Retrofitting a heat pump: What to consider

by Pramith

Many homeowners want to retrofit a heat pump to avoid rising electricity and heating costs. Especially if a renovation was due anyway, this is a perfectly sensible consideration, but it won’t work without a certain amount of planning.

Retrofitting a heat pump – is it possible?

In principle, you can retrofit a heat pump in any house. However, there are some factors that can limit your project.

  • Depending on the age, construction type and thermal insulation of the house, as well as the available space, the installation of a heat pump is complicated or associated with high costs.
  • As a rule, a heat pump runs a low-temperature heating system such as underfloor heating and not wall radiators, although this is also possible to a certain extent.
  • You definitely have to expect that your heat pump will need space. Air source heat pumps usually require more space, but water source or ground source heat pumps are more complex to install.
  • To a certain extent, however, all of this can be managed and you should bring these points up during an inspection by a specialist company.
  • If it is possible to install a heat pump, then the retrofit can be done either by replacing the existing heating system or as an addition.

This is what else you need to know when retrofitting the heat pump

Expect to pay between €15,000 and €30,000 for installation, heating and other work. Of course, this can be even more for larger properties, as well as for older properties and those in need of renovation.

  • Ideally you already have a photovoltaic system on your roof or install it together with the heat pump, as the heating system also needs electricity in addition to the heat transfer medium.
  • An air source heat pump is usually noisier than other models, but it is relatively easy and cheaper to install.
  • Water heat pumps depend on the depth and quantity of groundwater.
  • Ground source heat pumps usually require drilling and possibly test drilling. For this, this variant is the most efficient.
  • With a heat pump, proper heating and ventilation are also important, especially because they have a certain pre- and post-run.

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