With many getting rid of their old-fashioned gas heating systems, a common question they ask us is whether to install Infrared Heating Panels, or Underfloor Heating. Both options are incredibly innovative, and far more efficient, but which is the better alternative? We’ve created a quick guide to help you make that choice!
The four main points on how they differ include: how they work, installation, aesthetics and also running costs. While they are both ground-breaking technologies, they differ dramatically on these topics.
How Do They Work?
Underfloor Heating does exactly what the name suggests! It is fitted underneath the flooring and works in either a wet or dry manner. ‘Wet’ or hydronic underfloor heating systems are a popular choice and can be linked from a standard boiler to newer sustainable technologies. This essentially works by using pipes to transport the heated water, causing the heat to rise which is how it warms the room.
‘Dry’ underfloor heating, on the other hand, uses electric coils to generate heat, with the radiant heat transferring through the floor itself.
Infrared, however, works in an entirely different way. It is a type of electromagnetic radiation which is in fact completely safe for your body. Our panels emit far-infrared radiation which is highly targeted and is absorbed by objects within the room, including yourself. What then happens is that these objects retain some heat, and re-emit the rest, creating an ambient atmosphere even after the appliance has been turned off.
Overall, you will feel the heat much quicker by using Infrared technology, due to it being so much more direct. Underfloor Heating that works using a convection current requires more time before you feel any benefits. Unfortunately, this means that you will need it on for a longer period of time, whereas with Infrared, you will be able to turn it off by the time you feel the warmth from underfloor methods.
What really sets these two apart is how you install them. Underfloor Heating is a lot more strenuous and incredibly expensive. What’s worse is that it takes time, and a lot of it, leaving you unable to use that particular room until it is complete.
In addition to this, if any issues were to arise, from it being damaged or broken etc, the entire floor would have to be ripped up, and then it would have to be reinstalled, along with the flooring. This is another unnecessary expense that is rather likely to occur.
Our heating panels, on the other hand, require no maintenance or servicing due to them having no moving parts. You’re also covered with our fantastic five-year warranty, and should anything go wrong, all you would need to do is unplug it and send it back, and we will send you a new one.
Installation is another easy process. The panels come fitted with a plug, allowing you to employ it into a standard 240V mains source. Instead of this, you could remove the plug, and directly hard-wire into the mains within the wall. We would recommend that our customers get help from a qualified electrician to do this, but this will be the only expense you will need to pay.
This makes infrared panels far cheaper to buy in general and to also install in your home.
Here For The Aesthetics
We understand how important the look of the home really is, luckily for you, both heating options are incredibly discreet, eradicating bulky looking radiators.
Underfloor Heating is completely hidden and you will not see it in the slightest. This provides you with more space and design freedom, but not entirely! You can’t implement it under some furniture and flooring, restricting the way you set out your home. You may even have to remove some furnishings altogether.
Infrared Heating, however, is still rather discreet, much slimmer than a standard radiator. Better yet, it can even be installed onto the ceiling, out of the way completely. Don’t forget that we also sell image and mirror panels, both not looking like a heater whatsoever. This way, you can have your very own family portrait on the wall, with it emitting heat at the same time.
How Much Money Can I Save?
Both products will save you money once compared to a traditional system, but factors including insulation and room size will impact the total monthly fee for both. Of course, larger rooms will require more heating supplementation, whether it be more square metres of underfloor heating, or a larger infrared panel. If there’s poor insulation, you will have to over-compensate with both methods which can cause the prices to go up.
The best way we can show you the difference in running costs is by doing a case study.
We’ll use a kitchen as our example as infrared and underfloor heating are both commonly used in this area. Let’s say the kitchen measures a fairly large 5m x 3m x 2.4m and is well insulated. Working out which panel you need is a fairly easy process, all you need to do is:
- First off, you need to multiply the length by the width, giving you 15m².
- You must then multiply this by the height, equalling 36m³.
- We then multiply this by 20, as you need 20W per cubic metre. This will give you a total of 720W.
You can either choose the 700W or 900W panel for this, depending on whether you would like to over-compensate or not.
A quick summary of how we then work out the running costs goes as follows (based on the 900W panel):
- Take the wattage and divide it by 1000, which equals 0.9.
- Multiply this by hours of use, we will use 5 hours for this example: 0.9 x 5 = 4.5.
- Then you multiply this by the cost of electricity, which on average (at the time of writing), is 13 pence: 4.5 x 0.13 = 58p for a single day use.
It is important to note that our NXT GEN panels come with an integrated thermostat, meaning that it will switch on and off throughout the day to maintain a temperature. This, in turn, lowers the cost even further.
As electricity bills are run quarterly, your spending will come to £52.65 with infrared.
However, based upon the average specs for underfloor heating companies, for the same sized room and insulation, the costs work out to be £1.08 for 5 hours. In turn, your quarterly spending for this room will equal £97.20.
The difference here is clear, with infrared heating saving you 54% on your total spending. Don’t forget that it’s better to convert your home to electric while the initial items are still cheap.
Overall, while underfloor heating is a luxurious and smart way of heating your home, infrared does beat it, based on the facts anyway. We have a huge range of panels for all areas of the home, and we’re sure you’ll find ones that you’ll love.
If you have any questions, or are looking to convert your home to infrared, we can be contacted on 0116 321 4124, or send us an email to email@example.com. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!