If you’ve been interested in solar hot water or heat pump hot water systems for any length of time, then chances are that you have heard of Quantum. Quantum is a name that has been around Australia for quite a while, developing and producing high efficiency solar heat pumps for homes and businesses.
The company has a huge range of products for creating environmentally friendly solutions to heat a property’s water. In general, people know Quantum Heat Pumps most for:
- Decades of Solar Heat Pump Product Development
- Bringing Australian Technology Abroad
- Servicing Domestic and Commercial Markets
- Transforming Hot Air into Hot Water
Despite being in the forefront of Australian solar heat pump technology for decades, Quantum Heat Pumps may not always be the best choice for providing a home or business with hot water. Whereas Quantum Heat Pumps are extremely convenient to install and virtually free to operate, system failures and short warranty periods significantly lower the product’s values when compared to their better engineered competitors.
Of course, with the right system and proper monitoring and maintenance, a Quantum Heat Pump is still capable of significantly lowering the monthly cost of a home or business.
Afterall, in the right climate, heat pumps can be one of the most inexpensive and environmentally friendly ways to heat a property’s water. Even further, Quantum’s systems are built to operate efficiently in any Australian climate.
So is Quantum the best heat pump for your situation?
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Quantum – Company Background
Most people recognize Quantum as the “original” heat pump. On their company website, Quantum cites its origins dating back to the 1970’s when heat pump technology was first developed at the University of Melbourne. Over the next several decades, Quantum has continued to research, develop and produce heat pump products used throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.
You’ll find Quantum’s heat pumps producing commercial hot water at Vatulele Resort in Fiji, at Club Med on Lindeman Island, at Raffles Hotel and the Royal Crowne Plaza in Singapore, at the BIG4 Brisbane Gateway Village Resort, and a host of other properties all over Australia, Asia, and Oceania where reducing hot water bills is vital to profitability.
And just in case you think they’re only for tropical areas, don’t worry, Commercial heat pumps are making big savings for users in colder areas- Canberra, the Snowy Mountains, Victoria and Tasmania.
Today, Quantum remains an Australian owned and operated company with a large network of domestic distributors. Quantum’s products are currently manufactured in the company’s own factory which is located in Suzhous, China.
Thanks to their industry longevity, Quantum offers one of the largest ranges of residential and commercial solar heat pump systems on the Australian market.
Quantum Domestic Compact Heat Pumps
More than anything, Quantum is known for its Domestic Compact Heat Pumps. The “Classic Compact Range” comes in 4 different tank sizes: 150L, 200L, 270L, and 340L. As an all in one system, the Quantum Domestic Compact Heat Pump is designed to be installed easily outside of a home wherever it can fit. For home’s with a lot of hot water demand but limited space available, the 340L system also comes in a 2 piece “split” version as well.
Eligibility for Rebates – Installing a compact heat pump is a surefire way to lower a home’s carbon footprint. By doing so, the federal and Victorian governments are able to award system owners with hot water rebates, via a Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) & Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs). Those living outside of Victoria can still qualify for the federal STCs.
Low Operating Sound Levels – Despite all of its hard work, Quantum’s domestic heat pump water heaters only have an operating level of about 48 dBA. To give you an idea of how quiet that is, 48 dBA falls between an average library (40 dBA) and a normal conversation (60 dBA).
Large Operating Temperature Range – The ability to work in almost any climate is one of the most impressive features of Quantum’s heat pumps. For their domestic systems, Quantum’s solar heat pumps can operate without a booster in air temperatures between -10 °C to +35 °C.
The Quantum Platinum Solar Heat Pump
Above and beyond their classic hot water heat pumps, Quantum has also introduced the Quantum Platinum Solar Heat Pump to the Australian market. With the Platinum upgrade, Quantum’s Hybrid Heat Pump system converts a traditional passive heating system into an active hot water system.
Electric Boosted for Emergency Hot Water – Quantum’s Platinum Solar Heat Pump is defined by its added capacity to heat water with the electricity from your home. So although the system still converts ambient air to heat the tank, hot water can also be produced with electricity during long periods of cold weather or high hot water demand.
Increased Warranty Periods – With the Platinum upgrade, Quantum also extends its product warranty periods beyond that of their normal heat pump systems. The Quantum Platinum Solar Heat Pump has a 7 year tank warranty and a 4 year pump warranty. In both instances, this is 2 years longer than the company’s ordinary warranty periods.
The Quantum Titan 340L Commercial Solar Heat Pump: Big Savings, Small Running Costs
For commercial and large-scale properties, Quantum provides hot water solutions with the Titan 340L Commercial Solar Heat Pump. The Titan is still compact like its residential counterparts, however it is extremely high powered, capable of producing 3,500L of hot water per day. Depending on the size and specifications of the property, the Quantum Titan Commercial Solar Heat Pump can be installed as a one-piece or split system.
Hot Water at Scale – With a single Titan Heat Pump, a large commercial building may need more hot water than the 340L tank is designed to output. For this reason, Quantum makes it easy to add on extra units to fit the demand of the property. With this in mind, the amount of hot water a building can have on hand is essentially limitless with each added unit.
Significant Savings on Energy Bills – For multi-unit residences, hotels, restaurants and other businesses that need a lot of hot water to operate, the cost of doing business is often greatly impacted by the cost to heat the property’s water. With a Quantum Commercial Heat Pump system, there are no added costs to produce hot water, as it is created by free, ambient air. At scale, this has the implication for tremendous savings on a building’s monthly utility costs.
Lastly, on top of their hot water heaters, Quantum Energy also offers warm and cold water systems built with their patented Dual Effect Heat Pump (DEHP) technology. Quantum LegioGuard is the company’s solution to providing high volume sanitary hot and cold water for large facilities.
By heating all of a property’s water to about 70 degrees Celicius, Quantum’s systems are able to completely eliminate Legionella and other bacteria for medical, residential, and industrial purposes. Quantum’s LegioGuard systems are built around a completely separate technology than their heat pumps. In fact, they have a whole designated website for LegioGuard, which can be visited here: http://www.legioguard.com.au/.
Real Accounts “In the Wild”
To get a better idea of how Australians really feel about Quantum heat pumps, we poked around the web to read actual customer product reviews. What we found is that the Quantum Compact Domestic heat pump has 2.7 out of 5 stars on productreview.com.au, while the Quantum Energy AC4 Series has a 2.5 star rating on the site.
Although most people are generally more motivated to review a company after a negative experience, anything below 3 stars is still a fairly low rating when compared to other water heat pump manufacturers (Reclaim Energy has fantastic reviews for instance). In truth, Quantum Energy continues to receive negative feedback as many reviewers cite faulty systems and lack of customer support creating a poor experience.
Okay, let’s start off on a positive note. There are at least a few happy customers who have purchased Quantum heat pumps. Take for example this 5 star review from ProductReview user GB:
Here GB cites his 9 year old Quantum water heater is still in operation, but only after a capacitor replacement. Clearly, this is an educated consumer because he was aware that the part should be replaced every 4-5 years.
Of course, not every homeowner has the time or knowledge to actively monitor their water heater. And even if a system owner keeps a watchful eye on their system that does not prevent it from breaking. What is unfortunate about Quantum Energy’s online presence is that it is stacked with bad reviews from customers with broken systems.
This review from Brian J does a great job of describing the customer’s negative experience. Here, “eye watering maintenance costs” were incurred just 2 years after the system was purchased. Not only was this customer left with a large bill, but malfunctions in the plumbing also led to water running uncontrollably.
In this review above, user Albi experienced a leak just after their 4 year warranty period had expired. Once the customer sought help, they were told that the valve could not be replaced, but rather that a whole new system should be installed. This is extremely unfortunate, as the earlier 5 star review said that replacing the valve could increase the longevity of a heat pump’s life.
Lastly, here’s a review that kind of says it all, with pictures! In this customer’s experience, the heat pump experienced two major problems in the first 4 years of its lifespan. After the compressor broke outside of its 2 year warranty, Quantum wanted “nothing to do” with the issue. After seeking outside help, the technician advised this customer to stay away from Quantum, stating that they “use to make reliable hot water heaters” but no longer provide high quality products.
Performance Notes–How does it stack up where it matters?
Now that we’ve given an overview of Quantum’s products and reviews, it is time to get a bit more technical. Here, we will analyze Quantum heat pump’s key performance features as they relate to the industry’s competing products.
Water Tank Shape, Size, and Material
First and foremost, Quantum’s large number of options for differing tank size is impressive. For residences (especially in Victoria), homeowners should have no issue at all choosing the right size tank for their water demand and property size. Quantum’s tanks are slim and compact, designed to fit practically anywhere.
Unfortunately, Quantum’s tanks are not made of the best materials available. Instead, each heat pump is designed with a tank made of mild steel with a vitreous enamel lining. Compared to stainless steel and other premium options, consumers are likely to find more durable tanks at similar rates elsewhere.
The efficiency of most hot water heating systems are measured with a coefficient of performance (COP) rating. This number is based on the amount of hot water that a system is capable of producing. For Quantum’s products, the company has provided a chart with each system’s varying COP in different temperatures and tank capacities.
Between -10 °C and 35 °C, the efficiency of a Quantum heat pump can range anywhere from 1.34 to 5.75. In most scenarios, tanks of all sizes have an average COP for between 3.5 and 4.5. In general, efficiency increases with the size of the system with the Platinum model having the highest rating.
Although they are not the most efficient systems on the market, Quatum’s energy efficiency is still impressive among the competition. This is especially true as Quantum’s heat pumps are designed to operate in a large variety of temperatures and climates.
System Component Warranties & Repairs
For most people, warranties and customer service are pillars of a reputable company. Unfortunately, Quantum does not stack up well against their competitors by only offering average (and below average warranties).
Unless you upgrade to the premium option (the Titan), Quantum’s heat pumps are only warranties under a two year period. This means that if any electrical or compressor issue arises after the 2 year mark, a large cost will be incurred.
Likewise, Quantum only offers a 5 year tank warranty (7 with the Titan). Comparatively, many companies offer tank warranties of 10 years and more. As your heat pump is designed to pay for itself, a longer warranty period is generally the best way to cover future costs from piling up.
Although it may not be as important to some home and business owners, for those living in tight knit communities, operating noise is a driving factor in choosing the right appliances. Quantum Heat Pumps are located outside, but especially noisy ones may be able to be heard within the house or even elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Thankfully, Quantum Heat Pumps are generally very quiet. Whereas they do not qualify as “whisper” level quiet, they are certainly kept within operating noise levels that do not make it unlivable to bear with.
When looking at any home improvement, every purchase should be seen as an investment. That is why the estimated system lifespan of a solar heat pump is extremely important when making the right product choice.
For Quantum Heat pumps, a long system lifespan is not guaranteed, nor generally expected. With short warranty periods and frequent consumer complaints, short-lifespan systems may cause more headaches than is prudent to heat a home’s hot water.
With their initial startup cost, Quantum Heat Pumps are priced at an average to above-average level. Quantum Energy’s heat pump systems do not require solar panels and they are very easy to install, which saves on labor costs. Moreso, Quantum’s heat pumps run on free ambient air and are designed to pay for themselves in comparison to traditional hot water alternatives.
Unfortunately, however, the true value of a modern Quantum Heat Pump has been lowered due to an increased number of operational issues with their products. Short warranty periods and frequent part malfunctions end up costing many system owners more than they bargained for, causing the “break-even” period for their system to extend far past the predicted time frame.
Overall, Quantum heat pumps are relatively inexpensive to install and operate. However, their value is gravely affected by their product warranties and malfunctions. Although it may cost a bit more upfront, products with longer warranties may be a less risky choice for a home’s hot water.
In terms of warranty, service and support, Quantum Energy does not stand out in the crowded space of hot water heating systems. The company’s products are generally guaranteed for the following periods of time:
- Water Tank – 5 Year Warranty
- Electric Components – 2 Year Warranty
- Refrigeration – 2 Year Warranty
Here, it can be deducted that Quantum’s products are guaranteed by average to below average warranty periods. Whereas all large mechanical systems are subject to breakdowns and malfunctions, a 2 year warranty for electrical components and refrigeration may leave customers with a hefty bill after only owning the system for a short period of time.
Of course, Quantum Energy products are still covered under the Australian Consumer Law that entitles consumers to repair or replacement of any unreasonable damage. For questions about service and support, Quantum can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully this guide has given you a good overview of Quantum energy. Beyond what we’ve covered, here are a couple of the most frequently asked questions about the company and their heat pumps:
What is the payback period for a Quantum?
It depends on what the comparison is being made with, the type of heater, type of tariff, and the amount of hot water used. An average payback period for Quantum would likely be about 3 to 5 years.
How does a heat pump work?
Quantum heat pumps create hot water from homes and businesses by using the ambient air around the system. The energized air is inducted into the heat pump, which heats the cold water in the storage tank. From there, the cold air is expelled and hot water can be drawn from the tank to the property.
Can the hot water tank go outside?
Yes! The unit has been designed to operate outside. The outer casing of the tank is zincalume based and ColorBond coated.
Where are Quantum heat pumps made?
Although they are an Australian company, Quantum Heat Pumps are manufactured in the company’s own factory located in Suzhous, China.
What is the price of a Quantum heat pump?
Most Quantum heat pumps cost around $3,000 to install. The number is largely variable on the size of the tank, with products ranging form $2,800 to over $4,000. Quantum heat pumps are also eligible for STC’s and VEEC’s to bring down the cost of the system for adopting a green energy technology.
Will the system work during bad weather?
Yes! Quantum has been designed to work all year round without a booster element.
Does the refrigerant need topping up occasionally?
No!! Quantum is a sealed unit like a refrigerator and has silver soldered copper joints. This differs from, for instance, a car air-conditioning system with its hose connections and vibrations.
Does the system freeze in winter?
No!! Quantum has completely eliminated the problem of freezing, that has plagued conventional solar systems, as no water filled panels are involved – in fact no panels at all !
What effect does the unit have on the environment?
Quantum, by its wise use of electricity, assists greatly in combating the “greenhouse effect”, by using as little as one quarter of the energy required to heat water when compared to insertion element electric water heaters.
Can Quantum systems be used for more than domestic hot water?
Quantum has been adapted for any applications other than just domestic hot water supply. Other applications to date have been slab heating, pool heating, spa heating and glasshouse heating. Normally a different Quantum model would be used for these other applications.
Ultimately, Quantum Energy has a longstanding history of using the best technology available in the heat pump history. However, in the past decade, the manufacturer has lost some of its credibility with frequent product malfunctions, short warranties, and bad customer service.
Although they have been proven to work for some homes and businesses, Quantum heat pumps should only be considered when looking at several alternative options.