An air source heat pump, also known as an air-to-water source heat pump, uses captured heat from the air outside your home to heat your central heating system and heat the water in a hot water cylinder feeding to all of your hot taps and showers.

Heat from the air is absorbed into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump, which raises the temperature and then transfers that heat to water. An  air source heat pump works on the same concept as a ground source heat pump but with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A heat pump will deliver the heat at a lower temperature than a gas boiler, so they will need to be run for longer, but they are more energy efficient than operating a gas boiler.

Does my home have space for an air source heat pump?

Unlike a ground source heat pump, a house does not need a lot of outside space for an air source heat pump to be fitted. For the air-to-water source heat pump unit to work, there needs to be space to install the unit outside against an exterior wall with free space around the unit for good airflow.

The outdoor unit of an air source heat pump contains the important fan component. This is what draws in the air that is turned to heat your home and hot water.

There are different types of air source heat pumps;

  • single large units called Monobloc pumps
  • two part units, (an outdoor and an indoor unit), called Split pumps - the benefit of Split pumps is some fan units can be placed a distance away from the house to avoid the noise of the air heat pump.

This means if you live in a mid-terrace home, an air source heat pump will be an available option for you as long as there is patio or garden space to fit the unit. Unlike installing a ground source heat pump where there is not enough outdoor space for one to be dug in.

Which is better, an air or ground source heat pump?

Both heat pumps come with their own set of benefits but the biggest benefit of an air source heat pump is that fitting them is more cost effective than ground source heat pumps, and they need less outdoor space to be installed.

Both heat pumps  are low-maintenance with less CO2 emissions emitted than gas boilers. An air source heat pump is noisier than the ground source heat pump but more than half of the UK homes do not have the outdoor space for trenches or boreholes to be dug. Or for digger machinery to access the garden making them non-viable for a ground source heat pump and leaving the only option of a heat pump to be an air source heat pump installed along an exterior wall, making no difference if it is a front, side or back wall as long as there is air flow around.

How much will it cost to install an air source heat pump?

The cost to install an air source heat pump is significantly less than installing a ground source heat pump. The prices for supplying and installing is more like £8,000 to £15,000 as opposed to a ground source heat pump that can reach £45,000.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS grant) is £5,000 towards the cost of the installation of the air source heat pump and because they are energy efficient, the savings you make begin from the day you start using the new heat pump.

The installation time for the gas engineer, is anywhere from 1-3 days of labour. Labour makes up only 10% of the cost with the bulk of the expense being the materials for the air source heat pump.

A budget unit costing £7500 to install will be £6750 materials and only £750 labour cost for the engineer.

Cost to install an air source heat pump

Per

Average total labour cost

Installing a monobloc pump

Per day

£550

Installing a split pump

Per day

£750

Installing the hot water cylinder

Per day

£300

Replacing a component on the heat pump, e.g.; evaporator, compressor, condenser or an expansion valve

Per hour

£180

Is an air source heat pump better than a gas boiler?

The initial installation cost of a gas boiler is far cheaper, but then there are more on-going maintenance charges and components can be very delicate, needing more parts changed over the years than an air source heat pump as well as the gas boiler needing annual gas checks.

The air source heat pump typically outputs 3x more heat for every unit of energy it uses to capture heat from the air, this makes the heat pump 300% more energy efficient.

They are a low carbon heat source. A well designed and installed air source heat pump can be overall cheaper to run than a gas boiler, which in time will make up for the higher initial installation cost.

What are the advantages of an air source heat pump?

Air source heat pumps do have many advantages including;

  • a very energy efficient system
  • the UK has government grants to help towards the cost of installing an air source heat pump
  • unlike a ground source heat pump, the air source can be installed with minimum disruption to your outdoor space
  • they require low-maintenance
  • their lifespan is a lot longer than gas boilers
  • some units can provide a cooling summer function

Some of the main downsides to an air source heat pump is that they are noisy, need outside space to have the unit fixed to a wall, radiators will be warm but never very hot to touch and the upfront cost is a lot more than a gas boiler.


Estimates for common heating engineer jobs;

Job Estimate
Cost to replace a hot water immersion heater £275
Cost to fit underfloor heating £250
Cost to replace a vented hot water cylinder £330
Cost to replace a heating programmer £180
Cost to powerflush a central heating system £500 Visit
New combi or system boiler installation – like for like replacement £500
Cost to install a ground source heat pump £3750
Cost to fix a boiler fault error code £85
Cost to replace an unvented hot water cylinder, e.g., Megaflo £305
Cost to fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) £94
Cost to fit smart heating controls £100
Cost to fit a radiator £80
Boiler service cost £90
Boiler repair costs (e.g. pump, diverter valve or heat exchanger) £333
Cost to install an air source heat pump £556
Replacement of a vented system £580

Rates for other trades

Install an air source heat pump cost in the UK
Install an air source heat pump cost in the UK (excluding VAT or callout charges)
Location in UKInstall an air source heat pump cost
Install an air source heat pump near Aberdeen£566
Install an air source heat pump near Amber Valley£486
Install an air source heat pump near Angus£546
Install an air source heat pump near Arun£552
Install an air source heat pump near Ashfield£482
Install an air source heat pump near Aylesbury Vale£568
Install an air source heat pump near Barnsley£472
Install an air source heat pump near Basildon£534
Install an air source heat pump near Basingstoke & Deane£552
Install an air source heat pump near Bassetlaw£496
Install an air source heat pump near Bath & North East Somerset£526
Install an air source heat pump near Bedford£566
Install an air source heat pump near Belfast£430
Install an air source heat pump near Birmingham£470
Install an air source heat pump near Blackburn£480
Install an air source heat pump near Blackpool£492
Install an air source heat pump near Bolton£502
Install an air source heat pump near Bournemouth£548
Install an air source heat pump near Bracknell Forest£580
Install an air source heat pump near Bradford£474
Install an air source heat pump near Braintree£522
Install an air source heat pump near Breckland£490
Install an air source heat pump near Bridgend£458
Install an air source heat pump near Brighton£534
Install an air source heat pump near Bristol£512
Install an air source heat pump near Broadland£540
Install an air source heat pump near Broxtowe£480
Install an air source heat pump near Bury£496
Install an air source heat pump near Caerphilly£458
Install an air source heat pump near Calderdale£466
Install an air source heat pump near Cambridge£556
Install an air source heat pump near Canterbury£496
Install an air source heat pump near Cardiff£470
Install an air source heat pump near Carmarthenshire£404
Install an air source heat pump near Charnwood£466
Install an air source heat pump near Chelmsford£524
Install an air source heat pump near Cheltenham£626
Install an air source heat pump near Cherwell£560
Install an air source heat pump near Chester£444
Install an air source heat pump near Colchester£516
Install an air source heat pump near Conway£414
Install an air source heat pump near Coventry£472
Install an air source heat pump near Crewe & Nantwich£474
Install an air source heat pump near Dacorum£566
Install an air source heat pump near Derby£466
Install an air source heat pump near Doncaster£494
Install an air source heat pump near Dover£474
Install an air source heat pump near Dudley£472
Install an air source heat pump near Dumfries & Galloway£510
Install an air source heat pump near Dundee£554
Install an air source heat pump near East Ayrshire£386
Install an air source heat pump near East Devon£500
Install an air source heat pump near East Dunbartonshire£574
Install an air source heat pump near East Hampshire£544
Install an air source heat pump near East Hertfordshire£560
Install an air source heat pump near East Lindsey£444
Install an air source heat pump near East Riding£398
Install an air source heat pump near Eastleigh£566
Install an air source heat pump near Edinburgh£518
Install an air source heat pump near Elmbridge£590
Install an air source heat pump near Epping Forest£592
Install an air source heat pump near Erewash£472
Install an air source heat pump near Exeter£520
Install an air source heat pump near Falkirk£556
Install an air source heat pump near Fife£528
Install an air source heat pump near Flintshire£458
Install an air source heat pump near Gateshead£526
Install an air source heat pump near Gedling£476
Install an air source heat pump near Glasgow£564
Install an air source heat pump near Gloucester£650
Install an air source heat pump near Guildford£598
Install an air source heat pump near Gwynedd£470
Install an air source heat pump near Halton£478
Install an air source heat pump near Harrogate£454
Install an air source heat pump near Havant & Waterloo£538
Install an air source heat pump near Highland£646
Install an air source heat pump near Horsham£542
Install an air source heat pump near Huntingdonshire£548
Install an air source heat pump near Ipswich£612
Install an air source heat pump near Isle of Wight£530
Install an air source heat pump near Kings Lynn & West Norfolk£526
Install an air source heat pump near Kingston-upon-Hull£398
Install an air source heat pump near Kirklees£462
Install an air source heat pump near Knowsley£470
Install an air source heat pump near Lancaster£520
Install an air source heat pump near Leeds£460
Install an air source heat pump near Leicester£470
Install an air source heat pump near Lisburn£428
Install an air source heat pump near Liverpool£468
Install an air source heat pump near London£584
Install an air source heat pump near Luton£580
Install an air source heat pump near Macclesfield£490
Install an air source heat pump near Maidstone£516
Install an air source heat pump near Manchester£484
Install an air source heat pump near Mid Bedfordshire£562
Install an air source heat pump near Mid Sussex£554
Install an air source heat pump near Middlesbrough£494
Install an air source heat pump near Milton Keynes£568
Install an air source heat pump near Neath Port Talbot£474
Install an air source heat pump near New Forest£544
Install an air source heat pump near Newbury£554
Install an air source heat pump near Newcastle-under-Lyme£452
Install an air source heat pump near Newcastle-upon-Tyne£528
Install an air source heat pump near Newport£472
Install an air source heat pump near North Ayrshire£454
Install an air source heat pump near North East Lincolnshire£514
Install an air source heat pump near North Hertfordshire£566
Install an air source heat pump near North Lanarkshire£566
Install an air source heat pump near North Lincolnshire£448
Install an air source heat pump near North Somerset£502
Install an air source heat pump near North Tyneside£524
Install an air source heat pump near North Wiltshire£626
Install an air source heat pump near Northampton£550
Install an air source heat pump near Norwich£526
Install an air source heat pump near Nottingham£466
Install an air source heat pump near Nuneaton & Bedworth£466
Install an air source heat pump near Oldham£490
Install an air source heat pump near Oxford£568
Install an air source heat pump near Pembrokeshire£414
Install an air source heat pump near Perth & Kinross£546
Install an air source heat pump near Peterborough£554
Install an air source heat pump near Plymouth£498
Install an air source heat pump near Poole£546
Install an air source heat pump near Portsmouth£532
Install an air source heat pump near Powys£622
Install an air source heat pump near Preston£498
Install an air source heat pump near Reading£582
Install an air source heat pump near Redcar & Cleveland£476
Install an air source heat pump near Reigate & Banstead£588
Install an air source heat pump near Renfrewshire£540
Install an air source heat pump near Rhondda, Cynon, Taff£436
Install an air source heat pump near Rochdale£490
Install an air source heat pump near Rochester-upon-Medway£566
Install an air source heat pump near Rotherham£480
Install an air source heat pump near Salford£484
Install an air source heat pump near Salisbury£508
Install an air source heat pump near Sandwell£468
Install an air source heat pump near Scarborough£490
Install an air source heat pump near Scottish Borders£746
Install an air source heat pump near Sefton£468
Install an air source heat pump near Sevenoaks£540
Install an air source heat pump near Sheffield£490
Install an air source heat pump near Slough£584
Install an air source heat pump near Solihull£470
Install an air source heat pump near South Ayrshire£460
Install an air source heat pump near South Bedfordshire£566
Install an air source heat pump near South Cambridgeshire£536
Install an air source heat pump near South Gloucestershire£520
Install an air source heat pump near South Kesteven£550
Install an air source heat pump near South Lanarkshire£558
Install an air source heat pump near South Oxfordshire£554
Install an air source heat pump near South Somerset£532
Install an air source heat pump near South Tyneside£524
Install an air source heat pump near Southampton£560
Install an air source heat pump near Southend-on-Sea£516
Install an air source heat pump near St Albans£586
Install an air source heat pump near St Helens£468
Install an air source heat pump near Stafford£478
Install an air source heat pump near Stockport£488
Install an air source heat pump near Stockton-on-Tees£498
Install an air source heat pump near Stoke-on-Trent£452
Install an air source heat pump near Stratford-on-Avon£498
Install an air source heat pump near Stroud£582
Install an air source heat pump near Suffolk Coastal£646
Install an air source heat pump near Sunderland£524
Install an air source heat pump near Swale£510
Install an air source heat pump near Swansea£462
Install an air source heat pump near Tameside£482
Install an air source heat pump near Teignbridge£510
Install an air source heat pump near Tendring£580
Install an air source heat pump near Test Valley£528
Install an air source heat pump near Thamesdown£626
Install an air source heat pump near Thanet£516
Install an air source heat pump near The Wrekin£514
Install an air source heat pump near Thurrock£536
Install an air source heat pump near Torbay£506
Install an air source heat pump near Trafford£490
Install an air source heat pump near Vale of Glamorgan£466
Install an air source heat pump near Vale of White Horse£576
Install an air source heat pump near Vale Royal£454
Install an air source heat pump near Wakefield£472
Install an air source heat pump near Walsall£468
Install an air source heat pump near Warrington£496
Install an air source heat pump near Warwick£482
Install an air source heat pump near Waveney£512
Install an air source heat pump near Waverley£576
Install an air source heat pump near Wealden£546
Install an air source heat pump near West Lancashire£476
Install an air source heat pump near West Lothian£556
Install an air source heat pump near West Wiltshire£626
Install an air source heat pump near Wigan£480
Install an air source heat pump near Windsor & Maidenhead£582
Install an air source heat pump near Wirral£462
Install an air source heat pump near Wokingham£584
Install an air source heat pump near Wolverhampton£470
Install an air source heat pump near Wrexham Maelor£572
Install an air source heat pump near Wychavon£536
Install an air source heat pump near Wycombe£594
Install an air source heat pump near York£462