Heat pumps are quickly becoming a must-have item in many households across Scotland with many praising their efficiency and effectiveness.

Where houses have traditionally relied on fires and central heating, many are looking towards these pumps to better prepare for the winter.

Luckily, funding exists from the Scottish Government to make the installation of these more cost-effective for the average person.

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 do I apply for a heat pump grant in Scotland?

Applying for a heat pump grant in Scotland differs from the process in England in Wales with those interested needing to go through Home Energy Scotland.

Up to £15,000 is available to households in Scotland through Scottish Government funding with £7500 of this coming from the grant.

A further £7500 is also available through an optional loan with some £9000 in grant money available to those who qualify for the rural uplift.

Funding also exists to improve home energy efficiency through the installation of solar panels, water heating systems and insulation.