Here to help Call us on 0121 580 6200
Just checking you're human

Heat Pump vs Infrared Heating

Heat pump, heat pump vs infrared heating, heat pump vs infrared heater, heat pump in cold winter climate, heat pump in w

10 Reasons Why Infrared Heating Outperforms Heat Pumps

Heat Pump vs Infrared Heating

On the road to decarbonisation, there is a large volume of discussion from the government and the media about the route to heat pump uptake and why heat pumps should be a priority across homes and businesses in the UK. This has been propelled by new legislation and plans which aim to abolish gas boilers by 2035. However, more recently, the government itself has begun to push back on their self-set deadlines as a result of criticisms surrounding the feasibility of this plan plus costs involved for UK homeowners and businesses and large infrastructural considerations surrounding heat pump use. With 40+ years of experience in the heating game, this article explores the heat pump landscape in the UK and why infrared heating is well placed as an alternative.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps extract heat from the ground (ground source heat pumps) or from the air (air source heat pumps) which surrounds us. This heat is then compressed, amplified and dispersed to an interior space or room through radiators or underfloor heating. As the heat is transferred the temperature drops and the process repeats until a desired temperature is reached (typically set via a thermostat).

How Expensive are Heat Pumps?

Though heat pumps are energy-efficient systems that can be used in various settings, they do come with an array of common issues and problems which have prevented their uptake to date.

  • Temperature Limitations: Heat pumps become less efficient as outdoor temperatures drop, and they may struggle to provide sufficient heat in extremely cold climates. Secondary auxiliary heat is an expensive feature of heat pumps which is used to maintain study temperatures in these conditions, costing around two to five times as much as running your heat pump. Auxiliary heat will also typically kick in when outside temperatures drop to 40F/4.4C or below. This means in the winter when UK temperatures often drop to below 0C, auxiliary heat will come on - leading to even costlier bills.
  • Installation Costs: The typical cost of a commercial air source heat pump unit varies at approximately £6,000 - £18,000, scaling beyond this figure if multiple units are required in larger spaces. Domestic ground source heat pumps come in at much higher variations between £14,500 and £45,000 depending on the type of ground source heat pump installed. A BBC documentary this summer featured one case study which cost an eye-watering £18,000 for a typical UK family. This cost even included an available government grant which comes in at around £5000-£6000 for the homeowners.
  • Maintenance Costs: Annual servicing costs for air source heat pumps come in at around £150-300 annually excluding the cost of any repairs. For ground source heat pumps the servicing cost ranges around £200-350 on average excluding repairs. Neglecting maintenance can lead to decreased performance, higher energy consumption and breakdowns.

Some of the main issues have been displayed above to paint a picture as to why in some applications infrared heaters may be more cost-effective, easier to install and offer superior performance regardless of cold-weather temperature. Below we have compiled an informed list of 10 reasons as to why infrared heating outperforms heat pumps.

Heat Pumps vs Infrared Heating

1. Direct and Immediate Heat Where and When Needed: Infrared heating is directional and requires no pre-heating, warming people and objects in its line of sight. In comparison, heat pumps take time to raise the temperature of an entire room.

2. Zonal Heating: Infrared heaters allow for zonal and targeted heating, meaning that specific areas or zones can be heated within a space when required. This allows for occupational-based comfort without heating the entire area, something heat pumps can’t offer.

3. Low Installation Cost: Infrared heaters can be wall or ceiling-mounted and reputable manufacturers will also help with appropriate positioning and bracketry as part of a full design scheme to maximise heat output. This makes the design and installation process straightforward with no major work required and a quick turnaround. In comparison, heat pumps often require expensive ductwork, complex configuration and groundwork, resulting in capital costs which are much higher.

4. Zero Maintenance: Infrared heaters are zero maintenance, with no moving parts and easy lamp replacement. Well-designed heaters come with a long lamp life and a ‘fit and forget’ reputation. Heat pumps require ongoing and expensive maintenance and repairs in comparison.

5. Consistent Energy Efficiency: Infrared heating when engineered correctly is 100% efficient at source consistently, with no drops in temperature compared to the energy-intensive process of heat exchange used by heat pumps which is slower at heating homes and commercial spaces.

6. No Temperature Fluctuations: Heat pumps can experience fluctuations in temperature as a result of repeated heating and cooling. Infrared heating is consistent, comfortable and comfortable, without being impacted by changes in air movement.

7. Cold-Weather Performance: In freezing climates such as winter seasons, heat pumps may struggle to provide sufficient heat efficiently for longer periods. As a result, they often come equipped with expensive secondary auxiliary heat which can cost two to five times as much as running a heat pump. Infrared heat is directional so isn’t affected by cold weather, so can be strategically placed near commercial roller shutter doors or on patio awnings without a loss in heat.

8. More Accommodating for Retrofitting: When considering available space, heat pumps may not be suitable where land is limited in a commercial or domestic space. Available insulation plays a large role in determining what type of heat pump is suitable when retrofitting. Reports show that heat pumps are not suitable for half of UK homes, or don’t work in older homes as a result of insulation issues. In commercial spaces such as older warehouses or factories, this same rule applies where heat pump systems need to overcompensate to maintain a steady temperature. Infrared heaters are less affected by insulation depending on the type installed. A good design scheme can ensure that heat outputs are maximised.

9. Flexibility: Infrared heating is versatile and can be used for targeted and spot heating in specific applications. This includes outdoor patios, kitchens, bathrooms or within commercial spaces such as workstations. Delivering maximum warmth when and where needed saves on energy outputs instead of heating the whole volume of space.

10. Simplicity: Infrared heating systems are simpler in design and function, reducing the likelihood of technical issues and breakdowns. Heat pump breakdowns can be complex as a result of more moving parts, leading to longer downtimes and poor performance if not regularly serviced. Heat pumps are also relatively noisy, producing noise between 40-60 decibels, equivalent to a conversation level or an electric toothbrush. Infrared heaters operate silently.

When considering the overall cost, flexibility and simplicity of a heating system for your commercial space or home, it’s clear that infrared heaters offer a compelling solution compared to heat pumps.

At Tansun, we understand the importance of making the right choice for your heating needs whether you are retrofitting or looking for a design for a new space. We invite you to explore our range of infrared heaters, designed for maximum comfort and efficiency. Choosing Tansun infrared heaters over heat pumps can save money, simplify installation, and provide consistent, immediate warmth where and when needed.

Recent News

10 Reasons Why Infrared Heating Outperforms Heat Pumps

Heat Pump vs Infrared Heating Read More

Smaller factories and warehouses occupied by SMEs account for Read More

The path from being a local entrepreneur to becoming a local visionary and leader is often one ...

Read More

Are infrared heaters cheap to run?

As temperatures begin to drop, businesses are faced ...

Read More

What is Infrared Heating?

Infrared heating has gained significant attent...

Read More