Heat pumps – Environmentally friendly heating

Heat pumps stand for particularly efficient and environmentally friendly heating. Thanks to state subsidies, it is now more attractive than ever to install a heat pump – whether in new buildings or when replacing an old heating system. We provide tips for building owners and owners of old buildings who are planning to modernise.

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps use heat from the environment, for example from the surrounding air, to generate heating energy for the home. The air-to-water heat pumps each consist of an indoor and an outdoor unit. Unlike conventional oil or gas heating systems, there is no combustion. The heat pump itself only requires electricity for its operation and, if green electricity is used, it even heats CO2-neutrally. Modern appliances work highly efficiently and are therefore very attractive both in terms of costs and the environmental balance.

The efficiency of a heat pump depends on its operation:

– the amount of heat transferred;

– the amount of electricity consumed to operate the heat pump.

The better the heat/current ratio, the higher the efficiency of the heat pump.

A heat pump for heating is different from refrigeration, including refrigerators and air conditioning systems:

– efficiency. The efficiency of a heat pump for heating is 1.2 … 2 times higher than that of an air conditioning system. This means that from one kilowatt hour of electrical power, the heat pump gives off more heat than the air conditioner;

– the internal equipment (compressors, heat exchangers, protection and automation…).

For example, special compressors are manufactured for heat pumps. The price of a compressor for the same electrical power consumption is 20 … 50% higher than for an air conditioning system. Components for heat pumps are not produced in Ukraine. The large manufacturer buys components in large quantities much cheaper than selling them to small ones;

– through the algorithm of work. Adjusting the work under the required current temperatures (heating, outdoor weather …) heat pump should work with the highest possible efficiency throughout the calendar year.

What to consider when selecting the manufacturer of heat pumps for heating:

– EHPA recommendations;

– Quality certification to ISO 9001, 14001, etc. For example, NIBE has its own chemical laboratory for quality control of purchased freon. Our own laboratory selects around 3% of the CFCs purchased from the world’s largest manufacturers;

– Production and number of employees. If the production of heat pumps is not specialised (clean, light, modern, equipped with professional stationary assembly equipment, a stock of components, an archive of technical documentation for previously released models of heat pumps), heat pumps are produced “to order” and only a few people work – such production is likely to be closed down soon, and repairs to the equipment sold will cease.

What to consider at all when choosing a model of heat pump for heating:

– where the heat pump can get heat from for heating. The most universal solution is street air (the so called “air”/”water” or “air”/”air” heat pump), the most durable geothermal heat pump (used for rooms with an area of more than 70 m²), the most compact heat pump using ventilation air (used for warm rooms up to 120 m²);

– Heat pump equipment and price. NIBE manufactures equipped heat pumps for heating purposes in which automation is installed and equipped with all the necessary sensors. Models with built-in energy-efficient circulation pumps, hot water boilers in a good heat insulator and protection against corrosion, air conditioning etc., right through to control via the Internet and in Russian. Everything is assembled from proven components in a factory in Sweden, with subsequent quality control of the final product. Some manufacturers sell components for an additional substantial fee, or the installer himself supplements the heat pump with products of dubious quality;

– noise. A running heat pump should not inconvenience you or your neighbours.

– The energy efficiency class of a complete heat pump, designated from “A” to “A+++”, reflects the design features of the heat pump, including the inverter control of the compressor etc., is measured with the original components for a given climate. If the installation program uses non-original components, this value changes.

– Operating temperatures. For example, radiators are designed for coolant temperature (water in the radiator) up to 55 degrees with an outside temperature of minus 22 degrees, so the heat pump must produce coolant at a temperature of at least 60 degrees in order to heat. The energy efficiency class depends on the temperature. In the figure above, the class is “A+++” at 55 degrees, but if the heating of surfaces (floors, walls) is planned with a coolant of 35 degrees, the energy efficiency class changes to “A+++”;

– possible power supply: single-phase 230V or three-phase 400V, limit values.

The heat pump for heating is a highly technological, cost-effective device. Qualified installation is required for its trouble-free, efficient and long-term operation. Not every plumber or heater can install the heat pump correctly. Do not skimp on qualified planning and installation of heating systems!