Tuesday 2 May 2023


 There is a rising interest in heat pumps across the UK. But many households remain unsure whether or not it’s a worthy investment. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of heat pumps and explain whether or not they’re just a load of hot air. Let’s begin!

What are Heat Pumps?

In short, a heat pump is designed to extract energy from the surrounding environment to a heat home. There are, however, two distinct categories: air source and ground source heat pumps.


Air source heat pumps work by harnessing heat from the air while ground source heat pumps extract heat from the Earth’s thermal energy with an underground installation. 


Heat pumps are expensive, however. For example, the average air source heat pump installation cost lands around £7,000 to £18,000. Ground source heat pumps are more expensive, though with an installation price of approximately £15,000 to £35,000. 


While expensive, heat pumps can generate more energy than is needed for their operation, meaning they often provide efficiency levels of 250-400%.

Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps

Let’s now expand on the advantages and disadvantages of heat pumps to give you a sense of whether or not this option might be for you.



  • Highly efficient. *
  • Installation cost can be reduced by £5,000 to £6,000 for eligible homes in England or Wales through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme or BUS.
  • Significantly more eco-friendly than gas or oil boilers.
  • Much safer to use than gas boilers.


*Ground source heat pumps tend to be more efficient than air source heat pumps.



  • Very expensive to install.
  • Larger radiators may be required to accommodate a heat pump installation. *
  • Probably won’t save you money over your current heating bills.
  • Risk of freezing over during the winter, thus you may need a backup source of heating for emergencies.
  • Won’t be a good fit for any and all households.


*Since heat pumps have a lower flow temperature than boilers, they need a larger total radiator surface area to heat a home effectively. However, you could also achieve this by having underfloor heating installed which could help lower your bills.

Are Heat Pumps Worth It?

It’s hard to give a concrete yes or no answer to this question as it will really depend on your current situation and budget.


However, in many cases, it may not prove financially worthwhile for a home to switch from a gas boiler to a heat pump currently. With that said, if you can benefit from BUS funding and you make the most of your heat pump, it’s possible that you’ll pay less than you currently do to run your gas boiler.


In most cases, though, it is arguably best to wait for prices to come down in the years ahead before opting for a heat pump. With plenty of investment in this area, it’s not far fetched to imagine that heat pump installation prices will come down as the decade progresses. 


Beyond that, you might also want to consider a hybrid heat pump which utilizes a gas boiler and heat pump. While hybrid heat pump setups are cheaper than the full monty, they are not eligible for BUS funding. 


As touched on, a heat pump may not be financially worthwhile yet in many cases, that isn’t to say this is true in every case. Further, if you’re primarily concerned with lowering your carbon footprint then a heat pump is a great investment.


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