Compare Offers from Local Installers in the UK for Air to Water Heat Pumps 

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Heat Pump, Air to Water

What is the Process of an Air to Water Heat Pump?

Heat is transferred from an outdoor air source to a water-based system using air to water heat pumps. The heat produced can be used to heat rooms or provide hot water for the entire home. One of the most effective types of air source heat pumps available today is the air to water model.

For maximum results, this kind of heat pump needs a temperate environment. As opposed to dry and cold environments where outdoor temperatures drop below -20°C, an air to water heat pump performs best at 7°C. The operating efficiency will decrease as temperatures drop, keeping in mind the air to water heat pump’s basic principles.

Ground source heat pumps, which draw heat from the earth and function effectively in extremely cold temperatures, may appear like a better option in regions with very low winter temperatures. The air to water heat pump technology advancements, however, are said to be able to meet heating requirements even as low set points below -25°C.

The needs of the house determine which heat pump is best. Air to water heat pumps are more popular in the UK’s retrofit sector, but they are also excellent for new construction.

In its most recent special study, the International Energy Agency emphasises that no new gas boilers should be sold after 2025 if Net Zero targets are to be met by 2050. In the near future, heat pumps are anticipated to be a superior, low-carbon option for heating homes.

An additional 19 million heat pumps are anticipated to be built by 2050, which is when the UK hopes to achieve Net Zero. In the UK, air source heat pumps account for about 87 percent of all heat pumps that have been installed. The installation of various heat pumps as a low carbon heating option is anticipated to rise further with the implementation of the new heat and buildings plan.

Taking into account their advantages and disadvantages, air source heat pumps are still more effective than an outdated gas or oil system.

Please get in touch with us by completing the form  if you’re interested in selecting a full solution for home heating and hot water supply. We will pair you with the appropriate air to water heat pump suppliers based on your requirements. Make informed selections by comparing up to four quotations from various providers. This is a free, non-obligatory service.

Are Air to Water Heat Pumps Effective?

You can cut your carbon footprint in half by employing an air-to-water heat pump. This is such that even if it is powered by electricity, it mostly uses renewable green energy. It draws in low-quality air, moves it through the system, and produces your home’s ideal levels of heating and hot water.

Given the price of an air source heat pump, planning your heat pump installation carefully is essential, whether it is in a newly built home or one that is being renovated. Due to their lower operating temperatures, air-to-water heat pumps are ideal for use with underfloor heating.

When paired with a heat pump, the cost of underfloor heating systems can initially appear to be a significant expenditure. You will be able to notice the differences, though, with decreased electricity bills and more comfort in your home, within the first year after installation.

Even if your current heating systems employ water-based radiators, air to water heat pumps can still be a viable option. It’s important to remember that the effectiveness of the heat pump and radiators will depend on how well they are sized for the heating demand if you decide against upgrading. The best option in this situation will be a larger radiator or a radiator with two panels.

Is the cost of operating a domestic air source heat pump high?

An air to water heat pump costs between £8,000 and £18,000, including installation and equipment costs. The following factors affect installation and operating costs:

    1. Dimensions of the property
    2. Demand for heating
    3. New construct or renovate

You can determine the required heating demand based on the size of the property. This will help you determine which air-to-water heat pump is best for your house. The accompanying expenditures, particularly with insulation, will vary depending on a number of other factors, like the property’s condition. Let’s look at a more thorough breakdown of running costs below.

Operating Expenses and Savings
Property Type Annual Heating Cost RHI Payback Per Year Annual Savings
2 Bedroom Teracced House Starting from £329 going up to £670 Starting from £335
3 Bedroom Semi-Detached Starting from £495 goind up to £1,000 Starting from £500
4 Bedroom House Starting from £759 going up to £1,600 Starting from £700

*Estimates are based on a home with high-quality insulation and an air-to-water heat pump with a 3.7 SCOP. The rate is based on the 14.37p/kWh average electricity price in the UK and the 10.71p RHI rate for air source heat pumps.

** Prices should only be used as a guide since they are based on averages.

In contrast, the cost of a ground source heat pump’s setup and installation can range from about £13,000 to £40,000. RHI payments varied from kind to type, which makes sense given the obvious price differential between the two heat pumps.

When compared to ground source heat pumps, which can cost over £25,000 over the course of seven years, home RHI payments for air to water heat pumps can range from £9,000 to £10,000.

Are Grants Available for Air to Water Heat Pumps?

The Renewable Heat Incentive in the UK lowers the operating costs of your air-to-water heat pump. It’s a heat pump grant from the government that promotes the use of green heating methods.

Households in the UK can obtain financial assistance through a tariff through the domestic RHI, and payments are made over a seven-year period. An air to water heat pump now costs 10.85p/kWh. Your air source heat pump’s operating costs will be greatly reduced thanks to this support.

On March 31, 2022, the domestic RHI will stop accepting new applications. In April 2022, a new incentive named the Clean Heat Grant is expected to take its place. This new grant will function differently than the RHI because it is an installation award.

Last but not least, the government has implemented a tax credit for goods that save energy, which includes air to water heat pumps. A 5 percent VAT reduction is available to those who are over 60 and/or receive income or disability benefits. You can be eligible for a discount on the entire product or only the installation, depending on the expenses.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Air-to-Water Systems

A excellent option for providing your home with heating and hot water that has no impact on the environment is an air to water heat pump. You will eventually pay less in bills if you use a renewable solution, and the RHI incentive will eventually pay for a significant percentage of your costs. The government’s electricity and gas regulator, Ofgem, regularly updates their RHI prices, so you may estimate your savings. Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of air source heat pumps so that you can choose the ideal system with knowledge.


  • Suitable for both new construction and retrofits
  • Appropriate for the RHI
  • Compact and of a manageable size
  • Safer than combustion-based systems for families.
  • Environmental option because they generate electricity by digesting air.
  • Generate more energy than they need to run on electricity.

Since air to water pumps are smaller and take up less room, installation planning is simpler. They are twice as energy-efficient as a large oil or gas system, though. You may drastically lower your utility costs with this great efficiency, and you can save even more with the RHI’s additional income.

As air is used to produce energy in air to water heat pumps, the operating mechanism is straightforward and risk-free.

A properly sized and high-quality air source heat pump will reduce your heating costs and save you money on electricity without sacrificing comfort or heat output.

Air source heat pumps rule the retrofit industry, but they are also ideal for brand-new construction.


  • In really cold places, another primary heating system is required.
  • Older models make a lot of noise when functioning.
  • When working at temperatures below 6°C, efficiency is reduced.
  • The house’s insulation must be of high quality to work at its best.
  • Possibly be required to pay for supplementary work, such putting in new radiators

When running in extremely cold temperatures, air source heat pumps run the danger of becoming inefficient, so it’s vital to consider the seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) to obtain an indication of the typical yearly performance.

And if you were thinking of buying an air-to-water unit since they are small and simple to maintain, think about the noise levels before installing the interior unit anywhere else than the utility room.

The price of quality insulation is another factor to take into account while planning, as it will have the most impact on the amount of money you will ultimately save by installing an air-to-water heat pump.

Finally, the cost of installation may be greatly increased by the replacement of your existing underfloor heating system or radiators, depending on their state.

When Installing Air Source Heat Pumps, Take into Account These 4 Things

The right sizing of the heat pump in accordance with the heating demand of your property is essential for a heat pump to operate as intended.

If a homeowner wants to apply for a RHI grant, they should keep in mind that only MCS certified installer businesses are allowed to install air source heat pumps, and that there may be further conditions.

Consider the following four variables to make sure your air-to-water system will function as efficiently as possible:

1. What Is Included in the Cost of Installation?

Make sure the installation and setup fees are included in the air to water heat pump price when requesting an offer. Your exact heating requirements, the size of your air to water heat pump, and your heating system will all have a significant impact on your savings.

Your ability to save money on heating depends on both where you live and how humid the air is.

2. Expert Installation of Air to Water Heat Pumps

A professional installer is required by many manufacturers of air to water heat pumps, and installation of an air to water heat pump can be completed in a matter of hours. To find out if any adjustments need to be made to your current system, get in touch with your electrical provider.

3. Keep obstructions out of the system.

Since the air must flow around the machine and shouldn’t enter it again after passing through it once, the exterior of the air-to-water heat pump shouldn’t be situated in a cramped or small area. As long as the room has a floor drain, the interior portion of the air-to-water heat pump could, for instance, be placed there.

4. Noise from Heat Pumps

Depending on the design, air to water heat pumps can be heard from one metre away at a noise level of between 40 and 60 dB. When deciding where to put a heat pump, especially on older versions, it is important to take into account how much noise it will create. It’s important to remember that larger heat pumps’ fans will operate at a higher speed and produce greater noise as a result.

For optimum performance, maintain and care

The system will function to its maximum potential if it receives the proper maintenance and attention. To make the outside unit last longer, it must be kept clean. Make certain to:

  1. To guarantee that the system is using clean water and to prevent damage, the filter in the external component needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.
  2. To guarantee effective air entry and output, the unit should be kept dry, and the area around it should be kept clean.
  3. Depending on the quality of the water in the area, the water tank should be cleaned with scale, and the system should be frequently examined for leaks.

FAQs on air-to-water heat pumps

Does the COP Matter?

We measure the performance of an air source heat pump based on its COP. The higher the number, the higher the efficiency. An average COP of 3 for an air source heat pump means your system will produce 3kW of electricity and consume 1kWh of electricity.

SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) is a newer measure that describes the average COP during the heating season.

How Can I Increase the Efficiency of My Heat Pump?

As mentioned earlier, taking good care of your heat pump will keep it running at its best. Replacing the filter and removing leaves or other objects around the outdoor unit will keep it efficient.

Can an air-to-water heat pump save me money?

Yes, you can save a lot of money by applying for an air-to-water heat pump grant. England, Wales and Scotland offer residential and non-domestic renewable heat incentive schemes with quarterly payments over 7 years. Current tariffs and payments are available on Ofgem.

Are Grants Available for Air to Water Heat Pumps?

There are currently two funding options for air/water heat pumps. Within the framework of the (RHI), you can receive financial support for seven years. The domestic RHI is expected to close on March 31, 2022.

This is another government subsidy that covers two-thirds of the cost of installing a heat pump system. The program ends on March 31, 2021. RHI and Green Homes grants can be used together, but the Green Homes grant amount you receive will be deducted from your RHI payment – meaning you are effectively overpaying with an RHI voucher.

How long does an air-to-water heat pump last?

10-15 years. This obviously relies upon variables, for example, the brand model, area and upkeep of the unit. They regularly accompany a guarantee of a few years.

Can I always have my air-to-water heat pump on?

With appropriate protection and legitimate air-to-water heat pump size for your home, you don’t need to leave it on constantly. You can utilize a clock that will naturally turn on and off the unit, contingent upon your warming requirements.

Do I Need Permission from the Planning Department to Install an Air to Water Heat Pump?

Arranging consents are not typically needed for air source heat pump frameworks starting around 1 December 2011, considering that certain are met.

GreenSavings Network is here to help you if you need guidance choosing the best air-to-water heat pump system. By completing the contact form, you can get up to four quotes from local vendors. The assistance is complimentary and not required.