The heat pump has been widely acclaimed by customers in recent years and offers many technical and economic advantages. With models combining a heating and air conditioning system, however, it has drawbacks that it is better to be aware of in order to recommend the most suitable product for each situation. Depending on the specifics of the environment, the heat pump also shows weaknesses in its mode of operation.
HEAT PUMP DISADVANTAGES: THE TECHNICAL LIMITS OF THE HEAT PUMP
The principle of a heat pump consists of capturing the calories present in the outside air to reuse them to heat the house. Two modes of operation are possible. While the air-water device connects to the internal water network that supplies the radiators, the air-air model channels and transfers the flow obtained by convection within the various rooms.
An essential point nevertheless determines the efficiency of the heat pump: it is the insulation. By limiting thermal leaks, perfectly insulated housing will avoid excessive consumption of electricity by the device. Conversely, the heat pump will have to draw energy to maintain its performance at the desired temperature.
Another condition for the proper functioning of the heat pump is the outside temperature. To provide optimal operation, the device must be able to draw calories from outside air that is not too cold .. This is why its use is not recommended in geographical areas where the average winter temperature is below 7°C. The system then lacks interest and sees its energy cost rise. Because when the difference between the cold outside and the heat inside is too great, the conventional electrical operation takes over. The heat pump then creates heat by the Joule effect, a mode of operation known for its low profitability.
OPERATION NOT ALWAYS ECOLOGICAL
Despite the advantage that a heat pump can bring, in practice, it is not as environmentally friendly as one might think. By using electrical energy for its operation, it constitutes a heating system with a questionable carbon footprint. Whether it is nuclear or fossil energy, the state of zero pollution is far from being achieved. In addition, heat pumps with a reversibility process see their electricity consumption increase considerably during the summer period. The same is true for greenhouse gas emissions.
In terms of their quality, an air-to-air heat pump does not filter the atmospheric pollutants contained in the outside air. These are therefore broadcast daily within the home. Added to this is the accumulation of dust and other dirt on the air and ventilation ducts without regular maintenance.
AN INSTALLATION THAT GENERATES VARIOUS CONSTRAINTS
In some cases, the heat pump is the ideal product to heat the building. However, it is important to be aware of all the implications linked to its implementation.
- The heat pump represents a relatively high investment, especially for an air-water system with depreciation over ten years.
- Depending on the models, such as the Daikin heat pump example, the heat pump displays a more or less loud noise level from its outdoor unit, to the point of disturbing the occupants and the neighborhood. Fortunately, quieter products are coming onto the market.
- The power requirement of a heat pump very often requires subscribing to a larger electricity subscription.
- The reliability of some models still remains to be desired as the high maintenance costs.
- This type of equipment uses fluids with very high greenhouse gases.
- To couple the system with conventional water radiators, it is necessary to set up a high-temperature heat pump which turns out to be much more expensive.
Although they are good alternatives to different boilers, heat pumps have a higher price and less reliability. Classified as renewable energy systems by the 2012 thermal regulations, they are increasingly common in French homes. Before any installation, you must nevertheless be careful that the conditions for its proper functioning are respected, without forgetting to take into account the disadvantages that the heat pump entails.