The heat pump: what is it?

The heat pump is a device that can transfer energy from external sources (air, water, soil) to heating, air conditioning and domestic hot water systems.

How does the heat pump work?

Heat pumps transfer naturally occurring energy to indoor environments by heating them when it is cold and cooling them when it is hot.

Just as a domestic refrigerator takes heat from food to keep it cool, dispersing it into the kitchen through the coil on the back, so the heat pump takes energy from the ground, air or water transferring it to the rooms in the form of heat for heating in winter and domestic hot water.

What are the types of heat pump?

  • Air-water heat pumps;
  • Air-air heat pumps;

the first two are the most common. They exchange heat with the external environment: they emit heat to the external environment to cool and take heat from the external environment to heat.

Then there are the

  • water-water heat pumps: they use renewable geothermal sources to exchange heat.

Why choose a heat pump for your home?

  • it saves energy;
  • it is a single system for heating and cooling;
  • it has a low environmental impact.

Free energy from the environment provides about 75% of the energy required by a heat pump. 100% of the heating and cooling needs of the system are met with the integration of only 25% of electricity.

What are the advantages of a heat pump?



Heat pumps do not produce heat, as in the case of boilers, but transfer it from the external to the internal environment (vice versa in summer), exploiting 75% to 100% of renewable energy and significantly reducing environmental impact and costs.


There are different types of incentives and tax deductions depending on the country. Get in touch with your local heating engineer for more information.  


Heat pump systems can ensure your comfort in all seasons: with heating in winter, cooling in summer and hot water throughout the year.


The energy produced in the form of heat or cold air from a heat pump is up to 4 - 5 times greater than the electricity actually consumed. In summer, some heat pumps produce free hot water by means of heat recovery.


The use of a heat pump cuts CO2 emissions, and so helps to improve air quality and reduce the greenhouse effect.

The change needs to start with individual citizens; the way that pollution is damaging the environment is now increasingly clear, making the use of a heat pump a really sustainable choice.





FAQs about heat pumps

The main questions about heat pumps: how much does it cost to install the heat pump? Is it convenient? How much does it consume? How to choose it.

The difference between a condensing boiler and a heat pump lies in the way the heat is produced. A boiler can only provide the level of heat provided by the quantity and heating value of the fuel. On the other hand, a heat pump is not restricted in this way with regard to energy input. With suitable operating temperatures and fluids, a heat pump can carry huge amounts of heat compared to the same amount of electricity.

A good heat pump produces a lot of ambient heat for very little operating energy (electricity): up to 5 kWh of thermal energy is produced from 1 kWh of electricity.

The heat pump also does not use fossil fuels and does not emit combustion gases into the environment.

A heat pump not only provides heating when it is cold, but can also be used to cool rooms when it is hot.

Depending on the type of pump, it can be installed in various locations: inside the house in a technical room, in the basement, or on the landing; or outside the house, on the balcony, etc.

The specialist technicians look for the most appropriate solution for any type of house, and for the particular needs in terms of heating, cooling and air purification. As far as possible, the pump can be installed where the customer chooses, while also observing any structural or regulatory constraints (e.g. for buildings in historic centres).

There are no special requirements for installing a heat pump.

We advise you to contact a company that offers a wide range of heat pump systems, to meet the needs of different types of home.

Clivet can recommend the right heat pump for a new-build home with almost zero energy consumption; for a condominium; for houses where you cannot make any changes to the exterior, and for houses with old systems or fitted with radiators.

Installing a heat pump is worthwhile because:

  • It reduces your heating bill by half compared to a condensing boiler;
  • it provides heat for heating and cooling with a single unit;
  • It uses renewable energy and, therefore, meets the requirements of Legislative Decree 28/2011 on the use of renewable thermal energy for new-build homes with reduced investment costs compared to solutions such as boiler + solar thermal systems;
  • it does not use fossil fuels or release emissions from combustion into the environment;
  • a heat pump does away with the need for a solar thermal system since the heat pump already covers the share of renewable energy required by law;
  • heat pumps allow access to various incentives.

There are different types of incentives and tax deductions depending on the country. Get in touch with your local heating engineer for more information.  

For more information click here.

The costs of a heat pump system vary depending on the power needed to heat and cool the building and therefore also on the size and insulation of the building.

There are heat pumps that incorporate all the elements of the system such as the storage tank for domestic hot water, or heat pumps that require external installation of the elements required to complete the system.

Reversible heat pumps are not only used for heating in winter, but also for cooling in summer, ensuring comfort all year round.

You simply need to reverse the work cycle of the unit.

The system is therefore also more economical to set up as it does away with the need for an air conditioner. This is because the heat pump produces chilled air.

For the correct sizing of a heat pump, the following must be considered:

  • insulation of the building
  • climate area
  • heated spaces
  • number of inhabitants
  • type of terminals (radiant panels, fan coils, radiators).

These assessments must be carried out with the advice of specialised technicians contacted through the Clivet sales network.

The heat pumps allow you to save on heating, reducing energy consumption and therefore costs by up to 50% compared to a condensing boiler.

Although powered by electricity, these units use renewable energy, because they transfer heat from an external source to the environment to be air-conditioned or to the water of a heating circuit.

In particular, air-air and air-water heat pumps take heat from the outdoor air, while water-water or ground-water heat pumps take it from water (groundwater, lake, river or sea) or from the ground, by means of a geothermal probe.

With a heat pump, moreover, there are no direct emissions of C02, while indirect emissions from our electrical system for the generation of electricity are reduced by about 50%.

The characteristics of Clivet heat pump systems

Clivet has created innovative air conditioning systems that exploit heat pump technology to ensure well-being all year round with a single system. In addition to heating, cooling and the production of domestic hot water, Clivet systems can refresh and purify the air introduced into the rooms by means of filters that make the air healthy and reduce the possibility of respiratory diseases and allergies.

Clivet heat pump systems can also be integrated with photovoltaic panels: in this way, the photovoltaic system produces electricity using the free energy of the sun and the heat pump in turn uses this energy for operation, without the need to draw electricity from the grid.This integration not only ensures additional savings, it also allows for greater environmental protection.

The heat pump air conditioning system is among the most efficient on the market and improves the quality of life and reduces operating costs. However, you do need to choose the type of heat pump in a targeted manner, taking into account the place where you live, the size of the rooms and your needs.

Our Clivet experts are on hand to provide you with all the information you need and to offer you complete support in choosing the most suitable heat pump.