Heat pump in an apartment: payback and heating options

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22 Sep 2021
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  1. Heat pump for apartments, heating options
    1. Heat pump for apartments (air-to-air)
    2. Heat pump for apartments (air-to-water)
    3. Bivalent system
  2. Special features of heating apartments with a heat pump (air-to-water)
  3. What is the payback time for an air heat pump?
  4. Selection of a heat pump for apartments
  5. When is a heat pump recommended for heating?
  6. FAQ
    1. Can a heat pump be used for a small apartment?
    2. Minimum price of a heat pump for apartments
    3. What documents do I need to install an air heat pump in a multistory house?
  7. Our video reviews

If comfortable conditions in the apartment are important to you throughout the whole year, you should pay attention to the correct organization of the microclimate. A heat pump is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for both heating and cooling a room.

The heat pump can have several varieties:

  • air-to-air;
  • air-to-water;
  • ground source heat pump – uses the thermal energy of the earth, and special wells are needed to get it. It is impossible to implement such a system for an apartment.

Heat pump for apartments, heating options

Heat pump for apartments (air-to-air)

An air-to-air heat pump in an apartment works on the principle of a classic air conditioner. It can work both for cooling and for heating the apartment. The heat pump is a split system, which consists of outdoor and indoor units. A line along which Freon moves interconnects these units.

* Freon is a gas that can absorb or give off heat, while changing its state of aggregation.

The outdoor unit is responsible for heating Freon with low potential heat using cold outdoor air.

The indoor unit is responsible for the transfer of Freon heat to the air in the room. He can be:

  • wall-mounted;
  • ducted;
  • floor-mounted;
  • cassette.

The air-to-air heat pump is widely used in Europe and southern countries, where there is no severe frost during the cold period.

However, the engineers of our company do not recommend the use of this type of heat pump, as it loses its effectiveness in the climate of Ukraine. In addition, the use of a wall-mounted, ducted or cassette-type indoor unit for heating is inefficient. These units supply heat from the top point and according to the laws of physics, heated air always moves up. Therefore, air currents from the indoor unit will not warm the floor, which in turn will lead to a decrease in comfort level.

Interior heat pump MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC MUZ-LN25VG-E1
Interior heat pump MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC MUZ-LN25VG-E1
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Heat pump for apartments (air-to-water)

The air-to-water heat pump is a versatile device for heating and cooling in an apartment building. It looks like a conventional split air conditioning system: it has an outdoor and indoor unit. It works on the same principle as an air-to-air heat pump. Only in this case, the heat of Freon is transferred to another heat carrier, namely water.

The main advantage of a heat pump is its high efficiency and ability to maintain a comfortable temperature in summer and winter.

External heat pump unit
External heat pump unit "air-to-water"

The main characteristic of the energy efficiency of a heat pump for heating an apartment is the COP (Coefficient of Performance). The higher the COP, the higher the efficiency of the heat pump.

It is worth noting that COP is highly dependent on the temperature of the coolant. The lower the water temperature in the heating system, the higher the efficiency of the heat pump. Heating at low temperatures is best organized using a system of underfloor heating. In contrast to centralized heating, where a coolant with a temperature of 70-90 ° C is supplied to the radiator, the underfloor heating system operates at 35-55 ° C.

When a heat pump operates to cool an apartment, the cooling performance coefficient is used - EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio).

In order to achieve a high coefficient of efficiency, the apartment must have:

  • high-quality supply and exhaust ventilation with heat recovery, so that the windows remain closed and do not release heat;
  • underfloor heating system that operates at low temperatures;
  • energy-efficient building design with high-quality double-glazed windows and minimal values ​​of thermal conductivity of walls and roofs.

If all conditions for high efficiency are not met, the heat pump loses all its advantages.

For an apartment in a multistory building, you can use any air source heat pump or bivalent system.

Interior heat pump LG THERMA V
Interior heat pump LG THERMA V
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Bivalent system

A bivalent system is a system that consists of a heat pump (the main source of heat) and an additional one (for example, an electric boiler). The disadvantage of a heat pump is that at low temperatures (from -20 °C and below) it cannot cope with the load and stops working. To avoid this situation, an electric boiler is installed. It “backs” the heat pump at extremely low temperatures.

Special features of heating apartments with a heat pump (air-to-water)

An air heat pump is a universal device for heating an apartment in a multi-story building, as it has a high power. One such device can perform three functions:

  • heating;
  • room cooling;
  • heating water for hot water supply.

We already know that underfloor heating is used for heating with a heat pump. Let us consider this question in more detail.

Underfloor heating is an invariable component of an effective apartment heating system that operates at low heat carrier temperatures.

When the outdoor temperatures is down to -10°C, it is able to maintain a comfortable temperature at 24-26°C indoors. However, it has its drawbacks.

  1. When the outside temperature jumps from -10°C and below, the temperature in the apartment will gradually drop to 20-22°C. It is not recommended to use a underfloor heating to heat an apartment at low temperatures, as it will become too hot and create discomfort for the foot.
  2. It is also worth considering that when the temperature of the underfloor heating rises, the concrete heats up very quickly and cools down for a long time. Therefore, with temperature fluctuations (which is relevant for the Ukrainian climate), it will not be possible to quickly change the surface temperature of the warm floor.

To avoid this situation, an additional heat source is needed, which can quickly heat up in severe frosts and cool down quickly when warming. It could be:

  • fan coil unit – can work both for heating and for cooling;
  • radiator – used only for heating;
  • floor convector – can supply cold and warm air
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WILL HELP TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

What is the payback time for an air heat pump?

An air source heat pump will be a profitable investment and will pay off if the following factors are present:

  • underfloor heating;
  • a source with fast heat generation (for example, a fan coil unit);
  • energy efficiency of the apartment (high-quality double-glazed windows, low thermal conductivity of the walls);
  • supply and exhaust ventilation;
  • using a heat pump for both heating and cooling.

In this case, the installation will fully pay off in 10 years.

Selection of a heat pump for apartments

To choose the right heat pump, first of all, you need to find out the heat loss of the apartment using a heat engineering calculation.

Based on the data obtained, the power of the heat pump and heating equipment is selected with the obligatory use of a warm floor. Moreover, do not forget that a high COP/EER is required to implement an energy-efficient system.

When is a heat pump recommended for heating?

If you are interested in:

  • an alternative energy source capable of operating in an environmentally friendly way through the use of natural heat;
  • controlling of the heating system, which focuses on your comfort;
  • a system that can work both for heating and cooling, using underfloor heating and fan coil units.

In this case, we strongly recommend using a heating system with an air source heat pump in an apartment building.

FAQ

Can a heat pump be used for a small apartment?

Yes, a heat pump can be installed in a small apartment. The area of ​​the room does not affect this in any way.

Minimum price of a heat pump for apartments

The price of a heat pump depends on: the area of ​​the room, the manufacturer of the heat pump, the amount of heat loss in the building, etc. It is selected individually, according to the client's budget.

Starting price for heat pumps on our website:

  • “Air-to-air” – from 12,328 UAH
  • “Air-to-water” – from 250,000 UAH

What documents do I need to install an air heat pump in a multistory house?

To install a heat pump in a multistory building, no additional documents are needed, since it is an autonomous system.

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