Heat pumps - an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional heating systems
Author: House of Eden
The use of environmentally friendly heating systems is becoming more and more popular with homeowners. Heat pumps are an increasingly popular alternative to conventional oil and gas heating. In this article you will learn more about the advantages of heat pumps, for whom they are suitable and what structural requirements are necessary.
Heat pumps are a renewable energy source that extracts heat from the environment and uses it for heating and hot water. They are environmentally friendly and help reduce CO2 emissions and fossil fuels. Although the acquisition costs are high, these are reduced by the federal subsidy for efficient buildings (BEG).
Because they are usually more energy efficient than conventional heating systems that are based on burning fossil fuels. In addition, the ongoing operating costs are lower than with oil or gas heating. As heat pumps can also work at low outside temperatures in winter, they are a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative for heating buildings.
The structural requirements for the use of heat pumps vary depending on the type of heat pump. Ground source heat pumps require adequate space and suitable ground conditions, while water source heat pumps require groundwater verification and permits. Air source heat pumps are less demanding, but soundproofing and sufficient air movement at the site are important.
Who are heat pumps suitable for?
Heat pumps are particularly suitable for new buildings and passive houses, as these require the house to be well insulated. In old buildings, heat pumps only make sense if renovation or insulation is planned. The installation of a heat pump can be particularly advantageous in combination with a solar system.
For environmentally conscious consumers who want to reduce CO2 emissions, heat pumps are an attractive choice. Because they use renewable energy sources, they help reduce the ecological footprint. Households with high heating requirements also benefit from heat pumps. Because the more thermal energy a household needs, the more economical it is to use a heat pump compared to conventional heating systems.
How does a heat pump work
A heat pump is an energy efficient device that transfers heat from a lower temperature location to a higher temperature location. It works in a similar way to a refrigerator, but in reverse. Instead of removing heat from the interior, the heat pump draws heat from the environment and directs it into a building or other heating system.
The basic working principle of a heat pump is based on the physical principle that thermal energy flows spontaneously from an area of higher temperature to an area of lower temperature. A heat pump uses a refrigerant circuit that consists of the following main components:
- Evaporator: Here the liquid refrigerant is vaporized by the ambient heat. The refrigerant extracts thermal energy from the environment, which converts it into a gaseous state.
- Compressor: The compressor sucks in the gaseous refrigerant and increases its pressure and thus the temperature.
- Capacitor: In the condenser, the refrigerant releases the previously absorbed heat energy and condenses back into a liquid state.
- Expansion valve: The expansion valve reduces the pressure of the liquid refrigerant, causing it to partially vaporize and return to the evaporator to start the cycle again.
During this cycle, the thermal energy from the environment (e.g. air, soil or water) is absorbed in the evaporator and released in the condenser to the building or heating system heating system. The compression process brings the heat to a higher temperature level so that it can be used for heating purposes.
Heat pump as a green alternative to conventional heating systems
In summary, heat pumps represent an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional heating systems. They use renewable energy, are independent of suppliers and price fluctuations, and help to minimize CO2 emissions. However, heat pumps are not suitable for everyone and require certain infrastructural and structural requirements. It is important to carry out a thorough analysis of the building before deciding on a heat pump. Energy experts can help determine the best heat pump type and size for individual needs and circumstances.