Thermograph showing the radiant effect of Infrared heating

We get asked a lot why is our infrared heating so efficient so in this week’s blog we thought we would have a crack at answering exactly that question.

Many of the reasons infrared heating is so efficient come from the fact it is radiant heating compared to convection heating.

Radiant heating versus Convection heating

So what is the difference between these two forms of heating? Per degree centigrade output, Infrared has a higher rate of heat transfer than convection heating. Infrared (which is radiant heating) also primarily heats solid objects directly rather than convection heating which heats the air: so you are concerned primarily with heating surface area as opposed to the entire volume of air. You can also “zone” or target infrared to heat just one area in a room, which is impossible with heaters that primarily heat air, which have to heat the whole volume in a space. Infrared is also easier to control.

Infrared therefore requires a lower installation wattage and runs less than convection-based heaters.  As a rule of thumb, we normally recommend a 600w infrared heater as equivalent to a 1.5kW convection heater. Obviously this is therefore far cheaper to run if you compare infrared panel heaters with equivalent electric convection panel heaters.

This video explains things well:

 

Bearing in mind the price of gas is 4p / kWh and electricity is 13p / kWh, comparing infrared with gas powered convection heating (i.e. a wet central heating system with radiators), the numbers are far more even. You can read more about how Infrared stacks up against convection heating by clicking here.

Another key benefit of radiant heating (i.e. the heat produced from our infrared heating range) is that since you are heating solid objects, when you turn off the heat source, it takes far longer for the room to cool down. Imagine the infrared heater is opposite a wall – the wall will absorb the infrared and warm up. This wall, especially if it is well insulated will then slowly release this heat back into the room. If you have a radiator trying to heat the equivalent space, the room will certainly warm up – but the reason an occupant would feel warm upon entering that room is the air is warm. If the door to the room is opened for example, the warm air will quickly escape and the room will feel cold again – requiring the heating to be turned on again.

As a result, less energy is required to top up the heating if you are using infrared heating – which obviously means lower energy bills.

Another benefit of infrared heating is that the thermostat can be set far lower (compared to a room heated by convection) because the walls and objects in a room get warm (including you if you are standing in front of it!). In some cases you can set the room as much as 3 degrees lower but still feel no real difference in warmth. This means the infrared heater can switch off much quicker allowing you again to benefit from lower bills.

Popular Infrared panel heaters

New infrared heaters versus older infrared heaters

So the reasons above all compared radiant heating directly with convection heating, but there is another reason our selection of infrared heating systems are so efficient. Where as the old style infrared heaters relied on thick solid bars of resistance metal to get very hot (they glowed orange) to emit infrared, our new style heaters have far thinner wires densely distributed over the whole of the area of the panel, which means they can operate at far lower density than the old style infrared heaters.

So there you have it – just a few of the reasons why infrared radiant heating is so good! All our Herschel infrared heaters come with a minimum 5 year warranty (our Inspire range carry a 10 year warranty) so you can be sure when you buy through Infrared4Homes you are buying the best quality infrared heating solutions out there.