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Infrared Heating technology is growing rapidly in popularity here in the UK, and it’s set to gain still more momentum as people’s initial misconceptions about its viability and safety are laid to rest.
More and more people are beginning to adopt it, both as their main source of heating and also as a supplement to other forms such as gas or oil. Thus, as recognition of Infrared’s benefits and advantages over other types of heating grows, so too will the number of products on the market.
Therefore, you as a consumer, need to know what to look out for and the things to check to ensure that the IR heating panel you’re considering purchasing is of good design, of sturdy construction, contains high quality, eco-friendly components and is, above all, safe to use.
There are certain certifications your Infrared Panel Heater simply must have and some that are desirable if you’re to trust it to perform correctly and safely, so here are some to insist on and some to look out for:
The first of these, and one you’ll have already encountered in many places, is the CE mark.
The letters "CE" are an abbreviation of the French phrase Conformité Européene, and you can rest assured that products bearing the CE mark have been thoroughly tested. The mark itself represents the manufacturer's declaration that the product meets the requirements of the applicable EC directives.
It is a mandatory conformity marking for electrical products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA), and it has been recognised as such since 1985.
Therefore, if the packaging of your prospective IR heating panel does not display the CE mark, consider asking the vendor or the manufacturer whether it conforms to CE standards, or perhaps think about shopping elsewhere for one that definitely does.
Next on the list of certifications you should look out for, both on the Infrared heater’s packaging and on the unit itself, is the RoHS stamp.
RoHS or The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. It’s a ruling on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, and is required to be enforced and became a law in each member state in 2006.
It is part of a legislative initiative that aims to prevent hazardous substances from entering the production process, thereby keeping them out of the waste stream.
Manufacturers suspecting that a product for which they are responsible does not comply with the directive, must meet certain requirements which include:
As a consumer, if you suspect that an IR panel heater you’re thinking of buying doesn’t comply with the directive, it’s probably wise not to go through with the transaction.
The Lot 20 legislation was passed by the EU in April 2015, and came into effect from 1st January 2018. It was brought in to increase the efficiency of local space heaters in order to collectively bring down our carbon footprint. Despite the agreement being passed prior to the UK’s departure from the EU, it is to remain part of UK law even after Brexit.
Every local space heater manufactured after 1st January 2018 has to comply with this legislation by integrating some kind of automation, thereby reducing the amount of time it needs to be on. Whereas some retailers are opting to simply bundle a thermostat with each heater, we are choosing to integrate a thermostat into the panel itself, and provide a remote control in the box. This is something to bear in mind when purchasing an infrared panel, as an integrated solution means less wiring and a lower chance of failure.
It’s important to remember that the Lot 20 legislation only applies to indoor space heaters – Lot 20 does not apply to any heaters that you may use to heat your outdoor areas.
The GS or Geprüfte Sicherheit (“Tested Safety”) mark is a voluntary certification that’s especially used for technical equipment. It indicates that the equipment meets German and, if applicable, European safety requirements for such devices.
The main difference between the GS and the aforementioned CE mark is that the compliance with the European safety requirements has been tested and certified by a state-approved independent body, whereas the CE mark is issued for the signing of a legally-binding and mandatory declaration that the product is in compliance with European legislation.
Although the GS mark was designed with the German market in mind, it appears on a large proportion of electronic products and machinery sold here in the UK as well as elsewhere in the world.
As a potential purchaser of a product that comes under the auspices of the GS certification, it’s good to know of its existence. As stated, it’s a purely voluntary scheme, so it in no way replaces or supersedes either the CE or RoHS marks. However, its inclusion on your IR panel’s packaging does paint the product’s manufacturer in a good light and should be seen as a positive addition.
SAA Approvals, also known as Standards Australia International Limited is Australia's only accreditation body standards. The agency was established in 1922, when it was known as the Engineering Standards Association of Australia, and in 1929 changed its name to the Australian Standards Association.
The main focus of this certification is on the safety of electrical equipment, accessories and appliances which may be intended for sale in Australia and New Zealand.
As with the GS Certification, this is not by any means an absolute requirement for your prospective Infrared panel heater’s safety in the UK, however it can also be seen as a very positive indication of a quality product, as Australian import laws are especially stringent.
When you’re considering buying an Infrared Panel Heater, it’s always a good idea to find out from the manufacturer or the retailer how long they expect it will last. A good retailer that’s confident in their product will display the panel’s life-expectancy on their website, so you won’t even have to ask!
IR heating technology is at the cutting edge, with the average expected lifespan of a heating panel being around 100,000 hours or 30 years’ duration.
This gives IR heating a distinct advantage over other forms of heating such as gas, as a gas boiler will need to be replaced once every 10 or so years and is very expensive both to buy and to maintain.
Given the incredible simplicity of Infrared heating panels and the fact that they’ll require no maintenance during their lifetime, you should expect the retailer to provide their customers with a fairly long warranty period.
If it isn’t specified on the company’s website, you’ll be well within your rights to ask its duration. However, if this is the case you’d be justified in asking yourself why not.
Generally speaking, the warranty period on this type of product should be around 5 years. If it’s any less, it could be a sign that the company isn’t confident in the product’s quality, so it’s probably best to continue shopping around for an IR panel heater with a longer warranty period.
Also, a reputable retailer will offer you a reasonable period during which you’ll have the opportunity to return your Infrared panel heater if there’s something wrong with it when it arrives, or if you just plain change your mind and don’t want to keep it. A 14-day return period is usual and accepted on products such as this.
At Surya IR Heating Systems, we have a team of highly-trained customer service advisors who are ready to take your calls regarding anything to do with Infrared Heating. They’ll also be very happy to process your order, so why not give us a call today on 0116 321 4124?
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