With the winter months arriving and houses across the country getting noticeably colder, many are looking for effective ways to heat their home.

One popular way of doing this - which does not rely on traditional fires or central heating - is to install a 'heat pump'.

Whether you are looking to get one yourself or are just curious about how they work, here is everything you need to know.

What are heat pumps and how do they work?

According to the International Energy Agency, heat pumps use technology "similar to that found in a refrigerator".

It states that these pumps extract heat from a source such as the surrounding air and then amplify it.

Rather than generating heat themselves, these pumps take existing heat and transfer it to where it is needed.

It is because of this that heat pumps are more efficient than conventional heating technologies such as electric heaters and boilers.

How much do heat pumps cost to install in the UK?

EDF Energy states that the cost of a heat pump in the UK can vary drastically between low and high-end products.

Heat pumps can cost between £3500 and £8900 depending on factors such as how powerful the unit is, the brand and installation costs.

However, in England, Scotland and Wales there are government grants of up to £7500 available to households installing these pumps.

In England and Wales, this is covered under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme with those wanting to secure a grant in Scotland needing to apply through Home Energy Scotland.

Residents in Scotland can also apply for an interest-free loan of up to £7500 to cover the remaining heat pump installation costs.

Grants of up to £9000 are also available to some rural parts of Scotland, according to Home Energy Scotland.