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How Long Do Heat Pumps Take To Install?

Heat Pump Installation

Thinking about upgrading your home with a heat pump but wondering how long the installation process will take? Understanding the timeline can help you plan better and ensure a smooth transition to this energy-efficient solution. 

Whether you’re replacing an old system with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which gives homeowners up to £7,500 towards heat pump installation, or installing a heat pump for the first time, knowing what to expect can make all the difference. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the typical installation process, explain the factors that can affect the duration, and give you a clear idea of how long the job will take. 

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in and find out how long it takes to install a heat pump!

How long does heat pump installation take?

Installing air-source heat pumps can take one to four days, depending on your property and the installation service. Water-source and ground-source heat pumps might take longer, as the company will need to prepare the space and install pipework. 

The initial assessment, adaptations to the property, and the installation of hot water cylinders all impact the installation duration. 

Which factors determine heat pump installation?

Heat pumps are available in various sizes, making it easy for properties to generate clean energy. However, seamless installation ensures your heat pump performs consistently and reduces energy bills. 

Opting for a professional heat pump service can save time and money. Let’s explore the factors that define how long your installation will take. 

Assessment and planning process

Before installing your heat pump, a certified technician will visit your home and assess its suitability. Listed buildings and properties in conservation areas might require minor adaptations, while smaller homes have less exterior space to accommodate heat pumps. 

The technician will also assess aspects of your property to see whether the heat pump will fall under the permitted development laws. The assessment and planning stages can take anything from a couple of hours to over a day long, depending on the following: 

  • Accessibility: Your heat pump shouldn’t disrupt neighbours or cause obstructions. The installation service needs to find a location that minimises noise and protects the aesthetics of conservation areas if necessary. 
  • Existing Systems: If you have a traditional boiler or other system installed, the service will remove it. Your heating and cooling needs also affect how long the installation process takes. 
  • Insulation: Heat pumps perform best when a property has adequate insulation. It might be worth insulating your building before adding a heat pump, which will take longer, but it ensures your property maintains consistent temperatures. 

The type of heat pump 

Most UK properties will install air-source heat pumps, as they’re the most versatile option. However, if you live near a water source or have enough outdoor space, you could install a ground or water-source heat pump. 

The installation time depends on the heat pump you choose. 

Air-source heat pumps 

Installing an air-source heat pump involves mounting the exterior unit and connecting it to your heating system. The process is relatively straightforward, and installing the pump can take just a few hours—after the installation service adapts your property if needed. 

Average air-source heat pump installation time: One to three days. 

Water-source heat pumps 

Water-source heat pumps use a nearby pond, well, river or lake – making them the least common solution in the UK. However, if you can access a water source, installing the pump requires specialist equipment. 

Your installation service must connect the heat pump to your property, which involves digging trenches and using a pond mat or lake collector. 

Average water-source heat pump installation time: One to two weeks. 

Ground-source heat pumps 

Ground-source heat pumps offer consistency as they use the earth’s stable temperatures. However, the installation involves digging trenches and laying a horizontal pipe system, which can take a long time. 

If you have a smaller garden, vertical systems are a good solution—but they involve using boreholes and cost a lot more money. 

Average ground-source heat pump installation time: One to three weeks. 


The type of property you have also impacts the installation duration. For example, integrating a heat pump with outdated heating systems in older properties might require extra work. 

If you live in an apartment or terraced home with limited exterior space, the installation service might need to thoroughly assess the building. 

Digging horizontal trenches is easier than using boreholes for ground-source heat pumps. However, people with smaller gardens will need to use a vertical system, which can take a long time. 


Weather conditions don’t usually impact air-source heat pump installation, but excess heat or cold can make the process more challenging. Installing a ground-source heat pump in winter can cause numerous complications, especially when the ground freezes over. 

The technicians must also take additional precautions to ensure the pipes don’t break. Installing a ground-source system during the spring or summer months will speed up the process. 

Planning permission 

While most heat pump installations are classified as permitted development, there are some restrictions. Listed buildings and homes in conservation areas can install heat pumps, but they shouldn’t obstruct the property or surrounding area in any way. 

In the ongoing effort to reduce carbon emissions, local authorities are relaxing the rules surrounding heat pumps in period buildings. However, you might still need to obtain permission through the Planning Portal


It’s always best to use a professional service when installing a heat pump. Working with MCS-certified technicians or those with equivalent certificates gives you access to experts who know how to install heat pumps safely. 

While you might have to wait longer for a professional service, certified technicians ensure your heat pump maintains optimal performance. 

Final thoughts 

Heat pump installation is a proactive way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a greener future. Opting for an air-source heat pump gives you a convenient way to enjoy optimal year-round heating and cooling for your property. 

While ground-source heat pumps take longer to install, they offer the most consistent performance. The trade-off is that you need to be willing to spend the extra money and deal with a longer process. 

Whatever your needs, our certified professionals can help you upgrade your heating system and reduce energy bills. Please feel free to enquire about our heat pump installation services today. 

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