Summary: How much does an air source heat pump cost, air heat pump installation costs and average air heat pump prices.
Air source heat pumps are an efficient source of renewable energy and are used to extract heat from the air even when temperatures drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius outside.
They work by absorbing air into fluid and pumping it through a heat exchanger. The refrigeration system extracts low grade heat and passes it through a compressor where the temperature is increased so that it can be used to heat water or operate a central heating system.
Air source heat pumps need electricity to run as they are not self powered, but because they deliver heat at much lower temperatures for longer they are far more environmentally friendly and ultimately cost effective than regular gas or oil boilers.
There are two types of air source heat pump. Air to water systems distribute heat through your central heating. Radiators never get too hot, instead they give out heat all the time at lower levels to maintain temperatures rather than boosting it, as is the case with traditional boilers. This method is also particularly suitable for under floor heating systems.
Air to air systems generate warm air that is then delivered throughout your home by fans, but these do not provide hot water.
|Installation & parts |
*£5,000 grant as part of the boiler upgrade scheme could reduce the cost. VAT has been reduced to 0% for 5 years from 1st April 2022
Factors to consider
The first thing you need to consider when buying an air source heat pump is where you are going to put the unit outside. It has to be installed at ground level or on a wall with plenty of space around it. Somewhere sunny is perfect because when warmer air goes into the pump, it requires less processing.
If your home is already properly insulated, the pump will work better. When heat is produced at constant lower levels it is used more efficiently if there are no draughts from doors, windows and floors.
An air source heat pump can be installed to replace an old system but there is less disruption and cost involved if it is part of a new build. Combining several major building jobs cuts labour costs if your house is still under construction, so installing the heating system when other work is still in progress could be ideal instead of replacing the existing system once you have moved in.
Once fitted, the system is very low maintenance and should not need any long-term intervention apart from servicing the unit with your central heating.
Costs to consider
An air source heat pump is expensive to install but you have to weigh this up against how much money you could potentially save on your fuel bill. Typically, the costs involved for installing an air source heat pump system in a detached three bedroom house will be in the range of £6,000 to £10,000. Running costs will vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
Insulation is key to maintaining optimum running efficiency. Loft and cavity wall insulation are vital to get the most from an air source heat pump’s capabilities.
If your current central heating system is electricity based you are likely to see a significant reduction in running costs and your carbon footprint will be reduced as well. You still have to pay a fuel bill as the pump runs on electricity. The money you can potentially save is from the reduction in power needed by the pump to generate and distribute heat and hot water throughout your house.
The running costs of an air source heat pump also rely on the correct operation of the system. It does take some getting used to how they work and you may even find that you don’t need to set your thermostat as high with the new system, cutting costs even further. A thermostat temperature setting of between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius should be adequate to keep the heat constant and comfortable.
Learning how to use the controls of a central heating system run by an air source heat pump is essential as to how cost effective it can be. Your installation engineer will be able to offer advice on how to get the best from your new system and how to ensure that you operate it so that it can be as cost effective as possible.
If you think that you can recover the initial purchase and installation costs and save money over the expected lifetime of an air source heat pump, it’s a reasonably good eco friendly choice for producing your own renewable energy, but costs are dependent on individual circumstances.
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