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Energy at home

Heat pumps

Cut through the hot air

Heat pumps are an energy efficient, low carbon way to heat your home. They’re suitable for almost all types of home and, depending on what heating system you’re replacing, could save you money on your energy bills.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a heating system that:

  • transfers heat from a colder area, usually outside.
  • raises the temperature.
  • moves the heat into your home.

It uses electricity to do this, but the heat energy it supplies is much more than the electrical energy needed the power the system.

This makes heat pumps a more energy efficient way to heat your home than a traditional gas or oil boiler. It also produces far fewer carbon emissions than other heating systems.

Heat pump myths debunked

We found several heat pump ‘myths’ that were holding people back from adopting the technology. Let’s cut through the hot air and get to the truth about heat pumps.

Myth: Heat pumps are big

Fact: Heat pumps need less space than two wheelie bins stood side-by-side. That’s around 1.5 metres wide.

Myth: Heat pumps only work in well insulated homes

Fact. Heat pumps work in all types of homes and still work well in those that have less insulation. When you speak to a heat pump installer, they’ll assess your home and set your heat pump to work with your house type and heating needs.

Myth: Heat pumps require a lot of maintenance

Fact: Heat pumps need no more maintenance than a gas boiler. Just like with a gas boiler, we recommend an annual service for your heat pump.

Myth: There’s no financial help for heat pumps

Fact: In England and Wales, you can get up to £7,500 of government funding towards a heat pump (other funding options available for Scotland and Northern Ireland).

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Are heat pumps right for me?

Read our in-depth heat pump guide to find out:

  • how heat pumps work.
  • how much they usually cost to install and run.
  • what kind of heat pump might be right for you.

 

If you want to know more about the realities of installing and running a heat pump, read our case studies:

What kind of heat pump should I get?

There are two types of heat pump that are most common in the UK:

Which one is better suited to you largely depends on your budget and how much space you have.

Air source heat pumps tend to be the most common type installed.

For more information, look at our guides to each type of heat pump:

What financial support is available for heat pumps?

The support you can get depends on where in the UK you live:

I’m thinking about getting a heat pump. Where do I go next?

The best thing to do is to find out what heat pump system is right for you and speak to an installer for more tailored advice:

 

I already have a heat pump. What else can I do to get low carbon energy?

Here’s some advice on how to maximise your heat pump’s efficiency and other ways you can benefit from low carbon energy:

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Last updated: 29 February 2024