Frequently asked questions - Heat pump
1. What is a heat pump and how does it work?
Heat pumps consist of two parts: an internal part (installed in the building) and an external part (installed outside).
The external part extracts heat from the environment in which it is located, e.g. the ground, air, water.
The internal part transfers the heat energy to the HUW and CH installation. It can be connected to a DHW tank or as a separate module.
A circulating thermodynamic substance cyclically changes its physical state – the processes of compression, condensation, expansion and evaporation take place. These stages occur in succession as follows: The compressor compresses the refrigerant vapour, and as a result the temperature of the vapour rises. The vapour then condenses in the condenser, heating the water circulating in the “upper source”. The compressed refrigerant in liquid form flows through the expansion valve and the expansion process causes its temperature to drop rapidly, after which, passing through the evaporator, the refrigerant begins to evaporate – and this vapour is again collected and compressed in the compressor.
The efficiency of heat pumps is determined by the COP. This is the ratio of the electrical energy input to the thermal energy output of the heat pump.
2. What is the service life of the heat pump?
The most important component of a heat pump is the compressor which carries out the thermodynamic refrigeration/heating cycle. Therefore, mainly the service life is determined by the service life of the compressor itself. The service life of a Split type heat pump is approximately 15 years, while in the case of Monoblocks most manufacturers declare it to be approximately 100,000 operating hours. Assuming that on average a heat pump will operate 3000 hours per year (125 days of continuous operation), it can then be roughly assumed that the life of the heat pump – compressor will be around 30 years.
3. Installing a heat pump - what is the cost?
Exact pricing is an individual matter, depending on several factors – the type of heat pump, the specific model of the device, the heating power of the pump, the technical conditions. The cost of the pump itself is estimated at several to several thousand PLN. A large part of the expense is, however, the installation of the heat pump itself, as it is connected with several undertakings – e.g. in the case of a water-to-water pump it is necessary to make two wells, in the case of a glycol-to-water pump to place collectors in the ground, etc. It should be noted, however, that sooner or later the investment will pay off and bring noticeable benefits. When choosing the type of installation and model, it is best to consult our advisors at PROWABLE Sp. z o.o. We will select the best and cheapest solutions individually.
4. How much does it cost to maintain a heat pump?
Each installation needs an individual calculation to estimate the potential expenses, so you can find out whether a heat pump is the right solution for you. During the calculation we will take into account, among other things, the number of occupants of the building and the heat energy demand.
5. How to reduce the cost of heat pump installation?
It is possible to obtain co-financing for the installation of a heating system using renewable energy sources (this includes a heat pump). In addition, you can apply for funding from the Provincial Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management or for a thermomodernization premium from the National Economy Bank or the Environmental Protection Bank.
You can find more information on this subject on our website, and you can also contact our advisors.
6. How to operate heat pumps?
You don’t have to operate a heat pump because it is completely maintenance-free. It works seamlessly as soon as it is connected, so you don’t have to supervise its operation.
7. How powerful should the heat pump be?
This is an individual issue for each building and a special audit is always carried out to predict the needs. The audit aims to make all the necessary calculations to match the most optimal and best solutions to the customer’s expectations.
8. Which heat pump efficiency should I choose?
Anyone who decides to install a heat pump would like to choose the most economical and efficient device possible. The efficiency of heat pumps is given by the COP (coefficient of performance). The higher it is, the less electricity is needed to achieve the same amount of heat. The specialists at Prowable sp. z o.o. will advise you on the most optimal solution for your needs.
9. Which heat pump should I choose - air source or ground source?
This is approached individually, all depending on the customer’s needs and the situation. An air source heat pump will be cheaper to buy, while a ground source heat pump will have more stable operating conditions and be cheaper to operate. Advisors at PROWABLE Sp. z o.o. will help you choose the right solution for your individual needs. Feel free to contact us.
10. Will the heat pump heat the whole building?
Of course! The right heat pump will heat the entire building, regardless of its type, surface or internal conditions. The main task of a heat pump is to ensure thermal comfort, regardless of the outside temperature.
11. Can heat pumps cool?
Heat pumps can both cool and heat. Air source heat pumps have this function straight away. However, selected ground source heat pump models have a built-in cooling module, for others a separate passive or active cooling module is required.
12. Efficiency of the heat pump in winter versus summer.
The efficiency of a heat pump is independent of the season. The purpose of a heat pump is to heat a building, which is all the more important in winter. Our specialists will help you choose the right pump power level so that you can enjoy comfortable temperatures all year round.
13. Which heating system for the heat pump?
The best efficiency coefficient for a heat pump is achieved when using a low-temperature heating system. These are underfloor or wall heating systems. Their advantage is that they can cope with low flow temperatures (30 – 40 °C). Low-temperature radiators can also be used (42 °C).
Standard radiators require a flow temperature of at least 50 °C.
14. How do you power a heat pump?
For the heat pump to work properly, it is necessary to connect it to electricity. The heat pump only uses 25% electricity, the remaining 75% will be drawn from renewable energy sources including ground, water or air. Additionally, it can be connected to a photovoltaic system, which will make our savings even greater.
15. What does defrosting mean in reverse cooling mode?
With air-to-water heat pumps, under certain operating conditions, frost may appear on the evaporator. It forms as follows: heat is removed from the air in the evaporator. If it falls below the dew point of the air, condensate is formed and the temperature varies from -5 to +7°C to icing up. Important: this must be defrosted regularly so that the heat pump can continue to operate efficiently.
Evaporator icing is continuously monitored by the heat pump’s internal control system and the defrost circulation process is automatically initiated as required. The heat pump refrigerant circuit is then operated by means of a reversing check valve. This briefly drains the water in the buffer tank or in the underfloor heating and feeds it to the evaporator. The ice melts and flows out as condensate. This guarantees efficient operation of the unit.
18. Pros and cons of installing a heat pump.
Of course everyone who decides to install a heating system would like to pay as little as possible. However, this is not possible in all cases, sometimes the technical conditions do not allow it, and in others the financial conditions do not allow it. Even though it is the most efficient and economical solution, it involves a high one-off expense that not everyone can afford or wants. However, whenever there is a possibility, it is worth opting for it. This is because, even though we pay seemingly more on a one-off basis, we save a lot more in the long run and gain a lot more at the same time.
19. I have a question that is not on the list.
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