How to choose a heat pump installer

17 May 2024 | OVO

If you’ve decided to get an air source heat pump installed, it’s important to make sure you choose the right installer. There are plenty of companies and individuals installing heat pumps for homes. But not every installer offers the best value – with a poor quality install meaning higher running costs.

A heat pump is a serious investment for most people. Choose an installer with the right training and experience, who knows what they’re doing and can support you.

The right installer will mean you get a heat pump system that’s tailored to your home and heating needs. And one that works as efficiently as possible. Each part of the heat pump needs to be considered – including radiators, pipes, the pump itself, and how it all works together. The system design can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your heating system. And ultimately how much it’ll cost to heat your home.

What to look for in a heat pump installer

1. Evidence of training

Designing and fitting a heat pump system needs different, specialised knowledge to installing a gas boiler. So when you’re deciding who’ll fit your heat pump, a good first step is check what training they’ve done. There are a lot of heat pump training courses and certifications out there for engineers. Including the award-winning Heat Geek training, which your installer will have done if you get your heat pump through OVO.

2. Accreditation

Make sure anyone you’re considering is accredited with MCS, which is a minimum standard in the industry. It’s super important if you’re eligible for the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme funding, as MCS certification is a requirement.

To be MCS accredited, an installer must be technically competent and use products that meet the right standards. They must also be registered with a consumer protection scheme so you’re covered if anything goes wrong.

When you buy your heat pump through OVO, your installer will be MCS certified and will apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme on your behalf.

3. The support they’ll give you

No 2 homes are the same – neither are heat pump installations. Depending on things like your home’s size, insulation, and number of radiators, your heat pump install might require some other changes.

A good engineer will guide you through this process, and explain the impact different changes might have on your heating system. This’ll mean you can make informed choices throughout the process. For example, your engineer should be able to show you the impact swapping out a specific radiator will have on running costs. That way you can decide what’s right for you.

4. What the survey involves, and who does it

Before confirming your quote, a heat pump installer will visit your home to do a detailed survey. They’ll usually do a heat loss assessment, and work with you to decide where your heat pump should go. If you don’t have a hot water tank, they’ll also look at where this could be put in your home.

This is also when the engineer will see if any of your radiators need replacing for maximum efficiency. And whether your home would benefit from extra insulation.

With some companies, this survey will be done by the person who’ll install your heat pump. So you have the same person throughout the process. But other firms might use a separate surveyor or salesperson, which can lead to important details being missed. This could end up with you getting a less efficient system, or the survey needing to be redone after you’ve paid.

After your survey, you’ll get your final quote for the install.

When you get a heat pump through OVO, your Heat Geek installer will visit your home for your design consultation and heat loss survey. You’ll have the same dedicated engineer for your survey and install, so you’ll know they’re familiar with your home. After the design consultation, you’ll get your proposal with the final design, cost, and guaranteed efficiency of your heat pump.

5. The efficiency of their installations

Your heat pump’s efficiency will have a big impact on how much it costs to run. This is also called the Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (or SCOP).

The higher a heat pump’s SCOP, the more efficient it is and the cheaper it’ll be to run. A gas boiler has an average SCOP of 0.85. Electricity is around 3.5 times more expensive than gas. So your heat pump usually needs a SCOP above 3 to save you money on your bills.

Air source heat pumps are really efficient. For every unit of energy they use, they give out around 3.5 times the amount of heat. That’s a SCOP, or efficiency rating, of 3.5. SCOPs can vary a lot depending on your installation, from 2 all the way up to 4.5. A decent installer will be able to get you closer to a SCOP of 4.5, which will help you save more money on running costs.

The quality of the installation will have a big impact on your heat pump’s efficiency and your running costs. Ask the installers you’re considering what SCOPs they’ve achieved on past jobs.

When you get a heat pump through OVO, it’ll be installed by Heat Geek’s national network of award-winning installers. They’ve got a track record of achieving great SCOPs – so you’ll be in safe hands. You’ll also get access to OVO’s Heat Pump Plus add-on, so you can power your heat pump at a lower rate.

6. How local they are to you

Your heat pump installation is likely to take 3–5 days. Once it’s done, there shouldn’t be any issues, but it can still be helpful to have your installer close by. They’ll be able to help you with things like annual servicing. And answer any questions once the heat pump is up and running.

7. The heat pump models they use

Not all heat pump models are created equal. Some might have higher potential efficiency ratings, while others might have the Quiet Mark which means they’re less noisy. Interactive apps, heating controls, and appearance might all play a part in your decision, depending on your priorities. It’s important to check the manufacturers installers work with, so you get a heat pump that ticks all the boxes.

8. The training on how to use your heat pump system

For many people, it might be their first heat pump. If you haven’t had one before, it’s important your installer teaches you how it works so you’re confident controlling it.

As well as all the above, you can also check out the questions our partners Heat Geek recommend asking your installer. This’ll help make sure they’re a good fit.

OVO engineer showing customers in garden with heat pump

Interested in saying goodbye to gas? Get your heat pump through OVO.

You can now get your heat pump installed through our exclusive partnership with Heat Geek. You’ll also unlock our free add-on, Heat Pump Plus, which gives you a better electricity rate for powering your heat pump. It means you can save up to £210 a year on your heating bills compared to a gas boiler.1

Find out more and register your interest

Sources and references:

1Savings of £210 are based on the following comparison: a gas boiler running at 90% efficiency (as per the national average for A-rated boilers) with an annual consumption of 11,500 kWh at 5.75p/kWh, and 77% of consumption used for heating and hot water, versus an air source heat pump with a Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (or efficiency rating) of 4 and an annual consumption of 1,992 kWh at 15p/kWh with the Heat Pump Plus add-on. Rates correct as of May 2024.