How they work
Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) capture the air outside your property and use it to heat your water supply or heating system. The air outside doesn’t have to be warm – heat pumps can work with temperatures of -15C.
Compared to heat produced by gas or oil boilers, heat pump energy is 100% renewable. This means:
- no harmful byproducts
- fewer or no carbon emissions – especially if combined with another renewable energy source such as solar panels or a wind turbine
Types of air source heat pump
There are 2 types of air source heat pump available:
Air-to-water heat pump
This is the most common type of heat pump. It absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers it to the central heating and water supply. These heat pumps work best with underfloor heating or large radiators.
Air-to-air heat pump
This type of pump heats the air inside your property and requires a warm air heating system. It does not heat water.
For maximum efficiency you can also upgrade your insulation.
Ground source heat pump
These pumps extract heat from the ground and transfer it to your heating or water supply. They require extensive outdoor space where underground tubes can be fitted.
Heat pumps do not normally require planning permission, so long as they comply with Microgeneration Certification Scheme standards (MCS) or equivalent.
The price of a heat pump depends on the size of the system you install.
Average installation costs:
- air source heat pump: £7,000 to £11,000
- ground source heat pump: £10,000 to £19,000
Running costs will depend on the size of your home and how well insulated it is. With regular maintenance a heat pump can last for 20 years. Warranties range from 2 to 10 years.
Across the UK local funding is available for businesses looking to install energy efficiency measures. Find out which areas are covered and how much you can get.
If your home is your workplace you can apply for a grant from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. The grant doesn’t cover air-to-air heat pumps and no longer applies in Northern Ireland.
You can receive a discount on CCL (Climate Change Levy) taxes paid to your energy supplier by signing a Climate Change Agreement (CCA).
This is a voluntary agreement with the Environment Agency to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. Find out who is eligible and how to apply.
- lower energy costs and carbon emissions
- reliable source of energy for heating and water
Other forms of renewable energy
As an additional source of renewable energy you might get:
Both of these forms of renewable energy can be used to power your heat pump.
If you need help designing an energy system which is right for your business, contact one of these certified installers.
If you can’t produce your own energy, you can switch over to a ‘green’ energy tariff with your energy supplier.