Renting a heat pump: advantages and disadvantages compared to a purchase option

Technician installs a new heat pump

The heat pump is certainly not a new invention. But sometimes it almost seems as if it had only recently appeared on the scene, so suddenly it was on everyone’s lips. Rising electricity costs, previous dependence on raw materials and a desire for more environmentally friendly heating has made the heat pump an issue not only for politicians, but also for private households themselves.

However, an idea quickly emerges that is firmly connected to the actual topic: The initial cost of a heat pump is high. This is causing some interested parties to consider renting a heat pump. In this guide we will introduce you to the advantages and disadvantages of renting instead of buying.

1. Most residential buildings meet the requirements for a heat pump

Air heat pump is in front of a residential building

The most common experiences are with air heat pumps, which require the lowest requirements.

Before the possibility of renting a heat pump can be examined in more detail, tenants and/or landlords must first meet generally deal with the option of a heat pump. Ultimately, the requirements for an installation are often, but not always, met.

One is recommended at the beginning Energy advice. Your local energy supplier, such as swboften offer scheduled consultation in which Requirements for technical adjustments can be discussed when it comes to heating – including prices.

Of course you can do it yourself Do some research beforehand. By means of one Heat pump traffic light You can find out at an early stage whether an apartment is likely to fall into the 75% of residential buildings for which a type of heat pump, e.g. air heat pump, air-water heat pump or ground heat pump, is an option.

Watch out: Even if the external conditions are all correct, the building itself should be examined in more detail. Regardless of whether you plan to rent or buy a heat pump, it will only be most worthwhile if the building is well insulated and there are large radiators, for example in the form of underfloor heating.

2. What speaks for a heat pump?

Discussions often involve energy and heating at the same time Environment and sustainabilitybut in addition to environmental compatibility, there are additional key considerations when a heat pump is being discussed:

Heat pump surrounded by green plants

Environmental protection and financial savings during operation are the main advantages of a heat pump.

  • Because heat pumps have their Drawing energy from the surrounding air, soil or groundwater and make it usable for the heating system are theirs Resources practically inexhaustible.
  • They are clear more efficient than heating systems based on gas or oil, for example. While these convert their supplied energy at a ratio of 1:1 to generate heat, the heat pump also has to generate energy from the environment Only about a quarter of the input energy is supplied from the power network become. One kilowatt hour of electricity produces 3.5 to 5 kilowatt hours of heat.
  • That takes care of it lower heating costs. In addition, the more efficient electricity conversion means you are not nearly as tied to possible rising prices as, for example, with electric heaters.
  • Also There is usually little effort involved in maintenance.

In contrast, there are usually two main points:

  • The purchase costs for a heat pump are high. Including installation, they start at around 15,000 euros for air heat pumps, which are the most commonly installed type. If these are ground-source heat pumps or water-water heat pumps, the energy source is also expensive to develop.

Tip: With the exception of gas heat pumps, heat pumps usually receive government funding, which you should find out more about.

  • Developments are not only complex in terms of costs Depending on the requirements, construction work can also take up a lot of time during planning and drilling.

3. Renting heat pumps is not a long-term solution

A man signs a contract

When it comes to a rental agreement, it is important not to commit yourself to it for too long.

Although the number of advantages clearly exceeds the number of disadvantages, the Advantages are more designed for the long term, while the disadvantages can be felt immediately. This has a lot of potential to either deter interested parties or send them looking for a middle ground.

Renting instead of buying seems to be a sensible option from a financial point of view, at least at first glance, in terms of the acquisition costs.

3.1. The monthly rental price is relatively high

However, caution is required here: it is true that the… increased funding for heat pumps also the Number of providers increased significantlybut can only be found in comparison very rarely a monthly price under 200 euros for rent. Depending on the contract, even more other ongoing costs added if additional protection needs to be taken out for potential repairs.

This would still be compared to the acquisition costs high savings as a medium-term solution offer. If you only live in a building for a limited period of time, it makes financial sense to rent a heat pump – or so the theory goes. In practice, the rental contract term often throws a spanner in the works. Because this is usually at least 10, sometimes 15 or even 20 years.

3.2. The contract term is the crucial element

payback period

Also called capital return statement. It calculates the period during which the acquisition costs are refinanced through income or savings.

So the magic word is Payback. This is what is referred to the process by which an initial expense, such as an investment, is recovered.

With the heat pump, after purchasing it on a long-term basis, you usually reach a point at which the purchase price has been earned through the savings in operation. All savings afterwards result in a positive balance.

When renting a heat pump, it’s exactly the opposite: you save a lot of money in the beginning, but you’ll eventually get there Point in time at which the rent paid to date exceeds the purchase price. Of course, this is not a new concept or groundbreaking insight – after all, many people are only too familiar with it when it comes to their apartment rent. But if you rent a heat pump, the… Tipping point reached comparatively quickly. And if you only pay extra after 8 years of a 20-year contract, that means immense additional costs.

However, this does not mean that you can never have a good experience renting heat pumps. There are certainly more advantageous contracts that you can obtain, especially through one Compare offers should find out. But consumer protection does Potential savings when purchasing Overall, this is significantly higher than rent.

Image credits: Zajda,,, Studio (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)