a Guide to: Infrared Heating Panels
Lets talk about the pros and cons of Low Cost Infrared Heating Panels
I’ve seen many websites and read many articles on this type of heating system and by the end I was still left scratching my head (and I work in the industry) so let’s keep things simple.
In this article I will explain, in hopefully the easiest way, to understand how Far Infrared heating panels work, the cost of infrared vs traditional or convection heating and most importantly the Pros and the Cons of changing to an Infrared heating system and yes, I know what you’re thinking, “You’re a home improvement company, why would you try put me off one of your products?” Well, the honest answer is after reading this article your next google search is likely to be “Infrared heating reviews” or “the negatives of infrared heating”, Because that’s what we do when we’re researching a product so I’d rather you save you time and hear it here first, then hopefully you can decide if its for you or if its not. Without spending hours further researching what’s watt? (A wee one for the electricians there).
What is FAR Infrared (FIR) heating?
If you, like me, grew up in a council house in the central belt of Scotland, your probably used to hearing your mother, auntie, grandmother etc. shouting the phrase “I’m not paying to heat the close!”
This is because traditional or convection heating as it called, HEATS THE AIR. So, as you can imagine, leave that door open for even a minute goodbye cosy living room and hello angry mother!
As we can probably all remember too from some long ago school science lesson, HOT AIR RISES which means traditional heaters will unevenly heat a room and a lot of heat is wasted, either lost through the roof of your home, an open or even unopened window and of course your teenage son leaving doors open because he doesn’t understand how expensive fuel bills are, (he does now, and he’s very sorry Jean), causing you to keep your traditional heaters on for longer or using them more frequently thus sending your heating bills literally through the roof (last one I promise).
Far Infrared Heating panels work completely differently, The Idea for Infrared Heating comes from the most natural form of heat, our SUN. but without the harmful Ultraviolet rays, in normal terms Infrared is the warm bit we get from the sun, Ultraviolet is the bit that gives you a tan (or sunburn if you’re blessed with the native “strawberry blonde” locks)
You will have experienced this already without evening knowing it! Picture this…
It’s the summer holidays you’re in your favourite hot holiday destination, You’ve been lying by the pool all day with sun beating down on you, you’ve been for a quick siesta and it’s now time to get ready to go for dinner. What do you wear? – The bare minimum possible because it’s still absolutely roasting even though the sun is long gone! This is Infrared rays from the sun heating up all the objects in its path all day long and this heat is absorbed by all objects & mass then continuously warms the surrounding area for hours after. This is called radiant heating.
So less heat loss, Not as affected by draughts, open doors that kind of thing. The warmth will be absorbed by the objects in the room and radiate that heat back into the room. This was recognised as an good way of heating many years ago but only recently technology has allowed it to become a cost-effective way of heating your home and is steadily becoming a popular low cost heating alternative. But just how much does it cost?
How much do Infrared Heating Panels Cost?
When talking about cost, I will break it down into two sections, Initial cost (the upfront cost of buying infrared panels) and secondly the running cost (the difference you’ll see on your electricity bill).
Initial cost and pricing
You’ll be pleased to know that the initial cost of FIR Panels is probably lower than you expect. For an average 3 Bedroom home with around 10 Heating panels supplied and fitted, as an example depending on size of room and level of insulation.
Prices will range between £3000 to £6500 for a good quality system so less if not roughly the same as the cost of a new boiler and brand-new electric or gas central heating system (bearing in mind that gas boilers are being phased out) we’ll compare the running cost against a standard electric heating system.
Running Costs of Infrared Heating Panels
This is where FIR Panels make the largest difference and probably your most important question, “How much will it save on my heating bills?” Due to the difference in how much energy is used to heat these panels compared to traditional radiators the saving can be massive But, be wary of any company offering exact figures because there are a few factors to consider.
So the most honest answer I can give is, It Depends and is different for each person and there’s a few reasons why.
- Poor Insulation
- Large quantity of glass, French doors etc
- Room Size
- Overall usage
- Current central heating system
However don’t let that put you off massive savings of up to 60% can still be achieved versus traditional convention heating which is a huge difference monthly or annually for most families and for most of us money we would much rather have for other expenses, the cost of living isn’t cheap just now and when it comes to energy prices we’re all feeling the heat, (couldn’t resist) but on a serious note a pound saved, as we all know, is a pound earned!
Pros and Cons of Low Cost Infrared Heating Panels
Lets first deal with any potential negatives;
- The best one I’ve heard is “Infrared rays are harmful” This completely untrue a quick google search will verify this, as we discussed at the beginning Ultraviolet rays are the ones you need to be careful of.
- Cables, Yes as this is an electric powered system and will require cables ran to supply them however its much less hassle then traditional pipes for hot water systems.
- Placement, Due to the fact the Infrared heaters warm only what’s in their path, they need to be placed well to get the best results however for us this is all part of our installation process so you only need to worry if your doing it yourself.
- Style, The panels predominately come in a sleek gloss white or black panel which might not be to everyone’s taste, but if saving money is more important to you then I wouldn’t worry.
Benefits of FAR Infrared Heating Panels.
- Save money, cost efficient low energy panels start off at 250 Watts.
- Less Heat loss, Not affected by draughts as it doesn’t heat the air.
- Friendlier to the climate, By using less energy and making your home more efficient you are doing your bit to help the climate crisis.
- Free Electricity, If combined with an electricity generating Solar Panel system you can effectively heat your home for even less if not free.
- Health Benefits, Natural heat has numerous health benefits. Such as increased blood flow, Healthier skin and the reduction of breathing problems, normal convection heating will cause hot air to circulate around the room carrying dust, pollen and bacteria worsening breathing conditions as well as irritating hay fever.
Our verdict on Pros and Cons of Infrared Heating Panels
For us at the Lifetime Improvement Group we are always looking to find the best possible solutions when it comes to improving peoples homes and everyday lives so to us the positive aspects of this technology far outweigh the negative and as we move more towards a more sustainable and cleaner energy culture, this can only be a step in the right direction and as well as being more energy efficient the financial benefits are well worth investigating.
Thank you for reading.
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