Air conditioning as a cheap alternative to a heat pump? Here’s how it works

Air conditioning as a cheap alternative to a heat pump?  Here’s how it works
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Air conditioning as a cheap alternative to a heat pump?  Here’s how it works

Air conditioners and heat pumps work on the same principle. So why not use an air conditioner as a cheap alternative to a heat pump? A German YouTuber tried this and the result saved him a lot of money.

Andreas Schmitz, a mathematical optimization and artificial intelligence scientist, PhD engineer and YouTuber, is committed to energy transformation and sustainability. For example, he has already built a 12kW photovoltaic system on his carport and reported on it on YouTube.

Video: Split air conditioning instead of a heat pump in an old building

In another video, which now has more than 2 million views, the likeable YouTuber reports on how he heats his old building with split air conditioning. A smart idea, because heat pumps are not only expensive, but they are currently hard to find due to the energy crisis. In addition, Andreas can effectively use the electricity produced by the photovoltaic system.

Andreas explains in the video that he saved a lot of money in purchasing costs compared to the heat pump: The heat pump would have cost his house around 27,000 euros (20,000 euros after deducting the state subsidy), plus the cost of new radiators.

The variant with split air conditioning (Andreas needs a total of five models for different rooms in the house), on the other hand, will cost around 3,800 euros. Plus the domestic water heat pump, it comes to an amount between 6,000 and 7,000 euros. However, the working time is not taken into account, since Andreas installed the device himself, which of course requires the necessary expertise. The handling of refrigerants in particular is strictly regulated in Germany. However, in most cases the purchase costs should be significantly cheaper than a heat pump (see also our detailed guide with Advantages and disadvantages of heat pumps).


Operating costs are also reduced for the YouTuber: Schmitz pays electricity costs of 1,230 euros after deducting the electricity he generates himself, while his old oil heating system cost about 2,025 euros a year.

Also exciting: Split air conditioning is in a similar efficiency range to a heat pump, only when it’s very cold below -10 degrees Celsius, Andreas also uses an old tiled stove. Of course, choosing the right split air conditioning units with high efficiency is key. You should also be aware that running costs are significantly higher if you don’t already have a PV system.


Video: Air conditioning as an alternative to the heat pump


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Caption title artwork: Andreas Schmitz (YouTube screenshot)

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