The Cost Of Air Source Heating

All you need to know about air source heating, including costs of air source heating installation, equipment, labour and time frames.

The Cost Of Air Source Heating

What the job entails

An air source heat pump can offer the same benefits as a conventional gas or electric heating system by transferring heat from the outside air to a wet central heating system to heat radiators and provide hot water. An air source heat pump works much like a refrigerator in reverse, absorbing heat from the air and transferring it into your home or office. They can also function as a cooling system in hot weather and are usually placed outside where there is adequate space. There are two main types of heat pumps to choose from: air-to-air heat pumps which transfers heat directly into your home, or air-to-water heat pumps which transfer the heat into your central heating system to provide hot water and radiators.

Air source heat pumps offer a low carbon footprint and the pump can even be powered by wind or solar power. They can heat hot water for immediate use or store hot water in a cylinder for later use. Air source heat pumps can deliver heat at a lower temperature and you can potentially receive payments in the UK through the Renewable Heat Incentive. You can save on your energy bills using an air source heat pump and they have an operational lifespan of up to 20 years, plus it only typically takes a few days to install the air source heat pump and all you need to do is clean them every few months and get a technician in once a year to service them. No fuel storage is required either and you can even use them to provide cooling in the summer months!

The main disadvantages of air source heat pumps are that they supply water at a lower temperature so you will need larger radiators to keep rooms at the same temperatures. In fact, air source heat pumps perform much better with underfloor heating or warm air heating than when coupled to larger radiators. So if you are building a new home, it is better to integrate a heat pump with underfloor heating in the planning stage. In the UK right now, gas is so cheap that if you live in a home with mains gas you would not save much, if anything, by installing an air source heat pump. In addition, to reap the most benefit from an air source heat pump you need to have a highly insulated home.

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The Cost Of Air Source Heating

Getting your money back from the cost of installing an air source heat pump will depend on the efficiency of your system and the type of heating fuel you are replacing. Annual savings you can expect in a four-bedroom detached house are around £450 per year if replacing an oil heating system, around £1,800 per year if replacing an LPG heating system and around £1,000 if replacing an electric night storage heating system. With mains gas, there are hardly any savings at all so no payback figures can be calculated. The actual installation costs will differ regionally across the UK, as well as depending on the type of system you choose to install and the size of your home.

The systems prices can vary quite a lot, from as little as £500, up to £7000 - your own cost of a system will likely be proportional to the property in question. The system itself will be the majority of the expense of the project, so the choice of system should be thought over carefully, to ensure that a suitable system is selected that meets the property needs and not paying for unneccessary/excessive additional features.

As an installation will typically take a few days to complete, the expected labour cost would be between £150-£250 per day, depending on factors such as the difficulty of the installation, time taken and where in the country that the work is being completed (as labour rates can vary regionally).

Below are some estimated costs of an air source heating system installation.

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Air source heat pump installation £7500 1-3 Days

Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of air source heating - Total Cost: £7500






Waste Removal


Heat pumps basically move hot air from one place to another, heating the building in the winter, and cooling it in the summer. The process works even at low outside temperatures, since there is always heat that can be sourced from the air or ground.
There are really two main types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps. Air source pumps source heat from the air, and ground source heat pumps extract it from the ground where the temperature is actually quite constant, regardless of the above ground temperature. Ground source heat pumps are more reliable in terms of the amount of heat they can produce, but they are also much more expensive to install.
It is a good idea to keep your existing boiler as although heat pumps provide you with a fair amount of warmth, there may not be sufficient heat when the temperature drops, so you can use your old boiler or storage heaters to supplement the heat pump in cold conditions if the heat output from the pump is insufficient for your needs.
Depending on the system and the size of the property, the price can vary from as little as £2,000 up to £12,000. It is not easy to give an exact price as there are many details to consider and every installation will be different. But expect to pay around £9,000 for a good quality installation suitable for a 4 bedroomed detached and very well insulated house in England.
The UK government is very committed to reducing greenhouse emissions and the effects of climate change, so there are many programmes available with regard to renewable heat incentives. These programs change frequently so it is best to check with the Energy Savings Trust for up to date information on tariffs and payments.
The average operational lifespan of an air source heat pump is around 20 years if they are maintained and serviced properly.
Basically, just keeping the whole apparatus clean on a regular basis and servicing once a year by a skilled technician.
No, this should not be necessary. You should only need the heat pump on for a few hours until you achieve the desired temperature. The time needed to achieve the desired temperature varies with the amount of heat needed and how well insulated the property is. Leaving the pump on 24 hours per day will shorten the lifespan of the unit considerably.