The Cost of Running an Air Source Heat Pump

The Cost of Running an Air Source Heat Pump

As gas prices continue to rise, many homeowners in the UK are considering making the switch from traditional gas boilers to air source heat pump systems for their heating and hot water needs. Not only are air source heat pumps more environmentally friendly, but they can also offer significant cost savings in the long run. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors that affect the running costs of air source heat pumps and provide key insights into estimating and minimizing these costs.

Understanding Air Source Heat Pumps

An air source heat pump is a renewable energy technology that extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it into a property to provide heating and hot water. It operates on the principle of a refrigerator in reverse, absorbing heat from the outdoor air and releasing it inside the property. This process is highly efficient, even in cold weather conditions.

By harnessing the heat energy from the environment, air source heat pumps can achieve up to four times the efficiency of traditional gas boilers. This means that for every unit of electricity consumed, the heat pump can generate three to four units of heat, making them an energy-efficient alternative for heating homes.

Factors Affecting Running Costs

When estimating the running costs of an air source heat pump, two primary factors need to be considered: heat demand and the efficiency of the heat pump system. Understanding and optimizing these factors can help homeowners achieve maximum cost savings.

Heat Demand

Heat demand refers to the amount of heating power required to maintain a property at the desired temperature. It varies from one property to another, depending on factors such as the size of the property, the number of rooms, and the desired optimal temperature.

The greater the heat demand, the larger the heat pump system required, and consequently, the higher the electricity consumption and running costs. To minimize heat demand, homeowners can invest in proper insulation, such as double or triple glazing, cavity wall insulation, and loft insulation. These measures reduce heat loss, resulting in lower energy requirements and reduced running costs.

Air Source Heat Pump Efficiency

The efficiency of an air source heat pump is measured by its Coefficient of Performance (COP), which determines how effectively the heat pump system converts electricity into heat. A higher COP indicates greater efficiency, as more heat is produced for each unit of electricity consumed.

  • Several factors can influence the efficiency of an air source heat pump system. Firstly, the type of heat distribution within the property can impact overall efficiency. For example, installing underfloor heating can reduce the workload on the heat pump, as it distributes heat more evenly throughout the space.
  • Secondly, the insulation of the property plays a crucial role in heat pump efficiency. Proper insulation reduces heat loss, allowing the heat pump to operate more efficiently and minimize energy consumption.
  • Lastly, the positioning of the air source heat pump can affect its efficiency. Placing the heat pump in an area free from obstructions and exposed to sunlight can optimize its performance, as it can extract more heat from the outdoor air.

To ensure optimal efficiency and minimize running costs, homeowners should consider these factors when installing an air source heat pump system.

Estimating Running Costs

Estimating the running costs of an air source heat pump involves considering the heat demand, the efficiency of the heat pump system, and the cost of electricity. By understanding these factors, homeowners can make informed decisions and accurately estimate their annual running costs.

To help homeowners estimate running costs, a heat pump running costs calculator can be used. This calculator takes into account factors such as the type of heat pump, annual gas usage, number of people in the home, and the Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of the heat pump system.

By inputting these details into the calculator, homeowners can obtain an estimate of their annual running costs, including both space heating and hot water heating. The calculator also allows for adjustments based on specific heat pump models, electricity prices, and government grants or incentives.

Government Grants and Incentives

The UK government offers various grants and incentives to encourage the adoption of renewable heating technologies, including air source heat pumps. These schemes aim to offset the installation costs and reduce the financial burden on homeowners.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme that provides financial incentives to homeowners who install renewable heating systems, such as air source heat pumps. The RHI pays a set tariff per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of heat generated by the heat pump system, offering homeowners a source of income to offset the running costs.

In addition to the RHI, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) provides financial assistance to qualifying homeowners who replace their fossil fuel heating systems with heat pump systems. This scheme offers a payment of £7,500 towards the installation costs of air source or ground source heat pumps for space and water heating.

Homeowners should check the eligibility criteria and application processes for these government schemes to take advantage of the available grants and incentives.

Tips for Minimizing Running Costs

In addition to optimizing heat demand and heat pump efficiency, there are several other measures homeowners can take to further reduce the running costs of air source heat pumps. These include:

  • Install double glazing on windows to prevent heat loss.
  • Insulate cavity walls to minimize heat transfer.
  • Install loft insulation to reduce heat loss through the roof.
  • Keep windows closed to avoid drafts and heat loss.
  • Consider switching to a cheaper electricity supplier or installing a solar PV system to reduce electricity costs.
  • Install larger radiators or underfloor heating to distribute heat efficiently.
  • Perform regular maintenance and annual checks on the heating system to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

By implementing these measures, homeowners can maximize the energy efficiency of their air source heat pump system and minimize running costs.


Switching to an air source heat pump can provide homeowners in the UK with significant cost savings and environmental benefits. By understanding the factors that affect running costs, homeowners can make informed decisions, estimate their annual expenses accurately, and take advantage of government grants and incentives.

Optimizing heat demand, improving heat pump efficiency, and implementing energy-saving measures can further reduce running costs and increase the overall efficiency of air source heat pump systems. With careful planning, homeowners can enjoy affordable and sustainable heating and hot water solutions for their properties.

If you are considering installing an air source heat pump system or have any further questions, PTS Energy Solutions Ltd is here to assist you. Our team of experts specializes in heat pump installations and can guide you through the entire process. Contact us today to learn more about how air source heat pumps can benefit your home.

Keywords: air source heat pump, running costs, heat demand, efficiency, estimation, government grants, incentives, energy-saving measures.

Additional Information: PTS Energy Solutions Ltd is a trusted provider of air source heat pumps in the UK, offering comprehensive installation and maintenance services. With our expertise, you can make a smooth transition to sustainable heating and enjoy long-term cost savings

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