Infrared heating FAQs

August 8, 2017 by Ellen Evans

Infrared heating FAQs

How do infrared heating panels work?

Infrared heating panels provide powerful, but comfortable heat, whilst looking great and taking up minimal space. This has made them a very popular modern heating choice. They work through far infrared radiation, which means that they heat objects, rather than air – unlike traditional convection heaters. They are the perfect solution for those without gas central heating, and also as cheap supplementary heating for those who do.

What makes infrared heating efficient?

Infrared heating is 100% efficient – you get out what you put in. Heat travels directly from the panel to the solid objects in its path, warming surfaces, furniture and people. This cuts out the middle man, as it doesn’t heating the air. In contrast, convection (such as that from radiators) requires another transfer of energy during which heat is lost, meaning it is less efficient. Because infrared doesn’t heat air, the temperature is not affected by draughts in the room. You will require a lower wattage than equivalent convection heaters to reach the same temperatures. As heating is the main contributor to household bills, the low running costs of infrared heating could save you a lot of money.

Is infrared heating safe?

Yes! It is the same heat you get from the sun – and that your own body gives off! It’s even used to heat babies’ incubators.

Do far infrared panels glow?

No. Near infrared heaters (i.e. patio heaters outside bars) glow orange. This kind of radiation is at the other end of the infrared spectrum, and is not absorbed that well by the human body. Far infrared, as well as giving off no light, is far more efficient.

Isn’t infrared heating expensive to run because it’s electric heating?

Other forms of electric heating, such as storage heaters, are inefficient because they have to be heated to a very high temperature in order to work well. Most also have to power fans to distribute heat around the room. Infrared panels have a thin, tightly-coiled heating element evenly distributed across the inside. They only need to heat themselves to the relatively low temperature of 90°C in order to work efficiently and there are no fans. The temperature output is the same as other electric heaters with a fraction of the energy input.

Are there maintenance and servicing costs with infrared heating panels?

No. Make sure they’re installed correctly by a competent electrician. After that, you’ll just need to keep them clean with a soft, dry cloth.

What size of infrared panels do I need?

If you’re installing infrared heaters, the required wattage won’t be as high as that of whatever heating system you have at the moment. Email or phone us with measurements and we can quickly tell you the wattage you need, and the correct heaters for achieving it in each room. We would always suggest slightly oversizing, to ensure comfort. All that will happen is that the panels will switch themselves off once they reach the temperature you have pre-programmed.

You can install infrared panels on either the walls or ceiling. In some room shapes/sizes, it might be better to install a couple of smaller panels that add up to the total required wattage, rather than one large one – to ensure full coverage of the whole room. This is why it’s always worth checking with an expert before buying what you think you’ll need!

Can pets and children burn themselves on infrared panels?

Infrared panels are hot to the touch just like any other heater, so you shouldn’t rest your hand on them – but they won’t burn you if you just brush past! Good quality panels normally run at 90°C, and should never go beyond 100°C.

Mounting panels halfway up the wall, or on the ceiling (as we recommend for maximum efficiency) will get rid of this risk altogether!

Can I have an infrared panel in my bathroom?

Yes, Herschel’s infrared panels are CE-marked and completely safe for use in bathrooms. They have the added benefit of helping to reduce damp and condensation, as well as keeping the room toasty. A heated towel rail is a great addition, as is a mirror panel, as it won’t steam up like normal panels would!

How do I control infrared heaters?

You have two options:

  • Plug them into the mains (standard square-pin 13 amp domestic socket, like other UK appliances).
  • Wire them in. This is what we’d always suggest. Then you can control them properly with a hardwired digital thermostat and smart heating system for optimal efficiency.

Let us know if there’s anything we’ve missed and we’ll be happy to help! 

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