Air source heat pumps might require a big upfront investment. But the good news is that they are one of the most efficient ways to heat your home.
An air source heat pump produces more heat energy than it uses in electricity. So while a modern gas boiler is more than 90% efficient – and electric heaters are 100% – air-source heat pump efficiency can be three or four times higher[9.1][9.2]!
Their high efficiency means that air source heat pump running costs can be far lower than what you’d typically pay for your heating system. Here’s why…
It costs about 4.6p per kilowatt hour (kWh) to heat a home with gas. And it’s about 9-16p per kWh using standard electric heaters. A typical air source heat pump might cost about 4.7p per kWh to run. But if you use cheap-rate Economy 7 electricity or an GoElec tariff this could be as low as 2.3p!
Energy prices vary – and our homes and use patterns differ too. So it’s hard to give an exact figure for how much money you could save in a year. But, based on some industry-wide figures, we’ve put together this example:
A modern four-bedroom house might need about 19,000kWh of heat per year. This would cost around £874 in gas. Using an air source heat pump and electricity priced at 16p per kWh the cost would be almost identical. However, even if you did only half of your heating overnight – using the cheapest cheap-rate electricity – you could save 25%: about £215.
The savings increase when you consider hot water. On average, a four-person household uses about 160 litres a day. This requires about another 2,800kWh per year. Using a 90% efficient gas boiler that’s another £129. But if you got all your hot water from an air source heat pump powered by cheap-rate electricity, you might only pay £65.