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Why get a heat pump?

  • Stop relying on gas
  • Slash your carbon footprint by up to 44%
  • Pair your heat pump with solar panels

Heat Pump Costs UK 2024

An air source heat pump usually costs around £10,000

A horizontally installed ground source heat pump costs £24,000, on average

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme can cut £7,500 off the total cost


Heat pumps are an efficient, renewable way of replacing gas and oil boilers in most homes – provided you prepare properly – so it makes sense that the government's encouraging homeowners to buy them with subsidies.

And with a gas boiler ban on the horizon, it’s worth considering the best alternative on the market – especially while the government allows you to buy it at a discount.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of different heat pumps, so you can work out which type will be best for your home.

If you're ready to embrace heat pumps, fill in this quick form with a few details, and we’ll put you in touch with experts in your area who will give you free heat pump quotes. That way, you’ll receive the best deal for your property.

What type of central heating do you currently use?

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How much does a heat pump cost?

0 out of 0
Property size
Air source heat pump size
Air source heat pump cost
Ground source heat pump size
Ground source heat pump cost

Two-bedroom

Three-bedroom

Four-bedroom

Five-bedroom

5 kW

10 kW

13 kW

16 kW

£7,000

£10,000

£13,000

£15,000

4 kW

8 kW

11 kW

13 kW

£17,000

£24,000

£30,000

£35,000

These costs are representative and don’t reflect exactly what you’ll pay. Heat pump installations are always priced on a case-by-case basis. Our ground source heat pump pricing is based on a horizontal installation, with trenches.

An air source heat pump costs £10,000 for a three-bedroom house, on average.

You’ll pay more to draw heat from the earth – a ground source heat pump typically costs £24,000 for a horizontal installation, or £49,000 for a vertical installation with boreholes.

However, you can buy either one for much less at the moment.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme can reduce the cost of an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump by £7,500.

Also, new heat pumps are hitting the market from the likes of British Gas and Octopus that mean you can buy a heat pump for practically nothing, with the grant.

Considering an air source heat pump will now typically save you £4,891 more than a gas boiler over 20 years, the maths is now decisively in favour of air source heat pumps.

To receive free, tailored quotes for a heat pump installation in your home, just fill in this quick form with a few details and our installers will  be in touch.

infographic explaining how air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps work

Heat pump cost calculator

Let our heat pump cost calculator take away some of the stress associated with this decision.

Just enter the heat pump you’d like to get and how big your home is, and it’ll do the rest – though be sure to get quotes from heat pump installers too, as every home is different.

Heat pump installation cost

The average air source heat pump costs £10,000 to buy and install, while a ground source heat pump typically costs £24,000, if you choose a horizontal installation.

If you don’t have 700m² of space for looped pipes, you can get boreholes drilled 90-160 metres down into your garden, but unfortunately this is even pricier. A vertical installation costs £49,000, on average.

Ground source heat pumps are considerably more expensive than air source models because the installation process is longer, more complicated, and requires more specialised tools.

Whether you’re getting an air or ground source heat pump, you may also have to install underfloor heating, better insulation, and/or bigger radiators to take full advantage of your new system’s abilities.

You probably won't need to replace all your radiators, but most homes should expect to change one-third of them to ones which are 2.5 larger than the standard size.

This is because a heat pump releases heat at a lower level than a gas boiler, over a longer period of time.

Their slow-release nature is a large part of why they're more energy-efficient, but means you either need large surface areas in your heating equipment, or insulation that holds onto the warmth your heat pump generates.

You should hire a specialist to carry out the installation – it’s a complex process that only experts should take on, and it’s easy enough to find one with our best heat pump installers list.

Want to learn more? Check out our helpful guide on ground source heat pump installation.

What type of central heating do you currently use?

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Three factors that can affect the cost of a heat pump

There are several factors that have a large effect on the cost of a heat pump, including type, size, and efficiency.

Certain brands will also charge more for their products, so make sure you get quotes from at least three different installers so you can compare prices properly.

1. Type

The type of heat pump is the single biggest reason behind its price.

Air-to-air heat pumps are typically five times cheaper than air source heat pumps or water source heat pumps, which are slightly cheaper than high temperature heat pumps – while ground source heat pumps are by far the most expensive.

2. Size

The bigger the heat pump, the higher the cost – but it’s better to get the right size heat pump for your home, rather than trying to save money by getting a small model, or making sure you stay warm by purchasing a larger machine.

Go too big, and you’ll overpay for a heat pump that runs short cycles which decrease its lifespan.

Go too small, and your model will run constantly as it desperately tries – and fails – to reach your temperature needs, while racking up huge bills.

Get the right size machine, and it’ll run in the way it was designed.

3. Efficiency

Heat pump efficiency is an important cost factor too, as a more efficient machine will naturally cost more.

Air and ground source heat pumps usually have an efficiency rating of 300%, though they can reach 400% or even 500% – which is up to five times higher than gas boilers.

Air-to-air and water source heat pumps also usually exist in this range, as do high temperature heat pumps.

grey heat pump outside a building

Heat pump running costs

A ground source heat pump’s running costs for a three-bedroom household will typically come to around £1,048 per year.

The average air source heat pump will cost about the same, though this can vary significantly, depending on where you live in the UK.

Heating methodEfficiency (%)Annual energy use (kWh)Cost (p/kWh)Annual bill
Gas boiler9511,5006.89£792
Heat pump3003,83327.35£1,048
Oil boiler9211,87511.14£1,337
Electric boiler10010,92527.35£1,641

While the temperature of the ground stays stable throughout the year, air temperature fluctuates – which means your air source heat pump’s efficiency does as well.

You’ll currently pay around £800 per year to run a gas boiler in an average three-bedroom home, which is slightly cheaper than a typical heat pump – but that’s likely to change.

Gas prices are likely to continue rising as the UK moves away from fossil fuels, and the cost of electricity is set to fall in the near future, when the government removes green levies that artificially raise its price.

If you live in or towards the south of the country, you may well already pay less to run a heat pump than a gas boiler, as it’s warmer than the rest of the UK.

Your running costs may also be lower if your machine has a higher efficiency rating than 300%, or if your insulation is better than average.

Want to get a better idea of what it’s like to own a heat pump? Check out our case study with Louise, from South London.

Louise had a 12-kilowatt air source heat pump installed to reduce her reliance on fossil fuels, and received £5,000 off the upfront cost through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Now, Louise can enjoy a warm, even temperature throughout the house, without fluctuations.

Take a look at the full interview with Louise to learn more. 

Are there any grants for heat pumps?

There are several government grants for heat pumps in the UK that you should absolutely use.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme allows any homeowner in England and Wales to get £7,500 off the cost of an air, ground, or water source heat pump.

Low-income households and people on certain benefits in England, Scotland, and Wales may be able to use the ECO4 scheme to get a heat pump.

If you live in Scotland, Warmer Homes Scotland and the Home Energy Scotland Loan will both offer heat pumps to certain households, while some people in Wales can access the government’s Nest scheme. And don't forget to check out our guide to air source heat pumps in Scotland.

You can also contact your local authority and ask if it’s received any funding from the Home Upgrade Grant. If it has, and your home isn't on the gas grid, you may be eligible for a heat pump grant.

For more information, check out our full guide to heat pump grants.

Heat pump service costs

If you carry out regular heat pump maintenance checks, your machine should provide you with warmth and hot water for at least 20 years.

You should have the heat pump serviced by a professional every two or three years, to make sure everything is working at peak efficiency.

This service will cost around £150, so check with your installer or the manufacturer if you can get a cheaper regular maintenance included in your purchase agreement.

And before the heat pump is installed, ask your installer to write down any maintenance checks you should carry out on a regular basis.

This list will include simple tasks like sweeping any leaves, dust, or snow from the heat pump’s fans, and cleaning the filter.

You can save you money in the long run by keeping your heat pump functioning efficiently – and if you can take care of these jobs yourself, it’s free.

As well as carrying out maintenance checks, you can also protect your heat pump system by getting a heat pump cover for the outside unit, which can guard it against extreme weather conditions and sea spray.

Are there any other types of heat pump?

There are a few different types of heat pumps that are less common in UK homes, but may suit yours.

Let’s run through them.

Air-to-air heat pumps

Air-to-air heat pumps can warm your house up and cool it down, and usually cost between £1,600 and £3,100.

They provide heating by taking the warmth from the air outside your property, running it through fan coil units, and blowing it into your home.

And they can take the warmth from your home and blow it outside, meaning you can use the system as air conditioning during hot periods.

However, air-to-air heat pumps don’t work with a home’s water network, so you’ll need a different system to ensure you still have hot water for showers and taps – which is a major reason why they’re so much cheaper than other types of heat pump.

Water source heat pumps

A water source heat pump can draw warmth from a body of water and use that to heat your home. They cost £10,000, on average – though you can get £7,500 off this amount through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

They can work with lakes, rivers, streams, mine water, sea water, and aquifers – as long as the source is close enough to your property.

Like ground source heat pumps, these machines are more consistent than air source heat pumps, as natural water temperatures generally stay around 7°C to 12°C throughout the year.

High temperature heat pumps

High temperature heat pumps can heat your home to the same level of warmth, in the same amount of time, as a gas boiler. They cost £11,000, on average.

Like a gas boiler, they can reach 60°C to 80°C, which allows you to replace your boiler without having to fit new radiators or more insulation.

High temperature heat pumps reach this level of warmth by utilising a superior refrigerant to other types of heat pump and by using more electricity.

However, their cutting-edge technology means their efficiency rates are roughly the same as regular heat pumps.

Next steps

If heat pumps seem like an affordable choice for you, the next step is to make sure that one can heat your house effectively.

During a cold spell, turn your boiler flow temperature down to 50°C (ask your manufacturer if you’re not sure how to do this), and see how it feels.

If you don’t notice any change, you’re ready for a heat pump. If you feel cold, consider getting more insulation, bigger radiators, and/or underfloor heating before you get a heat pump.

And when you’re ready, our suppliers can provide you with quotes to compare the best prices – all you have to do is fill in this short form to get started.

FAQs

Fitting an air source heat pump usually costs between £7,000 and £15,000, while a ground source heat pump installation typically costs £17,000 to £35,000.

It’ll cost you £49,000 on average if you get your ground source heat pump vertically installed, which involves having boreholes drilled into your garden instead of pipes laid across a large area.

It’s usually worth replacing a gas boiler with an air source heat pump in the UK, but it’s generally not profitable for domestic properties to install a ground source heat pump.

The average three-bedroom household will save £4,891 over an air source heat pump’s 20-year lifespan, compared to a gas boiler, according to our calculations.

However, this depends on how insulated your home is, what the weather’s like where you live, and the quality of the heat pump you get.

Air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps with an efficiency rating of 350% or higher can save the average household £8,025 over 20 years compared to a gas boiler.

You also don’t need to replace a heat pump after 10 years, like a gas boiler. Air and ground source heat pumps typically last for 20 years.

And with electricity prices set to fall, gas prices on the rise, and heat pump technology improving all the time, switching over will soon become even more profitable.

Heat pumps are typically more expensive than gas boilers and often need to be paired with large radiators or underfloor heating, plus a well-insulated home – but once you have a heat pump, there are very few downsides.

The major disadvantage is that a heat pump will warm your home at a relatively slow pace, but as long as you switch on the heating a little bit earlier, you should be fine.

Written by:
josh jackman
Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.
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