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Whether you are new to Infrared heating or consider yourself quite the home heating expert, there are always questions you might still have about Infrared Heating. Here we have compiled a few of the questions we get asked the most and hopefully will help if you’re considering switching to Infrared heating for your home.
Infrared heating panels are highly efficient, effective and a healthier way to heat your home. Powered by electricity, instead of heating the surrounding air, as does conventional heating, infrared is a form of radiant heating that heats the surfaces of objects placed directly in front of an infrared heating panel. These panels transmit Far infrared waves that aren’t visible, nor do they contain UV light, but they get 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.
This Far infrared heating technology is transforming the way in which homes, offices, buildings and commercial spaces are heated because they are so easy to install, take up very little room being installed on walls and ceilings, and come with the added flexibility of a stylish finish to compliment your décor.
This is a very common question that most people have when they first hear about Infrared Heating and it’s one that takes into consideration a number of factors to answer. The honest reply to this question is yes, without a doubt, and if you can find someone you know that has experience using infrared heating, we are sure they will agree, but their efficiency is very dependent on a number of very important considerations:
Your current situation matters- do you have a large house full of people or just two of you, how many rooms are occupied in your house at any given time? Is your home currently running off central heating that has to be on everywhere for a long period of time to meet your needs? Or could you easily get away with heating the main room or two in your home and use thermostatic controls and timers for the rest of you home? If this is the case then infrared would be an ideal solution for you, as you can just heat the rooms or zones of your house as required and as heating up times are much quicker than oil or gas, you don’t need to have infrared panels turned on for nearly as long.
Is your home well insulated? This will certainly help get the best benefits from Infrared heating. If your insulation is poor, then you will need a larger size system to achieve the best target temperature. Because infrared waves are absorbed by whatever solid objects are in front of the panel (furniture, walls, floors), these also re-emit the heat back into the room. So, the better your insulation, the better this heat is retained.
Size matters- whether it is replacing your current system or simply a new addition to support it, ensuring the correct size and wattage panels are installed are crucial to how effective they will work in your space. Under-sizing for the room size and requirements means that it will take longer to feel the heat and your panels will not be working as effectively as they are designed. It is always better to be on the safe side and opt for panels that are slightly oversized for your space- this will mean that when used in conjunction with a thermostat, the panels will be quicker to reach the target heat output and will therefore automatically shut off, saving you on your energy bills in the long term.
Quality brand means quality product- it is very easy to be tempted to go for cheaper brands or suppliers, but unfortunately when it comes to infrared and the technology involved, quality manufacturing really matters. You are investing in a system that should have a life expectancy of at least 30 years, and for that reason the initial investment may seem a but higher than you would like, however it certainly pays off in the long run. We have heard too many stories of consumers falling into the trap of buying cheaper panels with no solid manufacturing background only for them to fall apart after a very short time and no customer support to follow up with.
So what brands should you go for? There are a number of brands that are very recognisable in the UK, with a Europe-based design and manufacturing base and therefore are of reputable quality. You can do your research by ensuring they have a contactable UK office. Speak to the customer support teams to reassure you that you’re dealing with a reputable brand that has decent support in place and ensure that they offer a good warranty period of at least 10 years.
When compared to traditional convection heaters or storage heaters, infrared panels use up to 60% less energy which means you will see savings on your electricity bills over time.
Compared to other electric heating systems, infrared heating panels have a much lower power requirement because they heat the surface of solid objects such as you and your furniture instead of the circulating air, and therefore the like-for-like wattage is less meaning less electricity is needed so the running cost is lower per hour.
You are also upgrading to a clean Electric energy source that is seen as the future for the UK, with more renewable green energy sources being added to the electric mix- known as Low Carbon heating. Gas and oil, while cheaper per unit of energy, are gradually being phased out of the UK due to them being unsustainable in the long-run and having a huge carbon footprint.
With infrared panels, you only use them as required in the space required and for the amount of time necessary- this is called zoned heating. So unlike gas central heating for example whereby you must heat your entire home even if you are using just one room, infrared heating can be programmed to work only where and when you need it.
This means that operating costs are especially lower when compared to other types of home heating, especially gas that needs to be on for a while before you feel real warmth throughout your home. So, while gas and oil are cheaper per unit of energy, some heating systems such as Infrared simply use less energy to do the same thing and this is where you see a cost saving.
Infrared heating products are a great solution for heating your home, and many consumers have replaced their entire central heating systems and made them their primary heating source because of their energy efficiency. Thermostatic control allows the temperature of each room can be controlled on an individual basis using thermostats which means you heat up the space you need when you need, and you simply switch off or set your timer for when you don’t need it. Therefore, when correctly specified, infrared can be a great cost saving solution.
It is important if using as a primary heating system that you get the correct advice as to what size panels you need with what power wattage and where the best place to install them.
Panels come in many different shapes and sizes and come with a multitude of different finishes suitable for every room for any style preference. They can be the focal point in your living room with stylish artwork as picture panels or sleek glossy finish, or discreet and simple in design to blend in with your existing furnishings making them a perfect fit in your home.
Panels can be multifunctional such as Mirrored heating panels for your bathroom or hallway where they can discreetly provide the perfect heating climate while preventing moisture building up and preventing condensation to form as they don’t mist over. Infrared towel dryers are perfect for drying your towels and at the same time keeping you warm when you step out of the shower.
Infrared heating has been widely used in industrial and commercial settings since the 1960´s when Near infrared heating technology began replacing coal fires as a heat source. Since then, infrared has been commonly used in large spaces such as factories and warehouses, where convection heating would not be effective.
With the development of newer, greener heating technologies, more people are looking to more efficient and cleaner ways to heat their homes and the focus has shifted to Far infrared technology, such as infrared heating panels, which have surged in popularity over the past few years for domestic use.
Far infrared heating panels require no maintenance once installed, are more energy efficient to run than normal convection heaters and provide a high level of thermal comfort through a type of radiant heat that is healthier, doesn’t cause dust and air circulation and can help reduce dampness. They are also completely silent when on and require nothing more than an electrical socket.
Infrared panels have a huge flexibility when it comes to design, with their unobtrusive sleek design can be discretely placed at picture height on your walls, double up as mirrors and as pieces of art with a graphic of your choice printed on the panel itself.
This modern and innovative way to heat your home not only looks great but if efficient and much more environmentally friendly, designed to meet your specific requirements.
(*Near infrared is the shortest infrared wavelength and is used in high intensity heating systems such as the well-known bar heaters that glow read (visible light) and are commonly used outdoors in terrace heaters and appliances such as cookers.
**Far infrared is the longest wavelength, it produces no visible light and the temperature produced is much lower, therefore they are safer to be around.)