Glass Panel Heaters - how do they work and which ones are best?

Electricity is gradually becoming the way forward when it comes to powering new technology home appliances, and your heating systems are no different. With the phasing out of gas boilers in UK homes by 2025, homeowners should be looking to upgrade to or install the latest home heating solutions in order to benefit from new, smarter and more energy efficient technologies.

There are many types of electricity-run heaters on the market (electric heater, fan heater, convection heater, oil filled radiator, storage heater, electric radiator, halogen heater, ceramic heater and glass panel heater including infrared) so it's important you get the right advice when it comes to choosing what type best suits your home and your needs.

What are glass panel heaters?

Glass panel heaters are sleek, slimline flat glass panels that run on electricity and heat your home efficiently and quickly. Some of these heaters are great for small rooms, rooms that are not used very frequently or for short amounts of time, and infrared glass panel heaters can replace normal heaters and provide a stylish element in any room - regardless of its size.

They are a popular option due to their discrete slimline appearance and - depending on the heating system - they produce heat quickly, heating up a room in a short space of time. The glass heaters are mounted on a wall and most are designed to be waterproof making them also suitable for the bathroom or kitchen.

Glass panel heaters are low-cost and easy to use but still come with advanced features such as controllable programming with digital touch technology, adjustable temperature control or LCD display, which may even be done by remote control or integrated as a smart heater. Many have a very aesthetically pleasing finish, a slimline design and are light enough to be wall mounted with simple mounting bracket fittings. Most are plug and play and require no third-party installation by an electrician.

How do glass panel heaters work?

Most electric Glass panel heaters work by convection creating a warm air current quickly that is almost instantly produced when the convector heater is switched on. Therefore, they can heat a room in very little time, unlike conventional radiators that need time to heat up. Infrared glass panel heaters take a little bit longer to heat up. These are meant for any type and size of room.

Convection means that the air is heated that enters vents on the bottom of the heater which comes out of a top vent and creates a warm air current that rises and is distributed around the room until it cools and begins to drop again- this causes the air to circulate as the warm air displaces the cool air above the heating unit. The front of the panel provides some radiant heat too as it also heats up.

Infrared glass panel heaters: instead of heating the surrounding air, as does conventional heating, infrared is a form of radiant heat that heats the surfaces of objects placed directly in front of an infrared heating panel. This radiant heater transmits Far infrared waves that aren't visible, nor does it contain UV light, but it gets absorbed by our skin and any objects directly in front of the panel, providing heat much in the same way the infrared rays from the sun feel warm on our skin.

What are the benefits of electric panel heaters?

  • Installation costs are low with the option of no installation required at all. Simply plug into the nearest power socket, hang on a wall mount and they will begin to work.
  • No water connection or gas piping infrastructure is required, and no refurbishment is needed to your current home décor such as wallpapering or painting.
  • You can install them almost anywhere you need a heat source in your home and offer great flexibility, so you are not limited to certain locations as you would with gas heating or wet-system radiators.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, they can be low cost because they are cheaper to produce and use simpler heating technology.
  • They are considered safe for use around your home with no fossil fuels being burnt or gases being emitted, you don't have to worry about carbon monoxide risks. Ensure that the model you are considering has safety features such as automated overheat protection when a certain heat output is reached over a period of time.
  • The intelligent technology used is modern and efficient with the ability to pre-set heating preferences that you don't have to worry about once set up and will save you money overall. They are user friendly and designed to require no input at all once set up, perfect for families, elderly people and around children.
  • Glass panel heaters come in different colours and are designed to fit in with your existing home décor being sleek and discreet, especially if it is a wall mounted as you will hardly notice they are there. Black glass panel heaters and white panels are the most commonly used.

Where are glass panel heaters most suitable for?

Standard electric glass panel heaters are great for smaller rooms such as dressing rooms, studies or small offices or small bedrooms. They are great for somewhere where almost instant heat is needed.

Infrared glass panel heaters can be used in any room.

A wall mounted panel heater is easily installed and takes up very little room. Installation is as easy as fitting a flat screen TV and all you need is a nearby power socket. It is recommended to place these lower down on the wall so the heat emitted will have space to circulate.

Free-standing panel heaters are convenient where you have limited wall space and when you need to move your panel heater about your home.

Are glass panel heaters efficient?

Glass panel heaters come with different rating values and will give you an idea of their energy efficiency and how much heat it will produce.

It is important to buy the correct heater by matching the energy efficiency rating to the size of the room you are looking to heat. This will ensure that you are conserving energy and keeping costs low by not putting a highly rated panel where it is not needed. An experienced heating professional will be able to advise you on this.

Many models come with features that can help with efficient use such as an adjustable thermostat for the heat setting, energy saving mode and settings that allow for automatic on/off features.

They are much more economical to run over time than many types of electric heaters because they have high energy conversion efficiency. This means that the conversion of energy used (electricity) to energy emitted in the form of heat is very high with hardly any loss.

If you think that gas powered central heating is cheaper to run, consider the advantages of electric heating that emit comfortable heat from the minute they are turned on, offer precise control of the temperature, are easily programmable around your daily routine and need only be used where and when they are needed.

Panel heater vs other electric heaters and radiators

Panel heaters can be a good secondary source of heating in your home, supporting your existing heating system but can be used when you don't need to heat up your entire home. Or where your main heating system doesn't heat well, such as in an extension or a box room with no radiators. This will mean that you are saving on energy bills as you are only heating where it is needed.

What is an infrared glass panel heater?

Electric panel heaters can use either convection heat transfer or infrared radiation heat transfer such as the Redwell Glass Heating panel or the Redwell Glass Picture heating panel.

Infrared glass panel heaters offer all the benefits of a glass panel heater with the advantage of using infrared heating technology. An infrared heater does not use air to transport heat and instead energy is transferred through FAR infrared waves that are much like how the heat from the sun reaches us, providing a deep level of thermal comfort. For this reason Infrared is one of the most efficient and modern heating solutions on the market.

Because infrared panel heaters don't need to heat up air in a room, they transfer heat directly to objects in front of it, heating furnishings as well as solid objects including the people in the room. Infrared heat provides a very efficient conversion of electricity to heat so they can be very efficient and minimise energy consumption, thus making it a cost-effective heating solution for your home.

Infrared glass panel heaters are modern, look elegant and stylish while complimenting your existing furnishings. They are usually wall mounted, taking up very little room and are made of reinforced safety glass that can be black or glossy white with a flat or structured surface finish.

They are also designed to be used in bathrooms or kitchens so are safe around water.

How to choose an electric panel heater?

Everyone's needs are different and knowing what your heating requirements are is important.

  • What is the size of the room you are heating?
  • How powerful do you need your heater to be?
  • Is buying a reputable brand from a reputable dealer important to you?

Take the time to do your research and be sure to get further advice from your local seller.

Buying a panel heater doesn't need to be a difficult task, ensure you know what your needs are and seek advice from experienced retailers and heating suppliers such as Redwell. Keep in mind that panel heaters can save you money if you choose a quality product that is used in the most efficient way as it has been designed.