Last updated on 16 March 2021
Heat pumps are a growing success. However, they are not necessarily the right choice in every situation. Here’s a 'true or false’ to update you on the disadvantages commonly associated with this type of heating.
TRUE. They cost considerably more than a gas installation. Nevertheless, grants are available to reduce the purchasing cost, which is not the case with gas installations. However, even with such grants, the heat pump is still at least 20% more expensive.
|On the other hand, a heat pump recovers its cost during its life, due to its low operating costs. Particularly when combined with solar panels. At the time of investment, it’s true that the bill is higher.|
TRUE. If your home is poorly insulated and your budget is limited, start with insulation and forget heat pumps for the moment. In doing so, even your old heating will give you some satisfaction by consuming less. And the savings you make will help you to fund a heat pump installation in the future.
FALSE. It’s true that electricity (at approx. € 0.25/kWh) costs more than gas (at approx. (€0.06/kWh). However, at the end of the day, this difference disappears since the return on the heat pump is 3 times more than that of a gas boiler:
|Where does this difference come from? The heat pump extracts the sun’s free heat from the environment (water, air, soil). Heat pumps consume 3 times less energy than a gas pump to produce the same quantity of heat.|
TRUE and FALSE. In order to produce the electricity required for the heat pump, thermal power stations consume about 2.5 to 3 times as much primary fossil energy (gas, petrol, coal). In this case, electricity will end up creating more pollution than gas or petrol.
However, there are two pieces of good news:
TRUE. To be more precise, it’s the 'performance coefficient' that declines. The average is 3: 1 kWh electricity consumed for every 3 kWh of heat produced.
The colder it gets, the more the heat pump must work, and therefore consume, in order to continue extracting heat from a source which is growing colder. This is an unavoidable fact of life.
However, it’s important to put the problem into perspective:
Sometimes TRUE. However, the gas bill will be lower. Also, the maintenance is cheaper. And if you have solar panels, you can compensate at least some of this additional consumption.
TRUE, if you’re replacing your boiler with a heat pump. Indeed, this operates at a lower temperature (25 to 28°C, compared to 45-55°C for a gas condensing boiler) and requires larger exchange surfaces.
Having said that, it’s not ideal to replace a boiler with a heat pump in the case of existing central heating.
FALSE. It is often possible, provided the house is well insulated and hermetic (with ventilation!). However, it is not possible to use every kind of heat pump in this case.
When carrying out major renovation, it is possible to envisage floor or wall heating, as the perfect addition to a heat pump.
FALSE. You just have to pay attention to a few particularities of the situation to choose the most suitable solution.
TRUE. Outdoors at least, and that may annoy you or disturb the neighbours. It’s the same kind of annoying noise as the external unit in an air-conditioning system.
This does not apply indoors: a heat pump air/air (injecting hot air) will be no noisier than mechanical ventilation.
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