Air Source Heat Pump vs Oil Boiler

When it comes to deciding between an air source heat pump and an oil boiler, it’s almost like being caught somewhere between the new and the old.

On one hand, the oil boiler has been used for decades and there can be comfort in sticking to what you know. Your home might already have one installed and has relied on it for the last decade.

On the other hand, air source heat pumps are becoming more popular due to their extraordinary efficiency, reduced carbon footprint and cost savings in comparison to traditional boilers.

It’s important to understand how each of these two heating systems works before making a decision. In this post, we’ll look at the differences between air source heat pumps and oil boilers, and how they work to help you decide which is better for your home.

What is an air source heat pump?

You probably already know what an oil boiler is. After all, it pretty much does what it says on the tin and there’s one in over 1.5 million UK homes.

However, you may not be as familiar with air source heat pumps (ASHP).

An ASHP is a type of renewable heating system that extracts heat from outside air and uses it to provide central heating and hot water in your home.

Although they have been around for decades, recent technological advancements mean that air source heat pumps are becoming an increasingly popular and affordable alternative to traditional oil boilers.

Thanks to their highly efficient rate of operation, they can majorly reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions – making them an attractive choice for those looking to save money and reduce their environmental impact.

You can learn more about how an air source heat pump works in our detailed blog.

Benefits of an air source heat pump

There are many benefits to installing an air source heat pump into your home.

Air source heat pumps are an incredibly efficient way of heating your home. By drawing energy from outside air, they can save you up to £780 a year in comparison to traditional boilers systems.

Additionally, their low carbon output makes them much more environmentally friendly than traditional heating systems.

ASHPs also have a much longer lifespan than oil boilers and require very little maintenance, making them a great long-term investment.

Other benefits include silent operation and compatibility with other renewable energy sources, such as solar panels.

What is an oil boiler?

An oil boiler works by burning fuel to generate heat which is then used to warm up the radiators in your home. They are becoming increasingly outdated due to their higher running costs and detrimental environmental impact.

Oil boilers are powered by the burning of fossil fuels, which is not only expensive but also contributes heavily to global warming.

Air source heat pump vs oil boiler

Efficiency

When comparing the efficiency of air source heat pumps and oil boilers, it’s clear that they both have their advantages.

A new oil boiler is usually 92% to 93% efficient when compared with other fuel sources, making them an efficient way of heating your home. However, as these boilers age, this efficiency can drop to around 60%.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, use renewable energy from the air outside your home to provide hot water and space heating.

Typically, air-source heat pumps generate around three times more heat than the amount of energy consumed to extract the heat.

This means that in terms of efficiency, air source heat pumps have an average efficiency of around 300%!

Cost

When it comes to costs, both air source heat pumps and oil boilers have their pros and cons.

Oil boilers are typically the cheaper option in terms of up-front installation fees, although they do require more maintenance than other fuel sources.

Additionally, you may need to factor in the running cost of having fuel delivered directly to your home as well as the cost of any repairs or replacements that may be required.

An air source heat pump, on the other hand, typically has higher up-front installation costs and requires less maintenance than an oil boiler.

However, through government grants you can significantly lower this initial cost – but more on that later.

Since ASHP’s use renewable energy from the air outside your home to provide hot water and space heating, you can expect a much lower running cost than with an oil boiler.

Maintenance and replacement

Following on from our last point, the maintenance and potential replacement of both heating systems is something to consider when selecting the right one for your home.

Oil boilers require more frequent servicing than an air source heat pump, as well as more frequent replacements due to their relatively short lifespan of around 10-15 years.

You also need to take into account the cost of fuel deliveries and any replacements or repairs that may be needed.

Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, require very little maintenance and have a much longer lifespan of up to 25 years – meaning you won’t need to replace them as often.

They also require less energy to run, meaning you can take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates for running your system overnight or during the day when you’re not at home.

In terms of maintenance, ASHPs are pretty much self-sufficient and require minimal upkeep – making them a great long-term investment.

Insulation

Insulation is an important factor to consider when comparing air source heat pumps and oil boilers.

Oil boilers are typically installed in homes that have already been insulated, meaning the efficiency of the system can be maximised as heat won’t be lost through the walls or windows.

Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, require well-insulated homes in order to maximise efficiency.

Insulating your home before installing an air source heat pump will help keep the hot air inside your home, meaning less energy is wasted and you get more from your system.

Ultimately, both systems are at their most efficient if installed correctly and with good insulation. It’s important to consider the insulation of your home before deciding which system is best for you.

Environmental impact

write a quality paragraph about the environmental differences between an air source heat pump and an oil boiler

When considering which system is best for your home, it’s important to take into account the environmental impact of both.

An oil boiler is powered by the burning of fossil fuels – a process that contributes heavily to global warming.

This not only increases your carbon footprint but can also be incredibly costly if you’re running an outdated model.

In comparison, air source heat pumps are much more environmentally friendly, as they rely on renewable energy from the air outside your home rather than burning fossil fuels.

This means that by choosing an ASHP, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to reducing global warming while saving on your energy bills.

By choosing an air source heat pump over an oil boiler, you can reduce your energy bills and lower your carbon footprint at the same time.

In turn, this will make your home more energy-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. It’s a win-win all round!

Government support

The UK government currently offers a range of grants to help homeowners make the switch from oil to air source heat pumps.

An example of this is the Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO4). The ECO4 scheme targets the UK’s most energy-inefficient homes and provides them with a cost-effective option to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills.

This could include a grant to cover the installation of an air source heat pump in replacement of an existing oil boiler.

There are also some other schemes for specific areas of the UK. For example, there are several heat pump grants in Scotland, including the Warmer Homes Scotland Programme and the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan.

In comparison, there is no government support to install oil boilers – primarily because of their higher emissions and shorter lifespan.

Discover your ECO4 eligibility

Thank you for reading our post on the differences between air source heat pumps and oil boilers.

If you think you might be eligible for a grant from the ECO scheme, complete our free online eligibility checker today.

We can provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about which system will be right for your home.

At So Eco, we understand that making an informed decision about your home heating system is important – so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! We’re here to help.

Happy heating!

Save on energy bills.

You could be eligible for a grant or funding.

Complete the quick and easy form to see if you’re eligible.

Ready to take control of your energy bills?

Find out which schemes and grants you are eligible for.