“Step-by-step plan for applying heat pump offers perspective”

For many people the transition from gas heating to a heat pump seems very substantial, certainly if they have purchased a new HR boiler not so long ago. A step-by-step approach offers perspective in such cases, says Maikel de Groot, director of installation company De Groot Service, in this column.

“If you took a new HR boiler a few years ago as a homeowner, that was a logical choice at that time. You may have heard about a heat pump, but not as an actual solution for your own home. Now that has changed. Reducing CO2 emissions is a government policy, and you know that you will sooner or later have to deal with it.

Suppose you installed a new HR boiler three years ago. Then I can imagine that you are not thinking of replacing it with a heat pump yet. The boiler is still too new for that. Moreover, the investments for the switch to a heat pump are considerable, not only with regard to the device itself, but also for insulating the house and purchasing a low-temperature delivery system. To pre-sort for the future, it is possible to use the gas step by step. In that model, the investment is spread over several years.

The step-by-step plan starts with the installation of a heat pump, while the HR boiler simply hangs. However, the boiler only comes into operation if the outside temperature falls to or below freezing point. If it is warmer, the heat pump can do the job. With this setup you save up to 50 percent on gas, which for a single-family home comes to roughly 500 euros a year.

The steps that can be taken in the years following the purchase of the heat pump are to improve the insulation and airtightness of the home, and to switch to a low-temperature delivery system such as underfloor heating. The moment at which this can happen depends on the financial means and the practical possibility for a family to plan the renovations.

After each adjustment, the heat pump will be able to contribute more to the heating and ultimately operate completely without the HR boiler. The HR boiler can be removed if the house can be kept sufficiently warm 365 days a year with central heating water of a maximum of 45-50 degrees. The heat pump must have sufficient capacity to heat the house using its own power. It is important to take this into account when purchasing.

In the transition period to gasless, the HR boiler will provide hot tap water. But if the boiler is no longer needed for heating after all renovations, you do not want to use it solely for tap water. After all, you want to get rid of gas completely. This can be achieved by using a hot water storage tank that is controlled by the heat pump. This must also be taken into account when purchasing the heat pump.

You may wonder why you do not purchase the heat pump later, so if the insulation and delivery are fully in order. It may be that you are too late to still benefit from the ISDE subsidy. Furthermore, you will miss the savings that you can make with the heat pump in the meantime.

Finally, a call to suppliers. The price of heat pumps with capacities up to 10 kW is still relatively high, which I think is not necessary. My message is to take a good look at that. ”