Heat pumps can provide heating and cooling and can also be used for the production of sanitary hot water. This technology has a triple benefit!
How do I know which heat pump to use?
Scandinavian countries usually use ground source heat pumps to heat their home because they are more efficient in very cold temperature. This is due to the fact that the ground has a relatively constant temperature all year round below a depth of 9m.
The temperature differential is thus lower which leads to higher efficiency.
In many Mediterrean countries, you can encouter air source heat pump. Air source heat pumps are easy and relatively cheap to install. This is the reason why they were the most widespread. Air source heat pumps work best in mild weather where the differential between seasonal temperature is not too important.
NB: A stable temperature is necessary for the HP to be efficient. The air temperature can vary a lot, in opposition to the temperature of the ground which is stable all around the year.
(design group Trude Hooykaas)
New technologies allow heat pumps in individual appartment. The indoor units can be located in individual dwellings, such as apartments or collective housing, to create a de-centralised system for apartment heating. Each indoor unit can be operated independently, providing each property with individual control of heating, hot water and cooling, together with the heat emitters required for each apartment. (source Daikin)
Heat pumps are not only used in new buildings but can also be used in renovations. You can easily replace an old boiler by a heat pump for sanitary hot water. Any other type of heat pump can easily be connected to any heating system.
In the cities, space is often lacking for a ground source heat pumps. Other solutions are available. You can use a hybrid heat pump.
Those heat pumps use the air and gas as energy sources. When the temperature decreases and the air it's too cold, the heat pump can calculate that the system is not energy efficient enough and use the gas system.