How is an air source heat pump installed?

Air source heat pump installation
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    For homeowners seeking a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly heating solution, air source heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice. Heat pumps are a reliable renewable energy solution that can significantly lower a property’s carbon footprint and reduce energy bills. But what exactly does the installation process entail?

    Air source heat pump installation involves meticulous planning before removing existing systems, installing indoor and outdoor units, pipework and electrics, and sometimes heating upgrades, like new radiators. Planning and installation by a certified installer is essential for minimal disruption.

    In this guide, we’ll shed some light on what’s involved in installing an air source heat pump so that you can make a decision with confidence.

    Choosing the right installers for your new heat pump is essential to minimise disruption and ensure your heat pump is installed for maximum efficiency. For friendly and independent advice on air source heat pump installation on the south coast, please contact Cinergi.

    Are air source heat pumps difficult to install?

    Homeowners often become apprehensive about the installation process for fear it may be too complicated and disruptive. However, with the help of an experienced and accredited professional like Cinergi, installation is a straightforward process.

    So, don’t let the fear of complexity stop you from experiencing the many benefits of air source heat pumps. Our team of highly skilled engineers ensure that planning and installation are carried out smoothly and efficiently.

    How long do air source heat pumps take to install?

    How long installation takes depends on the size of your property, the complexity of the system, if old boilers or pipework need to be removed and if any upgrades to the heating system are required.

    At Cinergi, we understand that having installation work done can be disruptive to your daily routine. But don’t worry, we’ll do everything we can to keep any inconvenience to a minimum. Typically, installation takes a few days to a couple of weeks. However, we’ll work hard to get the job done as quickly as possible and with as little disruption as possible.

    What happens preinstallation?

    Before the actual installation of the air source heat pump begins, several crucial steps are undertaken to ensure a seamless and successful process.

    Home assessment

    The first step involves conducting a comprehensive assessment of your property to determine the most suitable location for the heat pump system. Factors such as available space, insulation levels, and existing infrastructure are taken into consideration to optimise performance and efficiency.

    During this step, vital heat loss calculations are carried out to work out how much heat is needed to provide the necessary warmth and hot water to your home. From there, we can determine the size and specifications of the air source heat pump system required.

    You must ensure you have an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate before the survey can be carried out. If you do not have one, then a member of our team will happily assist with arranging this for you.

    Placement and planning of the heat pump system

    Once the ideal location is identified, meticulous planning is carried out to determine the placement of the outdoor unit and associated indoor equipment. This involves considering factors such as airflow, accessibility, and aesthetic considerations to ensure optimal functionality and minimal visual impact.

    Steps of an air source heat pump installation process

    Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of installing an air source heat pump:

    Removal of existing system (if necessary)

    If necessary, your old heating system may need to be removed to make way for the new air source heat pump. This may include removing an old gas boiler, pipework, radiators, or other components that are no longer needed. It’s worth noting that the removal of any heat source that uses fossil fuels (i.e. the gas boiler) is a condition of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). 

    Find out more about the BUS.

    In some cases, a hybrid system is the best option. This is when the heat pump is used in conjunction with a boiler to increase efficiency. The integration involves the installation of a control system that manages the operation of both technologies based on factors such as outdoor temperature and heating demand.

    This control system, often referred to as a hybrid controller, coordinates the switching between the heat pump and boiler to maximise efficiency and comfort while minimising energy consumption.

    Read more about hybrid systems in our blog on whether a heat pump can heat a whole house.

    Outdoor unit installation

    The external unit, which extracts heat from the ambient air, is carefully installed in a suitable location outside the property, such as a garden or driveway. This typically involves mounting the unit on a solid base or platform to ensure stability and minimise vibrations. Typically, external units are no more than 1.5m high.

    Read our blog on how to make an external air source heat pump unit look better.

    Indoor equipment installation

    As part of the installation of a heat pump, your hot water cylinder typically also needs replacing (this is for the same reason we take a detailed look at radiators – lower flow temperatures mean we need a larger coil within the cylinder to transfer the heat effectively and efficiently to your water).

    Other equipment such as valves and pumped are also typically upgraded and replaced, all of which usually fit back in the same space as your existing cylinder did.


    Once the units are in place, our team meticulously connects all the necessary system components, including pipework, electrical wiring, and control systems, to your (new) hot water cylinder.

    Heating system upgrade (if necessary)

    Upgrades to your central heating system may be necessary to optimise the performance and efficiency of the air source heat pump system. Older radiators may not efficiently distribute the lower-temperature heat produced by the heat pump. You might also wish to consider underfloor heating, which offers more uniform warmth, enhancing comfort and energy efficiency.

    If upgrades are necessary, the next step is to install the components and connect them to the air source heat pump system.

    Final Checks

    Before commissioning the system, comprehensive checks and tests are carried out to verify its functionality and performance. This includes testing the heating and cooling capabilities, checking for any leaks or issues, and fine-tuning the system settings to ensure optimal efficiency and comfort.

    Your installer will ensure you fully understand your heat pump controls before they leave, and Cinergi provides a comprehensive aftercare and maintenance service to ensure your system stays working at optimum efficiency.

    How much does air source heat pump installation cost?

    Installation costs can range from £10,000 to £15,000, depending on the heat pump’s capacity and the property’s size. Remember that if you require radiator upgrades, this will increase the total installation costs.

    The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) offers £7,500 to eligible households towards the installation costs of an air source heat pump – so, it could be a much more affordable option than you think.

    Looking for a heat pump installer? Get in touch with Cinergi

    When it comes to air source heat pump installation, it’s essential to choose the right installer for a professional and hassle-free service. With over 40 years of experience in both domestic and commercial energy solutions, Cinergi is your trusted partner for all your heating needs.

    Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you transition to a more efficient and sustainable heating system.

    Picture of Dan Loveridge
    Dan Loveridge

    Dan is the managing director at Cinergi, a renewable energy company based in southern England specialising in air source heat pumps and EV charging solutions.

    Contact us to ask for advice