Heat Pumps vs. Oil and Gas Boilers: Advantages and Disadvantages

Heat Pumps vs Oil and Gas Boilers

When it comes to heating your home in Ireland, you have several options, but two popular choices are heat pumps and traditional oil or gas boilers. As the world moves towards more sustainable energy solutions, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each heating system, especially in an Irish context. In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of heat pumps and oil/gas boilers to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Heat Pumps:


  1. Energy Efficiency: Heat pumps are renowned for their exceptional energy efficiency. They can extract heat from the air, ground, or water sources and convert it into usable energy for heating. This translates to lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions, making them an environmentally friendly choice.
  2. Renewable Energy: Heat pumps primarily rely on renewable energy sources, such as air and ground heat which is heated by the Sun. In Ireland, where climate change mitigation is a priority, utilising these sustainable resources aligns with national and global environmental goals.
  3. Lower Running Costs: While the initial installation cost of a heat pump can be higher than a traditional boiler, its lower operating costs, especially over the long term, can significantly offset this initial investment.
  4. Solar: If you have solar panels, you are using more renewable energy and the costs of running the system are lower still.
  5. Reduced Carbon Footprint: With heat pumps, your carbon footprint is significantly reduced compared to oil or gas boilers. This makes them a more sustainable choice in Ireland’s efforts to combat climate change.


  1. Upfront Cost: The initial installation cost of a heat pump can be substantial, SEAI grants are a huge help but nevertheless, costs can be make it less accessible for some homeowners.
  2. Installation Complexity: Heat pumps require specific expertise for installation. Ensure that you hire a certified professional to handle the installation to ensure optimal performance.
  3. Climate Dependency: Heat pump efficiency can vary depending on the local climate. Ireland’s temperate climate is suitable for heat pumps, but they may be less effective during exceptionally cold spells.

Oil and Gas Boilers:


  1. Widespread Availability: Oil and gas boilers are common heating systems in Ireland, and most households already have the necessary infrastructure in place, making them a convenient choice for many.
  2. Quick Heat: Boilers can provide rapid heating, making them ideal for homes with high heating demands, especially during the cold Irish winters.
  3. Reliable: Traditional boilers have been used for decades, and their reliability is well-established. Maintenance and repairs are readily available.
  4. Cost-Effective Installation: The upfront cost of installing an oil or gas boiler is typically lower than that of a heat pump.


  1. High Running Costs: Oil and gas prices can fluctuate significantly, leading to high heating bills, especially during the colder months. This makes them less cost-effective in the long run.
  2. Environmental Impact: Oil and gas boilers are fossil fuel-based, contributing to carbon emissions and climate change. This goes against Ireland’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Finite Resources: Oil and gas are finite resources, and their availability is subject to geopolitical factors. This poses a long-term sustainability concern.
  4. Maintenance: Traditional boilers require regular maintenance, and if not adequately serviced, they can become inefficient and costly to run.


In the Irish context, the choice between heat pumps and oil/gas boilers hinges on several factors, including your budget, environmental concerns, and the long-term sustainability of your heating system. While traditional boilers offer familiarity and quick heating, they come with higher running costs and environmental drawbacks. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are eco-friendly and cost-efficient in the long term, though they require a higher initial investment.

As Ireland continues its efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources, heat pumps represent a more sustainable and future-proof choice for homeowners. However, individual circumstances, preferences, and budget constraints will ultimately determine the best heating solution for your home. If you decide to go down the heat pump route, there are two options to choose from, air to water heat pumps and air to air heat pumps.  We recommend consulting with a heating specialist to assess your specific needs and guide you toward the most suitable option.  We would also recommend talking to homeowners who have installed heat pumps and ask them for their feedback.

I hope this helps some of you who are planning to upgrade your heating system in the near future.  Don’t forget that you can get a number of quotes for heating contractors by posting your job on our website at https://www.tradesmen.ie/trade/heating-contractors

If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to place them in the comments box below.

Oliver Dempsey
8 September 2023

General Tips for hiring a tradesman

Here are some tips to consider when hiring a tradesman:-

1. Ask for phone numbers of references so that you can check them out

2. Check insurance of the tradesman where insurance is required

3. Hire a suitably qualified architect, building surveyor or building engineer if the job is anything to do with a new build, building renovation or extension

About Oliver Dempsey

Owner and Managing Director at Tradesmen.ie and contributor to the Tradesmen.ie Blog DISCLAIMER: All content provided in my articles is for informational purposes only. The information contained in these articles has been obtained from research carried out by myself through online and offline sources and through other writers and contributors who provide me with content. While I am responsible for the final editing of each article and I do my best to verify the information, I do not make representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information. Therefore you must not rely on the information contained in any of these articles and always make sure to seek the advice of a suitably qualified expert before embarking on any project.
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