SAVE hundreds per year on your energy bills by installing a Heat Pump!

Post your job for free, quickly and easily and it will be sent to experts in your area interested in your job. It only takes 30 seconds. Recieve 100% free quotes with no obligation.

Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes
Find out how much a heat pump would cost you

Step 1 of 7

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes
Find out how much a heat pump would cost you

Step 1 of 7

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

Created on October 2, 2023

Updated on February 19, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps in Scotland

The Scottish government is considering a prohibition on gas and oil boilers in new constructions starting in 2024. As a more environmentally friendly option, numerous homeowners have begun exploring the prices of heat pumps to determine their suitability for their homes.

If you are among these homeowners, you may be questioning whether this heating system can effectively heat your home during cold winter nights, given that it operates by extracting heat from the air.

In the article below, we will address this query and more, providing insights into the cost of air source heat pumps, their functionality, the prevalence of installations in Scotland, and whether investing in one is worthwhile.

If you are already inclined towards installing an air source heat pump, we can assist in initiating the process. Simply complete our brief form with some details, and we will forward them to professional installers who will subsequently provide you with quotations.


What's on this page?

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump is a device that utilizes heat from the outdoor air to warm your residence and water supply. This process involves converting the absorbed heat from the external air into a fluid, which is then heated using an electric compressor. Subsequently, this fluid is conveyed to the heating and hot water systems within the home by means of a heat exchanger.

How does an air source heat pump work

Just keep in mind that heat pumps utilize electricity, not gas, to transfer heat into your home. The positive aspect is that air source heat pumps generally boast an efficiency rating of 300%, indicating that they can generate three units of energy for every unit of electricity they absorb.

Indeed, air source heat pumps function effectively in Scotland, even during cold weather. This is achievable because they can extract residual heat (the remaining warmth from when the air was warmer) from the air at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius (°C), or even -25°C. The average winter temperatures in Scotland typically remain well above these levels, usually hovering around 0°C to 3°C, with unusual lows of -10°C.

For further insights into how heat pumps operate in cold weather, you can explore our dedicated page on the topic.

Nonetheless, it is true that air source heat pumps tend to exhibit reduced efficiency in colder conditions. This is attributable to the fact that when there is less heat in the air, heat pumps must exert more effort to capture sufficient warmth to heat your home. Consequently, they will consume more energy and incur higher running costs under such circumstances.

However, there is no need to be deterred, as air source heat pumps remain a viable option for homeowners in Scotland. In fact, heat pumps are highly popular in nations that experience much colder climates than Scotland. Despite encountering lower temperatures, NorwayFinland, and Sweden are the European countries with the highest density of heat pumps per capita.

How much do air source heat pumps cost in Scotland?

The typical price of purchasing and installing an air source heat pump in Scotland for a three-bedroom house is approximately £10,000. Larger properties will incur higher costs, as they necessitate heat pumps with a greater wattage to fulfill their heating requirements.

Here’s an overview of the average costs of air source heat pumps based on property size:

Size of property

Cost of air source heat pumpSize of air source heat pump, in kilowatts (kW)

Two bedroom

£7,0005 kW
Three bedroom£10,00010 kW
Four bedroom£13,00013 kW
Five bedroom£15,00016 kW

Are there any government grants for air source heat pumps in Scotland?

There are two available grants for air source heat pumps in ScotlandECO4 and Warmer Homes Scotland.

Interested in determining if you qualify for these programs? We’ll provide an overview of both grants in the following sections. Additionally, you can explore more details on our dedicated page for air source heat pump grants.


ECO4 represents the fourth phase of the Energy Company Obligation scheme, offering various energy-saving home enhancements, including heat pumps. This scheme is accessible until March 2026 for low-income households or households receiving the following benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee
  • Credit Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit

To apply, you must get in touch with an energy supplier participating in the scheme, which can be found on Ofgem’s website.

Warmer Homes Scotland

Warmer Homes Scotland is a program initiated by the Scottish government, offering financial assistance to low-income homeowners and tenants. In certain cases, it can cover 100% of the expenses for purchasing and installing a heat pump.

To qualify for this initiative, your home must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess a poor energy rating
  • Have an area of 230 m2 or less
  • Fulfill the tolerable living standard of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
  • Fall within council tax bands A-F
  • Household should have no central heating and include either a person who is over 75 or a person in possession of a DS1500 or BASRiS certificate completed by a medical professional. Alternatively, it should include a person receiving specific benefits.

For a comprehensive list of requirements, you can visit the Warmer Homes Scotland website.

How many people have air source heat pumps in Scotland?

As of now, according to MCS data, approximately 18,879 domestic air source heat pumps have been established in Scotland.

To provide insight into the installation rate, between 3,000 and 4,000 heat pumps are set up annually throughout Scotland, with the majority being air source heat pumps.

From 2020, the Scottish government has sponsored several grant and loan schemes with the objective of installing 80,000 to 100,000 heat pumps from 2021 to 2026. Achieving this target would lead to a substantial increase in the current figures.

However, in order to meet the government’s objective, approximately 30,000 heat pump installations would be necessary each year for five consecutive years, as per Nesta analysis. This represents around 10 times more installations than the current rate.

Is it worth getting an air source heat pump in Scotland?

Certainly, installing an air source heat pump in Scotland holds significant value. Over a span of 20 years, it has the potential to save you £4,340 in comparison to a gas boiler – even without factoring in a grant. Additionally, it can reduce your annual carbon footprint by 44%.

Prior to proceeding with the installation of an air source heat pump, it’s vital to assess whether your home is suitable for one and whether it aligns with your financial circumstances.

Homeowners intending to integrate a heat pump will likely need to upgrade their radiators to those that are twice the size of standard ones, or consider installing underfloor heating. This is due to the fact that heat pumps generate heat at lower temperatures than boilers, approximately 40°C compared to 60°C for boilers, necessitating larger surface area for radiators to effectively warm your home.

Considering this factor, air source heat pumps are not recommended for properties with inadequate insulation. Even with larger radiators, a property might struggle to retain sufficient low-flow heat for comfortable warmth if it lacks proper insulation. Ideally, the property should have an Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of A, B, or C at the very least.

Consequently, it’s essential to factor in the cost of installing new radiators when contemplating air source heat pumps. For properties with poor insulation, exploring options such as double glazing, wall insulation, or loft insulation before the heat pump installation would be advisable.

Next steps

Undoubtedly, the current period presents an ideal opportunity to incorporate an air source heat pump in Scotland.

The Scottish government has placed significant emphasis on heat pumps in its strategy to decarbonize domestic energy. As evidence of its commitment, the government has already allocated £20 million in interest-free loans, with 66% of these funds utilized for heat pump installations, as per government statistics.

If you’re prepared to initiate the installation of an air source heat pump, simply input a few details into our quotes form. Subsequently, we will connect you with our network of skilled installers, who will provide you with their most competitive prices.

Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes
Find out how much a heat pump would cost you

Step 1 of 7

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes
Find out how much a heat pump would cost you

Step 1 of 7

Complete A Short Form – Receive Free Quotes – Compare & Save

Popular related posts

Share this post:

Discover More Articles

Find a renewable
expert for your next project

Post your job quickly and easily and let experts interested
in your job come to you.