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  #21  
Old 04.01.2021, 21:45
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Re: Heat Pump help

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If outside temperatures for your region don't really go below -7 grades Celsius more than a week per year, I would recommend an Air to Water heat pump. The principle is the same as in air conditioners, but instead of blowing hot/cold air they recirculate hot or cold water in the system. Below -7 it will become inefficient, so a backup electrical heater kicks on.

My system uses around 5MW of electricity per season, heating a not so well insulated detached house of 100sqm, almost 4 times less than the heating needs calculated for this house, so they are quite efficient. Costs were around 4000CHF including installation when installed over existing underfloor/radiator system.

Note that it's external unit makes a constant fan noise, so you may want to check with the neighbors too.
Thanks, believe you meant 40000* CHF? May I ask which heat pump brand and which company did you choose?
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Old 04.01.2021, 21:50
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Re: Heat Pump help

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Part of the turnkey proposal, we didn’t even check France. Subsidy was from the Canton, not our Commune.
Right and did you also use Romande Energie as you are from Vaud?
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  #23  
Old 04.01.2021, 22:18
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Re: Heat Pump help

Yes we went with RE. There are others. Have a look at Groupe E

https://www.groupe-e.ch/fr/construir...ompe-a-chaleur
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  #24  
Old 04.01.2021, 22:42
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Re: Heat Pump help

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Dear all

We are still somewhat new to Switzerland (Geneva) however as we have long term plans here we decided to buy a house. We will move in 1st of May however as the house is from 1985, it needs renovation.

We are contemplating if we should change the existing electrical heating system to a heat pump, popularly known here as "Pompe a Chaleur".

Of course the initial costs are quite exhorbitant (not sure of the future maintainence costs). As my knowledge in the area of heat pumps are close to none, I am seeking some advise from you if it is indeed a good decision to change it on the long run? Considering the high initial costs, how much reduction do I expect in terms of the bills - 20%, 30%, 40%..?

I have a low budget, can anyone please recommend me some companies on low price range?

thanks a lot.
Since you have electrical heating it would be important to understand whenever it's underfloor heating or central with water system. Should you build all new under-floor heating it be pretty expensive so there you may want to consider air-to-air heatpumps.

As to savings expected - you'd use 3-4x less electrical energy ( as COP paramter or JAR/YAR is proportion of how much KWh Thermal you get from one KWh electricity . Most pumps in Swiss climate be at COP of 4.5 and above. so you get 4.5KWh thermal for every 1KW electricity provided.

Simply said price on Electricity would drop by factor of ±4 ( should you also be heating hotwater with electricity - using heatpump would reduce that further by factor of 4+ in most cases).

hope that helps
h.

Last edited by hoover1; 04.01.2021 at 23:56.
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Old 04.01.2021, 23:24
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Re: Heat Pump help

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I


My suggestion is anyway not to do it on the cheap side, a significant element of heating pumps vs traditional heating is an estimated life of 40 years (about twice longer than a oil or gas heating), so, it’s an investment that has to run for long.
would you have any data to support that statement ? I was seeing few of the producers and neither shown me expected lifetime beyond of what the warranty period is ... and not much I could find other than that.
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  #26  
Old 05.01.2021, 00:48
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Re: Heat Pump help

What affects efficiency is the temperature difference between the outside air and the water you are heating (the "inside").
Smaller radiators need higher temperature to heat the house enough. Best case is underfloor.

So it's not a good vs no good question. It's a "is it good enough to be possible", followed by a trade-off decision between efficiency and upfront costs (and disruption).

I have seen a house with thermal pumps heating 2 rooms with the original cast iron radiators from 1900.
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Old 05.01.2021, 13:44
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Re: Heat Pump help

The house from 1985 may need better insulation.


Heat-pumps are low-temperature heatings (most of the time), while oil is high-temperature.


I'd do the outer insulation and the windows first, then the heating (and the bath(s), assuming those are original from 1985, too).


I'd prepare the roof for solar panels, but install them later (when you have money left) and add batteries.


In the future, everything will be electric (no more oil), even your car. You can charge your car from your roof, if you have solar panels.
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  #28  
Old 05.01.2021, 20:28
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Re: Heat Pump help

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The house from 1985 may need better insulation.


Heat-pumps are low-temperature heatings (most of the time), while oil is high-temperature.


I'd do the outer insulation and the windows first, then the heating (and the bath(s), assuming those are original from 1985, too).


I'd prepare the roof for solar panels, but install them later (when you have money left) and add batteries.


In the future, everything will be electric (no more oil), even your car. You can charge your car from your roof, if you have solar panels.
Thanks for your insights.

Yes I had a look at the CECB certificate and it is recommended to change to heat pump and new windows. It also says the insulation of roof and outer walls is "average" and therefore should consider to change in future. Nevertheless I am not sure what budget I will need for this? .. its a bi-familial house of 212m2..

I like the idea of preparing for solar panels, again how much CHF are we talking more or less?
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Old 05.01.2021, 21:32
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Re: Heat Pump help

I changed to a Hoval Belaria 32 from an old oil boiler. same radiators from 1970, no underfloor heating (except the badly insulated hot water pipes!). the new heatpump seems to do a better job at heating the house than the old 60kw oil burner managed. There was a cantonal subsidy on offer - i think about 6k CHF but it required extra time to apply for it before starting work and winter was coming so I unfortunately didn't avail myself of that.

I also changed all the window glass in the house for the latest double glazed glass the year before. i kept the same wooden window frames. that made a big difference to the insulation, but no other changes.

i think you want a local plumbing company to do a job like this as they may need to come back a few times and if anything goes wrong it helps to have them local. i went with a Hoval pump mainly because the service engineers are always nearby. the three times we have needed them (two were just after the installation time and one this year to change a sensor), they came within a few hours at no charge.

any decent local plumber who deals with this should be able to give you estimates of the capability of a new heat pump based on your existing consumption, local weather parameters, the size and number of radiators and various other parameters. no need for much guess work.

cost will depend on access and how much work needs to be done to install.
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  #30  
Old 07.01.2021, 10:16
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Re: Heat Pump help

Purely from an economical perspective I would recommend calculating the return of investment on installing a heat pump.


Let's say one pays yearly 5000 CHF for heating purely electric.
Divide this with the SCOP (seasonal COP) that's about 4.5 as someone mentioned above: new bill 1111 CHF, meaning you will save 3889 CHF per year on heating.
With an initial cost of 80000CHF you will need about 20 year to break even.
If you get more than 20 years of full warranty, go for it. Note that all have a pump with mechanical components that will wear out, and it's not cheap.
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  #31  
Old 11.10.2021, 13:44
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Re: Heat Pump help

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Purely from an economical perspective I would recommend calculating the return of investment on installing a heat pump.


Let's say one pays yearly 5000 CHF for heating purely electric.
Divide this with the SCOP (seasonal COP) that's about 4.5 as someone mentioned above: new bill 1111 CHF, meaning you will save 3889 CHF per year on heating.
With an initial cost of 80000CHF you will need about 20 year to break even.
If you get more than 20 years of full warranty, go for it. Note that all have a pump with mechanical components that will wear out, and it's not cheap.
This is exactly the type of things most arent thinking of; does it make sense financially speaking? I cant find any that have a warranty over 20 years however it wouldnt exactly cost 40k all over again just to replace the pump, maybe 6k if that as the majority of the cost in getting this setup is the removal of the old systems and retrofitting the new, which wouldnt need to be done twice just for a pump failure.
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  #32  
Old 11.10.2021, 14:10
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Re: Heat Pump help

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Purely from an economical perspective I would recommend calculating the return of investment on installing a heat pump.


Let's say one pays yearly 5000 CHF for heating purely electric.
Divide this with the SCOP (seasonal COP) that's about 4.5 as someone mentioned above: new bill 1111 CHF, meaning you will save 3889 CHF per year on heating.
With an initial cost of 80000CHF you will need about 20 year to break even.
If you get more than 20 years of full warranty, go for it. Note that all have a pump with mechanical components that will wear out, and it's not cheap.
You also have to factor in the reality that electricity heated homes are not in demand. In fact they are quite difficult to sell without discounting much more than the cost of installation.
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  #33  
Old 11.10.2021, 14:35
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Re: Heat Pump help

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You also have to factor in the reality that electricity heated homes are not in demand. In fact they are quite difficult to sell without discounting much more than the cost of installation.
Assume you are referring to an older property converted to a heat pump.

Modern, well-insulated homes with underfloor heating powered by a heat pump are in great demand and running costs are well below gas or oil…
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  #34  
Old 11.10.2021, 15:46
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Re: Heat Pump help

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This is exactly the type of things most arent thinking of; does it make sense financially speaking? I cant find any that have a warranty over 20 years however it wouldnt exactly cost 40k all over again just to replace the pump, maybe 6k if that as the majority of the cost in getting this setup is the removal of the old systems and retrofitting the new, which wouldnt need to be done twice just for a pump failure.
My heat pump failed 3 years in, requiring me to replace one of the 2 compressors at around 4k. 2 years later it happened again, but this time both compressors needed replacing and 8k.

The company that installed it, a local (as in next village) firm, went to bat for us with the manufacturer with the result that they replaced the steering elements (which turned out to be faulty and the cause of the failures) and both compressors for free with the condition that we take out a maintenance contract with them, which we did. It has been trouble free since then, fingers crossed. From a heating perspective I'm happy with it.

My advice if you go this route, is to:
Make sure the installer is reputable.
Take whatever extended warranties there are on offer
Take out a maintenance contract

As for underfloor heating, I'm not a fan due to the health problems associated with it for both people and pets. I'm aware of the claims that the newer systems have solved all of those problems but haven't found any credible confirmation; the claims come mainly from sources with a vested interest. You'll have to make up your own mind although I suspect it will be a moot point due to cost factors installing it in an older house.
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  #35  
Old 11.10.2021, 16:46
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Re: Heat Pump help

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Purely from an economical perspective I would recommend calculating the return of investment on installing a heat pump.


Let's say one pays yearly 5000 CHF for heating purely electric.
Divide this with the SCOP (seasonal COP) that's about 4.5 as someone mentioned above: new bill 1111 CHF, meaning you will save 3889 CHF per year on heating.
With an initial cost of 80000CHF you will need about 20 year to break even.
If you get more than 20 years of full warranty, go for it. Note that all have a pump with mechanical components that will wear out, and it's not cheap.
These are very good points. Don't forget the loss of return on any shares etc you sell to pay for the heating. Good insulation overall, and fantastic insulation on the room you use most, with an electric water boiler cutting in on off peak can keep you as warm as toast for pennies. Do you really need to heat the whole property? I don't have a heating system at all, instantaneous plug in electric heaters, a booster heater in the bathroom. A wood burner in the kitchen for Christmas and the rare winter weekends at home. Anything in Switzerland costs a fortune maintenance wise. Heating systems are a bit like buying a new car in terms of depreciation. Fit the latest and greatest heating system just before you sell the property. Focus on holidays away with family, visits abroad, a property in Spain for the winter, etc!

One problem with heat pumps is the continuing change of regulations regarding refrigerants. The refrigerants are getting more eco, and less effective. A 20 year old system might not be viable to service if it has to have a purge and refrigerant change.

Heat pumps often rely on cheap supply tariffs in their illustrations, which won't be there for ever.
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  #36  
Old 11.10.2021, 17:20
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Re: Heat Pump help

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This is exactly the type of things most arent thinking of; does it make sense financially speaking? I cant find any that have a warranty over 20 years however it wouldnt exactly cost 40k all over again just to replace the pump, maybe 6k if that as the majority of the cost in getting this setup is the removal of the old systems and retrofitting the new, which wouldnt need to be done twice just for a pump failure.
A lot of our costs were from drilling the holes. Two of them.
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Old 12.10.2021, 00:23
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Re: Heat Pump help

Fascinating thread, thanks everyone for your insights! I've read with great interest as we bought an apartment with in-floor electric heating when we first arrived in Switzerland (we were young) and have been contemplating these issues ever since. Our system draws electricity mostly at night when rates are cheap. It was definitely a turn-off when we first visited the apartment, but we liked everything else and the total annual bill was barely 2000chf (we have 140m2) which seemed completely reasonable. Ten years later, we're still happy with the heating system, yet acutely aware of how unattractive it is to future potential buyers. We've considered a heat pump, but solely for resale purposes. It seems so ridiculous, especially with constantly changing energy norms (I have family in the Netherlands, where natural gas is now being phased out in favour of electricity!). This post definitely provided food for thought.
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  #38  
Old 12.10.2021, 11:16
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Re: Heat Pump help

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Fascinating thread, thanks everyone for your insights! I've read with great interest as we bought an apartment with in-floor electric heating when we first arrived in Switzerland (we were young) and have been contemplating these issues ever since. Our system draws electricity mostly at night when rates are cheap. It was definitely a turn-off when we first visited the apartment, but we liked everything else and the total annual bill was barely 2000chf (we have 140m2) which seemed completely reasonable. Ten years later, we're still happy with the heating system, yet acutely aware of how unattractive it is to future potential buyers. We've considered a heat pump, but solely for resale purposes. It seems so ridiculous, especially with constantly changing energy norms (I have family in the Netherlands, where natural gas is now being phased out in favour of electricity!). This post definitely provided food for thought.
You mean you are considering having all your floors dug up - presuming concrete floors - water pipes laid and a heat pump installed just to sell the property. Retrofitting like that will be at least a CHF100,000 job. I would avoid the agro and knock CHF100,000 off your dream selling price.

There seems to be some confusion in previous posts. The water pipes under the floor contain only water these days. In our first property with underfloor heating and a gas-fired boiler, built in 1995, the pipes had a black preservations liquid added. Our peresent property build in 2008 has only water. It could be that the latest models which cool the house in the summer need other substances added to the water.

We were offered a service contract for the heat pump at about CHF400/year. Our architect said it wasn't worth it. We eventually had a service, which took about 20 minutes after 11 years and cost under CHF100.-. We are now into year 13 without further maintenance. All that is required is a quick vacuum of the air intake filter once a year to get any leaves out.

Yes, boring two deep holes is expensive. We have an air-intake pump. Not quite as efficient and a bit noisier, but cheaper (a relative term).

Yes, cheap tariffs for heat-pumps have been phased out, and (Canton ZH) night tariff is not much lower than the day-time tariff. Despite this, we heat to 22.5 - 23° in a 5.5 room detached house and get all hot water for about 4,000kWh per year for the heat pump (taken for 2019-2020 the last time the heat pump was separated in the EKZ bill - about CHF600-700 per year...
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  #39  
Old 12.10.2021, 11:45
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Re: Heat Pump help

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My heat pump failed 3 years in, requiring me to replace one of the 2 compressors at around 4k. 2 years later it happened again, but this time both compressors needed replacing and 8k.

The company that installed it, a local (as in next village) firm, went to bat for us with the manufacturer with the result that they replaced the steering elements (which turned out to be faulty and the cause of the failures) and both compressors for free with the condition that we take out a maintenance contract with them, which we did. It has been trouble free since then, fingers crossed. From a heating perspective I'm happy with it.

My advice if you go this route, is to:
Make sure the installer is reputable.
Take whatever extended warranties there are on offer
Take out a maintenance contract

As for underfloor heating, I'm not a fan due to the health problems associated with it for both people and pets. I'm aware of the claims that the newer systems have solved all of those problems but haven't found any credible confirmation; the claims come mainly from sources with a vested interest. You'll have to make up your own mind although I suspect it will be a moot point due to cost factors installing it in an older house.
Repeated pump failures are an indication that the system is overworking. Typically, that is related with insufficient insulation. The tradeoff then becomes adding insulation or upgrading the pump.
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