Infrared Blog

Quartz vs ceramic heaters

Quartz and ceramic are two different types of infrared heating element. They each have their pros and cons and, when looking to buy, it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

It may seem like a difficult decision to make. They both transfer heat via infrared – reaching high temperatures and providing an almost instant source of heat – but they perform differently. If you’re in need of a little advice and guidance, the team at Under Control Instruments (UCI) are always on hand to help identify the best heating element for you.

Quartz heaters

What are quartz heaters?

Quartz heaters are a type of heating element which use infrared technology. The element itself is comprised of a series of quartz tubes, which run parallel to each other and contain a coiled resistance wire. When this wire is heated up, the heat is subsequently emitted (via short to medium wavelength radiation) and absorbed directly by any nearby people or objects.

This is often the preferred source of heat when rapid heat response is needed and, as such, quartz heaters are often used for plastic thermoforming and high-speed processes.

How efficient are quartz heaters?

Quartz heaters are one of the most efficient types of heating element available. They convert 100% of the electrical energy used into heat. All parts come fully encased in a highly reflective stainless steel housing, which prevents heat from escaping from the back of the device.

What’s more, they only heat specific areas and objects (rather than the entire surrounding area) and rapidly reach the desired temperature. As a result, heat energy is never wasted.

How much do quartz heaters cost?

This will depend on two main factors, including the size of your chosen quartz heaters and the quantity that you require. Here at Under Control, we currently offer quartz heaters in:

Our prices are incredibly competitive and we even offer a generous multi-buy discount. For example, buy 2-3 quartz heaters and we will take 2% off your order. Purchase 3-5 and we’ll take 7.5% off, 6-10 and we’ll give you a 10% reduction and so on. We also provide free delivery on all elements.

 

Ceramic heaters

What are ceramic heaters?

Ceramic heaters also use infrared technology – albeit, in a slightly different way. An electrical current is first used to heat the ceramic heating elements. Air is then passed over the warm heating elements and distributed throughout the room via the process of convection.

This type of infrared heating element is typically used for applications such as vacuum-forming and thermoforming, dryings paints and inks and industrial and commercial space heating.

Are ceramic heaters energy-efficient?

Ceramic heaters are not quite as efficient as quartz heaters. But they still offer approximately 96% infrared energy efficiency and reach high temperatures for a minimal cost.

How much do ceramic heaters cost?

This also depends on several factors, including the size and quantity chosen and whether you wish to add a K-type thermocouple to your order. Our half-size ceramic heaters (i.e. 125 x 62mm) are currently priced at £10.80 for just the heating element and £13.70 with a thermocouple. Full-size ceramic heaters (i.e. 245 x 60mm) are a little more expensive, costing £12 and £16, respectively.

Either way, they’re an affordable option for most applications. They also benefit from free delivery and, again, we offer a multi-buy discount – whereby the more you buy, the more you save.

 

4 factors to consider when choosing an infrared heating element

  1. Budget

Although they cost around the same price to buy, it’s important to bear in mind, quartz heaters are more efficient than ceramic heating elements. They convert more electrical energy into heat. Less heat is lost and therefore – generally speaking – they are cheaper to run. It won’t make a massive difference to your electricity bill, but it is something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.

  1. Application

Quartz heaters lose their range after approximately 10-15ft. By contrast, ceramic heating elements can effectively distribute their heat around the room (via the process of convection). Therefore, you must consider – where will your new heating element be positioned? What does it need to heat? Think carefully about its intended application and choose the element that best fits your needs.

  1. Safety

You should be very cautious when using quartz heaters. Yes, they offer high levels of heat at high speed – but, in certain situations, this can be dangerous. For example, if the heat becomes too concentrated or is focused in a specific area, it could lead to burns or a fire. The heater itself should, therefore, be situated at least 3ft away from walls, furniture and other objects to avoid hazards.

Ceramic heaters are a much safer option. Their maximum temperature is 700°C and they have a handy mechanism which prevents overheating. The heating elements are enclosed within a ceramic core and, thanks to their ‘tilt detection’ feature, potentially dangerous situations can be avoided.

  1. Speed

Ceramic heaters provide an almost instant source of heat; however, it is quartz heaters that have become renowned for their ability to heat up quickly and perform at high speeds. In fact, they heat up and cool down in less than half the time of a ceramic heater – making them the preferred option for fast-response applications.

 

Contact UCI today for an infrared heating element

If you would like to find out more about infrared heating elements, please feel free to get in touch with our team here at UCI. We have excellent knowledge in this area, stocking a wide range of quartz and ceramic heaters and can help to identify the best product for you.

All of our quartz and ceramic heaters are manufactured to the highest possible quality. Available at a competitive price, they offer excellent value for money, and are exactly what you need to maintain a comfortable temperature – without breaking the bank! So why not take a look today? If you have any questions about the quartz heaters or ceramic heaters that we stock, either call 0121 238 2795 to speak to one of our experts or send an email to info@undercontrol.co.uk.

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