Facebook pixel
new boiler

Get a new boiler

Fixed price boilers, next day

See boiler prices
new air conditioning

Air Conditioning

Get a quote
new heat pump

Heat Pumps

Coming soon

new ev charger

EV Chargers

Get a quote
boiler servicing

Boiler Servicing

Get a quote

Last updated: 31st July, 2023


Heat Pump Costs: A Guide for UK Homeowners

Heat Pump Costs: A Guide for UK Homeowners

Key takeaways

  • Heat pumps are an energy-efficient heating and cooling solution available in various types.
  • Various factors influence heat pump costs, such as size, efficiency, brand, and installation.
  • Exploring incentives, rebates, and energy savings can help offset initial costs and maximise the long-term benefits.

Explore the different types, costs, and efficiency of heat pumps in this blog post, illuminating their role as sustainable, cost-effective solutions for home heating and cooling.

Heat pumps have become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling solutions. 

By functioning as a combined furnace and central air conditioner, heat pumps provide an all-in-one solution to keep your home comfortable all year round. 

With various types available, including air-source, geothermal, and ductless mini-split systems, it is vital to make an informed decision based on your home's needs and your budget.

When considering heat pump costs, factors such as size, efficiency rating, brand, and type play a significant role. Installation costs can range from £2,000 to £20,000 or more, so it's essential to weigh the long-term energy savings and performance benefits against the initial investment.

(Modern gas boilers present an extremely cost-effective and efficient alternative to heat pumps)

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

It's also worth exploring incentives, rebates, and other programs that can help make heat pump installation more affordable while enhancing the overall value of your home.

Types of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps provide energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions for a variety of spaces. There are several common types of heat pumps, each with its own benefits and applications. 

This section will cover air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, mini-split heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps.

Air-Source Heat Pumps

Air-source heat pumps absorb heat from the outdoor air and transfer it indoors for heating purposes. Conversely, during cooling mode, they extract heat from indoor air and release it outdoors. These pumps are popular due to their versatility and efficiency. Air-to-air systems, a subtype of air-source heat pumps, are especially common in mild climates and can be used for both residential and commercial spaces.


Ground-Source Heat Pumps

Ground-source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heat pumps, utilise the constant temperature of the earth to provide heating and cooling. 

These systems involve underground pipes filled with fluid that absorb or disperse heat to or from the ground. While more expensive to install, ground-source heat pumps offer increased efficiency and can lead to long-term savings on energy bills.


Mini-Split Heat Pumps

Mini-split heat pumps, also called ductless mini-split systems, are an effective solution for heating and cooling individual rooms or small spaces. Unlike central systems, mini-splits do not require ductwork, making them ideal for retrofit applications or newly constructed buildings. 

Each mini-split unit provides temperature control for a specific area, offering increased flexibility and energy efficiency.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are a type of ground-source heat pump that takes advantage of the earth's stable temperature below the surface. 

They function by circulating a fluid through a closed-loop system of pipes buried in the ground. As the fluid absorbs heat from the earth, it transfers it to the indoor spaces for heating, while the reverse process occurs for cooling. 

While the installation costs of geothermal heat pumps can be considerable, their high efficiency and lower operating costs make them an attractive long-term investment.

Factors Affecting Heat Pump Costs

Type of Heat Pump System

There are various types of heat pump systems, each with different prices. Common types include:

  • Air-to-air: Transfers heat between indoor and outdoor air.

  • Ground-source or geothermal: Uses the earth's temperature to heat or cool your home.

  • Ductless or mini-split: Ideal for homes without existing ductwork, using individual units to heat/cool specific rooms.

The type of system chosen significantly impacts heat pump costs, with geothermal systems typically being more expensive due to their greater installation complexity.

Home Size and Ductwork

The size of your home affects the required heat pump capacity, measured in tons. Generally, larger homes need higher-capacity systems, which are more expensive. Moreover, the condition of your existing ductwork plays a role in the installation cost. 

If the ductwork needs repairs or replacement, this will increase the overall cost of heat pump installation. Ductless systems can be an alternative, especially for homes without existing ductwork.

Installation Location and Climate

The location of installation and local climate influence heat pump costs. Installations in hard-to-reach areas or with challenging ground conditions can be more expensive. 

Furthermore, homeowners in regions with extreme hot or cold temperatures may require heat pumps with high performance, raising the price.

Performance and Efficiency

Heat pump efficiency is measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). 

Higher efficiency models usually come at a higher cost, but they can also lead to long-term energy savings. When considering these factors, homeowners should strike a balance between initial cost and potential future energy savings.

Heat Pump Brand and Quality

Different heat pump brands offer varying features, warranties, and prices. Well-known and reputable brands tend to produce high-quality heat pumps, which are usually more expensive. 

However, investing in a quality heat pump can reduce maintenance costs and ensure long-lasting performance.

To summarise, heat pump costs are influenced by the system type, home size and ductwork, installation location and climate, performance and efficiency, as well as the brand and quality. Homeowners should thoroughly research these factors to make informed decisions when investing in a heat pump system.

Cost Breakdown

Equipment Costs

Heat pump costs can vary significantly depending on the type and brand. Air-source heat pumps typically range from £3,000 to £6,000, while geothermal heat pumps can cost between £11,000 and £26,000

Ductless mini-split heat pumps are generally cheaper per zone, with prices starting from £1,100 to £2,600. It's crucial to consider the size and efficiency rating of each heat pump, as these factors also influence the overall equipment costs.

Labour Costs

Installation expenses for heat pumps vary based on the contractor and the complexity of the project. Labour fees usually account for £2,000 - £6,000 of the total cost. 

Simpler installations involving air-source or ductless mini-split systems may be less expensive. 

Conversely, more elaborate tasks, such as adding or modifying existing ductwork or installing a geothermal system, tend to be more costly. 

It's sensible to acquire multiple quotes from reputable HVAC specialists before committing to a particular contractor.

Additional Parts and Material Costs

Beyond the primary system components, supplementary parts and materials may also be required. Some examples include:

  • Thermostats: £50 - £300 depending on the type and programmability

  • Ductwork: If needed, can range between £10 - £30 per linear foot

  • Ground loop installation materials (for geothermal systems): Typically over £6,000

It is essential to understand the full scope of parts and materials necessary for a project to comprehend the accurate cost breakdown. Be sure to consult with an HVAC professional for a detailed quote tailored to your specific requirements.

Incentives and Rebates

When it comes to investing in a heat pump, it's essential to be aware of the various rebates and tax credits available to offset costs. These incentives help make energy-efficient home improvements more accessible to homeowners.

One notable programme is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. This £450 million scheme has been designed to help homeowners and small businesses transition from traditional boilers to cleaner, more energy-efficient heating solutions.

Financial assistance provided through the scheme can cover a significant portion of the average cost of a heat pump, making it more attractive to consumers.

Homeowners who are eligible could knock £5000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump, £5000 off the cost of a biomass boiler, and £6000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump, including water source heat pumps.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, homeowners can benefit from tax credits like:

  • Energy-efficient air conditioners: £300 credit

  • Heat pump or biomass stoves: £2,000 per year

  • Energy-efficient doors: £250 per door, up to £500 total

  • Energy-efficient windows: £600 credit

  • Home energy audits: £150 credit

  • Electrical panel or circuit upgrades for new electric equipment: 30% of cost, up to £600

Keep in mind that each individual rebate or tax incentive may have specific eligibility requirements, so it's crucial to research and evaluate which opportunities are viable for your situation. By taking advantage of these incentives and rebates, homeowners can make their homes more energy-efficient while reducing their upfront investment costs.

Energy Savings and Performance

Heat pumps are renowned for their energy-efficient performance, making them an attractive choice for homeowners looking to cut down on energy costs and reduce their environmental impact. 

Utilising electricity as their primary energy source, heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling solutions, offering a versatile alternative to natural gas or propane-fuelled systems.

The key advantage of a heat pump is its ability to transfer heat, rather than generate it. By using electricity to move heat between cooler and warmer spaces, heat pumps can operate at a significantly lower energy consumption compared to traditional furnaces and air conditioners.

This heightened efficiency results in noticeable energy savings for homeowners.


In terms of specific efficiency ratings, many heat pumps on the market proudly boast the ENERGY STAR certification. This label serves as an indicator of their superior energy performance, with certified models usually offering savings of 20-30% on energy usage compared to standard models. This not only translates to reduced energy bills but also contributes to a smaller carbon footprint.

It is important to consider that the overall performance and energy savings potential of a heat pump is also influenced by factors such as adequacy of insulation, proper sizing and correct installation. 

Moreover, the effectiveness of a heat pump may vary depending on the local climate. In regions with mild winters and moderate heating needs, heat pumps can provide highly energy-efficient heating solutions.

To ensure optimal performance and energy savings, homeowners should opt for a heat pump model with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). These are widely recognised benchmark ratings for cooling and heating efficiency, respectively.

In summary, heat pumps stand out as an energy-efficient and versatile alternative to traditional gas, electric or propane heating and cooling systems. 

Their potential to save on energy costs and contribute to sustainability makes them a popular choice in today's environment-conscious world. 

To maximise the benefits offered by heat pumps, homeowners are encouraged to invest in ENERGY STAR-certified models and pay close attention to SEER and HSPF ratings when making their selection.

Maintenance and Lifespan

Heat pumps are a popular choice for heating and cooling homes, as they offer energy efficiency and cost savings. To maximise these benefits and prolong the lifespan of your equipment, regular maintenance and servicing by a qualified HVAC installer are essential.

A well-maintained heat pump can last around 10 to 25 years, depending on the equipment's quality and the care provided. 

Ensuring the system is in optimal condition involves a combination of simple tasks that homeowners can undertake and more complex tasks that require a professional's expertise.

Homeowners can take basic measures, such as regularly cleaning or replacing air filters and keeping outdoor units free from debris. Additionally, installing a programmable thermostat with multistage functions suitable for a heat pump can contribute to its efficient operation.

On the other hand, HVAC professionals play an essential role in the more intricate aspects of heat pump maintenance. They can inspect and clean coils, check refrigerant levels, test electrical components, and verify proper airflow. This is typically done during a maintenance service appointment.

The cost of heat pump maintenance service and repairs ranges from around £150 to £1,950. A regular service contract with an installer can often provide better value, ensuring that your heat pump receives regular check-ups and any required repairs.

Investing in preventative maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your heat pump but also helps maintain its efficiency, reducing energy consumption by 10% to 25%. Ultimately, the maintenance and service that your heat pump receives will directly impact its effectiveness and longevity, making it worthwhile to invest in an HVAC professional's expertise.

Additional Considerations

When evaluating heat pump costs, it is important to consider numerous factors that can influence the overall expense and efficiency of the system. Insulation, for example, plays a significant role in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.

 A well-insulated home requires less energy to heat and cool, which can lower the operational costs of the heat pump.

Solar power can also be used to supplement the energy needs of the HVAC system. By incorporating solar panels, homeowners can harness the sun's energy to reduce electricity consumption and lower energy bills. 


It is vital to mention that windows can play a part in the efficiency of the heat pump system as well. Energy-efficient windows help maintain indoor temperature, consequently reducing the workload of heat pumps.

Another crucial element to assess when installing a heat pump is the existing duct system and its compatibility with the new system. Ducted systems are prevalent in central air conditioning, in which a single air handler distributes cooled or heated air through a series of ducts. 

Ensuring that the ducts are properly sealed and insulated can significantly improve the overall efficiency and performance of the system.

The size and type of the heat pump must be suitable for the square footage of the home, as well as the specific climate. 

Cold climate heat pumps, for instance, are designed to operate efficiently in colder conditions, while mini-split systems may be more appropriate for smaller homes or specific areas within the house. The choice of heat pump technology will ultimately influence the cost, efficiency and even the impact on the environment.

Furthermore, homeowners should consider the intricacies of their existing HVAC systems, such as thermostats and air handlers. An upgrade to a smart thermostat can help optimise energy consumption, while compatible air handlers ensure proper airflow and temperature distribution.

Lastly, additional components like condenser coils, compressors, and fans may require maintenance or replacement over the life of the heat pump system. It is essential to factor in these long-term costs when evaluating the total investment required.

Taking these considerations into account will enable homeowners to make an informed decision regarding heat pump installation, optimising both performance and cost-effectiveness.

However, if you think your home or lifestyle is more suited to a modern and efficient gas boiler, which can be incredibly cost-effective both short and long-term, get a free fixed price quote in less than 60 seconds today!

Get a quote

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does buying and installing a heat pump cost?

The cost to buy and install a heat pump varies depending on size, efficiency rating, brand, and type. Generally, homeowners can expect to spend between £2,000 and £20,000. The average cost is around £5,500 for a standard installation, but costs can climb significantly higher in more complex cases.

What are the running costs for a heat pump?

Running costs for heat pumps can be influenced by the system's efficiency, the size of your home, and your specific energy requirements. Although energy usage varies, you can typically expect lower running costs than traditional heating systems, such as gas or oil boilers. It's vital to estimate your annual running costs accurately, considering your home's insulation and energy habits.

Do heat pumps save money in the long run?

Heat pumps can save money over the long term due to their lower running costs and increased energy efficiency. As they extract heat from the environment (air or ground), significantly less energy is expended. Additionally, some countries offer governmental incentives, like rebates or grants, to promote installing eco-friendly systems, further reducing overall costs.

What factors affect the cost of a heat pump?

A heat pump's cost depends on various factors, including its size, efficiency, installation complexity, and additional equipment requirements. For instance, larger homes will require bigger heat pumps, increasing expenditure. Additionally, higher efficiency ratings and well-known, reliable brands often come with a higher price tag.

Is installing a ground source heat pump costly?

Ground source heat pump installations tend to cost more upfront than air source heat pumps, mainly due to the need for ground excavation. Prices vary depending on the complexity of the project and the area's geology. However, ground-source heat pumps can offer higher efficiency levels and reduced energy costs in the long run, leading to long-term savings.

Are heat pumps efficient and worth the investment?

Heat pumps are an efficient and environmentally friendly heating solution. They can help lower carbon emissions and reduce energy consumption compared to traditional heating systems. Although the initial investment can be significant, the long-term savings in energy costs, potential grants, and financial incentives help make them a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

Stephen Day profile photo
Article by
Stephen Day | Co-founder
Gas Safe registered and FGAS certified engineer with over 20 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.