Infrared heat vs convection heat – what’s the difference?

Infrared heat vs convection heat – what’s the difference?

If you’re in the market for a new heating system you’ve probably been introduced to electric heating in one form or another. Environmentally friendly, reliable and little to no maintenance involved, electric heating is becoming more and more popular as technology makes it more and more energy efficient. One of the newest technologies on the domestic market (in the UK at least) is that of infrared heating panels. But if you’re looking at other electric radiators, or even traditional gas powered water radiators, how does infrared stack up? Why’s it become so popular?

First it might be sensible to have a brief overview of various kinds of heating, and where they stand in respect of one another. 

Convection heat is the kind of heat that most of us are used to. If you’ve got standard gas powered water radiators in your house, operating on a central system, they’ll be distributing heat into the house via convection currents. Many traditional electric radiators, storage heaters and space heaters also utilise this method of distribution, but most have moved on new methods (which we’ll broach in a moment). Convection heat exits from the unit and immediately rises up toward your ceiling, were it will then move along the room and back down the other side before coming full circle. You’ll often find with convected heat that there are a few cold spots in the room and your feet are often the last thing to warm up – it’s not very consistent and not very even. 

Next generation heating was coined by the folks at Haverland, who are pioneers in the electric heating industry. Their current flagship product, the RC Wave Designer electric radiator, utilises next generation heating. This means that the heat leaves the unit from the front as well as the top, and is pushed forcefully into the centre of the room, before then eminating outward and warming everything else. What this means is that you experience the warmth of the radiator almost immediately before it goes on to fill the rest of the room. Because of its advanced thermostat and detailed programming options, the RC Wave doesn’t leave any cold spots in the room and is able to maintain a steady and even temperature throughout. 

Infrared heating isn’t new by any means. The heat we get from the sun is delivered in the form of infrared rays, and that’s precisely how the technology works too. Old infrared heating products were typically used in outside areas (think of outdoor restaurants or barbecues) but were often clunky, ugly and innefficient. Now the technology has been refined enormously and the products are stylish, modern and super efficient. More on that in a second… how does infrared actually work though? Infrared heating doesn’t work like a conventional heating method does at all. Heat isn’t pushed out from the unit, and the unit itself doesn’t really get as hot as you’d expect it too. Infrared rays target the objects in your room; the walls, the furniture, the floors, and even the people, and then the hard work is done. Once those objects are suitably warmed, they eminate heat into the rest of the room creating a nice, stable temperature. The important thing to note about infrared heating is that it’ll target you and warm you up first so you really feel the benefit. Once the objects in the room are heated, the heater can then rest while the objects retaining the heat do the rest of the work and warm the air up in and around the room.


Is there a difference in cost? Will it save me money?

There’s a lot of evidence to show that infrared heating, when used sensibly can help you to dramatically lower your energy usage. If you have the right sized heater in the right sized room, it won’t have to work very hard at all when it’s turned on, and you’ll be able to feel its rays instantly without waiting for the room to gradually heat up. Because the heater isn’t working very hard, and you’re able to control it accurately, there’s less chance that energy will be wasted and you could end up saving some money on your energy bills. 

Where do you put infrared heaters?

Infrared heaters come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, that’s probably an understatement. Your infrared heaters can masquerade as mirrors, paintings and murals – you can even hide them on the ceiling so people can’t even see them. In terms of interior design and getting an electric heating product that’s bound to get people talking, you can’t really do much better than and infrared heating panel system. 

Eco Stores Direct are here to bring you the very latest in energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer’s homes. Eco Stores Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. For more information on their range of energy efficient electric radiators or  designer electric panel heaters, call one of their friendly team today on 0330 300 4444 for a free assessment.