Heat Pumps & Heating

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioners - The Pros and Cons

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioners: The Pros and Cons 

When you own a home, there are a lot of decisions that go into making it the perfect place for you and your family.

Something that people may not always think about, but that can have a big impact, is the cooling system for their home. In addition to ceiling fans, you probably want to consider a heat pump or Air Conditioner unit.

Several different factors can determine whether you’d want to use a heat pump vs air conditioners, and there is no one answer for everyone.

Below, we’ve taken the time to discuss both options and the pros and cons of using a heat pump vs Air Conditioner, so that you can make an informed decision about which is right for your home.

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioners

Heat Pump Pros & Cons

There are a lot of benefits to using a heat pump vs air conditioners:

Pros❌ Cons
Because heat pumps remove heat from a cool area and transfer it to a warm area, they can be used to both heat and cool and so can be useful all year long.Heat pumps are not suitable for every climate. Though heat pumps can be a good alternative to an ac unit, they can’t do the work of a furnace when it comes to heating your home.
In the summer, heat pumps will move the warm air outside, leaving your house cool. In the winter, the opposite will happen and your heat pump will warm your house instead.If you live somewhere that gets extremely cold, a heat pump will not be enough to keep you comfortable during the winter months. You will probably need another type of heater as well, so choosing to go with an ac unit and furnace may be a more practical option.
Heat pumps can save you money! Heat pumps don’t generate heat, they simply move it from one place to another, which can be a more cost-efficient way to cool your home.Installation costs of heat pumps can be high, and while they may save you money in the long-run, an expensive upfront cost is not possible for everyone. You should also consider that the larger your house, the more indoor units you’ll need for the air to move efficiently, and so the more expensive installation becomes.
 Using a heat pump vs AC is a more environmentally-friendly way of heating and cooling your house. Geothermal heat pumps can be especially energy-efficient.Because heat pumps make use of both an indoor and an outdoor unit, the installation process can be difficult and time-consuming and may disrupt your house and daily life. The average lifespan of a heat pump is between 10-15 years. If you notice that your heating or cooling bills have become more expensive or if the unit becomes noisy and starts rattling, it is probably time to look into a replacement.

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioners pros

Air Conditioners Pros & Cons

When choosing between a heat pump vs AC units, it’s good to know about the positives and downsides of air conditioning:

Pros❌ Cons
Central air conditioning units are the best way to keep your house at a consistently cool temperature. If you live in a climate that can get extremely hot, having central air can be the most reliable way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during warmer months.Maintenance and upkeep can be a major hassle with air conditioning units.
AC units need ductwork to operate, and if your home does not already have it, installing ductwork is a major and expensive renovation.
You are also in control of just how cool your house will get. You can choose and adjust the temperature based on the weather outside and your own preference so that your house is cooled exactly how you like it.The filters and coils in AC units also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Keeping up with this can be time-consuming, but if it isn’t done, your air conditioner will not work as well as it should.
It is possible that air conditioning can be better for your health. The process used by ac units to cool your home can also filter out pollen, grass, and other common allergies and keep them from getting inside.Being able to set one temperature for your whole house can be a good thing if you live alone or your whole family likes the air the same.
But the drawback to central AC is that you can’t change the temperature for each individual room, so someone may end up too hot or too cold.
If you only have a small space that you want to air condition, window units are an affordable option. They are not expensive to buy or maintain, and work very well for cooling any room where they’re installed.Besides the cost of your conditioner and its installation, you will probably need a separate heating unit to use in your home during the colder months.
This means that you should also consider the cost of installing and maintaining a furnace when you’re looking at your overall budget.

Heat Pumps

How They Work

Before you can decide on a heat pump vs AC, it’s important to understand what each is and how it works.

Heat pump systems move heat from a cool space to a warm space using electricity. In warm months this means that warm air is being moved outside, which leaves your house nice and cool.

Different Kinds

There are three different kinds of heat pumps that could be used in your home:

Air-source Systems:

  • The majority of heat pump systems found in homes are air-source systems.
  • These systems are made up of two different parts.
  • There’s an indoor unit called the air handler and an outdoor unit which is called the heat pump. Tubing connects the two units, and the heat is absorbed from one area (such as inside your house) and then released in another area (outside).

Split-ductless systems:

  • Split-ductless heat pumps also are made up of an indoor and an outdoor unit. A compressor or condenser is used outside, and anywhere between one and four air handlers are used inside.
  • The indoor units should be installed somewhere high, like up on a wall or on the ceiling. They are operated by remote control.
  • Then, just like with the air-source systems, the air is passed between the two units by the tubing that connects them.

Geothermal heat pumps:

  • The third type of heat pump is called a geothermal heat pump.
  • Geothermal heat pumps use pipes to move heat from inside your house to outside. These pipes have a water solution inside them that is always warmed to 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat Pump vs Air Conditioners how it works

AC Units

How They Work

Understanding air conditioning units will play a big role in helping you decide on a heat pump vs AC. Air conditioning units are common in many homes, but most people don’t understand how they actually work.

The air conditioning unit in your home works a lot like your refrigerator does to keep things cold.

The process can seem complicated, but the bottom line is that unwanted heat is removed from your house through a set of coils and fans. Your home is then left comfortably cool.

 

Different Kinds

There are several different options for air conditioners, and know more about each may help you in your decision to choose a heat pump vs AC units:

Window units:

  • For smaller apartments or single rooms, window units are the most common type of air conditioner.
  • With a window air conditioning unit, all of the components used to cool the room are held inside of a single box.

Split air conditioner:

  • To cool several rooms, a split air conditioner can be a good option because they typically do not take up as much room as a window unit.
  • These air conditioners have both an indoor and outdoor unit, which work together to cool the space.

Central air conditioning:

  • If you’re cooling a bigger building or entire home, central air conditioning makes the most sense.
  • These units are made up of large compressors that can produce lots of cool air at once to distribute throughout a space.

Making Your Decision: Heat Pump vs AC

Depending on where you live, how big your home is and what kind of budget you’re working with, you may have an easy decision to make when it comes to a heat pump vs AC.

If the choice is not clear, though, it is important to consider the pros and cons of both options.

If you have experience with either of these systems or an opinion you’d like to share, please feel free to leave us a comment below.


Check out our other in-depth guides:

Ceramic vs Radiant Heater – Pros & Cons

Ceramic vs Radiant Heater – Pros & Cons

The cost of natural gas has been increasingly on the rise, forcing homeowners to look for options to save on electric bills.

People in colder areas especially, pay a large sum on heating bills if they are using old or outdated systems.

While lowering the thermostat on the centralized system and installing small space heaters are viable options, not everyone is aware of them.

As far as the choice of space heaters is concerned, you have a number of options including the ceramic heater and the radiant heater.

If you are having the Ceramic vs Radiant Heater debate then read on as we’ll discuss everything there is to know in this guide.


Top Rated CERAMIC HEATER

This extremely highly rated ceramic heater made by Lasko has a designer feel to it which will contribute to any decor. It is self-regulating and has overheat protection for your safety. It also oscillates, has a thermostat and an 8-hour timer.

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Lasko 5160 Ceramic Tower Heater with Remote Control, Black 5160
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Lasko 5160 Ceramic Tower Heater with Remote Control, Black 5160
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Top Rated RADIANT HEATER

This powerful radiant heater can heat a room up to 1000 sq ft. It has an adjustable thermostat and overheat protection for your safety. The unit itself stays cool so it is safe around kids and pets.

Duraflame 9HM8101-O142 Portable Electric Infrared Quartz Heater, Oak
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Duraflame 9HM8101-O142 Portable Electric Infrared Quartz Heater, Oak
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Electric space heaters work on the principle of converting electrical energy into heat. How do electric heaters (ceramic and radiant heaters) function?

The primary difference between the ceramic and radiant heater is the process they use to heat your room. While ceramic heaters heat up the air and it circulates your room, radiant heaters transfer the thermal energy to objects and people, warming them in the process.

While ceramic heaters heat up the air and it circulates your room, radiant heaters transfer the thermal energy to objects and people, warming them in the process.

It all comes down to preference really, what type of electric heaters one may choose and what they may not. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each of these two categories of heaters to know more.

Ceramic vs Radiant Heater 2

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heaters are based on the convection principle since they heat up the air with the help of the ceramic element.

The heater then disperses the hot air throughout the room, making the temperature rise in the process.

In short, the heater draws in the cool air which is heated by the elements dispersed into the room, thus raising the temperature of the room.

The ceramic element is heated by the electricity passing through it, which is then absorbed by a material such as aluminum.

A fan then blows hot air across the room.

These heaters consist of the type of shut off sensors that prevent the ceramic from overheating.

They may also include other heat-sensitive elements that shut down the unit in case it tips over.

Ceramic heaters are available in two varieties: fan aided models and regular models.

Fan aided models are usually best suited for larger rooms and halls because they are slightly costlier due to the fan.

Regular models are less expensive and perform best in small spaces like the bedroom or the dining room.

Advantages of Ceramic Heaters

1. Greater portability: Standard ceramic heaters are compact, which makes them highly portable.

More often than not they are easy to move and make for the perfect item to have inside a household.

Even though we don’t recommend moving around heaters a lot, this is one advantage that you should bear in mind.

2. Larger heating area: Ceramic heaters also tend to cover a larger area compared to a radiant heater.

Besides, you can always buy a ceramic heater with a fan for maximum heat spread.

3. Clean heating: This is an electric heating variant that does not need any type of fuel to function.

They do not produce emissions and offer only a clean heating divide of any harmful fumes. Did you know these heaters are used inside of labs as well?

4. Greater efficiency: Did we mention the ceramic heaters are highly efficient as well?

Due to the use of the ceramic plates, the heater wastes little energy and heats and cools make faster than other types of heaters.
Their efficiency is thought to be around 85 – 95 %1

With a few simple tricks, you can get heating without going overboard with the electricity bills. Here are some of the things you can try out for better results:

  • Close doors to avoid heat loss
  • Use thick curtains to prevent heat loss

5. More savings: Ceramic heaters are best suited for small or large rooms because this variety consumes the least amount of power among all types of electric heaters but has very high efficiency.

Ceramic vs Radiant Heater

Radiant Heaters (or infrared Heaters)

Radiant space heaters function by dispersing along with a form of infrared radiation that comes in contact with a solid object and heats it.

In other words, it heats up things, not the space.

The air does not absorb this infrared radiation through which it travels, allowing it to provide concentrated heat where needed.

If you are looking for focused heating, then this is a good option.

These heaters are generally available in two types: the stand and swivel, and the wall mounting type.

Most of these models have a sleek design, making them highly aesthetic yet practical appliances.

There are available in many sizes, and you can choose the best one depending on your needs.

Some basic options you’ll find in most radiant heaters are a thermostat, auto shut off, movement sensors, slimline design, easy mounting, etc.

Advantages of Radiant Heaters

1. Can utilize multiple energy sources: Even though electric radiant heaters are the most popular, you can buy natural gas and propane using varieties as well.

It’s evident that the natural gas variants are best suited for heaters that are NOT for domestic use.

2. Slimline design: Because radiant heaters are mostly geared towards providing focused heating, manufacturers create them in a slim profile.

These heaters not only visually appealing but are also excellent for heating up a small area in a short span of time.

3. Economical: Radiant heaters that run on natural gas are suitable for commercial spaces, large offices, and halls.

Most of these models have multiple ducts that can be placed at consistent distances to provide steady heating in areas like party rooms or lobbies. Electric heaters also do not consume much power.

4. Clean heating: The radiant heaters running on electricity don’t produce any smoke or fume, neither does it sends out strong odors.

They do not disturb dust, making them ideal for people who have dust allergies or dislike the smell that traditional heaters produce.

Infrared Heater vs Ceramic Heater Conclusion

All the differences and similarities aside, we have to say that both the ceramic and the radiant or infrared heater are unique in their own ways.

The decision to purchase either one of them should be based on careful judgment about your wants and needs. Once you’ve made up your mind, all you have to do is browse online and order a model that suits your budget.

And that’s it! You will then enjoy the pleasures that come with advanced heating technology and lower electricity bills. Hopefully, that has shed some light on the Ceramic vs Radiant Heater debate.

If you like the look of radiant heaters check out our definitive guide to Infrared heaters!

Best Infrared Heater [2020] - The Ultimate Guide to Infrared Heaters

Best Infrared Heater (2022): The Ultimate Guide to Infrared Heaters

If you are in the market for the best-infrared for your home, then you came to the right place.

We are going to tackle everything you need to think about before you purchase an infrared heater of your own.

Prices for heaters can range from $50 to over $1,000, which is why comparing models becomes a must-do.

There is so much to consider before you just buy any heater for the upcoming winter months, so it’s important to continue reading below to read over our complete guide to buying infrared heaters.

What Are Infrared Heaters?

To begin our complete list of how to buy an infrared heater, it’s important to explain what an infrared heater does. Infrared heaters are similar to the sun in which invisible light is absorbed into objects, clothing, and skin.

These infrared heaters work to warm up specific areas of your home because they do not include shade that the sun is blocked from.

The heaters also do not dry out the air in your home, making them the perfect option for heating your house without experiencing any negative consequences.

The light that is emitted by infrared heaters is not visible to the naked eye, so you can never see it, you can only feel it!

It emits in a safe range of 9-14 micron meters that will keep humans in a healthy state of warming.

To reiterate, infrared is basically an invisible light that has become a new way for people to keep warm through the use of infrared heating devices.

The heaters can be charged to run in a few ways.

They can be plugged into an outlet that charges it using electricity, or it can use propane to work.

You should choose a method that will work best with your lifestyle. Most infrared heaters are cleaner and more energy-efficient than ever before.

Best Infrared Heater room

Find The Right Sized Heater For Your Room

A tip that we can suggest for you to think about when hunting for the perfect infrared heater is to know what size you should buy.

If you plan on buying a heater for your bedroom, for example, it should be able to comfortably fit in your room.

Heaters that sit in your bedroom are usually smaller than one that goes in a living room.

You have to think about where you will place your bedroom heater because you don’t want it to be too close to your bed.

These heaters are nothing like tower fans, which you can keep close to you during the summer.

If the heater is too close to your bedding, then it could potentially cause a fire hazard!

Heaters are meant to just keep your body warm, so placing it near your feet or head is a better plan.

You may also want to change out the sheets that you use during the winter months to be fireproof, just in case of an emergency.

You may also want to change out the sheets that you use during the winter months to be fireproof, just in case of an emergency. One example of a bedroom heater is called a baseboard heater.

These types of infrared heaters are safer to put in your bedroom because they are easy to install and sit above your bed, so you can eliminate the possibility of fire hazards.

best infrared heaters safety first

Safety First

Like we mentioned before in our previous tip on finding the right sized heater for your room, you need to realize how safety plays an important role in picking a heater.

Your ceiling fan is also part of the healing process, so make sure your heater is not sitting directly under your fan.

Your heater should become hot, but not to the point where it starts an unfortunate fire.

You need to be considerate about where you place your heater in your home, of course, but there are a few important things that you need to think about when choosing a heater.

To stay safe, choose a heater that:

  • Is tall enough to warm your entire room from far away.
  • Has a function to turn off when it detects that it is starting to overheat.
  • Passes the U.S. safety standards performed by testing labs for infrared heaters. The lab that most often performs tests on these heaters is called UL, which stands for Underwriters Laboratory.
  • Has an automatic shut-off feature.
  • Also has a power cord that is not damaged.
  • Has a warranty program just in case you need to replace parts of it.

Research The Capacity Rating

The capacity of your heater is another aspect that you need to look out for.

When it comes to picking the right heater, you need to know what room you are putting it in and how large the capacity rating says on your heating device.

The capacity rating is easily found on a heater and it measures the amount of space it can heat up.

A lot of brands will proudly display how much their heaters can provide you with warmth to fill an entire room!

Once you find the capacity rating, you can determine if the infrared heater that you are looking at will heat up your room or if you need a heater that is equipped to provide a larger capacity for a bigger room.

Let’s say your room measures 800 square feet. Using a 1,000 square foot capacity is ideal.

Extra Features To Look For

There are more awesome features that infrared heaters may have. Some models come with more features than others, usually depending on price. Of course, you want to find the latest models that are updated to make your life a lot easier.

Some features that you should look for when considering a purchase of infrared heaters are:

  1. Swivel wheels for easy mobility.
  2. A thermostat that is built-in.
  3. A respectable return policy just in case something goes wrong with your infrared heater.
  4. Quartz bulbs to extend the life of your heating device.
  5. Controls that are easy to follow.
  6. A stylish design.
  7. A humidifier.
  8. A heating capacity that fits the size of your room.
  9. Freestanding capabilities.
  10. A compact design that isn’t bulky.

Energy-efficient infrared heater

Is The Infrared Heater Energy-Efficient?

One of the major perks of installing infrared heaters is their energy-saving capabilities. Not only can having infrared heaters keep you super warm, but they can save you tons of extra cash.

It’s important to look at the heater to find how it was manufactured.

Energy Guide labels can be found on most heaters to indicate how it was made.

Some companies try to convince you that their heater will cut your bill in half, but this is just a far-fetched idea.

Yes, having infrared heaters can save you money, but making claims like that are not realistic.

In addition to infrared heaters, you need to make adjustments to your main heating system.

If you have your heat setting on your main thermostat set at 80 degrees AND you have infrared heaters in use, your energy bill will be working overtime.

Choose one or the other to keep you warm so you are actively decreasing the consumption of one system.

Heating up your entire home can be expensive, which is where infrared heaters can help save you money because they heat up specific areas of your home. Sticking to short-term uses of your infrared heaters can save you more money during the coldest months.

Things To Avoid

Although there are perks to purchasing an infrared heater, there are several important heaters to avoid:

  1. You should buy a heater that is controlled by a thermostat.
  2. If you see a heater that does not have one built-in, skip it.
  3. Look for heaters that have long-life bulbs. When you have to repeatedly replace the bulbs in your heater, the cost adds up. Long-life infrared bulbs are the ideal.
  4. Find models that do not have extension cords. To eliminate the possibility of adding more wattage to your heater, do not use extension cords.

Find A Stylish Model

If you are interested in purchasing the best-infrared heater, we already know that you want extra heat.

You will also want a stylish heater that won’t interrupt the beautifully designed home that you have worked so hard to create.

Do some research on the models that currently sell in several different stores.

Some heater models have an industrial feel that will compliment your home if your design is rustic.

A cool heater idea for a rustic home is to have one in a stove heater that also has a flame effect.

If you have a modern home, you may want to look into pure white designs that have less colour added to them.

A glass tabletop feature can also mix well with your modern home.

Do you want your heater to be hidden away or add to your room?

Some other questions to ask yourself are “Do I want my heater to be attached to the ceiling?” or “Do I want my heater to be standing tall on my floor?”.

If you need to move your model around, make sure it comes with swivel wheels for easy mobility.

Why Do You Need An Infrared Heater?

Most of the time your house will have an air conditioning unit that provides heat, too.

This is usually your main source of cool air and heat, but sometimes you don’t want to keep it running all day and night.

The main reasons why you should consider purchasing an infrared heater include:

  1. Using a heater during the in-between months when the temperature varies. When the temps outside indicate that it’s not yet winter, the fall months can spike dramatically lower in a short amount of time. During these situations, you may not want to turn on your heat just yet, but you still want warmth. An infrared heater can provide you with some warmth on these chillier than expected nights.
  2. A heater can also give you your own individual comfort. When the heating in your home does not reach your freezing feet or hands, you can place an infrared heater to face your cold body. If you are a person who gets cold easily, having your own portable infrared heaters around your home can help make you feel the instant warmth. If you have loved ones who like less warmth, then having a personal heater can work in your favour and keep your loved one’s content in their own way.
  3. Taking a heater to work can also be beneficial. Sometimes we need extra warmth in our houses, and that does not change when it comes to where we work from. If your office likes to open the windows up during the chilly winter days, then installing a heater will help you stay warm! I’m sure the office usually likes to lower their energy bill, which makes sense from a financial standpoint, but it also means that you will feel cold all the time. A heater will not only make you feel better at home, but it will ensure that your work life is not hindered by the cold weather.

In Conclusion

Knowtheflow.com is passionate about discussing reviews for tower fans, ceiling fans, and space heaters alike.

We already have dozens of reviews for you to read through about the latest models to help you choose the right one for your home.

On the flip side to discussing heaters, when the weather heats up, you need to find a durable fan to help you get through your hot sleepless nights.

If you have any questions pertaining to specific models of fans or heaters, please do not hesitate to leave a comment at any time.