How Much Do Heat Pumps Cost To Install? Latest Prices For 2024

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 12th July 2024
Posted on 11th July 2024
Topic: heat pumps

How much does a heat pump cost?

As energy costs rise, more people are investigating the option of renewable heat energy and there are many things to consider before making a decision on a heating system for your home, but one of the main ones is the cost of a heat pump.

Renewable energy offers ways to reduce energy bills, but how much do heat pumps cost including installation?

Therefore, this article will break down the costs associated with heat pumps, including installation and parts, as well as let you know the different heat pumps available to heat your home.

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    What is a heat pump?

    Essentially, a heat pump system offers a way to transfer heat taken from renewable sources to your home and they can be used to heat energy-efficient radiators, underfloor heating systems, and to provide hot water gas boilers.

    • Heat pumps usually have the ability to heat or cool a property; therefore, if you are not a fan of efficiency gas boilers, then heat pump installations may be your next best option.

    Want to heat your home at a lower temperature to save money? Read here how much it costs to run central heating per hour with different types of heating systems.

    Heat pump types

    There are two main types of heat pumps for you to choose from and you will be able to check the suitability of each and discuss this further with a specialist to find the most suitable choice to provide an efficient heating system for your home.

    • Air-source Heat Pumps: These are the most common types of heat pumps. They transfer heat between your house and the outside air. They are known for their efficiency in both heating and cooling modes.
    • Ground-source or Geothermal Heat Pumps: These systems use the stable temperature of the earth several feet below the surface to heat and cool buildings. They involve circulating water or refrigerant through pipes buried in the ground to exchange heat.

    Check out the best heat pump brands in the UK right now to help you make your decision if you are considering one of these units.

    Ground source heat pump

    A ground source heat pump uses the heat stored below the earth’s surface to heat your home. As the sun’s radiation hits the planet, heat is stored beneath the surface and, at a depth of around 2 meters, can be as much as ten degrees Celsius.

    • Ground source heat pumps absorb the earth’s heat using a system of water pipes buried below ground, either vertically or horizontally.
    • The system circulates a mixture of anti-freeze and water through the pipes.
    • The mixture is compressed and passed through a heat exchanger, converting it from air to water again.
    • The heat generated is transferred to the heat pump and distributed throughout the home’s heating system.
    • Hot water produced by this system is stored in cylinders for use in showers, baths, and taps.

    Air source heat pump

    An air-source heat pump will work in a similar way to ground source heat pumps, except the heat it draws comes from the air. This means that this type of system doesn’t come with the challenging and expensive aspect of buried pipes.

    • An air-source heat pump uses a network of tubes filled with refrigerant.
    • The refrigerant is heated by the outside air, causing it to turn into a gas.
    • The gas passes through a compressor, where it generates more heat.
    • This heated gas then warms water or air surrounding the heat exchanger.
    • The warm air or water is circulated through the home’s heating system via pipes or vents.
    • Afterwards, the refrigerant cools down and returns to its liquid state, ready to start the cycle again.

    Check out 2 of the best heat pump brands right now we have reviewed in our Vaillant heat pump guide and Daikin heat pump review

    How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost to Install?

    Costs for any heating system unit, parts, and installation will vary depending on a number of factors. Makes and model prices will vary considerably and the size and efficiency of the property will make a difference to costs.

    Labour costs will also depend on location and each individual job and some properties will have straightforward installations, while others will be more complicated, so all figures provided are just a guide to help give you a better idea of what to expect.

    Base unit cost for ground source heat pumps

    • Ground source heat pump costs will vary depending on the size needed to adequately heat a home, the make, and the model. Basic models can start from around £2,000, but ground source heat pump prices can go as high as £15,000.
    • Speaking with specialists will help to ensure you get the most suitable unit for your home without spending over the odds.

    ground source heat pump installation cost

    Installation costs for ground source heat pumps can also vary because of the excavation work needed to bury the pipes.

    Horizontal installation is a more straightforward process as the pipes only need to be buried one or two meters below the surface. That being said, a large area is required for this process, and if trees or other obstacles have to be removed, this can cause the cost to rise.

    • On average, for a three-bedroom house and an 11 kW ground source heat pump installation, the cost of groundwork can cost around £4,000.
    • Vertical ground source heat pump systems take considerably less space, but the equipment and process of drilling boreholes are more expensive. Prices for this service can run to around £10,000.

    Base unit cost for an air source heat pump

    • Air source heat pump units can cost between £4,000 to £8,000, depending on the size and make. Costs will differ depending on the size of the property that will need to be heated by the unit.

    Some homeowners may end up spending more on insulating their homes in preparation for an air source heat pump being fitted than on the unit and installation costs.

    A properly insulated home is essential for renewable heat sourced systems. This is because the heat generated is not as high a temperature as traditional central heating systems, and they tend to work better on traditional heating systems that utilise underfloor heating or large radiators.

    This is because they heat homes at a lower temperature for longer. Check out the latest underfloor heating costs here.

    A poorly insulated home that has a high heat loss percentage will struggle to fully heat up due to the time it takes for this system to operate.

    Cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, and installing double or triple glazed windows are all ways to minimise the risk of heat loss from your home and have a more efficient and environmentally friendly home.

    Air source heat pump installation cost

    Installing an air source heat pump costs between £1,000 and £2,000 depending on the size of the unit and the system it is being attached to, and it will be considerably less challenging and more economical than ground source heat pumps.

    It will require space to house the unit, but you won’t have the expense of excavation.

    Heat pump grants to help towards the cost

    Anyone looking at the prices quoted above might be concerned that these options are out of their price range. Ground source heat pumps can cost as much as £35,000 in total, with air source heat pumps costing upwards of £10,000.

    Thankfully, there are a number of incentive schemes and heat pump grants encouraging people to explore renewable heating and energy alternatives and heat pump efficiency for their homes. These grants and incentives can significantly reduce the initial costs, as well as bring down the running costs of heat pumps.

    Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI)

    The Renewable Heat Incentive is a scheme that has been set up to encourage homeowners to explore renewable energy sources to heat their homes.

    • Signing up for this scheme means you will enjoy payback for every kWh of heat generated by your heating system at running cost of 21.16p/kW. Anyone looking to take advantage of this scheme will have to be quick as there is a closing date of March 31st 2022 for new applicants.

    You will be able to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive if you have a biomass boiler, solar water heating systems, and some heat pumps. Payments will continue for as long as seven years, depending on the heat generated by your system.

    The incentive is available to all homeowners or private and social landlords in England, Wales, and Scotland. New builds aren’t eligible for this scheme unless you are building your own home.

    This is an excellent way to reduce heating bills even further when contemplating ground or air source heat pump installation in your home.

    Boiler Upgrade Scheme

    The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) was initially known as the Clean Heat Grant and offers homeowners in England and Wales the opportunity to claim a grant worth as much as £6,000.

    Launching in April 2022, it is part of a scheme to help reduce carbon emissions from domestic dwellings. With £3.9bn put aside to tackle this, £450m has been set aside for grants of up to £5,000 for air source heat pumps and £6,000 for ground source heat pumps.

    The aim is to reach a net-zero target for carbon emissions coming from homes by 2050. At the moment, as much as 14% of carbon emissions in the UK come from home heating systems.

    Homeowners won’t have to claim for the grant themselves either. Instead, this will be the responsibility of the installer who will receive the grant, with the homeowner paying the balance for the job.

    Air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, and water-source heat pumps are all eligible for the grant. Water source heat pumps work in a similar way as air to air and ground source heat pumps, but instead of taking heat from the ground, they take water from a local source and extract the heat.

    Biomass boilers will also receive some support in rural locations with a population below 10,000, and this will not be available for urban areas.

    Vouchers will be issued for the grant, with applicants having three months to use them for air-source heat pumps and biomass boilers and six months for ground-source heat pumps.

    Homeowners, small landlords, and private landlords in England and Wales will be eligible to apply as long as they have a valid Energy Performance Certificate.

    The scheme is unfortunately unavailable for people in Northern Ireland and Scotland or those in new build houses and social housing. The scheme will run for three years, from April 2022 to April 2025.

    Home Energy Scotland Loan

    Although Scottish homeowners won’t be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, all is not lost thanks to the Home Energy Scotland Loan.

    Homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for an interest-free loan of up to £38,500 to make improvements to their property by adding energy-efficient, renewable energy technology to the property.

    The amount that can be applied for in regards to air source heating and hot water, heat pumps and ground source heat pumps is £10,000. Payback terms of up to twelve years are available for this amount.

    Eligibility requirements include being a homeowner or private sector landlord in Scotland and having the intention of switching to a renewable energy system. Certified installers must be used to carry out the work, and you will have six months to claim and complete the job from when you receive the loan offer.

    Air source heat pumps cost – final thoughts

    While ground and air heat pumps can be expensive to install, the incentive schemes to encourage homeowners to move over to more environmental, energy-efficient solutions can help reduce those costs considerably.

    Ground and air source heat pump running costs are also attractive to homeowners looking for ways to reduce energy bills as they can be significantly less than a gas boiler. If you think the source heat pump cost pumps are not your cup of tea, see the most efficient boilers here

    Speaking with your heat pump installer to find the best system to suit your home, ensuring your home is efficient and well insulated, and exploring the available grants and schemes in place will help you select the right heat pump for your house without spending more than you have to.

    If you think the costs and benefits are just not as good as a hydrogen-ready boiler, then get a fixed price quote for a online now in under 20 seconds with Boiler Central, including full installation and warranty.

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    Written by
    James Elston
    James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
    Posted on: 11th July 2024
    Topic: heat pumps

    James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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