How Much Does an Air Source Heat Pump Cost to Install?
When we are asked the question “how much does an air source heat pump cost to install?”, there is no way to answer it quickly and accurately. A heat pump system is designed individually for each property, considering the property’s size, age, insulation levels, distribution system, as well as how the property is used. This means there is no single cost and it’s hard to give an estimate for an installation without having all the information, especially when the heat pump is replacing an existing boiler.
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This article will breakdown of the different parts of an air source heat pump installation and potential costs involved. Here is an overview of what we will cover.
Decommissioning of the Existing Heating System
If your property has an existing heating system like an oil or LPG boiler, it will need to be decommissioned and removed. Specialist companies are also needed to safely dispose of fuel tanks. The cost of the decommissioning works can vary depending on what is been removed. You might have a combi boiler where there is less to remove, or you might have a boiler and hot water cylinder where there is more.
These decommissioning works are likely to cost in the region or £500 to £1,000.
If your property is a new build, or there has never been a heating system in the property before, you won’t have this cost.
There are potentially several electrical works needed as well to make the property heat pump ready. These include power supplies being run from your consumer unit to the external heat pump and internal equipment locations. Also depending on the age of your consumer unit, that might need upgrading as well. As these works depend on the locations of your consumer board, heat pump, and plant equipment, it’s hard to give an estimate on cost as it varies so vastly from property to property.
As a complete estimate these electrical works are likely to cost in the region of £750 to £2,000 and will include cost to install surge protection on your property in line with NICEIC guidelines.
Heat Pump Equipment
The cost of heat pump equipment will vary again depending on the size of the property, it’s insulation levels and how it’s used. Smaller or better insulated houses are more likely to have a lower heating demand and require a smaller heat pump. Conversely, larger or older properties are likely to have a larger heating requirement and need a bigger heat pump. There are also a wide range of manufacturers who supply heat pumps, some who have a more premium range of heat pumps with better efficiencies, and some with a more cost-effective selection. You are also going to need a hot water cylinder and potentially a buffer tank or low loss header as well.
This equipment can range widely in price from between £6,000 to £20,000.
Heat Pump installation
The cost of labour and installation materials can also vary between properties and types of heat pumps. There are two main types of air source heat pump: monoblocs, and split systems.
A monobloc air source heat pump has all the heat pump components within the external unit that sits outside the property, with water connections going into the property to the hot water cylinder. Most air source heat pump installations are monobloc units, and as they are all in one box, it makes installation quicker and easier to maintain.
With a split system, the heat pump has separate internal and external units with refrigerant connections between them. Because of the refrigerant circuit of a split system, you need F-gas accredited engineers to install them, which means more expensive installation and future maintenance costs. Because of the extra internal unit compared to a monobloc, they take up more space inside the property, which can be an issue in retrofit boiler replacement projects. The main benefits of a split system over a monobloc are that the external unit can potentially be located further away from the property than a monobloc, because part of the heat pump is inside the property.
Typically, it can take an installer 5 – 7 days to install a monobloc air source heat pump, hot water cylinder and associated plumbing, with a split system taking longer due to the extra equipment to install. For the labour and installation materials you can expect the cost to be in the region of £5,000 to £7,000 for a typical 3 – 4 bedroom property. Larger properties or those that require system changes from gravity fed water to pressurised system will cost more and take longer.
Like an oil or gas boiler, a heat pump needs a wet distribution system like radiators or underfloor to send heat around your property. Due to the lower flow temperatures of the heat pump, we need to be careful to size the outputs of the radiators, so that they can emit the required heat for the room, at the lower flow temperature. Where the current radiators don’t meet these required outputs, we will need to replace them with larger radiators that can meet those outputs. Typically, where existing pipework is standard 15mm pipework, we can reuse it and install the new radiators on to the existing pipework. If the pipework is smaller microbore, it might be the case it needs to be replaced to achieve the flow rates to work with a heat pump.
As a guide, per radiator it might cost about £350 to replace an existing radiator, and £500 to install a radiator on new pipework.
Most heat pump manufacturers require the heat pump to be serviced annually to maintain the manufacturer warranty. An annual service on an air source heat pump is also great for making sure there are no issues that could develop into problems down the line. Unvented hot water cylinders also have a requirement to be serviced annually.
Annual services can range in cost depending on the type of heat pump but are generally around £250 plus VAT.
Want To Find Out More?
We hope this article has proved useful to give you an idea about how much an air source heat pump costs to install. Just as every home is different, every air source heat pump installation is bespoke to the property it is installed in. If you would like to find out more about what an air source heat pump would cost for your home, get in touch with our team by filling out the contact form below. Our experienced team will be able to answer any questions you have and advise on the best air source heat pump system for you and your property.