Heat Pump or Gas?

Is it wise to connect a new-built property to the gas distribution system today?

It is quite surprising to know how many choices people make and how much attention they pay to them when planning their new home, but what often escapes their notice is the most important question “what kind of heat source to choose.” This article was inspired by a lady asking us to install the underfloor heating system in her property. When asked about the heat source, she told us: “There´s gas there! “ Oh, I also have gas pipe on my land, but I´ve capped it off totally.  Why?  The answer is quite simple: "There´s nothing to think about".  It is much cheaper to heat my home with the heat pump than with gas, and even cheaper than with a wood pellet boiler.

Let´s consider a standard private property with 160 m2 heated areas and a computed heat loss of 7kW. When heating it with gas, the annual operating costs would be approx. CZK 22 000. Further CZK 7000 should be added for hot water preparation. The property is operated under high electricity tariff, and the bill for electricity consumed in the household may reach around CZK 20 000.  If the same property with the underfloor heating system is heated with the heat pump, the energy bills would be no more than CZK 15 000 for space heating and CZK 3000 for water heating, and you would be billed half the sum for the electricity consumed in your household, i.e. CZK 10 000, due to preferential tariff D56 (22 hours a day) for your entire property. The difference in annual operating costs in this particular case is CZK 21 000 against gas.

Property 160 sq.m., heat loss of 7kW

Gas (CZK/year)

Heat pump (CZK/year)

space heating costs

22 000 15 000

hot water preparation

7 000 3 000

household electricity consumption

20 000 10 000

Total costs

49 000 28 000

 The investment cost of gas is even higher today than investment in a heat pump today. Due to rapid advancement of the air-to-water technology based on extraction of energy from the ambient air, purchase of a heat pump may be cheaper even by 30% compared to all costs relating to a complete gas heating system (gas connection, interior distribution, inspection, flue lining, boiler, etc.)  Moreover, the gas system requires additional costs for the interior installation space, which are not needed in case of a compact version of the heat pump, such as LWR. Moreover, water heating with gas in the summer season is more expensive and requires frequent start of the gas-fired boiler. On the contrary, the air-to-water heat pump is able to prepare hot water for a daily use for a family of four literally for a few coppers (for heating the pool water, the COP value may reach even up to 6).  Gas may also bear a certain risk that the Kremlin will not be able to come to an agreement with the government in Kiev just at the moment when it is -10°C outside.

The last reason for choosing the air-to-water heat pump into a new-built property with underfloor heating, is the possibility of operating the pump in reverse mode during the hottest days of the year, providing thus air conditioning of the interior through the floors as the latest trend in the HVAC market and a health-safe alternative to conventional systems. Basically, by investing into the heating system you can also get the air conditioning system for your home in summer.