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Air Source Heat Pump: Prices and Running Costs

How much does an air source heat pump cost? On average, the total cost of installing an air source heat pump falls between £9,000 and £11,000, but this is not the full story. It is also important to take day to day running costs, potential savings, and possible earnings via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

Here we take a look at all the costs involved when having an air source heat pump installed to help you find out if it's right for your home.

How much does an air source heat pump cost?

When you consider the average price of the air source heat pumps on the market and the cost of installation, investing in an air source heat pump can cost between £9,000-£11,000.

The air source heat pump price you pay will vary depending on the manufacturer, model and its size. In addition to the air source heat pump itself, you may also need a new heat distribution system (larger radiators or underfloor heating), a hot water cylinder and the necessary pipes. Larger radiators or underfloor heating are needed as heat pumps heat water to a lower temperature than a boiler, so a larger surface is needed to deliver the sufficient heat.

Part of the Heating System Potential Cost
Air source heat pump £4,000 – £9,000
Underfloor heating £75 – £100 per metre
New radiators £65 – £300 per radiator
Hot water cylinder £450 – £1,000

Note: In order to encourage more homeowners to switch to a renewable heating system, the government has launched the Green Homes Grants scheme. Until 31st March 2021, you can receive up to £5,000 (£10,000 for low income households) towards the installation of an air source heat pump.

Comparing air source heat pump prices

Air source heat pump costs can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and model. Typically, the most affordable are manufactured by Worcester Bosch with prices from £4,500.

Manufacturer Model Potential Price
Daikin Altherma 3 £6,000 – £8,000
Nibe F2040 £6,000 – £8,500
Samsung EHS Mono £1,750 – £4,000
Vaillant aroTHERM £3,000 – £7,000
Viessmann Vitocal 200-A £5,500 – £9,000
Grant Aerona³ £4,000 – £7,000
Mitsubishi Ecodan QUHZ £4,000 – £6,000
LG THERMA V R32 £4,000 – £6,000
Hitachi Yutaki S802 £4,000 – £6,000

The prices in the table above are estimates and don't include the cost of installation, which will vary depending on who carries out the work. We highly recommend getting quotes from at least 3 different installers to give you the greatest chance of finding the best deal for your home.

Find out which heat pump you should install in Which are the Best Air Source Heat Pumps?

How much does heat pump installation cost?

The installation of a air source heat pump will vary greatly depending on the complexity of the installation.

As an air source heat pump is a significant investment, you'll want to know that you're getting the most competitive price possible. And to do that, we highly recommend comparing multiple quotes.

By comparing air source heat pump installation quotes from at least 3 installers, you can be confident that you're not being overcharged. Getting multiple quotes is easier than you might think too.

Simply complete our online form today, letting us know a few details about the work you'd like completing – and we'll match you with installers in your area who are qualified to install air source heat pumps. Up to 3 installers will be in touch to prove free no-obligation quotes which you can then compare and decide how to proceed.

How efficient are air source heat pumps?

Air source heat pumps deliver a high level of energy efficiency which is referred to as the Coefficient of Performance (CoP). The CoP is the amount of heat generated for every kilowatt of electricity used. The higher the COP, the better, because it means you are using less electricity to generate heat for your home. Air source heat pumps receive two different efficiency ratings: a Coefficient of Performance (COP) and Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF).

The COP, otherwise known as the Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP), is a measurement of how much heat the heat pump delivers for each unit of electricity used to power it.

Typically, an air source heat pump will convert each kilowatt (kW) of electricity into 3-4 kW of heat. This equates to an efficiency of 300% to 400% – far higher than 93% achieved by modern condensing boilers, which perform at efficiencies in the region of 94%.

SPF is a measurement of the heat pump's efficiency over the course of a year. It's worked out by dividing the total heat output per annum by the annual electricity consumption.

To be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), your air source heat pump must have an SPF value of at least 2.5.

What are the running costs of air source heat pumps?

An air source heat pump runs on a small amount of electricity, and it is true that electricity is one of the most expensive fuels at 14.4p/kWh, particularly in comparison to gas which costs 4.17p/kWh.

However, as heat pumps can convert a unit of electrical energy into 2-4 times as much heat energy, each thermal kWh of heat produced by a heat pump with a CoP of 4 will cost approximately 3.6p/kWh.

The average UK home demands 12,000 kWh of heat each year. For every 1 kWh of electricity it uses, an air source heat pump can produce 3kWh of heat, meaning that the heat pump will use 4,000 kWh of electricity to produce 12,000 kWh for the average home. The average cost of electricity is approximately 14p/kWh, resulting in annual heating costs of £560.

The average UK home needs 12,000 kWh of heat, which an air source heat pump can provide for around £560 per year.

Depending on the heating system being replaced, it's highly likely that air source heat pump running costs will be lower. An air source heat pump heats your home using a free renewable source of energy, i.e. latent heat in the air. To extract that heat, the heat pump needs to be powered by electricity.

It is important to note that pump running costs can increase if they're working to heat a property that isn't well insulated. Heat pumps produce heat to a lower temperature than boilers which makes sufficient insulation vitally important.

Working out the potential running costs of an air source heat pump depends on a number of factors:

  • Efficiency rating of the heat pump
  • Temperature of the air outside
  • Level of demand for central heating
  • Whether the heat pump will be providing domestic hot water
  • How well insulated your property is
  • The heat distribution (underfloor heating can be more efficient than conventionally-sized radiators)

In addition to the above, it's important that the heat pump is used efficiently too. Like boilers, heat pumps have heating controls and setting the temperature lower will inevitably save you money. Your installer should take you through how to best use the heating controls on at the time of installation.

To lower the running costs, you could generate your own renewable energy using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar PV panels convert solar energy into free and clean electricity which can be used to power an air source heat pump for free.

Interested in generating your own renewable solar energy? Visit our sister website Solar Guide for free installation quotes.

Earn money with the Renewable Heat Incentive

As a reward for heating your home for a heat pump, you could receive payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive. RHI payments are made quarterly over a 7 year period. The amount you'll receive will depend on how much energy your heat pump produces.

Tariffs are evaluated by Ofgem each quarter. With the table below showing the rate for applications submitted between 1 July 2020 and 30 September 2020.

Renewable Heating System Tariff (p/kWh)
Ground Source Heat Pump 21.16
Air source heat pump 10.85
Biomass boiler 6.97
Solar thermal 21.36

The amount of heat produced by your heat pump will be estimated based on the demand for central heating, using an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and the efficiency of the unit.

The table below shows the potential quarterly, annual and 7 year earnings through the RHI for properties with a low, average and high demand for heating.

Annual Demand for Space Heating (kWh) Annual RHI Payments (Estimated) RHI Payments over 7 Years (Estimated)
5,000 £542.50 £3,797.50
12,000 £1,302.00 £9,114.00
30,000 £3,255.00 £24,721.73

Calculated using an RHI tariff of 10.85 p/kWh

Depending on your property's demand for central heating and the efficiency of the heat pump, you could potentially earn approximately £4,000-£24,000 in RHI payments over 7 years. So, without even factoring in the savings being made on heating bills, RHI payments alone could cover the cost of an air source heat pump.

Note: RHI payments are capped at 30,000 kWh so you won't receive additional payments if your system is generating more than this.

Get quotes for an air source heat pump

To keep air source heat pump installation costs to a minimum, we highly recommend comparing quotes from at least 3 different installers. Rather than you going in search of 3 installers yourself we connect you with heat pump installers based near you.

All you have to do is complete our online form and you'll soon be contacted by up to 3 heat pump installers. Each will provide a free no-obligation quote which you can then compare and move ahead with the installation confident that you're getting the most competitive price possible.

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About the author


Adam is our resident home heating expert. His experience and advice has helped millions of customers improve the efficiency of their homes and save money.

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