Infrared heating systems differ from more traditional forms of central heating in a number of ways. As a relatively new product to the domestic heating market, few people understand the potential benefits of choosing an Infrared panel heating system over gas or electric central heating.
Here we’ll briefly outline the key differences to help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right heating system for your home.
Infrared heaters operate on a completely different physical principal than typical domestic radiators and storage heaters. A radiator heats a room by means of convection; that is by heating the air around it. As this warm air rises, cooler air moves in to replace it and is in turn heated and begins to rise. This creates a circular air current in which air is heated, rises, cools, falls and repeats the cycle for as long as your heating remains on – this is known as a convection heating system.
Systems like these work, but have a number of drawbacks. For instance depending on the size of the space you intend to heat, it can take a really long time to get up to temperature - we’ve all sat shivering by the radiator on a cold winter morning, waiting for it to hurry up and get warm!
Instead of operating by convection, our infrared heaters operate by projecting infrared radiation – the same kind of energy emitted by the sun. Not to be confused with harmful forms of radiation, infrared radiation is completely safe and natural for humans and animals – you absorb it on a daily basis every time you go outside in the sun.
Just like the sun, infrared heating systems don’t waste their energy heating the air. Instead, waves of infrared radiation are absorbed by any solid objects they strike (such as walls and furniture) heating them at a molecular level.
Compared to traditional convection heating systems, this process is incredibly quick – if you stand in-front of an active infrared heating panel you’ll notice the warmth on your skin almost immediately and your room will begin to warm up in a just a matter of minutes – perfect for taking the chill off cold winter mornings.
If all radiation was bad, life on Earth simply couldn’t exist. The sun’s energy is released into space as pure radiation of several kinds. Some of it is released in the ‘visible spectrum’, the bandwidth our eyes are designed to detect - so light itself is in fact a form of radiation.
More of the sun’s energy is released in the infrared spectrum, which conveys it’s warmth to us across millions upon millions of miles of empty space. Some types of more energetic radiation, such as gamma radiation, are not so safe for humans to be around, but thankfully our planet’s atmosphere does a great job of only allowing through the Sun’s light and warmth.
Some ultraviolet radiation still makes it’s way down to the surface of the planet though, which is the reason we burn in the sun – thank goodness for sunscreen! Our infrared heaters generate only pure infrared radiation and nothing else, and are thus completely safe- even safer, in fact, than going out in the sun: no sunscreen required.
Not only do infrared heaters cost significantly less to run than using your gas or electric central heating, but unlike traditional central heating systems they require no expensive maintenance.
You won’t find yourself stranded without heat in the depths of winter, waiting for the boiler repair man to come and restore normality to your home.
Because infrared heaters convert almost 90% of their electricity directly into heat, they are highly cost efficient. Combined with a thermostat, which will keep your home a target temperature by turning on and off your heating system as required to maintain it, you could see your home heating costs fall dramatically.
Infrared heaters give off zero emissions of any kind which makes them the most environmentally friendly home heating solution available, meaning can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
They require far less electricity to power than storage heaters or electric radiators due to the more efficient, non-convection based way they generate warmth.
Installing an IR panel heating system can have lasting benefits for your home. Because of the unique way in which Infrared heating technology imparts heat, the walls of your home will become thoroughly dried, significantly reducing the growth or spread of mould in damp-prone rooms like bathrooms or kitchens.
Unlike regular convection heaters, infrared heating keeps the air in your home clean and comfortable and does not circulate airborne dust particles or pet hair.
Furthermore the medicinal properties of infrared radiation are well known, and devices created specifically for the purpose of conducting infrared heat to the body have long been used by professional physiotherapists, chiropractors and sports therapists.
Other conditions that have been proven to benefit from the application of infrared heat include musculoskeletal conditions, coronary artery disease, arteriosclerosis and hypertension.