Heat pump installation: After these questions you will know what to do

New build or renovation: after nine questions you will know if you should install a heat pump

In just three years, it may become necessary to heat your home with a heat pump. Installing such a device is expensive, and the savings are often less. FOCUS Online detects whether or not a heat pump installation is actually beneficial.

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1. What is a heat pump?

They already have a heat pump in the house: the refrigerator. It works according to a system in which the refrigerant in the tubes absorbs heat inside and dissipates it to the outside where it is released into the room air. For this reason, ironically, the refrigerator heats up the kitchen quite a bit. The heat pump for heating uses the same principle – only in the opposite direction. Here, the coolant absorbs heat from the outside, transfers it to the house and releases it directly through radiators or uses it indirectly to heat the water.

2. What types of heat pumps are there?

Heat pumps are distinguished by their source of heat energy. There are air heat pumps, ground water heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps. The thing they all have in common is that heat is released into the home’s plumbing system. You can then use warm water either directly to shower or bathe Kitchen or indirectly for heating.

They are all powered by electricity. Electricity is used to transport the refrigerant in question through pipes and to draw heat from the environment.

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of an air source heat pump?

The simplest type is an air heat pump. It can be installed in almost any home. Outside the house, all you have to do is set up an intake system and connect it to the basement heat pump. In theory, this suction pump can also be installed on the balcony if you do not own real estate.

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An air heat pump can extract enough power from the cold winter air to heat your home. However, these are not very energy efficient. Air source heat pumps typically have a maximum annual performance factor (SPF) of 3. SPF indicates how much heat the pump can generate with one unit of electricity. This means that the air heat pump has the lowest alternating current of all types of heat pumps.

Another drawback: since the air heat pump must actively draw air, it generates noise that can also turn into noise depending on the location.

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a geothermal heat pump?

Geothermal heat pumps can achieve JAZ values ​​​​up to 4.5, and the average is 3.5. However, it is not easy to install. The geothermal heat pump takes advantage of the fact that the earth is only a few meters warmer than the air. To take advantage of this, a hole up to 100 meters deep is dug into the ground or a network of pipes is laid at a shallow depth. In both cases you need a permit and also a plot of land where you can dig holes at all.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a ground water heat pump?

The groundwater heat pump achieves the highest energy efficiency with JAZ up to 6 (average 3.8). However, it is also the most difficult to install. Technically, the groundwater under your house must be dug in two places: on the one hand to carry warm water into the house, and on the other hand to transfer it back to the ground after releasing heat.

First of all, your home should be in a place where groundwater can be exploited without any technical problems. This means that the groundwater does not contain many foreign substances such as iron and manganese. Over time your heat pump tubes will clog. Secondly, you also need a permit from the state for this. It is not given everywhere. You have no chance in water protection zones.

App users can access heating finder for heat pumps here

6. What is the cost of installing a heat pump?

Installing a heat pump is not cheap. Basically, it always depends on local conditions. As a rule, you can count on at least 20,000 euros. Air source heat pumps are usually the cheapest from 20,000 to 25,000 euros.

Geothermal heat pumps only cost 15,000 to 20,000 euros, but there are still drilling costs, which range from 50 to 100 euros per drilling depth. At an altitude of 100 metres, the excavation alone costs up to an additional 10,000 euros. With flat geothermal heat pumps, you have to pay extra for the installation of the collectors, the cost of which depends on the required area.

Groundwater heat pumps also cost you about 20,000 to 25,000 euros, but according to the Consumer Advice Center, there is an additional 5,000 to 10,000 euros for groundwater development.

7. How much electricity does a heat pump use?

You pay for installation costs once and electricity to run permanently. The exact consumption depends on your individual circumstances, but it can be calculated very easily. Take your current gas or oil bill at your fingertips. There you will also find information on heating energy consumption. For gas, this value is given directly in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and for oil you need to multiply it by 10.

Now divide this kWh value by the annual performance factor of your heat pump (or your desired heat pump). This results in the expected annual consumption of electricity. Calculation example: The average family of four living in an area of ​​100 square meters consumes about 16,000 kWh of heating energy annually. Using a geothermal heat pump with ACP 3.5, this will result in a power consumption of 4571 kWh.

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8. What subsidies are available for heat pumps?

Since the state is interested in as many households as possible by replacing gas and oil heating systems with more climate-friendly heat pumps, their installation is encouraged. There is federal funding for efficient buildings at the state level, which you can apply for at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). Projects costing at least €2,000 are financed at 35 percent of the costs. There is an additional 10 percent if you replace the oil heating system by installing a heat pump. In absolute numbers, this means that if you install a heat pump for 20,000 euros, you can get up to 9,000 euros from the state. In addition, there are often state or regional funding programs.

9. Bottom line: When is a heat pump useful for me right now?

A heat pump is useful – as well as good conscience for doing something to protect the climate – if you can use it to heat for less than before with oil or gas. You have to calculate it yourself. Heat pump installation costs largely depend on whether you want to install them in a new building or an existing home. Well-insulated homes also use less heat and electricity than older, poorly insulated buildings.

For this reason, we can only give an average arithmetic example here: Assuming that the installation of a heat pump with a heat pump of a rate of 3.5 for a family of four on 100 square meters costs 25,000 euros and consumes 16,000 kWh of heating energy per year, then the costs will be calculated over ten years at the current electricity price of 36.19 cents per kWh at €41,544. Less than 35 percent of the support for installation, it is still 32,794 euros.

A gas or oil heating system costs just under €20,000 when operating at the current price of both raw materials for the same period. This shows that the conversion is financially worth it only if you are considering installing it in a new building. However: Oil and gas is unlikely to become cheaper in the future due to the increase in the carbon dioxide tax and a general shift away from both raw materials. On the other hand, electricity prices are expected to fall due to the increased supply of renewable energies. Since you’re not installing a heating system for the next couple of years, but decades at best, such long-term considerations also come into play.

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