What are the benefits of infrared heating?
Compared to our European partners like Germany and France, infrared heating is a relatively new thing in the UK and has taken some time to catch on. Most of us have settled for the old fashioned boiler and radiator combo but with the rise of the green agenda in the last ten to fifteen years, more and more of us are looking for safe and cost effective alternatives.
The truth is that infrared heating has a number of benefits for households and businesses that are looking for a more carbon friendly way of keep their properties warm. Although not a renewable energy it can be incorporated with green energy production such as that from solar panels to produce a more carbon efficient approach to heating a particular space.
Even spread of heat
Infrared heating works differently from convection heating in that it provides warmth to a solid body rather than warming up the surrounding air. With convection systems the heat generally rises up to the ceiling and the cold air tends to lie around the lower part of a room. Infrared will heat a body or piece of furniture so that there appears to be a more even spread of warmth throughout a room.
Find out more about how infrared heating works.
Whereas convection heaters take time to warm up a room, infrared gives an immediate effect so that people don’t have to wait to reach a comfortable temperature. This quick heating depends largely on the scale and positioning of your system but because it warms up solid objects infrared is largely more noticeable than convection methods.
However, there is another side to this benefit in that when infrared heating is turned off the warmth subsides quickly too, unlike where the air is warmed with, for instance, a conventional radiator system.
The costs of running today’s infrared heating panels is less than your normal convection heater. It is generally thought that a 600w infrared heater will provide the same level of warmth as a 1500w convection one. Many people who have switched over to infrared system have found significant cost savings compared to a conventional heating array. There is less of a difference between one and a gas powered system, mainly because of the lower cost of gas.
Find out more about the cost effectiveness of infrared heating.
Ease of installation
Infrared heating systems are easier to install than other ‘wet’ convection systems – for instance they run on electricity and don’t need a complex system of pipes or a boiler. There is also a lot more room for a better aesthetic design with many panels now being designed to either fit into furniture or hang from the wall as, for example, a mirror. Basically, an infrared heating panel can be incorporated into any part of a building.
Find out about types of infrared heating.
There are some health claims for infrared panels namely that they help to reduce problems like mould in damp houses and improve or maintain a better air quality that helps people who have allergies. There is also a suggestion that because the infrared heat is absorbed by the body it improves things like blood circulation and general health.
Infrared panels help to maximise an office or living space and heating can be improved depending on where the heater is placed. For instance, a panel hung from the ceiling will provide a greater degree of heat coverage than one fixed to a wall. There is also the question of maintenance and high quality panels normally come with something like a 5 year guarantee and require very little intermediate work to ensure they operate at maximum efficiency.
Disadvantages of Infrared Heating
Generally the benefits of an infrared heating system far outweigh the disadvantages. For quartz infrared systems for example there is a suggestion that the element has to be replaced after about 20,000 hours but this is probably just a side effect of it being an electrical device and is not an overly expensive thing to do. If you take into account the reduction in carbon emissions compared to say gas central heating and the fact that fossil fuel systems also have components that wear out over time, then this particular disadvantage doesn’t have as much weight as initially thought.
Is infrared heating safe?
When you mention infrared radiation people often take a step back and wonder if there are any detrimental health effects they need to worry about. After all, radiation is dangerous, isn’t it? The truth is there is harmful radiation and beneficial radiation. You are subjected to radiation from the sun every time you step outside and our own bodies emit their own amounts of infrared radiation all the time. The health benefits of infrared heating on the other hand can increase the comfort in your home or office, reduce damp areas and provide cleaner and less dusty air.
Overall, the benefits of infrared heating are pretty strong and many people are now starting to look at this method of heating over their ‘old fashioned’ convection systems.
You can find out who in your area is supplying and installing infrared heating panels by exploring our comprehensive database.