System check heat pump
The question of whether the purchase of a heat pump is worthwhile for you cannot be answered in a blanket manner. Rather, whether the use of a heat pump makes sense depends on certain basic conditions. However, for many scenarios a solution using a heat pump is conceivable; only in buildings with a very high heat demand it is not suitable. Here it is advisable to switch to a hybrid system or wood heating.
If a heat pump can be used sensibly, it is actually always a worthwhile choice – both in ecological and economic terms. Thanks to the low running costs, you recoup the initial costs relatively quickly. In addition, heat pumps are the most environmentally friendly type of heating that can be reasonably implemented for residential use. You can also further increase both environmental friendliness and cost-effectiveness by operating your heat pump with self-generated green electricity from your own photovoltaic system.
Structural requirements for a heat pump
For a heat pump to be suitable for you, your house and your property must meet some basic conditions: the energy demand must not be too high and, ideally, the building should have panel heating.
Especially for air-to-water heat pumps, sound insulation measures may also be necessary. In addition, not every type of heat pump is equally suitable for every property. For example, a borehole may not always be drilled for a geothermal probe; for geothermal collectors, there must be a sufficient undeveloped and unsealed area without deep-rooting plants, etc.
Heat pumps in existing buildings
The biggest "problem" in old buildings is certainly the building's heating requirements: if they are too high, a heat pump cannot be used as the (sole) heating system. So before you install a heat pump in an old building, you should make sure that the building has good thermal insulation. In addition, the radiators must be large enough to work very efficiently with a heat pump. So it may eventually become necessary to install a new, large-scale heating system in addition to the heat pump. One option here would be panel radiators; ideally, you would resort directly to a panel heating system (e.g. underfloor heating).
In addition, the installation of most types of heat pumps involves major construction work: For geothermal and water-source heat pumps, drilling or earthworks are required – if the site is suitable at all (size, development, necessary permits). All of these measures are associated with significantly more effort in old buildings than in new ones. Only an air-to-water heat pump for outdoor installation does not require any major construction work, as long as the existing radiators are large enough. This means that this style is particularly suitable for retrofitting.
Heat pumps in new buildings
In new buildings, air-to-water heat pumps for indoor installation and brine-to-water heat pumps are less expensive to install than in old buildings, since the necessary construction machinery is already on site and air ducts or a surface heating system can be installed directly. Also, in this case, there is no landscaped garden yet, which could be affected by earthworks. The necessary thermal insulation is also not an issue, as it is standard in new construction anyway.
In addition to the heat pump, it is advisable to install a solar system. With a photovoltaic system you can minimize the running costs of your heat pump. Moreover, in combination with electricity from a renewable source, ithis arrangementt becomes as environmentally friendly as possible. Another option is to use a solar thermal system, either for water heating only or also for backup heating. All of these additions can be retrofitted, but ideally they are integrated into the overall design from the start.