Heating with air conditioning: A sustainable alternative

Heizen mit Klimaanlagen: Eine nachhaltige Alternative

Heating with an air conditioner during the cooler and cold months of the year? This works out. Some modern air conditioners are smart heating systems that can even be used to warm up the premises in a really ecological way. And at the same time cost-efficient and sustainable. You can find out how to do this in this post.

Are there air conditioners with a heating function?

In principle, consumers associate air conditioning systems with a cooling function. Depending on the model, the range of services is significantly more extensive. Usually, air conditioners with heating function are inverter air conditioners and heat pump air conditioners . 

In air conditioning systems, which can be used for cooling and heating, the refrigerant in the system is compressed using a compressor. For cooling, the agent is vaporized, cold is released and a cool air flow is created. If, on the other hand, the air conditioning system is to heat, this process is reversed. The refrigerant is vaporized and then liquefied. The heat absorbed from the outside air is then released into the desired premises.

In short : With the help of a refrigerant, thermal energy is conducted from the environment into the desired rooms. If you rely on renewable energies in this process, heating with air conditioning can even be really ecological, sustainable and cheap.

Heating with air conditioning: an ecological alternative to gas or oil

Cooling, heating and dehumidifying - all this is possible with modern air conditioning systems. Unlike a simple heater. The use of air conditioning for heating makes sense, especially in modern apartments and in new houses with good insulation. Above all, when automatic living room ventilation is required in addition to the heating function. This prevents moisture and mold growth.

The use of an air conditioner with a heating function in combination with a classic heater also makes sense. For example, the air conditioning can be used for heating in early autumn, when the full heat output of the heating system is not yet required. The heating system remains switched off until then.

Important : Using an air conditioner for heating can be financially worthwhile. However, only as long as the heat requirement is not too great, the premises are well insulated and the device is used in combination with a photovoltaic system. This type of heating is particularly ecological and sustainable.

The cost of heating with air conditioning

First of all , air conditioners with heating function convince with a low purchase price. This is usually between 500 and 2,500 euros - however, each room to be heated requires its own air conditioning unit. Installation costs should also be factored in. For comparison: Another heating system - such as a gas condensing boiler - can cost 7,000 euros and more. In addition, a pipe and exhaust system is required for classic heating. 

Assuming a realistic electricity price of 30 cents per kilowatt hour, you pay 30 cents per hour for heating with a 1,000 watt air conditioner. For ten hours of heating, you can expect heating costs of around three euros per day.

That way you keep an eye on the costs

Modern air conditioners with a heating function are usually powered by electricity. In order to keep an eye on the costs for the device in use, the electricity costs incurred should be checked regularly. 

When is heating with air conditioning worthwhile - an overview:

  • In very well insulated rooms - for example in new buildings or in post-insulated apartments.
  • In properties that have their own photovoltaic system - ideally with storage.
  • Wherever additional cooling and air dehumidification is required in summer.

If you want to buy an air conditioner for heating and also save money, familiarize yourself with the current subsidy programs. Since heating with air conditioning is usually very environmentally friendly, the purchase and installation has been subsidized since 2021. This is where the Federal Funding for Efficient Buildings (BEG) comes into effect. Consumers receive a 35 percent subsidy for the installation and replacement of an air-conditioning system with an air-to-air heat pump.

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