Definitive guide for heat pump: Operation, types, prices and incentives

A heat pump is a machine able to produce thermal energy, useful for space heating or water, thanks to the use of renewable energies. The creation of thermal energy occurs due to a fundamental process: the passage of heat from a lower temperature environment to an environment with higher temperature.

An example is the transfer of heat which can take place in an external environment (a garden) to an internal environment (a house). The peculiarity of the heat pump is, in fact, to just use resources already available in nature. Why environmentalists urge the community to start to rely on these new renewable energies. It is generally endeavored to create heat, but in reality, you can also take advantage of its ability to cool the rooms.

These tools are also powered by electricity; however, it continues to be the major source of natural type. If desired, you can also avail of a power supply generated from wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, thereby eliminating any trace of artificiality in the process. Some examples of instruments that can run through this system are the air conditioners, chillers, and the heat pump in geothermal exchange, the absorption heat pump, the heat pump to gas compression, and so on.

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This technology is able to replace all and for all the boilers. As a result, you can delete pipes, chimney, and all the accessories that accompany the traditional heating and cooling of the air and water. In summer just happen on winter opposite, namely the heat extracted from the house (that will refresh) will be used to produce hot water.

In addition to the existence of electric heat pumps, the market includes gas heat pumps. These are able to provide excellent performance and above seem in a greater advantage of the energy present in nature. The gas-fired heat pump is able to combine the many advantages of natural gas to the multiple advantages of this machine. There are four different types of gas heat pumps heat pump with gas motor, heat pump, gas absorption, of gas devoicing heat pump.

Operation of a heat pump

On a heat pump, it depends on what he wants to do and its characteristics. As previously mentioned the fact, these machines can be designed to produce heat, to cool and to disperse heat. In case you want to generate heat, the machine will exploit the heat from a low-temperature environment, to channel it into one that needs higher temperatures. This step is based on a fundamental principle, which states that any gas undergoes compression heats.

A heat pump is mainly composed of a condenser, a throttling valve, an evaporator and a compressor. The latter is able to create a cycle which begins the pressure difference, i.e. aspires, through the evaporator, the refrigerant fluid, which subsequently evaporates, thus absorbing heat and pushing it inside the condenser where the fluid condenses; releasing the heat previously absorbed. At this point, the fluid arrives in the lamination valve, which reduces the pressure of the fluid until it becomes liquid / vapor. Also concluded this step the fluid part of the evaporator and the cycle begins again just described.

Among the most widespread machines to generate heat, at the moment, we find those “air-water”, which have the ability to take heat from external environments. This happens thanks to a heat pump are the exact opposite of what usually happens in a refrigerator. The latter, in fact, is able to withdraw the heat inside the appliance and pour it to the outside; the heat pump is rather the opposite.

The efficiency of the heat pump: how to measure it?

To verify the quality and performance of the equipment, there is the so-called COP (Coefficient of Performance) that is a parameter expressing the ratio between the transferred thermal power and the energy absorbed. Usually, this data should remain between 1.2 and 1.5. The real performance and right of one of these machines are still inversely proportional to the difference in temperature between the hot and cold ambient environment. In summary, the greater the heat difference between the two sources used (a hot and a cold), the lower the efficiency of the heat pump.

All those machines so that exploit sources with stable temperatures are usually more efficient than those that instead lean sources with widely varying temperatures and uncertain, like air.

Definitive guide for heat pump

Air heat pump: What is it and how does it work?

One of the sources, at the time, more heat is used to extract the air. Consequently, between the heats pumps we are the most used to air heat pump. The main advantage of this system is obvious enough: the air is not hard to find it; it is available everywhere without major problems. Installation costs are therefore lower.

It is also true that the air of the external environments cannot be maneuvered; therefore, the heat pump will undergo the various climate changes with more or less effort. In the case of low temperatures, for example, the heat pump will work with greater fatigue. From this, it follows that there are places where it is strongly recommended to use this machine and other places where, because of the climate, it is not at all recommended the implantation of this heat pump.

Technically the steps of the process are the following causes: the cooling fluid passes through the throttling valve, thus creating a mixture of vapor and liquid; this enters the evaporator and starts to absorb heat to become a low-temperature steam. The steam passes through the accumulator and is compressed, thus increasing the temperature. Finally, the hot steam comes into the condenser, where it releases heat and then changes phase. The final liquid product falls within the lamination valve and restarts the cycle just described.

In reality, there is no single type of air heat pump, but many and various, depending on the type of fluid that the pump uses to distribute heat. Let us see, together, all types of air source heat pump on the market today:

  • Air-air: Are the machines most sold in our country, probably because of your simplicity and your low cost. Our climate is then very suitable for this type of instrumentation. This machine is capable of heating during the winter and cool in summer. The plant provides for the presence of some elements outside the house (compressor, heat exchanger) that connect to other present inside the home or the office. Consequently, it is important to have an external environment in which to install the various components of the machine;
  • Air to air heat recovery: Machines are usually used for very large environments. The heat pump, therefore, works on the temperature difference between the incoming air and the outlet. The air circulation is forced and there is a heat recovery. The efficiency is very high, as well as the costs for the facility;
  • Air-water: These machines are still little exploited, despite being able to respond to all the requirements of a dwelling: heating, production of hot water, air conditioning. The costs for the installation are even lower than those of a boiler or a classic air conditioning system.

As in the first case, even here you need to install the elements both inside and outside the home. Thanks to an air-water heat pump, heating costs can really decrease. This machine is able to absorb 1 kWh of electricity and to release 4 of thermal energy: the quadruple of a boiler.

By choosing this plant will be also necessary to install a water distribution system: the so costs will rise. If there were a ranking of these machines, you probably would see this as a winner, first, the air-water pump, then the air-to-air and only last for the classic boiler.

Geothermal heat pump: what is it and how does it work?

The geothermal heat pump uses the various sources, from those seen previously, to create heat energy. In particular, uses the soil or the water that is located in it. The heat energy transport can occur in two different ways: either through antifreeze liquid or always through the water.

According to the present piping (open or closed) can develop two different processes in the creation of thermal energy. In the first it extracts the water from an aquifer which is located in the ground and moves to the heat exchanger; at that point, it is possible to download it in a watercourse or in the same layer of the first or even in a basin constructed for the purpose. In the second, however, it contains a cooling fluid flowing through the pipes under the ground or an antifreeze liquid that is pressurized.

This system is recommended for all those homes that have a large enough garden. The costs for the installation of this heat pump are modest, but what is important is that a geothermal plant is able to well save 40% of the bill for energy consumption.

Electric heat pump

The heat pump is an instrument capable of producing thermal energy. Currently, as mentioned in the beginning, there are two main types of heat pumps: one electrical and one in the gas. The first is certainly the most widespread in homes and offices, this for the many benefits which its stars. However, both types are able to exploit the natural and free energy (air, water, earth). Usually, the electrical machines using cold energy source such as the outside air, due to the decidedly more a low cost. Nevertheless, this type of pumps has lower yields than those which use other sources such as land or water.

But what has formed an electric heat pump?

Its components are the following: the compressor, the condenser, the evaporator and the expansion valve. Another fundamental part of the heating process is done by the so-called “cooling fluid”. The latter is the protagonist of a path rather complex: it is in the gaseous state, until it is compressed, thus increasing both the temperature and the pressure. Subsequently, the fluid passes into the condenser and releases its heat to water or air to be heated, thus passing from the gaseous state to the liquid. It is at this point that comes in the expansion valve: reduces the pressure and the temperature of the fluid so it returns, at least in part, to the previous state: that of a gas. The final blow is carried out from the evaporator that is completely gaseous returning the refrigerant. At this point, it can spill into the compressor again and restart the cycle.

To verify the performance of an electric heat pump there is a definite factor: the COP (Coefficient of Performance). In electrical heat pumps, this coefficient indicates the ratio of the current used and the heat output. The heat pumps are however not suitable for any environment and especially to any climate. In fact, the lower the outside temperature, the more fatigue machine to absorb heat.

System heat pump: Costs and tax deductions

The so-called heat account is ancient history but you can still access the tax breaks for energy savings .In fact, for many years, there is still another kind of incentive: tax deduction of 65%, but with the presence of 10 annual installments for repayment.

Finally, in Italy, to promote even more the presence of these machines, it is a new ad hoc electricity tariff was created for all those who own an electric heat pump. Thanks to this introduction, the owners of the machines will save hundreds of dollar in the bill.

The electric heat pumps prices vary greatly, depending on the brand and size of the surface to be heated. So basically it goes from a minimum of $ 400 to a maximum of $ 8,000 also. A professional will know how to advise the most suitable machine to the type of dwelling and above will provide a free estimate for the installation labor. The machines that require the installation of two parts (one from the outside and an insert to be inserted inside the dwelling) will be increased costs.

Heat pump: advantages and disadvantages

In conclusion, therefore, it is convenient or not convenient to install in your home or in your office a heat pump? To remove any doubt, now we will see in detail all the pros and cons of heat pumps.

Among the first benefits, we identify immediately those of an economic nature: the state incentives.

First of all, you can even get a tax deduction of 65%, thanks to the Stability Law 2016 which extended the existing incentives.

We now go over to the economic benefits and focus on the operation of the plants. There is no doubt; the heat pumps are able to produce high energy efficiency. Suffice it to say that from a single kWh are able to produce another five; overcoming of at least 5 times the classic heating systems. What does this mean? Definitely a benefit not indifferent to the environment (reduces harmful emissions) and then again an economic benefit to the person who installs the system. This efficiency is, in fact, translates into a savings of 40% to 70% on the bill. Why instead, many choose not to install these systems?

What are the disadvantages of the main heat pumps?

Among the first “counter” are reasons regarding the physical space. Often these installations require large spaces, and above all outdoor spaces. In a case where the garden of a house may in fact be some small problems. The noise produced by these machines could become a source of discomfort.

Another element because of which, they have often chosen means of heating or traditional purposes Cooling regards costs. Despite the game’s worth the candle, heat pumps have still considerable costs. So often some families fail to cover the first necessary expenses. It is true that you have a strong deduction, but it is also true that this happens in 10 annual installments and not in a few years.

In conclusion, it can be said with certainty that the benefits of a heat pump are such that recommend your facility. Those who will support the immediate costs for the machine, however, will see then return in the long term, the expenditure incurred: either through the deduction is due to the considerable savings that these systems provide.

Online you can find numerous companies and many professionals able to perform the necessary work. Obviously, it will be possible to be preparing estimates of (almost always free of charge), making a visit to the professional area in which you want to install the system. In case you do not possess an external environment, the chosen company will still be able to advise other creative solutions, so as not to give up this system.