Infrared Heating vs. a Gas Central Heating System

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 achieved from this rather than from directly heating the air. What it means is that a thermostat could be set slightly lower and the occupants will still feel a nice level of warmth, therefore there are 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.

Posted on 18 Comments

18 thoughts on “Infrared Heating vs. a Gas Central Heating System

  1. Have you heard of a company called Fischer and they quoted £9k to replace 6 storage heaters in my home. No thank you!!!

  2. Gas central heating suitable for the house because gas consumption is minimized and gas price is very low and middle-level people easily use it.

  3. This is actually useful, thanks for the information. I am considering getting rid of our gas boiler as the upkeep to keep it going over the last 3 years has been very expensive. Think we might be better off just getting a simpler system.

  4. We are torn as our gas boiler has just be decommissioned. Do we get a new gas boiler or go for easier to control electric heating?

  5. I have just spent £750 fixing the pump and heat exchanger on my boiler. I suspect something else will go wrong next year. Should I be ripping out the boiler and starting again with this infrared heating solution? Sounds too goo to be true.

    1. It is too good to be true All they are is pretty electric fires with a fancy scientific sounding name. You know how much a two or three bar fire costs to run.

  6. In my opinion gas central heating is far better than electric heating. It is easy to control, gas is cheap. So if you have gas don’t rip it out!

  7. Electric heating is better than wet heating systems. There is no contest. Infrared seems to be growing in popularity and I can see why. If you want to do away with heating admin then switch to electric.

    1. Hi Electric Joe, thanks for the comment. Electric heating is definitely very convenient. I know we only sell infrared but to be honest, if I did have a central heating system installed I would probably stick with it because gas is cheaper than electricity. We do get customers who rip out all the existing wet central heating system though and we never get complaints so obviously it does the job!

      1. I was persuaded to change gas for infra red. The biggest mistake I ever made. I set the radiators by the control panel and it changes by itself. My bills have gone up over the past 2 yrs by about 35%, the rooms are not warm, as you say the rays heat the object not the air, so going on that, to feel the most heat your rooms need to be empty of everything but you and your chair, and you need to be in front of it to get the heat rays. I am not impressed and have wasted a lot of my savings to be cold for most of the day. All I can say is god help me if we get a cold winter.
        I would never advise to change to infra red from gas.

      2. I have been persuaded to change from gas to this so called better heating, fuel bills have gone up by 35% not much of a saving as far as I am concerned.
        I would not recommend taking out gas central heating for these.

        1. Hi, thanks for replying. I agree electric heating is going to be more costly than gas heating. A unit of electricity is 12.5p / kWh, while gas is just 3.5p / kWh. There is a small efficiency advantage of electric heating in that 100% of the electricity is turned into heat, while with gas central heating systems, they have a maximum efficiency of about 90%.

          In this blog we do look at the other advantages though – in that it is easier to control rooms independently, but I would say it is unwise to replace a gas central heating system that is fully functional with a new electric heating system of any sort (unless you want to do away with the maintenance costs).

      3. Hi James,
        I replaced my storage heater with Far infrared heaters. what a surprise, I find cheaper to run than Gas boiler because I can control the heater properly with mobile app. My home is now damp free. 2 years ago, the rooms used to take more heating than now.

  8. For me a gas boiler will always win provided you have a hot water tank with immersion as back up. There is no way that gas will ever be close to the cost of electricity even when you take into account maintenance costs. I think the gas boiler technology is now so good that reliability and efficiency are pretty much on par with electric heating. Also one question, is underfloor heating radiant heating (therefore the same as infrared heating?)

  9. Completely agree. People with gas central heating always go on about how cheap gas is but with electric you don’t have maintainence. Infrared by its very nature is more efficient than convection.

    1. Hi Chris, agreed that is one of the best things about electric heating (and infrared in particular) – it is virtually maintenance free. Another really nice feature about the infrared is that since you aren’t heating the air, you quickly feel the benefit of turning the heating on.

  10. Electric infrared is better. Can turn off when not in use

    1. Thanks for the comment James, agreed – infrared is definitely the best (although that might be a slightly biased opinion!)

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