Do Heat Pumps work in Northern Ireland?

September 15 2022

Heat pumps are a popular choice for home heating in many parts of the world, but what about in Northern Ireland?

Despite the cooler climate, heat pumps can still be an effective way to heat your home. They work by using energy from the air or the ground to heat your property.

How does an air source heat pump work? 

Air source heat pumps are the most popular type in Northern Ireland. They sit outside your home and look a bit like an air-conditioning unit with a large fan on the side. 

They work by taking heat from the air outside and transferring it into your home. 

Air passes across a liquid refrigerant. This liquid boils at a very low temperature. The pump, powered by electricity, compresses the liquid. This compression raises the temperature even more.   

This heat can now be transferred to your radiators or underfloor heating and even heat your water too. 


What about cooling – can our heat pump be used for cooling in summer?

In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump cools your home by extracting heat from inside your home and releasing it into the outside air. For a GSHP the model that does cooling needs to be specified placing the order. The approximate cost is £1200 more for the GSHP to provide passive and active cooling. With an ASHP the cooling module can be added retrospectively if required.

Although the air source heat pump needs electricity to run, it’s still more cost-effective than using a traditional gas boiler. If you have solar panels, you can even use this to power your heat pump.

 If you’re interested in installing an air source heat pump in your home, there are a few things you need to know:

  • First, you’ll need to have an assessment done to see if your home is suitable for a heat pump. 
  • You’ll also need to choose the right heat pump for your home, as there are different types of heat pumps available.

At Daly Renewables we specialise in installing renewable heat pump systems for new build projects and we advise our clients on which heat pump system will work best for their property, lifestyle and budget. Air source heat pumps are a great option for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills.


How does a ground source heat pump work? 

Ground source heat pumps extract heat from the ground using a system of pipes buried underground. 


They work by circulating a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is buried in your garden.



These heat pumps can be more expensive to install but can be very cost-effective in the long term. They are especially efficient for heating and cooling, with the latter becoming more of a desirable option as we are experiencing higher temperatures during summer months. 


How effective are heat pumps?


Heat pumps are most effective when used in conjunction with other forms of renewable energy technology. 


Air tightness

One of the most important things to consider when installing a heat pump is air tightness. A well-insulated and airtight home will help the heat pump to work more efficiently and will also reduce your heating and cooling costs.


If you are in the design stage of your self-build then it is much easier to design air tightness at this stage. 


Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is an efficient way to heat your home and can be used in conjunction with a heat pump. Underfloor heating circulates warm water through pipes laid in the floor, which heats the room from the ground up.


Solar panels

Solar panels can be used to supplement your heat pump system. Solar panels can provide free electricity to run the heat pump and offset the cost.



The Ecoforest E-Manager is a control system that optimizes the performance of your heat pump and solar panel system. The E-Manager can be used to schedule heating and cooling times, set temperature limits, and monitor energy use.


However, there are a few things to bear in mind if you’re considering heat pumps for your home in Northern Ireland.


How much does it cost to install a heat pump in Northern Ireland?


Cost is always an important consideration when it comes to choosing a heating system. Heat pumps can be more expensive to install than traditional oil and gas systems, but they are often more efficient and can offer significant long-term savings. Furthermore, you are protecting your household finances from the volatility of oil and gas prices. Recent dramatic price increases are making heat pumps even more affordable and desirable. 


Air source heat pump cost


Air source heat pumps range from around £6,000- £8,500, but we recommend getting advice to see which heat pump will be effective for your home.


Ground source heat pump cost


The cost of installing a ground source heat pump will vary depending on the size of your home, the type of heat pump you choose, and the climate in your area.


An average system installed can be between £8,500.00 to £13,000.00 (Excluding VAT which is 0% for New Build & 5% for Existing Houses) depending on the size of the house based on a horizontal collector system. 


Want to know whether an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump is better? Read this blog post,  Heat Pumps – Ground Source or Air Source – The Key Differences.


Can you get a grant for an air source heat pump?

In Northern Ireland, the Boiler Replacement Scheme subsidies replacing inefficient boilers with new high-efficiency gas boilers, oil boilers and wood pellet-fired boilers. Even without a subsidy, you could benefit in the long term.


Can you get a grant for a ground source heat pump?


If you’re considering a heat pump for your home in Northern Ireland, make sure you do your research and get advice from a qualified installer. 


With the right system in place, a heat pump can be an effective and efficient way to heat your home. There are currently no grants available, but they will come back at some point.

Do you need to service heat pumps?

Ground source heat pumps require very minimal servicing. Annual servicing in the form of preventive maintenance can be undertaken to check all internal and external components to ensure the system is working to its maximum efficiency and reduce the possibility of breakdowns/ wear and tear long term. But this is no different to checking a conventional heating system.

Both the Ecoforest Heat Pump and Hitachi Heat Pumps have great service records. We offer an annual maintenance contract based on the system installed in the property.

Heat pumps are a great investment for any home. By using heat pumps, you can save money on your heating and cooling costs, while also helping to protect the environment.

See key differences by clicking here

If you’re about to start a new build project or want to invest in renewable energy systems then get in contact with Daly Renewables by email at info@dalyrenewables.com or phone +44 (0)28 92667745.


Energy efficient, smart homes, designed around you.