Should I Install a Heat Pump Instead or a Gas Boiler?
With the government increasingly promoting heat pump installations over gas, oil, LPG, and electric heating, many people are wondering if a gas boiler is the right choice for them or if they should switch to a heat pump.
The answer to this question can vary depending on your current system, your future plans for the house, and the way you operate your heating system. The government is offering a £5k grant towards the installation of a new heat pump, but is this incentive enough to make it worthwhile? Let’s examine a few different scenarios.
If you currently have a combi boiler and are looking for a like-for-like replacement without changing any radiators, it may not make financial sense to switch to a heat pump. The cost of replacing a combi boiler could range from £1700 to £3000, while a heat pump could cost between £7000 and £10,000 (after the grant) when including the replacement of all radiators and the necessary pipework to accommodate the heat pump’s lower temperature requirements. Unless you want to future-proof your home and make the switch while the £5k grant is available, a new gas boiler would likely be the more favourable option in this scenario.
However, it does start to make more financial sense when you are planning more extensive work, such as replacing a combi boiler and radiators or transitioning from an old gravity-fed system to a combi boiler or installations of a completely new heating system. In these scenarios, where larger modifications to the heating system are involved and costs can range from £3500 to £6500, a heat pump becomes a less significant financial burden. This is particularly true for new heating installations, where radiators should be designed to as low-temperature systems anyway.
The perfect scenario for a heat pump installation is when you are renovating your house or adding an extension that requires significant heating system upgrades. Installing a heat pump concurrently with other renovation work can save considerable disruption.
The way you operate your system can also make a big difference. If you live in an older property with higher heat loss and typically only heat the home for a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night, a heat pump may not be as cost-effective and may struggle to heat the home within short time periods. However, a heat pump can be incredibly efficient in the same home if it is designed to maintain a constant temperature by providing the same amount of heat that the home loses. This makes it a perfect solution for people who are generally at home most of the day, such as elderly individuals, families with small children, and people who work from home. In newer builds with good insulation levels, there won’t be much cost difference between running the home for a few hours in the morning and at night compared to running a heat pump constantly, due to lower heat losses from the home.
Air source heat pumps are definitely here to stay, and unless a ground breaking alternative emerges, it’s likely that the majority of homes will have one in the near future. However, does this mean gas boilers are obsolete? No! Gas boilers will continue to be used for a long time, but we believe that gas prices will increase as more renewable electricity is generated. This will lower the cost of electricity and elevate the price of gas due to the green levy currently making gas cheaper.
For more information on heat pumps, Heat Geek has a fantastic YouTube channel where you can learn more. As Heat Geek Elite installers, we can confirm that the content they create is transforming the industry and providing customers with the knowledge they need when considering a heat pump.
If you have any questions around which option might be best for you, please give us a call, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.