How Much Does It Cost to Install an Air Source Heat Pump?

Are you thinking of having an air source heat pump installed? This type of heat transfer system carries heat into a build or vice versa as a flexible and green approach to cutting down on energy bills.

You may save around 20-55% on your heating bills by installing an air source heat pump.

The average cost of fitting an air source heat pump will depend on whether you use the RHI scheme or not. The domestic renewable heat incentive is a government subsidy for having a green energy system fitted in your home.

To determine whether you are eligible for this scheme, you can find out by contacting your local council as certain criteria must be met.

If you choose to have an air source heat pump and do not or cannot avail of the RHI scheme, you may pay around £7000 to £10,000 for a budget to mid-quality option.

A higher-quality option could cost around £10,000 to £14,000 with the highest air source heat pump cost likely to set you back £14,000 to £18,000 for an installation.

Air source heat pump on concrete slab

However, if you use the domestic RHI scheme, costs over seven years will add up to around £5500 to £6500 for a one-bedroom house, £8500 to £9500 for a two to three-bedroom house, or £12,000 to £14,000 for a house with four or more bedrooms.

This scheme is payable each quarter over seven years. There is a separate RHI scheme for non-domestic buildings.

Among the cost factors involved in installing an air source heat pump are the size and type of property, pump size, pump type, number of tradespeople hired, ease of access, and the location of your property.

Labourers have different rates throughout the country, which is why where you live is a notable cost factor. Labour rates are generally higher than the rest of the country in the southeast and London especially but lower than the national average in regions such as northern England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Cost of Installing an Air Source Heat Pump

Type of Air Source Heat Pump Total Cost
Budget to Mid-Quality £7000 to £10,000
Mid-Quality to Higher Quality £10,000 to £14,000
Premium Quality £14,000 to £18,000

Cost of Air Source Heat Pump with the RHI Scheme

Type of Air Source Heat Pump Total Cost
Budget to Mid-Quality £5500 to £6500
Mid-Quality to Higher Quality £8500 to £9500
Premium Quality £12,000 to £14,000
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What are the Supply Costs of Air Source Heat Pump Installation?

The cost of materials for installing an air source heat pump is about 90-95% of the total expenses with the labour costs making up roughly 5-10%. In this section, we’ll break down the supply costs specifically.

If you are not using the domestic RHI scheme, the supply costs would account for £6250 to £9250 for a budget to mid-quality option, £9250 to £13,250 in the case of a higher quality option, or £13,250 to £17,250 for a premium air source heat pump.

Man installing air source heat pump on wall

Much of the supply costs as with the labour costs would be accounted for under the RHI scheme if you avail of it.

The above costs would be especially relevant if you were to fit an air source heat pump by yourself. However, this is generally not considered a DIY job. You should only install one if you have the right skills, equipment, and knowledge.

Planning permission and building regulations may apply with information available on Planning Portal. The rules listed here apply to England and Wales, therefore the regulations for Scotland and Northern Ireland may vary.

Supply Cost of Air Source Heat Pump Installation

Type of Air Source Heat Pump Supply Costs
Budget to Mid-Quality £6250 to £9250
Mid-Quality to Higher Quality £95250 to £13,250
Premium Quality £13,250 to £17,250

What are the Additional Costs of Installing an Air Source Heat Pump?

There are several added costs that you may incur when having an air source heat pump fitted. Let’s take a look at these potential additional expenses.

Minimum Fee

In some cases, contractors will charge a minimum fee. This may exist as a cost added to the overall bill, or it may extend the bill. For instance, if you are charged a daily labour cost, and the work takes just five hours, you’d still pay for a full day of work.

Pump Size/Type

Obviously, the type and size of the pump is also a significant cost factor. Firstly, some air source heat pumps will be of higher quality than others. Some manufacturers tend to sell air source heat pumps for more than others.

Property Size/Type

The instalment of an air source heat pump will be more complicated if it needs to accommodate for a larger property.

The size/type of house is important as the layout and size of a structure will influence the size/type of pump needed as well as how long the installation itself will take. The longer the fitting takes, the higher the labour cost will be and vice versa.

Number of Tradespeople

A single contractor will usually undertake this job. However, say if two labourers were on the job, then the labour cost per hour, per day or for the job as a whole (whichever way the labour cost is calculated) would double.

That said, the more people fitting an air source heat pump, the quicker the job will be. So, whether this will actually be an added expense overall will depend on factors such as how well two labourers work together. The same sort of logic would apply if three or more labourers were hired.

Duration

In general, the longer a trades job takes, the higher the labour cost will be. There are exceptions to this, however.

For instance, if you are given a daily labour fee and a job lasts one day and four hours, it would cost the same as it would if the work took a day and six hours, as you would be charged for two days of labour either way, in this case.

Tradesmen Costs for Air Source Heat Pump Installation

You can expect to face a labour charge of £350 to £400 per day to have an air source heat pump installed. Of course, the actual tradesmen costs will vary depending on a plethora of factors. Let’s take a closer look at the labour costs.

Tradesperson installing air source heat pump

For an easy to fit product, the labour costs may come to £350 to £800. For a mid-quality option, expect the cost to be about £700 to £1200.

A premium quality product may cost between £1050 and £1200 in total labour expenses. The labour cost will vary depending on the type/size of air source heat pump, the state of the installation area, ease of access and where in the UK you are located.

How Long Does It Take to Install an Air Source Heat Pump?

The time frame involved in fitting an air source heat pump will vary depending on a range of factors. In this section, we’ll take a look at the durations involved based on different sized properties.

Air source heat pump installation

It may take one to two days to fit a budget to mid-quality air source heat pump, two to three days for a higher-end product, or three plus days for a premium quality product.

The time it takes to fit an air source heat pump will vary depending on the type/size of the pump, type/size of the property, the number of tradespeople hired, and ease of access.

Types of Air Source Heat Pumps

As discussed, there are two main types of air source heat pumps: air-to-air and air-to-water. Let’s break down these options and look at their pros & cons and average costs.

Air-to-Air Air Source Heat Pump Cost

An air to air heat pump is significantly cheaper than an air-to-water heat pump. You may be able to have an air-to-air heat pump fitted in a small home for just £1000 to £2000.

In general, fitting an air-to-air heat pump does not involve making significant changes to a property, and the installation is fast and unobtrusive.

Air to air heat pump

Air conditioning units have a higher Coefficient of Performance (CoP) than air-to-water pumps. In addition, there are generally more air-to-air heat pumps available, across a broader range of designs and options.

One of the disadvantages of air conditioning is that you’d still require a separate hot water system since they don’t provide hot water. Further, these heat pumps also produce a certain amount of air movement and noise.

Pros:

  • Cheaper
  • Unobtrusive
  • Easy to fit
  • High CoP

Cons:

  • Do not provide hot water
  • Result in some air movement and noise

Air-to-Water Air Source Heat Pump Cost

The alternative is an air to water heat pump. Such systems are used to replace an entire central heating system unless you have a hybrid system established that can work alongside an existing boiler.

In most cases, your current radiators would need to be replaced with larger units or underfloor heating.

This is because these heat pumps only function efficiently in low-temperature heating systems, which in turn require a larger surface area to effectively provide warmth. Contrary to this, traditional radiators are small and work at higher temperatures.

Air to water heat pump

With significant reconfiguration work needed and the high costs of equipment, air-to-water heat pumps tend to cost around £7000 to £18,000 for an installation.

If major renovation work is being undertaken anyway or if you are dealing with a new property build, the installation costs may be significantly less than it would otherwise be. One of the clear downsides to these systems is the cost.

Pros:

  • Low-maintenance
  • Offers significant energy savings
  • Suitable for large radiators and underfloor heating
  • Eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive payments

Cons:

  • Take longer to heat up
  • High installation cost

Benefits of an Air Source Heat Pump

There are a range of benefits to having an air source heat pump installed regardless of the type. Let’s take a closer look at some clear advantages.

Reduced Running Costs

The clearest advantage of fitting an air source heat pump is that it will bring down your energy running costs due to increased efficiency.

You may save as much as £1400 a year on your heating bills with the introduction of an air source heat pump.

Safety

Another notable benefit of an air source heat pump is that they are safer than a combustion-based alternative system.

Less Maintenance

Heat pumps do not require the same level of maintenance as combustion heating systems. This will save you both money and time.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove an Air Source Heat Pump?

You may choose to have an air source heat pump removed such as because you wish to have a new heat pump fitted (whether another air source heat pump or a different type of heat pump altogether). You may choose to have it removed for other practical reasons.

Removing an air source heat pump

On average, to have an air source heat pump replaced will cost £7000 to £18,000 plus waste removal expenses. Of course, removal costs can vary depending on the reason for removal.

FAQs

Q: How does an air source heat pump work?

A: These systems work by absorbing heat from the air at low temperature and moved into a fluid.

This fluid goes through a compressor causing the temperature to rise before transferring the heat to heating/hot water circuits within the property.

Q: What size air source heat pump do I need?

A: It will ultimately depend on the size of your home or how much of your home you’d like to be able to heat.

For a 100 square metre of house space, you’d need perhaps a 5kW air source heat pump to cover the entire property. Essentially this amounts to 1kW per 20 square metres, on average.

Q: How long does an air source heat pump last?

A: On average, about 20 years.

Q: Can I fit an air source heat pump DIY?

A: In general, this is not a DIY job, and you should hire a professional.

Q: What is the most affordable type of air source heat pump?

A: Air-to-air heat pumps tend to be cheaper than air-to-water heat pumps.

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Sources

  1. https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2014/08/the-running-costs-of-heat-pumps
  2. https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/main/heat-pumps-information/a-guide-to-heat-pump-prices-in-2019/
  3. https://les.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/the-hub/the-costs-of-fitting-a-heat-pump
  4. https://www.bdacs.com/air-source-heat-pumps-air-to-air-or-air-to-water
  5. https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2014/08/heat-pumps-7-advantages-and-disadvantages
Author: Dean M

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Digital Media, I'm a freelance writer and I've worked for clients such as the British Blockchain Association and I have experience in writing articles, YouTube video scripts, online guides and newsletters. I have written and produced many short films as well as a web series and feature film. I am also currently working on a novel.