An air source pump is a different way to keep a building warm, and could be the perfect solution to generate heat yourself and perhaps make some savings on your company fuel bills.

How do they work?

An air source heat pump for heating and cooling is typically installed outdoors, at the rear or side of a building. It draws warmth from the air and increases its temperature through the use of a heat pump. This pump runs on electricity, but is relatively energy efficient.

Air source heat pumps often qualify for payment through the Renewable Heat Incentive. This is a government scheme that encourages people to generate their own heat through a financial incentive.

Air source heat pump types


This type of pump draws warmth from the air outdoors and releases it into your building with a fan system. Hot water can’t be produced through this type of heat pump.


This type of pump draws the heat from the air outside and feeds it into a water-based central heating system. The heat it produces is lower in temperature than that of a traditional boiler, so you might need to install underfloor heating or larger radiators to get the most out of it.

Expenses and savings with an air source heat pump

An ASHP is cheaper than a ground source heat pump. Estimates from the EST (Energy Savings Trust) estimate the price of a typical ASHP system installation ranges from £7,000 to £11,000.

Depending on the efficiency of your system, the time taken to recoup that initial investment varies. It also depends whether you qualify to receive money with the RHI, and what your pump’s heat is used for.

If installing an ASHP to replace your old heating system, the EST estimates average savings for a small building, like an office, would be as follows:

  • Replacing gas – £455-£485
  • Replacing electric – £735 – £820
  • Replacing oil – £290 – £315
  • Replacing LPG – £1,000 – £1,090

The EST also estimates that payments from the RHI would come in at £1,140 – £1,235 per year. Bear in mind that replacing a new A-rated heating system with an ASHP could actually make your bills increase.