Electricity costs 13p / unit (measured in kWh), gas meanwhile is just 4p / unit. Therefore it is very easy to look at these numbers and completely discount infrared as an ‘expensive’ electric heating solution, but actually there are far more things to consider which unfortunately make this anything but a simple comparison!
Firstly, with a gas central heating system, you need the whole gas boiler to fire up even if you want to heat just one room. With electric heating and infrared in particular, you can very easily specify which rooms you want to heat and then only fire up the panels in those rooms. Even if you have thermostatic valves on radiators the boiler will still need to fire up to provide the hot water for that radiator – this is not as efficient as heating a single room.
Infrared heating is reactive!
The next thing to consider is how reactive the heating system is. With any type of convection heating (i.e. radiators or storage heaters) they need to heat the air before you feel any warming effect – i.e. the reason you feel warm is because the air in the room you are in is warm. Infrared heats solid objects so as soon as the infrared heaters are up to temperature (normally just a couple of minutes) they emit the infrared and you will feel the warmth. This means that you don’t need to preheat rooms before you go into them. So in a bathroom for example, our infrared heaters would be turned on when you go in – you take your shower, then when you get out of the shower you feel the warmth of the infrared. Our mirror panels also don’t fog up so another problem solved!
What this means though is that you have a heating system that can react far quicker to your specific heating requirements which is obviously more efficient.
Thermostats are a must!
The next thing to look at is comfortable room temperature – for most people with gas central heating systems they would normally set their thermostat between 19-20 because that is the temperature the air needs to reach for the occupant to feel comfortable. With infrared, since the heaters heat solid objects (including the occupants) directly, the temperature of the air is pretty much irrelevant. What it means is that a thermostat can be set far lower and the occupants will still feel a nice level of warmth, therefore there are substantial energy savings here.
Infrared heating is Cheaper to Install!
The last point and again this is true of all electrical heating systems, you don’t need any pipework to be run in the home to link the system together. This makes installing infrared far cheaper than a wet central heating system. Furthermore since the infrared panels are a very simple technology without any moving parts, they require no maintenance compared to boiler, which if you are renting it out to tenants requires a yearly gas inspection at the very least.
So yes, on the face of it – gas is cheaper than electricity, so that suggests infrared doesn’t stack up – but hopefully the points discussed above show you that it is a far more even contest than it initially looks.
All our infrared heating panels come with a minimum 5 year warranty and our German made Inspire range come with a 10 year warranty.
If you would like any more information on our infrared heating range, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0208 133 3849.