A heat pump for the sustainable heating of your home


Heating you home in a sustainable way? There are smart, economical and environmentally friendly installations possible. A heat pump is a great example of this. A heat pump is of interest to anyone who wants to be self-sufficient, who wants to reduce energy bills, who wans to raise the energy label of the house an who has environmental awareness and want to save the raw materials of the Earth.

Is your home suitable for a heat pump? 

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump can heat the house in a sustainable way. Heat pumps work in conjunction with a heat exchanger that extract heat from the air, soil or groundwater (or loch). This heat goes through a process with a refrigerant (similar to the refrigerants such as air conditioners in cars or refrigerators), through the heat pump to get to a higher temperature and is then used to heat the space of the house and can possibly heat the tap water as well. Because you need electricity instead of gas, you save on your gas bill and is reduce CO2 emissions.

Buying a heat pump can be a really good idea if you are going to build a new home. With a heat pump you can heat your home in an energy-efficient way and include your hot tap water. If you are going to build in an area where there is no mains gas, then a heat pump is the best solution. Also in case of renovation, you can use a heat pump for your heating and hot water.

In any situation, whether it’s new construction or renovation, expert advice is necessary. There are several options, depending on your needs and living situation. You can choose:

  1. A heat pump that the gets the energy from the ground (ground source heat pump)

  2. A heat pump that the gets the energy from the air (Air source heat pump)

  3. A heat pump that is linked with your current central heating boiler (hybrid solution).

Because a heat pump uses a lower temperatures to heat your home, the best way is to connect it to a screeded underfloor heating system. The heat pump gives a very comfortable warmth with a constant temperature and you do not have cold and hot zones in your home anymore.

(image by Vincent Hartman)

Buy it from a heat pump specialist?

When considering a heat pump you require expert advice, because buying a heat pump is always custom work. The heat pump needs to suit your home, your delivery system (low temperature radiators, or uiinderfloor heating) your need for hot water, and the degree of insulation. Both in new build houses and renovations, purchasing a heat pump for energy-saving will be a sustainable investment when done correctly. The heat pump can take care of the heating and even the cooling of your home.

A heat pump uses electricity to run. Therefore, it may be a good idea to combine a heat pump with solar panels. The solar panels provide for a sustainable electricity generation which makes your heat pump system even more sustainable. So you can create an energy neutral home.

What benefits does a heat pump have?

Energy saving

The heat pump use free energy from nature. This can be heat from the earth or heat from the air. Depending on your situation, you can save up to 60% on your energy costs with a heat pump.

Heating and cooling

With a ground source heat pump you can not only get your House comfortably warm, but you can also make it cooler in the summer. The cooling feels comfortable because it is transferred via the underfloor ‘heating’. In addition, you do not suffer from drafs. In addition o this, cooling through a ground source heat pump is much more energy efficient than traditional air conditioning.

Less CO2 emissions

Because the heat pump uses the energy from the ground or from the air, the CO2 emissions far less than with conventional heating. If the heat pump also uses green elecricity from your solar panels, no fossil fuel more used! This is even better for the environment.

Return on Investment for a heat pump

How fast you earn back your investment in a heat pump depends a lot on your situation and in the case of a refurbischement project, of your current energy consumption. The Government provides subsidies for purchase and installation of heat pumps. In addition, research shows that your house value increases if you heat it with a heat pump.

Main differences between a geothermal heat pump, water source heat pump and the air source heat pump:

The investment costs of an air heat pump are lower than with a geothermal or ground source heat pump: the difference is the cost of the construction the source of he soil.  The geothermal heat pump has a lower energy consumption calculated over the entire year than the air heat pump, because the air-source heat pump on cold days must work harder to heat your home comfortably.  Cooling using the geothermal heat pump is much more efficient than cooling with the air heat pump, because the compressor of the geothermal heat pump when cooling can remain switched off  (“passive cooling”).

The grounds source will last for generations and it wears out less quickly, so that the cost of the geothermal heat pump can be spread over a large number of years.  The air source heat pump should be set up preferably on a South or Southwest of the property. The is the warmest place. The air heat pumps are reasonably silent, but will still make an audible sound. This sound is mainly determined by the fact that during operation the ambient air led through the heat pump is sucked in by a ventilator. Despite the limited noise during operation, the location will need to be taken into account. 

In short: in comparison with an air heat pump, a geothermal or ground source heat pump is more expensive to purchase, but has lower annual energy costs, longer life and the lasting value that it adds to the property.