One of the main side effects of the Ukrainian War is undoubtedly the energy crisis. In order to face this situation of full uncertainty regarding the supply and price of natural gas from Russia, the Member States of the European Union agreed last July to reduce the demand for Russian gas by 15% in view of the imminent winter. With this goal on the horizon, the reality of homes continues to be a very high energy bill. In fact, in the first half of 2022, the price was 265% higher than in 2021 and 637% higher than in 2020. Now, with winter and cold just around the corner, the concern is still elderly.
Given this scenario of increases in both the price of gas and electricity, the heat pump is positioned as one of the best alternatives to air-condition any type of home. “This air conditioning equipment is capable of extracting energy from the natural environment, that is, air, water or earth, and transporting it inside the home to heat it,” explains Manuel Rabanal, heating engineer at Daikin Spain.
The heat pump is a great alternative to traditional heating options, becoming an ally to save this winter due to current gas costs.
Manuel Rabanal, heating engineer at Daikin Spain
In addition, they also work in reverse, directing heat from the interior to the exterior, thus cooling the space. This means that the same equipment that provides air conditioning in summer can also provide heating in winter. “Therefore, they represent a great alternative to traditional heating options, such as gas boilers, becoming an ally to save this winter due to the current gas costs,” says Manuel Rabanal.
Efficient and sustainable: the benefits of the heat pump
As an alternative to traditional heating systems that are less respectful of the environment, the heat pump brings important benefits, starting with its sustainable nature. So much so that they can make a decisive contribution to achieving the decarbonisation objectives set for 2050. It is an environmentally friendly solution because, although the system requires the use of electricity for its operation, the heat pump is considered a renewable energy source – such as solar, wind or hydraulic–, since it can transport a greater amount of energy than it consumes.
In addition, this system makes use of other renewable energies, such as ambient thermal energy from air, water or soil. It also reduces energy consumption and is the technology with the lowest CO₂ emissions, compared to any fossil fuel boiler.
Along with sustainability, the other great advantage of this system is efficiency, since the heat pump is capable of transporting more heat than the electrical energy it consumes. By capturing energy from natural and free sources, it manages to multiply its electrical power and transport useful heat in a highly efficient way. For example, an aerothermal heat pump delivers 5 kW of heating energy and consumes only 1 kW of electricity, capturing the remaining 4 kW of ambient air for free. In the case of aerothermal energy, it is important to also take into account the functionality and versatility it offers, since it is capable of providing heating, air conditioning and domestic hot water. All through a single team, so it is useful all year round.
Above all, talking about the heat pump is also about saving. The use of this equipment can make heating cheaper by up to 50% compared to other traditional systems, according to estimates by Daikin, a pioneer company in air conditioning solutions. In fact, according to a study that this Japanese company has recently carried out analyzing the consumption of this equipment and current electricity prices, it has been found that it is possible to air-condition a room in a home with a Split-type heat pump for less one euro a day.
These air conditioning systems are synonymous with savings: according to a Daikin study, analyzing the consumption of this equipment and current electricity prices, it would be possible to air-condition a room with a Split-type heat pump for less than one euro per day.
Other aspects as important as the latter are their easy maintenance and the reliability and comfort they offer, creating a healthier environment by achieving (and maintaining) the ideal temperature at all times of the year. And also, at the same time, they improve the quality of indoor air thanks to their air filters that eliminate allergens and all kinds of bacteria.
Two types of systems with different functions
The heat pump is a piece of equipment that can be easily integrated into the home and has two types of main systems that users can choose from. The first of these are Split-type heat pumps, made up of an indoor unit and one or more outdoor units connected to each other, which allow the air conditioning of one or more rooms through a simple installation. This type of heat pump is the most suitable for medium-sized rooms and those areas with warm temperatures.
On the other hand, Daikin also offers its customers aerothermal heat pump equipment. This type of system is capable of offering heating in winter, air conditioning in summer and domestic hot water throughout the year. The brand has Daikin Altherma as its star product, a pioneering system more than 15 years ago that includes the most extensive range for any need for efficiency, space and water accumulation that the user needs, without forgetting the possibility of connecting solar panels, very currently sued.
Growing demand for decarbonization
The change of the boiler towards more sustainable alternatives, such as the heat pump, is a reality that is repeated more and more frequently. With decarbonization as a universal challenge for all countries, European subsidies and funds are aimed precisely at promoting this change in the air conditioning sector. The plan contemplates the transformation of a sector in which fossil fuel systems predominate to others that are 100% electric, in which efficiency and zero direct emissions prevail.
According to the estimates of the Japanese company, the annual demand for residential heat pumps is expected to triple between now and 2025 thanks to the promotion of actions in favor of decarbonization
The scope for action is wide in an area where action is urgently needed: the European Union’s building stock is responsible for approximately 36% of all CO₂ emissions. This increasing renewal of outdated systems that use fossil fuels is increasing the demand for heat pumps. In fact, according to Daikin estimates, the annual demand for residential heat pumps is expected to triple between now and 2025 thanks to the promotion of actions in favor of decarbonization. The time has come to make the leap to more sustainable and efficient air conditioning.