Heat Pumps - common questions and answers
1) What is a heat pump?
Heat pumps are machines that exploit the ambient temperatures in order to draw heat from a source (air, water, soil) and transfer it to the recipient as heating or cooling energy. The principle of their operation is the same as the one applied to the refrigerators and to the air conditioners.
2) Where are they used?
They are used for heating and cooling buildings, combined with radiators, floor-heating and Fan Coils. At the same time they can produce hot water for domestic applications.
3) What they consume?
They consume electricity.
4) Do they consume a lot of energy?
No, because they draw almost 70-80% of the energy that is required from the environment and consume electric power for the remaining 20-30%
5) How is that possible?
Heat pumps draw the energy that is required from the environment and consume only a small amount of energy in order to produce the total amount of heat that we need. The energy absorption rate mainly depends on the coefficient of performance of the heat pump known as COP (Coefficient Of Performance). In most cases COP is around 3.5 and 4. In some cases it even goes more than 4 depending of the specifications of the heat pump and the conditions it is operating under. This basically means that for every 1kW of energy that we consume, we produce 3 of 4 times more amount of heating or cooling energy.
6) Can they be installed in any building?
Heat pumps are very flexible machines as far as concern their installation, as they operate with both low temperature systems (floor installments, fan coils) and conventional radiators. Their installation is usually simple without time-consuming and harmful operations for the building. The heat pump as it was mentioned before incorporates all the components and devices required for the operation in an integrated machine that resembles an outdoor unit of an air conditioner. This feature enables freedom of positioning it anywhere outside the building but also internally by the appropriate selection of the device model. Generally, the heat pump can be installed in any building and serve as a new system from the beginning or replace the existing heating system or air conditioning with the appropriate conversions.
7) How much they cost? How much we save? Heat pump price?
The cost of the heat pumps depends mainly on the size of the energy needs. The cost of their supply and installation starts from around 4.000-5.000 € and it’s adjusted to each case. Comparing the heat pump with an oil boiler, gas boiler or a biomass boiler and considering the present fuel prices , the economy in the operating costs can be as high as 75% and even that percentage may be even greater if we compare it as an air conditioning (heat - cold) to a combination of an oil boiler for heating and an air conditioner for cooling. We should take into account the type, the usage, the power, the operating hours and other technical factors in order to be more precise at the comparison of the different systems, however, the theory and the experience so far shows that in practice the heat pump has the lowest operating cost than any other system.
8) Finally is it good choice? What does ANDRIANOS company proposes?
Summarizing the data for the heat pumps we end up to the following:
- Low energy consumption when comparing with the output power, due to the high COP.
- Heating-cooling and domestic hot water applications with only one machine.
- Convenient installation without chimneys, boilers and tanks.
- Combination with solar thermal and geothermal systems for even greater energy savings
- Renewable energy sources with zero pollution
- Aesthetics and energy upgrade of the building and therefore greater commercial value.
- User friendly machines with easy interference and inspection
- Very low cost for maintenance
- Short return on investment despite the relatively high initial cost of their supply
So we conclude that under the right conditions and with the most optimal system selection, heat pumps provide the best economic and environmental solution to the final consumer. The competitive price of the electricity in relation with the ever increasing price of oil ensures a reduction of heating costs up to 75%. Considering all the other benefits, heat pumps are a modern and integrated solution in the building sector.
Therefore we proposes to anyone interested firstly to get in contact with engineers and specialized companies of that field so they get fully informed about all the facts and possibilities that the heat pumps provide. Under detailed study and personalized approach of every case, can be achieved not only an upgrade to the heating and cooling conditions, but also the maximization of the energy efficiency with eco friendlier systems that provide economy in their operating costs