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.
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!