Gas boiler vs heat pump: which is right for you?
With generous grants on offer, there’s never been a better time to get a heat pump. But are they right for your home – or should you stick with an A-rated gas boiler? Let’s help you decide!
Gas boilers explained
The most popular method of heating homes in the UK. The gas boiler is efficient, reliable, affordable and easy to install. But they use fossil fuels, so more and more people are looking for sustainable alternatives.
Heat pumps explained
The greener way to heat your home. Heat pumps are the clever alternative to gas boilers – they give you all the comfort, but with lower CO2 emissions. Which is why you can get green grants to help with the cost.
|Powered by||Natural gas||Electricity|
|Cost||From £2,750||From £2,999 (England and Wales) or £499 (Scotland)|
|Potential energy savings 1|
|Potential energy savings 1||Up to £415 a year||Up to £385 a year|
|Efficiency||At least 90%||Up to 380%|
|Installation||One day||One week|
|Lifespan||10-15 years||20+ years|
|British Gas warranty|
|British Gas warranty||5 years||5 years|
Government green incentives
Homeowners in England and Wales can claim £5,000 towards the cost of a heat pump – and it’s £7,500 if you live in Scotland.
How a boiler works
Gas is burned inside the boiler, which heats your water. This hot water is then stored in your tank. Or if you have a combi, it gets sent directly wherever it’s needed.
Good to know
There are no plans to ban gas boilers in most people’s homes – only in new build properties from 2025. So any boiler you buy today will be able to keep heating your home for years and years to come.
How a heat pump works
Warmth is taken from the air outside, then compressed using electricity to raise the temperature. This heats water that’s stored in your tank and used around your home.
Good to know
Heat pumps get enough warmth from the air outside to keep your home cosy, even in the winter. They work perfectly in temperatures as low as -15C. Which explains why they’re so popular in chilly Scandinavia.
Your questions answered
Are green grants available?
No, gas boilers aren’t low carbon so there are no government incentives.
Yes. Homeowners in England or Wales can claim a £5,000 grant towards the cost of a heat pump from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Homeowners in Scotland can claim a grant of up to £7,500 from Home Energy Scotland.
Do I need good insulation?
Not necessarily. Gas boilers are great at providing quick blasts of high heat – so they can keep a poorly insulated home cosy. Insulation is always a good idea though. It helps your home retain heat and keeps your bills low.
Yes. A heat pump is a lot more efficient to run when your home is properly insulated. So insulation is essential to getting the best comfort and cost-effectiveness. We recommend cavity and loft insulation as a minimum.
How much do they cost to buy?
The price of a gas boiler depends mainly on the size, or how powerful it is. Installation will also cost more if you’re changing type (e.g. from a combi to a conventional) or if you’re moving it to a different part of your home. As a guide, you can expect to pay anything between £2,750 and £5,000 for a new gas boiler.
Our prices start from £2,999 in England and Wales, or £499 in Scotland. This includes government green grants. Once we’ve surveyed your home, we’ll give you a fixed-price quote that includes any extra work you need – like upgrades to your pipework and radiators.
And with British Gas, you can relax with our Price Match Promise. If you get a lower quote on a like-for-like installation from another accredited company, just let us know and we’ll match it. So you’ll know you’ll always get the best value with us.
How much space will I need?
Not much. A gas boiler is compact enough to fit in a cupboard – and if you get a combi, you won’t need a water tank or cylinder either.
A bit more. A heat pump needs some space at the back or side of your property, plus space inside your home for a hot water cylinder.
Are they suitable for all property types?
Yes, gas boilers come in all sizes – from ones that are perfect for small flats, to bigger ones that can keep a large house warm.
No, we only currently install heat pumps in houses – and you’ll need access to the side or back of your house too (unfortunately, we can’t take the heat pump through your property).
How green are they?
All our gas boilers are A-rated, which means they’re at least 90% efficient. But gas is a fossil fuel, so a gas boiler does produce CO2 emissions which contribute to climate change.
Heat pumps only use electricity, which is increasingly generated from renewable sources in the UK. If you choose a 100% renewable electricity tariff, a heat pump gives you zero-carbon heating.
How easy are they to install?
For a skilled engineer, gas boilers are quite quick and easy to install – especially if you’re replacing the same kind (e.g. combi) in the same location. Everything should be done within a day.
Heat pump installation is a bit more involved. As well as installing the heat pump, we might need to make some changes to radiators and pipework (which is all included in the fixed price). Everything should take about a week.
What guarantees do I get with Brtish Gas?
Every gas boiler installed by British Gas is covered by a 5-year warranty. If you have any problems in that time, just get in touch and one of our 6,500+ engineers will come out to repair your boiler.
We know switching to a heat pump might seem like a big move, so our Warm Home Promise is there to give you total peace of mind.
If your heat pump doesn’t keep your home as warm and comfortable as a gas boiler, we’ll come to put things right – or give you your money back.
To make sure everything is running smoothly, we’ll come and do your first service for free before the cold weather arrives. We’ll also give you one year’s free service cover. And with your 5-year British Gas warranty, just call if you have any problems – one of our engineers will come to fix it.
Getting a gas boiler: what happens next?
- Talk to one of our heating advisers or look online to find your perfect boiler
- Book an appointment for a British Gas engineer to visit your home
- If it’s a simple swap (e.g. a combi for a combi), your engineer should get everything installed in a day
Getting a heat pump: what happens next?
- Register online and our team will call you to check your home’s suitability for a heat pump and book in your survey
- We’ll survey your home for free, then explain your options and give you a fixed-price quote that includes any upgrade work (such as new pipework or radiators)
- Installation typically takes around a week
These figures show the amount you can save by upgrading from a G-rated gas boiler. Source: Energy Saving Trust. Figures are based on fuel prices as of July 2023 and installation in an average sized, three-bedroom semi-detached home, with radiator upgrades as required. Actual savings will depend on the size of your home, any heating system upgrade and system being replaced.