What is an air-water heat pump?
The air-water heat pump is an electrical device that transfers the heat taken from the air to a water system. To obtain hot water, it only partially uses electricity, as the most important share of the machine's energy needs is covered by thermal energy extracted from the environment. This means that there is a significant decrease in domestic consumption necessary to meet the required space heating and sanitary water, with advantages from an environmental point of view.
How does the heat pump work to heat the water?
The operation of the air-water heat pump is based on four main phases:
- The convector fluid is brought into the evaporator, passing to the gaseous state it absorbs the heat from the air.
- In the form of gas, it reaches the compressor which increases its pressure, increasing the temperature.
- In the condenser, the fluid returns to the liquid state, transferring the heat it had previously collected to the water circuit, which will enter the water system to be used as domestic hot water and / or for heating.
- The fluid, thanks to the expansion valve, is cooled, in order to resume the cycle.
The air-water heat pump can also work in reverse, allowing us to cool the rooms in the summer season.
When to install air-water heat pump?
The air-water heat pump is compatible with traditional radiators, as it can be connected to the thermal heating system. Its maximum efficiency is obtained with underfloor heating systems, as in this case a relatively low operating temperature of the water is sufficient (around 30 ° C) and therefore a lower energy expenditure.
To maximize the efficiency of an air-water heat pump and reduce consumption if you want to use an existing radiator heating system, it is necessary to use aluminum radiators, instead of cast iron, or so-called fan coils, which usually are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional radiators.
What are the advantages of a heat pump?
As we have already analyzed, the advantages that can be obtained from an air-water heat pump are many, but let's analyze them specifically.
The air-to-water heat pump mainly uses thermal energy to operate, so the electricity consumption is only partial. There are many factors that influence the energy efficiency of the heat pump, linked to the type of appliance (in particular to the COP - Coefficient of Performance and the energy class to which it belongs), to the climatic zone in which the home is located and to the characteristics of the house (type of heating, insulation, exposure, etc.).
In general, heat pumps with COP equal to 3 can ensure a 45% reduction in energy requirements compared to gas-fired systems.
Respect for the environment
The traditional boiler uses methane gas to heat the house, the gas is a fossil fuel therefore polluting and subject to exhaustion. Air-to-water heat pumps, on the other hand, are not powered by any fossil fuel, so they eliminate the emissions of pollutants from the domestic heating system. For the sake of completeness, it must be said that the electricity absorbed by the heat pump is produced, in a certain percentage depending on the national energy mix, with fossil fuels. However, considering that these tools are much more efficient than gas boilers and therefore reduce the overall energy requirement, we can say that even at a national level there is a significant reduction in pollutants released into the environment.
The air-to-water heat pump is part of the improvements that may be subject to state incentives. In particular, in the presence of all the required requirements, deductions of 50% can be obtained in the case of renovation, 65% in the case of energy redevelopment or 110% if one falls within the parameters of the so-called superbonus.