Installer Directory


Janet Richardson


Updated on

Oct 12, 2023

Read Time : 3 Minutes

The Disadvantages of Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps can be a fantastic way to generate electricity and heat for your home. Like the majority of heat pumps, they are often better for the environment too, leaving less of an impact and little to no emissions. While it comes with a wide range of benefits, everything has a set of disadvantages – and air source heat pumps are no exception. Make sure you take some time to read through the disadvantages of this system here before you make your choice.


Generally, you will find that heat pumps will come with a warranty that lasts around two or three years. You can also get workmanship warranties, which tend to last for up to ten years through schemes such as QANW (Quality Assured National Warranties). You may also have the option to extend your warranty, a feature that many manufacturers will offer free of charge. Generally speaking, these can be extended for up to 20-years, but they will require regularly scheduled maintenance. This will normally consist of an annual check performed by you, followed by a detailed check from a professional installer every three to five years.

Your installer should leave you with clear written details that note any maintenance checks that you will be expected to undertake at any given point during your ownership. This will ensure that things run smoothly and consistently throughout its lifetime. You should always make a point of speaking to your supplier for the exact maintenance requirements before you decide to commit to the purchase of a heat pump. It is highly likely that you will be asked to carry out yearly checks on things like the air inlet grill and evaporator, just to ensure that they are free from leaves and debris. You will also need to remove any plant life that has started growing there.

Your installer may take steps to advise you about checking the central heating pressure gauge in your home from time to time. If this is the case, you should be shown how to do this, so make sure you ensure your installer follows through. This is to prevent the heat pump from freezing in the winter weather by using anti-freeze. The levels of anti-freeze concentration are something that the installer will take the time to check when he comes to your home to service your pump. If your heat pump has external refrigeration pipes (very uncommon), they will require an annual service from a refrigeration engineer.


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The Cost of Air Source Heat Pumps

It is important to understand the cost of an air source heat pump before you get too involved. Like many heat pumps, they can be a little pricey to purchase and have installed. For a typical pump, you are looking at the price ranging from £7,000 to £11,000, and prices can go up to £20,000 for more advanced models.

When it comes to the running costs, these will tend to vary depending on things like the size of your home as well as the amount of insulation. The latter of these is an essential aspect when it comes to the costs and overall efficiency of the system.


The Disadvantages of Air Source Heat Pumps

The main disadvantages associated with air source heat pumps are listed below:

  • Lower heat supply compared to oil and gas boilers, so larger radiators could be needed
    Generally, if radiators are doubles and the pipework is 15mm not microbore, the CH system may not need many changes. 
  • They perform better with underfloor heating or warm air heating and work more efficiently when coupled with larger radiators
  • They can take quite some time to heat up
    Heat pumps are designed to be on most of the time, to create an ambient temperature. Due to this, starting one up from cold will take longer to heat the property than a standard combustion boiler. 
  • Air source heat pumps may not lower your heating bill if you're on gas mains
    Although ASHP systems are up to 4x more efficient than gas boilers, gas is up to 4x cheaper by the unit, so the potential savings of switching to an ASHP from a modern gas boiler may not be that much. 
  • They need electricity to be powered if there is no access to solar energy or wind power
    As stated above, electricity is expensive. Make sure you understand the running costs when looking to install an ASHP. 
  • You would need a highly insulated home to reap the high energy savings benefits
    Heat pumps are designed for modern properties and although there are now high temperature heat pumps, you will often need to improve your homes energy efficiency for a heat pump to work effectively. 
  • Noisy like an air conditioner when it is running
    Some ASHP systems are louder than others, there are now 'whisper quiet' systems that make virtually no noise at all.  
  • Need to run constantly during the winter, which can increase your running costs. 
  • Less efficient in winter due to low Coefficient of Performance (COP) levels
  • The cost of installing an air source heat pump is usually between £7,000- £13,000
    Even with the Government's Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant of £7500, an ASHP can cost more upfront than less green alternatives. 
  • To have a high return in terms of saving from purchasing and using an air source heat pump, it is important to have a well-insulated home. 

Want to Know More?

Have you found yourself interested in air source heat pumps? If you want to know more then click the 'Further Reading' links on the right. If you're ready to move forward, check out our directory of approved installation companies, or simply give us a ring using the number at the top of this page and have a chat.


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