A guide to air source heat pumps


If you’re looking for ways to lower your heating bills, an air-source heat pump could be the perfect solution. In addition to producing heat and lowering bills, air-source heat pumps also reduce your carbon footprint. This is our guide to air-source heat pumps. 

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump is an energy-efficient heat source that uses the energy from the outside air (your garden) or ground outside your property for both heating and hot water. Air source heat pumps can store hot water inside of a hot water cylinder, so it’s ready for when you need it.

By using the energy from the outside or the ground and transferring this heat into the house through a wet central heating system, such as underfloor heating or radiators, a heat pump is more efficient than conventional boilers as the output of energy is higher.

There are two types of heat pumps: monobloc and split systems. A monobloc system works by taking the cool air through one component, whereas a split system separates the components between indoor and outdoor units. 

Split systems can be more efficient, but both can make a difference to home heating systems. An installer can advise you on a monobloc or split system for your renewable heating system. 

How do heat pumps work? 

A heat pump is essentially a big fridge or freezer. If we look at your fridge or freezer in detail, it uses a refrigerant inside the pipework to suck the heat out of your food. The compressor or refrigerant pump moves the refrigerant around the system so that it can take all the heat and throw it away using a coil on the back of the fridge. 

For every 1 kWh of energy input, a heat pump can deliver up to more than 4 kWh in energy output. This is an energy efficiency ratio of more than 400%, which is far superior to high-energy-efficient boiler systems. 

Since conventional boiler systems can only reach an efficiency ratio of up to 95%, they consume more energy than they can ever deliver. A heat pump works much more efficiently than conventional heating systems.

What are the benefits of an air-source heat pump? 

Integrating a heat pump system to generate heat and hot water in the home is an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solution. The most noticeable advantage of the heat pump’s energy efficiency is a sizable reduction in carbon footprint and the potential for low energy bills.

The EU has defined heat pump systems as renewable energy products. Under this classification, end users can apply for government subsidies or tax refunds when installing renewable heat pump systems.

How much is a heat pump system?

Heat pump prices can vary depending on if you require a ground or air-source heat pump. These range between £12,000 – £40,000. This cost is dependent on location and requirements but covers system design and installation costs. 

On average, an air source heat pump will cost anywhere between £8,000 – £14,000, and for a ground source heat pump, it is anywhere between £18,000 – £30,000. The running cost of each heat pump will differ depending on these three factors: the household size, insulation and the quality of the heat pump installation

However, there are grants available to reduce the cost significantly. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government grant that will reduce the cost by £5000 – £6000. It provides an upfront capital grant to support the installation of heat pumps in home and non-domestic buildings across England and Wales. 

There is £450 million of grant funding available over three years from 2022 to 2025. You can easily find out if you are eligible for the renewable heat incentive.

Are heat pumps worth it? 

Installing an air source heat pump is a great idea, as it can help to save you money on your energy bills. Generally, the running costs of a heat pump will be slightly lower than another heating system. Take advantage of the government schemes available to help lower your home’s carbon emissions and become more environmentally friendly. 

We hope that our guide to air source heat pumps has been useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, our friendly team are happy to help with air-source heat pumps and ground-source heat pumps. 

Author: Tom