How do infrared panels work?
Infrared panels use ultra-thin solid-state elements distributed across large, flat panes of aluminium or glass to create the maximum possible surface area from which to radiate heat. As the panels get warm, heat radiates into the room and is absorbed directly by the people, objects and surfaces within their heating span. As the objects in the room warm up they begin to re-radiate the heat, effectively turning your room into a 360° radiator. This deep level of heating warms you much more effectively than a convection heater set to the same temperature, so you can turn your panel thermostat down several degrees and still feel warm.
Why is infrared so efficient?
Infrared heaters are slimline, stylish and easy to install. But what really sets them apart from other heaters is that they heat purely by radiation. Radiated heat travels directly from the heat source to the solid objects in its path. Radiated heat does not waste energy heating the air – all the heat is absorbed directly by the surfaces, objects and people within range of the heater. A good example of radiated heat is our own sun. Radiated heat from the sun travels millions of miles across the vacuum of space to warm the planets in the solar system. Space stays cold, but the Earth gets warm enough to support human life. Most heaters heat primarily through convection. This is the process of warming air which then circulates around the room and transfers its heat to the occupants. This is inherently less efficient than radiation because it requires an extra transfer of energy, during which heat is lost. Warming the air is particularly inefficient because heat is easily lost through draughts or opened doors. Radiation, sending all the heater’s warmth directly to the recipient, effectively cuts out the middleman – reducing heat loss down to a minimum.
Is infrared safe?
“Infrared radiation” sounds a little scary, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that some people worry that infrared heating might carry health risks. Don’t be put off by the technical jargon – infrared radiation is a natural form of heat which you experience on a daily basis, from the warmth of the sun to the heat given off by your own body. All radiated heat travels in infrared waves, so if you’re currently using radiators, you’ve already heated your home with infrared radiation to a degree. Far infrared radiation – the gentlest form of infrared in the spectrum – is so safe it is commonly used in incubators for babies. Infrared heaters offer a very safe and practical heating solution, with many benefits over more traditional forms of heating. They do not produce carbon monoxide, so they don’t need to be serviced; they heat purely by radiation, so they do not generate convection currents or agitate allergies; they operate entirely silently; they are all fitted with a thermal cut out to prevent overheating; and the radiated heat feels especially comfortable, like the heat from the sun.
What is far infrared heat?
Most infrared panels deliver radiated heat at the far end of the infrared spectrum. Commonly known as far infrared heat or longwave radiation, this is the form of infrared that we ourselves give off – it’s the rosy glow radiating from our cheeks; it’s the waves of heat pulsing from our bodies after a long run; it’s the warmth we share with our loved ones when we sit close together. It’s also the form of infrared that we absorb most easily, making far infrared the ideal choice for efficient comfort heating. Far infrared is a gentle, natural form of heat that is commonly used in incubators for babies. Some infrared heaters use shortwave radiation, also known as near infrared heat. These heaters produce a type of radiant heat that is less easily absorbed by our bodies and also give off a bright orange glow. They are commonly used outside pubs, bars and restaurants because their vigorous warmth easily offsets the sensation of the cold outside. Whilst the intensity of near infrared makes these heaters an effective choice for outdoor heating, they’re not designed for everyday home heating. Always look for heaters which use far infrared radiation when choosing infrared panels.
Do far infrared heating panels glow?
No. Only near infrared heaters produce light. All our panels use far infrared technology which does not emit light.
Where are your products manufactured?
Our far infrared heater panels are manufactured in China and Germany by world-leading heating component manufacturers.
Saving Money With Infrared
How am I going to make a saving by using infrared heating?
The required wattage for traditional convector heaters is calculated on the size or volume of any given room.
Infrared is only concerned with the surface area of the objects and walls inside. Because of this, you need around 30% less wattage than you would with a traditional convector heater such as a radiator or storage heater. This 30% reduction in the required wattage could save you big money, especially with increasing energy costs, particularly when you consider that heating is the number one contributor to high household bills. These low energy heaters are also exceptionally efficient because, unlike convection heaters, they warm objects directly and do not lose heat with the circulation of air. This means that your room will reach a higher ambient temperature with far infrared than it will with a convection heater of the same wattage – reducing your heating bills again.
Infrared is electric heating and must therefore be expensive to run?
Far infrared heaters have an extremely thinly stretched and tightly coiled element densely distributed through the panel surface. They only need to raise the panel surface to 90°C – a very low temperature for electric heating. As a consequence, the panel operates at the desired output temperature for a fraction of the electrical input required by earlier forms of electric heating.
Are there maintenance and servicing costs for infrared panel heaters?
No. All you need to do is keep them clean with a soft, dry cloth. Mount them as per manufacturer's instructions and these units will give you a lifetime of non-degrading service.
Choosing Your Infrared Panels
What size infrared panels do I need?
To choose your infrared panel sizes you will need to calculate the wattage required to heat your room. Wattage is a measurement of the maximum power output of your heaters. You can use our infrared calculator to work out the wattage required to heat your room. You may notice that the total recommended wattage is lower than the wattage required when using other heating solutions, such as radiators or storage heaters. This is testament to the superior energy efficiency of infrared panels. The first step to heating your room effectively is to choose a panel or combination of panels that adds up to your required wattage. If you find yourself with a choice between panels of a higher or lower wattage than your recommended total, always choose higher. Under-specifying your heating will force your panels to work harder to heat the space, decreasing their efficiency and shortening their life span. More powerful panels will heat the space easily and, if fitted with a thermostat, will simply switch off when the room reaches temperature – providing you with comfort heating at optimum efficiency. As well as choosing the right wattage, it’s also important to make sure your chosen infrared panels are positioned such that heat is delivered to every corner of the room. Because infrared panels heat directly, they will not heat areas of the room which fall outside their heating span. In many rooms, a combination of smaller heaters will provide a better distribution of heat than a single, larger panel.
Are infrared panels a safe choice for houses with young children?
Infrared panels operate most effectively at surface temperatures of around 90 ˚C. The panels will be hot to the touch but you will not burn from simply brushing against the surface. The panels should never reach temperatures of 100 ˚C or beyond. If you are concerned about the surface temperature of your panels – if, for example, the panels are to be installed in a child’s bedroom, or you have reduced mobility and are worried about falling against the panels – you can remove all risk of injury by mounting the panels on the ceiling.
Can I use infrared panels in rooms with high ceilings?
High-ceilinged rooms can be difficult and expensive to heat. Whether you’re heating a high-ceilinged Victorian terrace, a large community hall, a church, stairway or school gym, high-ceilinged spaces present a challenge to ordinary convection heaters because of the large volume of air held within their walls. Convection heaters heat by warming the air as it circulates around the room. Hot air rises, leaving the cooler air below. The room will only be warm throughout when all the air in the room has been heated. Naturally, this takes twice as long and requires twice as much power if your ceiling is twice as high – even though the area where you actually need heat may be the same size. Infrared panels can provide a solution to this problem. Because they only use radiated heat, you can use your panels to direct heat to where it’s needed. Rooms with high ceilings very rarely require heating all the way up to the rafters – so you can fit panels at ground level and keep everyone comfy for a fraction of the cost.
Can I use infrared panels in my bathroom?
Infrared panels can be useful in bathrooms because the radiated heat is absorbed directly by the walls, which can help to reduce damp. Mirror panels are the most popular choice for bathrooms because the heated elements prevent condensation forming on the surface – so, unlike ordinary mirrors, the panel will not “fog up”. Before purchasing a panel, you will need to ensure that it is suitable for installation in the bathroom zone you have chosen. Always check the IP rating of the product and the manufacturer's guidelines regarding bathroom suitability to ensure they will be compatible for their intended use.
Installation & Maintenance
Are infrared panels easy to install?
Yes. All our infrared panels can be installed by qualified electricians and most of them can be installed as a straightforward DIY task. Items suitable for DIY installation are simply mounted on the wall, plugged into the nearest socket and switched on. Fitting by a qualified electrician is necessary for bathroom installation, outdoor installation or installation with a hardwired thermostat. Installation is nevertheless a quick and straightforward job which requires none of the expensive and invasive plumbing work required when fitting central heating.
What electric supply does the heater plug into?
Our heater panels plug into a standard square-pin 13amp socket like any other UK household appliance.
Why do you supply thermostats separately?
We provide panels and thermostats separately where other manufacturers will sell infrared panels with built-in thermostats. Built-in thermostats tend to be cheap wholesale items which do not provide a wide range of programming options. Whilst easy to use and convenient, the lifespan of the thermostat will be considerably less than that of the panel. Buying a thermostat separately allows you to choose the thermostat that suits you without compromising the lifespan of your panel. This is particularly pertinent when buying infrared heating because you may want very different control systems depending on whether your heater is for indoor, outdoor, domestic or commercial fitting.