and air source heat pump will cost a similar amount, grant funding can subsidise a heat pump purchase as part of government initiatives to encourage more households to transition to clean, green energy.

How Long Do Utility Bill Savings Take to Repay the Cost of an Air Source Heat Pump?

The savings you stand to make will naturally increase year-on-year as your heating bills remain lower and as your air source heat pump gradually ‘returns’ the amount you’ve paid for your installation.

For example, an air source heat pump that originally cost £5,000 might save you as much as £385 per year in utility charges if you are upgrading from a conventional gas boiler. That would mean that within 12 years, your heat pump would have saved more than the initial cost – ignoring other significant cost savings such as annual servicing for a gas boiler and potentially a replacement boiler if your heating system was reaching the end of its life.

If you were eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, some or all of that cost may have been covered – providing an immediate return on the costs of heating your property and delivering on-demand hot water.

The larger your property and the higher your heating demands, the faster you might see your savings exceed the cost of your heat pump. Likewise, replacing an electric heating system can save up to £1,100 per year, according to figures from the Energy Saving Trust. In that case, a larger air source heat pump costing, say, £7,000 would return overall cost savings in as little as six years – and far sooner if you access grant funding.

For more information about the benefits of an air source heat pump, what the unit required for your property might cost, and how soon you’d see a significant decrease in your monthly expenses, please get in touch with the Gas Worx team at any time.

Gas Worx reviews on Trustpilot...

Gas Worx reviews on Trustpilot...

Trustpilot logo

We have had so many satisfied customers, some have been kind enough to leave a review.

Request a callback

Please complete our quick enquiry form to receive a callback, email or home heating consultation booking directly from the Gas Worx team. We never use your details for any purpose other than to respond to your query or booking request, and we keep all confidential information 100% secure.

Let us know if there is a particular heating solution you are interested in, or schedule a call at a good time for a discussion with one of our renewable and energy-efficient heating experts to explore all the options.