Financing heat pumps: 3 tips that can save you money

6 min

  • Where do heat pumps get their energy from? Depending on the model, environmental heat can be drawn from the air, the groundwater or the earth for the pumps. They extract heat from the respective area and pass it on as heating energy.
  • How much do heat pumps cost? The systems themselves differ in price depending on the type and can be between € 8,000 and € 15,000. Additional costs arise during installation and development, as well as maintenance work and the power consumption of the devices.
  • How can heat pumps be financed? Since the acquisition and development costs a lot of money at first, you can use loans or installment payments for financing. Funding programs for renewable energies are also particularly recommended, which means that a large part of the costs can be covered.

heat pumps in front of the house

Heat pump systems use a technical process in order to be able to use free environmental heat for heating. A system usually consists of three parts: a heat source system that extracts heat or energy from the environment; the heat pump, which compresses and heats the ambient heat; as well as a heat distribution and storage system in which the energy can be temporarily stored and through which it is ultimately distributed in the house.

Use the pumps as heating for your home, significantly reduces the annual heating costs and is environmentally friendly. Find out in our guide which requirements must be met in your house so that a heat pump is worthwhile, what costs you can expect and how you can save money on financing.

1. When is it worth buying a heat pump? 3 criteria for decision

Heat pump in an old building

While she already in every third new building are installed, heat pumps usually do not play a major role in old buildings, as these are usually less well-insulated houses without surface heating. In order to be able to use a heat pump efficiently in an old building, it would have to be completely renovated. In terms of costs, this can be worthwhile in the long term, but it should be calculated well in advance.

  1. Before you decide to buy a heat pump, you should make sure that this type of heating is even worthwhile for your household. The main thing to consider is the insulation of the house: With uninsulated walls, the heat pump cannot work efficiently or in an environmentally friendly manner. For a cheap and climate-friendly use, your house should have good thermal insulation.
  2. That is also relevant There are large radiators in the house, such as underfloor heating or wall surface heating. They give off heat over a larger area and accordingly require less high temperatures, which is why these radiators are ideal for profitable operation of the heat pump.
  3. Since the models can be relatively expensive to purchase, it is advisable to go to Financing the heat pump To bet on cheap loans or installment payments. Let yourself ideally also advise on the energy balance of your house before buying, to determine which heating power is actually required. In this way, unnecessary costs can be avoided if necessary.

2. Types of heat pumps: air / water, brine / water or water / water

heat pumps in the garden

A good insulation of your house in connection with a heat pump system can reduce your heating costs considerably.

As soon as you take a closer look at heat pumps, you will be greeted by a wide variety of types. First, the pumps are differentiated according to temperature range:

  • Low temperature heat pumps: reach up to 55 ° C
  • Medium temperature heat pumps: reach up to 65 ° C
  • High temperature heat pumps: reach up to 75 ° C

Which category is suitable for your home also depends on the insulation. A particularly well-insulated house is well supplied with a low-temperature heat pump; a high-temperature heat pump should be used accordingly in a rather mediocre-insulated house. This means that unnecessary heat is not processed and energy is saved.

Differences can also be determined with regard to the heat source that is tapped by the pump and thus different types of heat pumps can be identified. Common heat pumps in single-family homes are

  • Air-to-air heat pumps,
  • Air / water heat pumps,
  • Water / water heat pumps and
  • Brine / water heat pumps.

Depending on the type, the water heat pump draws its energy from the ambient air, from the groundwater or from the solar heat in the ground and transfers it to the living space by means of the heating water circuit. With an air-to-air heat pump, the heat generated is distributed through the air in the house. It makes radiators and surfaces in the building superfluous and is also called a ventilation heating system.

3. Do I need a permit for a heat pump?

An important factor to consider before buying a heat pump is whether or not the model you choose is a permit-free heat pump. Air-to-water and brine-to-water heat pumps can usually be installed without any problems, without having to obtain prior approval. At the place of installation of the heat pump, however, make sure that the noises during operation are not disturbing for you or your neighbors.

Note: In certain areas, for example those that are under water protection, a brine / water heat pump may also be prohibited. If you are unsure, you should obtain the relevant information from your building authority or the water authority.

With water / water heat pumps and others For models that require deep drilling around your house, a permit is required, whereby certain requirements may differ from state to state. The situation is similar with the costs for the respective permit, which can move within a fairly wide price range. You can find information on this from the respective water authority in your district, your city or directly from the relevant specialist planners and manufacturers of heat pumps.

4. These costs should be taken into account

Even if the heat pump can save money in the long term, purchasing and installing it can be quite costly at first. the Prices differ depending on the type of heat pump and the effort which is accepted for the installation, e.g. B. Excavation and drilling work. The following table gives you some average values ​​for a 120 m² detached house for orientation:

Heat pump type Development costs acquisition cost annual maintenance costs
Air-to-air heat pump 2.000 – 6.000 € 5.000 – 10.000 € 1.000 €
Air Water heatpump 500 – 2.000 € 4.000 – 12.000 € 1.000 €
Water / water heat pump 4.000 – 7.000 € 9.000 – 12.000 € 600 – 900 €
Brine / water heat pump 3.000 – 8.000 € 5.000 – 12.000 € 500 – 800 €

Since the electric heat pumps work with electricity, you continue to incur ongoing maintenance costs, which should not be ignored. In addition, maintenance and repair costs, for example, can be added to the annual electricity costs.

5. Types of financing and subsidies for your heat pump

The high acquisition and development costs can be overwhelming at first, but you can breathe a sigh of relief: Since heat pump systems mostly work with renewable energies, there are some funding programs that can help you get funding. In addition, you have the option of taking advantage of cheap loans with low interest rates, especially for financing heat pumps. Larger craft businesses usually also allow the costs to be paid off in installments, whereby the price for the pump itself and its installation can be quite cheaper in smaller businesses.

5.1. Save 35% of the costs with the federal government’s funding program

If you use renewable heat in your heating system, you can apply for funding from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). Until the end of 2020, this is still through the funding program “Heating with renewable energies” possible. If you cannot apply for funding until later, you can continue to do so at Federal funding for efficient buildings (BEG) make. With the help of these programs, 35% of the eligible costs for heat pumps can be covered in new buildings, insofar as certain requirements are met. In an old building in which, for example, an oil heating system is to be replaced by a heat pump, you can even count on support of up to 45% of the costs.

Note: Funding applications for support from the federal government must be submitted before the start of the project, i.e. before a purchase or construction contract for a heat pump has been concluded. However, planning and advice may take place before the application is submitted.

5.2. Hire local craftsmen and get cheap loans

Some regional banks offer Discounts on loans for construction projects if the applicant hires local craft businesses for the construction work. Only the location of the building that is to be funded plays a role. You can obtain information about whether there are corresponding offers from your local branch bank.

So-called environmental banks are also designed to use profits for sustainable, ecological and social projects. With such a bank, you have a good chance of obtaining special loans for your heat pump, as you are doing something good for the environment with your system and the use of renewable energies.

5.3. Claim tax reductions of 20%

Energy-related measures can be deducted from taxes, especially for buildings that are more than 10 years old and are now to be refurbished. In addition to the insulation of roofs and walls and the renewal of doors and windows, this also includes the renewal of the heating system. The tax bonus can be up to 20% and the reduction itself cannot be higher than € 40,000. It should be noted that the bonus is spread over 3 years, i.e. 7% in the first year and 6% of the costs in the second and third years can be deducted from tax.

Photo credits: Harmony, shutterstock / Christian Delbert (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)


Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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