Heat pump’s advantages and disadvantages

The technology behind the different types of heat pumps is largely the same, at least in principle. Only the heat sources differ from each other. A working medium, the so-called refrigerant, is preheated with the help of heat from the earth, air or water. However, since heat generation requires a higher temperature level than that provided by the heat sources, the refrigerant must be heated to a higher temperature using electrical energy (electricity).

Heat pump's advantages and disadvantages

Local conditions

Depending on the different heat sources and requirements that a specific heat pump system places on the local conditions, there are both advantages and disadvantages for the individual systems.

Brine-water heat pump with ground collector – State funding possible
– Subsidies from the KfW possible
– Earthworks can be carried out on your own
– Saving of fossil fuels
– Can be coupled with other renewable energies
– Cooling and heating possible
– Favorable tariffs for the heat pump electricity
– high area requirement: about twice the space required by the collectors in relation to the room to be heated
– efficiency depends on the soil conditions
– limited flow temperature, heating must be optimized accordingly
Brine-water heat pump with geothermal probe – State funding from the BAFA possible
– Subsidies from the KfW possible
– low area expenditure
– saving of fossil fuels
– can be coupled with other renewable energies
– heating in winter and cooling in summer possible
– lower electricity tariffs for the heat pump electricity
– High development costs due to deep drilling
– Permission required, both under mining and water law
– Efficiency dependent on soil conditions
– Limited flow temperature
Air Water heatpump – Indoor and outdoor installation possible
– Little space required for the technology
– Can also be retrofitted in suitable old buildings with little effort
– Can be coupled with other renewable energies
– Use of reduced electricity tariffs possible
– Danger of icing with outdoor installation and insufficient insulation
– Outdoor installation usually requires an additional heating element in winter
– Subsidy reduced by 50 percent
– Maintenance effort through regular checking of the refrigerant circuit
– Economic efficiency only given with good insulation
Water to water heat pump – existing wells can be integrated
– low operating costs
– can also be retrofitted in suitable old buildings with little effort
– state BAFA subsidy
– constant heat source temperature
– heating and cooling possible
– favorable electricity tariffs for heat pumps
– Permit required due to contact with groundwater
– Efficiency             dependent on water volume and quality
– Loss of performance when groundwater levels fall
Air to air heat pump – Efficient heat recovery, for example in a passive house
– Space-saving and aesthetic thanks to concealed installation of the ventilation system
– Favorable electricity tariffs for heat pumps
– high operating costs due to inconstant heat source air. On frosty days, an additional heating system may be necessary
– maintenance work through regular filter changes
– only economical in suitable new buildings, then no state subsidies
– with dual mode use with other heating systems, an air humidifier may be necessary


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