infrared heating panel

Infrared heating FAQs

How do infrared heating panels work?

Infrared panels work through far infrared radiation, which means that they heat the fabric of the building, rather than the air it contains. This is what makes them so different from traditional convection heaters. They provide powerful heating that is not lost through draughts and is far cheaper than other types of electric heating. Infrared is a great option for those without access to mains gas, and also as cheap supplementary heating in any home.

  • Herschel ‘Inspire’ Infrared Panel – Picture

    From: £429.99
  • Herschel ‘Select’ XL Infrared Heating Panel – Mirror

    From: £339.99
  • Herschel ‘Select’ Infrared Panel – White

    From: £189.99

Is infrared heating safe?

Yes – completely. Far infrared radiation is the same heat as is given off by the sun, but without the harmful UV rays. Its gentle, comfortable heat is even used to heat babies’ incubators.

Why is infrared heating efficient?

As with all types of electric heating, infrared is 100% efficient. Every unit your pay for will come out as heat. However, traditional heating solutions work by heating air, which in turn heats you. Infrared differs from electric fan heaters in that it heats walls, ceilings, floors and furniture directly (as well as you), rather than air. Warm air quickly escapes through draughts, but warm walls stay warm for a long time! Cutting out the second energy transfer makes infrared more efficient.

Another thing that makes infrared more efficient than other forms of electric heating, such as storage heaters, is that they do not have to power fans to disperse heat around the room. Infrared panels have a thin, tightly-coiled heating element evenly distributed across the inside. They only need to be heated to the relatively low temperature of 90°C in order to work efficiently. The temperature output is the same as other electric heaters with a fraction of the energy input.

Heating is the main contributor to household bills, so infrared’s lower running costs can save you a considerable amount of money.

Can infrared panels cause burns?

Just like any other heater, infrared panels are hot to the touch. You should not sustain contact with them for a couple of seconds, but they won’t burn you if you brush past! The panels should operate at a temperature of 90°C. We recommend that panels are mounted on the ceiling, or high up the wall. This is to ensure maximum efficiency, but will have the added benefit of keeping them out of reach of children and pets.

Do far infrared panels glow?

No. Near infrared heaters (i.e. patio heaters outside bars) glow orange. Infrared panels work via a different (more efficient) kind of radiation at the other end of the infrared spectrum, which is absorbed much more easily by the human body.

What size of infrared panels do I need?

We would definitely recommend getting expert help in sizing your infrared heating requirements. The wattage you need won’t be as high as that of whatever heating system you have at the moment, so it is not as simple as a straight substitution. If you provide the height, width and length measurements of each room, as well as the approximate age of the building, we will calculate the wattage you need, and the best panels to achieve room-wide coverage.

Do infrared heating panels need servicing or maintaining?

No – and this is another thing that makes them an affordable option. Just make sure they are installed by a good electrician, and give them a wipe from time to time with a soft, dry cloth.

Are infrared heating panels suitable for bathrooms?

Herschel panels are CE-marked and completely safe for use in bathrooms. In fact, they’re a particularly good option for heating bathrooms because in warming the walls, they help prevent condensation and damp. Our most popular bathroom heating solutions are the mirror panel (which doesn’t steam up) and the heated towel rail.

How can I control infrared heaters?

There are two options:

  • Plug the panels into the mains (standard square-pin 13 amp domestic socket, like other UK appliances). Some have an integrated on-off switch, and some would need to be controlled at the wall.
  • Wire them in to the mains circuit. This gives you proper control, as you can use them with a smart heating system for full efficiency.

Give us a shout today if there’s anything we can help with! 

Herschel Select XL White

Looking for an Eco heating system? Try Infrared!

Looking for an Eco heating system?

If you have moved in to a new home, or simply want to replace an old heating system with a new eco heating system then look no further than the infrared heaters we have here at Infrared4homes – the home of infrared heating!

So why are infrared heaters considered an eco-heating system – well the reason is to do with how they heat! Infrared heaters produce infrared (just like the name suggests!), this is different to the more conventional convection heating most people have in their homes.

Why is infrared an Eco heating system?

Infrared is more efficient that convection heating because the heat is targeted – basically when you switch one of our Infrared eco heaters on, the heater warms up and once it gets to temperature (normally within 5 or so minutes) it starts emitting the infrared, which travels from the heater until it heats a solid object. The solid object, which could be furniture, a person or the wall will then absorb the infrared and this will cause the object to warm up.

Compare this with convection heating, like a radiator for example. The radiator gets warm and heats any air in direct contact with it – this hot air spreads around the warm via convection currents – so the hot air rises because it is less dense while the cold air falls since it is more dense. The reason a person feels warm in a room heated by convection heated is because they are in direct contact with warm air.

This is the basic of convection heating versus infrared (or radiant heating). Now the reason the infrared is more efficient and considered an Eco heating system is because you need less wattage to feel the same heat because you are heating surface area rather than volume. Also, couple this with the fact that infrared eco heating systems are less impacted by cold draughts – you have the most efficient electrical heating system!

Now it is worth mentioning electricity is considerably more expensive per unit than gas, so if you do have a gas central heating system then that will likely be cheaper to run in the long run. Electricity costs about 12.5p/kwh while gas is about 3p/kWh – so you are looking at about 3-4 times the price to run an electric heating system, but for many they have no choice but to heat by a form of electric heating (convection heaters, storage heaters or our infrared heaters) so when it comes to comparing electrical heating there really is only one winner – Infrared!

Infrared4homes – the home of Eco heating systems!

If you are looking for an Eco heating system in your home, then look no further than our fantastic range of infrared heaters – mirrors, patio heaters, you can even get your favourite picture printed one of our infrared panel heaters, all at unbelievable prices!

Get ready for winter with infrared heating

Thinking about winter while it’s still warm outside might seem a bit mad – but hear us out! Now is the best time to plan your heating system for when the weather changes. If you’re fed up of feeling cold in your home, or your bills were higher than they should have been last winter, why not try something new? More and more people are turning to infrared for more effective, efficient heating.

How does infrared heating work?

Infrared heating runs off mains electricity, but is far cheaper than any other form of electric heating- and in some cases even cheaper than gas. What makes infrared different is that it works through radiation, not convection. Infrared heating is completely safe – it’s warms you in the same way as the sun!

With convection heating, such as that given off by radiators or storage heaters, the air that is heated can be lost easily through draughts. You heat up a room, open the door, and then suddenly it’s cold again. This isn’t an issue with infrared, because it doesn’t heat the air. It targets heat at solid objects, meaning it heats you directly – as well as the furnishings and the walls, floors and ceilings. This ‘thermal mass’ then continues to give off heat once the panels are switched off.

What are the benefits of infrared heating?

It is efficient and cheap to run. It will keep you warm and can be controlled as part of a smart heating system for optimal results. The panels also look great – they take up less space than radiators, can even be hidden on the ceiling, and come in a range of finishes, including mirror and glass.

Infrared heating also helps discourage damp and mould, because it penetrates walls and helps keep them at a moderate temperature. Condensation occurs when a surface is a considerably different temperature than the air surrounding it, so by warming the walls, you will stop water vapour settling.

Infrared heating panels do not include fans, nor do they circulate hot water, so they are very low-maintenance. This means no hidden costs or DIY bleeding, balancing or replacing parts!

Infrared heating panels do not circulate dust or pollen around the room, so they are great or those who suffer with allergies.

Infrared radiation keeps you warm by increasing your blood circulation, which can also have benefits for your health.

Is infrared a good option for me?

If you have access to electricity, you have the budget for the initial installation costs, and you’re unhappy with your current heating system, then it could well be! The low running costs and aesthetics of infrared heating panels make them a great option for many homes. Give us a call at any time to talk through your requirements.

  • Herschel ‘Inspire’ Infrared Panel – White

    From: £309.99
  • Herschel ‘Select’ XL Infrared Heating Panel – Mirror

    From: £339.99
  • Könighaus Infrared Panel – E-Series

    From: £109.99

Getting infrared heating panels in France

Infrared heating and France

Infrared heaters and infrared heating panels are becoming more and more of a popular form of heating in France, whether as a primary heating source or a supplementary heating source in the property. With infrared panels having taken off in Austria, Germany and the Low Countries in the last 5 years, word of their fantastic benefits has spread all the way to the UK and France, where we are seeing more and more customer adoption.

When we talk about infrared heating in this blog, we refer to ‘far-infrared’ heating rather than near infrared heating (like halogen heaters), which you may sometimes see in commercial premises in the UK and France. Far-infrared uses infrared light to heat solid objects and the eyes can’t see this, unlike with near infrared, which glows as it heats.

Adopters are liking the direct, gentle heating output and the sleek design of the infrared heaters; therefore we are likely to see phenomenal uptake in the coming years. New adopters have to be careful though, as it is best to carry out all the possible research prior to adoption, and we take a few moments to explain some of the challenges if you are trying to do so for a French property, based on our experience and other customer feedback over the years.

Heating your property in France

The UK provides very competitive natural gas, and whole-house central heating systems are quite common in most of the properties, with gas as the fuel of choice.

In France, the cost of natural gas delivered to individual properties is more expensive (due to various reasons including the taxation system to supply), and the fact that a high output of power comes in the form of nuclear energy generated electricity. Therefore, in many properties, it is not uncommon to find heating in the form of storage heaters or electric radiators.

In some of the more traditional and rural properties, wooden furnaces or log burners are used throughout the properties, as well as oil boilers working with a central heating system. But as you may well appreciate, oil is not a very pleasant fuel to deal with and is terrible for the environment.

Finally, you may have a really weird heating set-up in your France property, particularly if heating was never incorporated into the traditional design. I have seen some real humdingers in my time – the worst being Calor gas combined with plug in electric fan heaters. I remember how uneasy I felt firing up the boiler in the front room: at the same time feeling too hot in one part of the room and absolutely freezing in the other part. If this reminds you of some your holidays, then you will know what I mean.

Infrared heating is electrical heating should works with 220-240v French grid system

As infrared heating manufacturers and designers have tended to come from Europe, the output of the panels has been designed for the European consumer market. Therefore, unless you are buying from a UK manufacturer, the infrared heating panel will come with a European plug, which can be plugged in straight away to your circuit in France and it is ready to go.

However, you may want to wire the panel into the circuit it doesn’t matter if the panel comes with a UK based plug or a European one, as the voltage rating of the appliances is the same. So, the electrician will cut the end of the plug and wire the panel into the circuit. Along with this installation, the panels maybe wired to a switch or a programmable thermostat to achieve zonal heating, which we discuss in more detail later in this article.

We would advise against installing them yourself unless you are familiar with the electrical standards for low voltage appliances or the NF C15-100 standards.

If you are searching for a qualified tradesman, make sure they are set-up with a Système d’Identification du Répertoire des Entreprises et de leurs Etablissements or with a Siret number. While this isn’t an indication of their quality, at least it is a start in terms of employing someone who is actually registered to do building works in France. Always get references if possible or ask neighbours for recommendations.

Infrared heating perfect for resolving some of the property challenges

I, like many folks out there, absolutely love holidaying at a chateau or traditional property. While in the summers heating is not really an issue, whenever I stay late in the year or in the spring, I always require a bit of heating just to keep the place nice and cosy during the evening and early mornings. Many of those places have traditional log burners, with some form of plugin electrical heaters.

I find particularly in those months that some of the rooms in these homes just don’t tend to get enough heat and as a result they can attract mould. Convection currents don’t always reach every room as some of them are closed off and it would be expensive to heat every room with plugin electrical heaters. Also, plugin electrical heaters may make your environment too uncomfortable – as they are extremely hot nearby but not very effective when you open that room and the heat quickly escapes.

In these situations, the infrared heating panels are the perfect solution. Not only do they run effectively at a fraction of the cost, they are also a form of dry heat. If you have mouldy walls or if some of the rooms you couldn’t heat because of the cost but you really need to, then infrared heaters are the perfect solution.

Infrared heaters when they are turned on for a period of time will literally target the cold spots in those rooms. Therefore, as long as you have sized up the rooms correctly, and have mounted the heaters correctly on the walls or the ceilings, then the dry, targeted heating will work effectively with those walls.

The gentle heating output should reach to every part of the room, and won’t make you feel stuffy and uncomfortable, which you will sometimes get when with convection heaters. Rather than moving the moisture in the room, it will eventually dry it out with infrared.

The final benefit I always find is that when you are heating a room, but want to open up the window, by doing so the room loses all the retained heat very quickly. This is the issue with convection heating. However, infrared heating actually acts as a thermal store within the fabric of your building. When it turns it starts to be absorbed in the environment of the rooms, i.e. the walls and the floors. Eventually, when it has been working for a while, those walls actually reach what we call the thermal mass. Therefore, as the heat is stored in the fabric rather than in the air, you will find that if you need to open a window and let in a bit of fresh air, your rooms will still retain heat.

Your home in France is stylish and so is the infrared heating range!

Infrared heating panels come in different sizes and finishes. For example, they come in the plain ‘mat’ or carbon fibre finish; or the glass finish; or mirror. The plain carbon fibre can be framed or frameless. We can even offer printed, high-resolution pictured panels, either with our fantastic range of stocked picture panels or using a photo of your choice, which is then printed onto our panel with a high-resolution printer.

Therefore, if you after the most stylish look for your home, we can work with you to achieve the best possible solution.

Infrared heaters are great for your rental home in France

Many of our past customers have told us about their dream second homes in France, but then the challenges of maintaining it throughout the year. Some however use the second homes as supplementary secondary incomes by renting it out most of the year, and holidaymakers like myself love to visit some of these fantastic properties from the UK.

Landlords are often concerned that holidaymakers will turn the heating right up without any care for the consumption and costs of running the heating during their stay. With infrared heating panels, they can be wired into the circuit and either as standalone to a receiver/thermostat or together with other panels – with the aim of heating larger rooms or zones. This allows for greater efficiency.

Infrared heating works amazingly well if you are trying to achieve zonal heating. Zonal heating can either be heating a specific area of the room, or could be heating a specific room like your kitchen, bathroom or living room. As infrared rays need to travel unimpeded to heat physical objects, this makes them different to convection heating which heat the air that fills the room.

Therefore, if you have a property with low ceilings and a property filled with lots of furniture, then you really need to be careful how and where you place the infrared heaters, as this could determine how efficient and effective they actually are.

If they are positioned correctly and sized appropriately, then all you need to think about what level of thermostatic control you would like to achieve. You can install the latest app based thermostats than will work with your smart hand held device or tablet. Therefore, you could be putting your feet up in the UK, whilst monitoring the heating consumption and levels used in your property in France. It does sound like overkill, and you may want to educate your tenants about the thermostats and how to use them as they come to visit your property.

French properties are diverse, so sizing infrared heaters is crucial!

As mentioned before, the type of properties you can get yourself in France is a real diverse mix – from the traditional stone wall properties, right to more modern pre-fabricated dwellings. With each different property type, it will determine the useful heating output you require from your infrared heaters.

On new buildings, both in the UK and France, the energy efficiency standards are quite high as both of the countries have signed up to the European Buildings Directive, which has steadily improved the quality of energy efficiency in domestic and commercial buildings. Therefore, for a new build we recommend about 60 watts per m2 of heating output, and on some period properties the output requirement can be as high as 150 watts per m2. If you are unsure about how many panels you need and you need help with sizing the system, it is best to get in touch with us directly and we can help pull together a quotation for you.

Infrared heaters as a primary or secondary heating source in my French home

The infrared heaters can be used as a supplementary heating source or they can make up the full house solution. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. They (the infrared heaters) would be much cheaper to install in a room which has central heating radiators, but may require another one on the other side of the room. Actually, to wire and programme your infrared heating panel would be much easier than to lay additional pipework and install another radiator – so infrared install is hassle free and quick to put in place.

If you already have gas central heating or a condensing oil boiler powering the main heating source it is probably not worth ripping all of this out and getting infrared heating installed throughout. However, if you have a real mish-mash of a heating system, or none at all, then infrared heating would be a viable option to consider.

How does infrared heating with bathrooms and wet rooms?

The infrared heating range is IP rated, which is a common standard that allows for installation in wet rooms or bathrooms. In terms of the installation side, we again recommend you seek professional advice and installation as electrics and bathrooms with the water and vapour elements are just too risky to try and work around on your own! Typically, the infrared panels are installed to a switch rather than thermostat as it is tricky to find a thermostat that satisfies all the IP requirements.

Once you have sorted out the tradesman for the works, then you need to pick out the sizing and type of heater that would fit into the surroundings. In the UK, we normally don’t like our bathrooms too warm, therefore a smaller heater may be sufficient, but once you are on the continent the culture changes and there is a requirement for much larger heating output. It is not bad idea to have an oversized infrared panel, as the room would get to temperature much quicker, so you can turn it off.

A mirror panel, which acts as heater maybe the best solution for you. Mirror panels are fantastic as not only do they serve that purpose, but with the heating element will mean that they don’t steam-up if you have just showered and you need to shave or use the mirror as you are getting ready.

You could go for the decorative glass panels or the plain carbon fibre (framed or frameless). They can be installed on the walls or the ceiling, meaning they blend better into the surroundings.

Where else can I use infrared heaters?

While the panels are primarily designed to heat domestic rooms, you can also use far-infrared for your business premises, whether that be a small office, or a larger warehouse and distribution business. While the infrared heating panels can be used in the office environment we recommend different types of heaters for different uses. The following section summarises some of the scenarios that may apply to you and our recommendation of the heater to go for.

Small office with a number of desks and normal sized rooms

We recommend the normal infrared heating panels. The sizing and output requirements will vary and best to come to us with your requirements so we can offer the appropriate advice.

Shop floor

In this scenario we recommend the use of the IR or the XL range. The bar heaters offer a much more concentrated and intense heat than the panels themselves, but work very well in rooms that are ventilated and there is plenty of heat loss through the air. As infrared heating allows for minimal losses through air circulation, it is the perfect solution to keep your staff comfortable on the shop floor.

High ceiling commercial spaces

Rooms with extremely high ceilings are extremely tricky to heat, this is why the Pulsar range absolutely satisfies this requirement. The heaters look extremely style (hence blending into the surroundings), are suspended off the ceiling to target an area below that has the work-tops or office desks, where the staff sit.

Heating indoor/ outdoor spaces

You may have a patio area in your property or commercial premises and we can offer patio heating solutions that would make these spaces much better to use during those chilly months. Great for smoking areas for your staff.

Please note: if you are a business with a French VAT number that is approved via the EU VIES scheme we will take the VAT off your order. If you are the end user and purchasing from us, you will have the pay the normal UK VAT rate for the products.

A final word about infrared solutions in France

We get a lot of queries from UK expats or owners of holiday homes in France looking for the perfect infrared heater for their property. Since our start a few years ago, we have helped 100s of consumers all around Europe, and not just France. So, if you just need a bit of advice about infrared heating or you are a bit further down the line and you need help with sizing your rooms, then please get in touch and we can help.

Heating period properties with infrared

More and more people are installing infrared heating in domestic and commercial properties, and the benefits of the technology are becoming pretty well known. This week, however, we were interested to hear from a customer that infrared is now the go-to heating system for stately homes! Whilst this isn’t an angle we’ve ever thought of before, it makes perfect sense!

What is infrared heating?

Infrared heating is a powerful and efficient form of electric heating. Unlike convection heating, which heats the air, infrared heating works through (safe) radiation. This means it heats the fabric of the building – and the people within it – directly.  This has several benefits, several of which make it particularly suited for use in old homes, which we will outline below.

Why heat a period home with infrared?

Conservationists and estate managers are choosing to install infrared for the following reasons:

  • Infrared panels are discreet and in-keeping with the appearance of period homes. Unlike ugly, bulky radiators, they hang flat against the wall or ceiling and don’t encroach on room space. They can be disguised as mirrors or pictures so as not to detract from the features of the room.
  • There are no big structural works required during the installation of infrared heating. Panels can be wired in pretty easily or controlled by integrated on/off switches – either way there is no costly or potentially damaging pipework required, meaning old buildings can be preserved.
  • Infrared radiation helps dry out walls and heat stored through thermal mass helps prevent damp in future. Damage from damp and mildew can be terrible news for old homes, both structurally and aesthetically. Every wall that has to be treated for damp is costly; not to mention dangerous for the often precious pieces displayed on the walls.
  • Infrared heating is cheap and efficient, so it’s perfect for those having to balance budgets. The larger and older the period home, the more naturally draughty it will be. Having loads of big open rooms, with minimal mod cons and very few energy efficiency measures, makes for hefty heating bills. With maintenance costs high for very old buildings, saving money on heating is obviously key, and infrared heating is about the most efficient heating form there is. Because it heats through radiation, as mentioned before, nothing is wasted through draughts.

So, aside from installing infrared because it’s looks great, it’s also perfect for preserving old buildings and it can drastically cut running costs.

If you’re interested in making the switch to infrared, get in touch and we’ll talk you through the options!