is an air source heat pump worth the cost?



Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are gaining popularity as a sustainable heating solution. They extract heat from the air and convert it into energy to heat your home and water. But are they worth the investment? This article explores the benefits, costs, and available grants for ASHPs in the UK to help you decide if they are a worthwhile investment for your home.

are air source heat pumps worth it

Boiler or Air Source Heat Pump

should you get a boiler or ASHP?


What are Air Source Heat Pumps?

Air source heat pumps are a renewable energy technology that can provide heating and cooling for your home. They work by absorbing heat from the outside air (even in cold weather) and transferring it indoors. The system consists of an outdoor unit that extracts the heat and an indoor unit that distributes it through your home. They are seen as having some advantages over a gas boiler:


  • Lower environmental impact
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • Improved building comfort
  • Enhanced lifespan of product

Why to choose an ASHP

benefits of air source heat pumps


Environmental Impact

One of the primary benefits of ASHPs is their positive environmental impact. They produce fewer carbon emissions compared to traditional gas or oil boilers. By switching to an ASHP, you can significantly reduce your home’s carbon footprint.


Energy Efficiency

ASHPs are highly efficient. For every unit of electricity they use, they can produce three to four units of heat. This efficiency can lead to lower energy bills, especially if you are replacing an older, less efficient heating system.


Year-Round Comfort

ASHPs can provide both heating and cooling, offering year-round comfort. During the winter, they can heat your home, and during the summer, they can act as an air conditioner.


Long Lifespan

With proper maintenance, ASHPs can last up to 20 years. This longevity can offset the initial installation costs over time.

Economic benefits

costs and savings


Installation Costs

The cost of installing an ASHP can vary, but it typically ranges from £7,000 to £14,000, depending on the size and complexity of the system. While this may seem high, the long-term savings on energy bills and the potential increase in property value can make it a worthwhile investment.


Running Costs

Running costs for ASHPs are generally lower than traditional heating systems, especially if you are switching from oil or electric heating. However, the savings will depend on various factors, including the size of your home, the efficiency of the system, and your current energy costs.


Maintenance Costs

Maintenance for ASHPs is relatively low, but it is essential to have the system serviced annually to ensure it operates efficiently. Regular maintenance can help prevent costly repairs and extend the system’s lifespan.

Other Reasons For Choosing An ASHP

government grants and incentives


Boiler Upgrade Scheme

In the UK, the government offers the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to encourage the adoption of renewable heating technologies, including ASHPs. Under this scheme, homeowners can receive a grant of up to £7,500 to help cover the cost of installing an ASHP.


Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you must meet specific criteria:

  • You must own your property (both homeowners and landlords are eligible).
  • Your property must meet minimum insulation requirements.
  • The ASHP system must be installed by a certified installer.


Application Process

Applying for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme involves several steps:


  1. Contact a Certified Installer: Find a certified installer who can assess your property and provide a quote.
  2. Submit an Application: With the help of your installer, submit an application to the scheme.
  3. Receive Approval: If your application is approved, you will receive a voucher to be redeemed against the installation cost.
  4. Install the System: Once the ASHP is installed, your installer will claim the voucher on your behalf.

Choosing an ASHP or Boiler

is an air source heat pump right for your home?


Consider Your Current Heating System

If you have an old, inefficient heating system, switching to an ASHP could lead to significant energy savings and a lower carbon footprint. However, if you have a relatively new and efficient system, the immediate benefits may be less pronounced.


Assess Your Property

ASHPs work best in well-insulated homes. If your home has poor insulation, it is advisable to improve it before installing an ASHP to maximize efficiency and comfort.


Evaluate Your Budget

While the initial installation cost can be high, government grants and long-term energy savings can offset this expense. Assess your budget and consider financing options if needed.


air source heat pumps



Air source heat pumps offer numerous benefits, including lower carbon emissions, energy efficiency, and year-round comfort. While the initial installation costs can be high, government grants like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme can make them more affordable. For UK homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills, ASHPs can be a worthwhile investment, particularly in well-insulated homes. Consider your current heating system, property conditions, and budget to determine if an ASHP is right for you.

By making an informed decision, you can contribute to a more sustainable future while enjoying the benefits of a modern, efficient heating system.

More Guidance

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We have written a number of posts which provide information and guidance to anyone considering a project. These include advice on design and planning of new homes, renovations and extensions.



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