One of many decisions that a future home owner has to make is how to heat the house he or she is going to live in. This is a very important matter, which will have consequences for the comfort of its residents and the price of heating. The owner has to take many factors into consideration when choosing the method of heating the house.
There are many innovative products on the market, and today it is not necessary anymore to heat the house using the boiler or furnace. One of the most popular of those innovations is a heat pump, and this is an option, which is certainly worth to consider.
Heat pumps are the devices which transfer heat energy from its source to a heat sink. They move the heat from colder spaces to warm spaces and the other way round. They can in fact act both as a heating and cooling device, because in the winter they provide the house with warmth and in the summer they can move the heat from the house outdoors.
They are considered environmentally friendly, and many investors today want to use ecological solutions and consider this factor as very important when selecting the method of heating their building. But they should remember that these devices are not 100% green, because they need some electricity to move thermal energy and the power plants pollute the atmosphere. The main advantage of using these devises is a big reduction in electricity bills, because the amount of energy these devices need in order to operate is relatively small. The owners of buildings may save about 50-70% on electricity bills when using heat pumps. This makes this solution efficient and cost-effective.
However, the investment into this heating system is quite high. The price of a heat pump usually ranges from about 40.000 – 70.000 PLN, and depends on the kind of the device that will be installed. There are three main types of heat pumps – water, ground and air-source. The name suggests where they derive the energy from. After gathering the heat from a particular source, heat pumps transfer it to the house. Due to the fact that they use renewable sources of energy, some countries provide financial support for their purchasers.
Air-source pumps gather the heat from the air. They are the cheapest, due to the fact that the air can be found everywhere, and that they are quite small. They reduce electricity bills by about 50% compared to electric resistance heaters. In order to make heat exchange more efficient, they are equipped with a fan. However, these pumps are not advisable for buildings situated in countries, where the temperature often drops below zero due to the fact that they may not be able to provide enough heat in colder seasons. Other pumps are bigger and more expensive, but they allow to save more on electricity use.
Another type is a geothermal heat pump. It extracts heat from the earth, and therefore has to be placed underground, relatively deep. Because of the fact that at a particular depth the temperature of the earth is moderate and constant, it can be used basically in any country. The American Environmental Protection Agency has published a statement in which it claimed that ground-source heat pumps are the most environmentally clean, energy-efficient and cost-effective of all currently available systems.
There are also water-source heat pumps, which extract thermal energy from water. They can be used only in places, which are situated nearby water reservoirs, e.g. lakes, rivers or artificial reservoirs. Due to constant water temperature, they can be used in places with extreme temperatures.
There are also other, hybrid heat pumps, which constitute a combination of the two types.
The longevity of these devices is different, and often depends on such factors as, among others, the weather conditions, consistent maintenance, so providing a specific number of years is very difficult. According to experts and users, the approximate life-span of a heat pump is between 15-20 years.
This solution is getting more and more popular and it is certainly worth to take it into account when selecting an option for heating the building. The main question that an investor has to think over is whether he or she prefers to spend more on a heating solution but save on bills, or he or she prefers to spend less on a heating device but pay more for electricity.
eco heat pumps