Decarbonising heating – costs and practicalities of heat pumps compared with Herschel Infrared

Decarbonising heating – independent university testing compares electric heating technologies

Decarbonising heating is on everyones agenda as the UK progresses towards its net zero targets. Headlines from our latest research comparing the efficiency of heat pumps versus infrared heating include:

  • for well-insulated or smaller properties, when you factor in the high costs of purchasing, installing and servicing heat pumps, total expenditure costs over the lifetime of the heat pump could be up to 50% more than Herschel Infrared heating;
  • Herschel Infrared is typically around 3 times cheaper to purchase and install than an air source heat pump and only marginally more expensive to run;
  • Herschel Infrared panels can run at around 1°C lower air temperature than convection heaters to give the same sense of comfort, due to the direct heating of the room by radiant heat transfer.

For the same capital outlay as a heat pump you can install Herschel and invest in making your home much more energy efficient, or you can offset energy bills by adding solar and battery storage.

Our full analysis is available on this link.

We commissioned independent testing by the UK’s leading University heating laboratory which tested Herschel Infrared panel heaters alongside an air source heat pump as well as electric convection heaters. The testing took place in a climate-controlled chamber, testing a replica 2 bed end of terrace house where the external fabric was insulated to Building Regulations (L1B) standards. SAP heating schedules were set internally and the climate-controlled chamber, in which the house sat, maintained a constant air temperature of 4.7°C (the average ambient air temperature during the defined heating season, according to SAP).

The independent testing, comparing infrared and heat pumps, found that the efficiency from heat pumps is lower than the often quoted figures of 300-400%. When the high capital cost of heat pumps are considered along with their annual maintenance costs, then the savings on energy consumption are unlikely to justify their investment versus infrared heating.

Air source heat pump costs include annual maintenance fees, unlike infrared systemsRetrofitting a heat pump can be a highly disruptive process for a large proportion of UK properties. In addition, the expected efficiencies and comfort levels, are often not achieved especially on colder days. For the equivalent capital outlay, Herschel Infrared heaters can be quickly and easily installed by standard electrical trades with the option to use the left-over budget to install solar and battery storage – future proofing against rising energy prices.

Benefits of Herschel Infrared heating

The total lifetime cost from owning a Herschel Infrared system presents a hugely attractive heating solution and this low carbon technology can be easily installed, at scale – decarbonising heating across the UK. Combined with a renewable energy tariff Herschel Infrared delivers a net zero energy system that goes beyond zero – reducing carbon emissions whist also maximising comfort levels for people. Radiant warmth from infrared heating creates a fresher, more natural feeling of comfort for people plus offers a number of other benefits in terms of reducing condensation and mould in properties.

Herschel Inspire panel

Image above shows discreet infrared heating panels ceiling mounted in a bedroom. The full range of Herschel heaters can be seen here.

Infrared heating delivers a more cost effective, practical solution to install than heat pumps for a large proportion of homes – read the full article now.

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