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The ultimate guide to infrared heaters

Infrared heaters for a greener future

As the clamour for green heating options only enhances across the UK, and government incentivisation encourages a shift towards lowering emissions, there has never been a better time to invest in economically friendly heating solutions.

That said, infrared panel heaters must be considered a viable and desirable addition for anyone wanting to switch over to environmental heating systems, and assist the government goal of achieving a net-zero country by 2050.

In this article, we’ll discuss how infrared heaters work, the merits they provide, and showcase some of the most exciting and innovative infrared heating technologies BestHeating has to offer too…

What is an infrared heater?

Milano Far white frameless plug-in smart electric infrared panel heater

An infrared heater is essentially a very modern vice on the domestic heating landscape, and one which operates in a vastly different manner to traditional heating styles that make use of the convection process to warm up.

Infrared radiators will heat an object via a direct heat transfer, instead of wasting energy by heating the surrounding air.

Given they are able to work with a much higher level of efficiency than components that rely on conventional electric or gas boilers, infrared heaters enable users to reduce their overall energy usage levels, and potentially trim heating bills in the process.

At the very advent of their rise into prominent consideration as an economically friendly heating option, infrared heaters are sure to only increase in popularity in the coming years, particularly so as the UK gas boiler ban comes into effect.

What is infrared heating?

To properly understand the process of how infrared panel heaters or radiators work, it is useful to gain an idea of the different kinds of heat transfer – radiant heating, convection and conduction.

Infrared heaters utilise radiant heating to directly deliver heat to objects and people, as opposed to heating up the air in between.

There’s two types of infrared heating that can be categorised as ‘near’ and ‘far’. Near infrared heat is up close and intense, and has the potential to be hazardous. With far infrared heat, the warmth needs to be transported to reach a particular space at a much lower intensity to provide a safe heating means. This is the sort of infrared heating technology used in the design of the modern infrared radiators and panels that are propelling in popularity.

How do infrared heaters work?

Infrared heaters will essentially release infrared energy that is transmitted through the air before reaching an object or a person. The person or object then soaks up the radiation, leading to molecular vibrations for the creation of heat. In addition to the direct heating of the object, these vibrations also re-emits the warmth back into the space to recycle the heat.

In terms of how infrared heaters heat people up, humans absorb infrared waves about an inch into our body for a safe, warming sensation.

Whilst it is possible for infrared radiators to work from an oil or gas supply, that would largely defeat their purpose as an economical heating solution. Plus, it makes life much easier to be powered via electricity, then invasive plumbing work isn’t required, nor pipe network alterations.

Furthermore, infrared heaters will take somewhere between three and five minutes to fully heat up once plugged in, so it doesn’t take long to adequately warm the specific person or object within a room.

Why choose infrared radiators over hot water radiators?

Milano Far white framed plug-in smart electric infrared panel heater

Energy efficiency is put forward as the primary reason that infrared radiators would take preference over hot water radiators. Some infrared models will actually feature an efficiency rating of anything up to 115%, in contrast to the 100% provision of a standard component.

The majority of radiators or alternate heating devices such as heated towel rails provide heat through the process of convection, which works effectively but can also expend unnecessary energy. Working through the transmission of radiation, infrared heating systems don’t heat up the air in between, instead transferring warmth directly to people or objects for a far more efficient performance.

Further to this, infrared heaters are likely to help you retain heat for longer periods; convector heating options can easily lose warmth via open windows and doors in the form of draughts. Those that rely on radiation instead heat objects or people in direct fashion, so can’t be susceptible to heat escaping via a draught.

That infrared radiators recycle heat, in effect, by this better retention, is another plus point that allows them to successfully operate at a lower wattage than alternatively powered counterparts.

Each of the aforementioned factors, practically all of which are linked to their proficiency to provide a more economical heating vice that could lead to lower running costs in turn, are catalysts for the ever enhancing reputation of infrared heaters.

Are infrared heaters safe?

The simple term ‘infrared’ can instill fear in potential heating system investors, especially considering the nature of the technology, and how it manifests directly within objects or people especially.

But that said, the worries are unfounded, with the infrared radiation type utilised by infrared heaters, and other similar devices like infrared panels, certified completely free from risk and safe. In actual fact, the far infrared radiation emitted by infrared heating devices is the same sort that our bodies themselves output; this is the reason we can take in the radiation so readily. As an indication of just how safe this kind of infrared radiation technology is, it prominently features in incubators for babies.

What’s more, infrared heaters can even be considered a safer and healthier option than alternative gas heating systems for anybody that suffers from breathing difficulties, has conditions like asthma or are troubled by the likes of dust allergies. This is due to the fact that infrared radiators heat their objects directly without disturbing the air in between – more traditional heating devices can set about the movement of dust and other particles that could irritate or pose problems to people with the aforementioned ailments.

How much do infrared heaters cost?

Milano Far white frameless plug-in smart electric infrared panel heater plug, thermostat, radiator close up

Several factors can determine the initial purchase price of infrared heaters and alternate infrared heating devices, including but not limited to the size of the appliance, it’s unique design features and power output in terms of wattage.

With the BestHeating range of infrared heaters, the rarity is the level of aesthetic appeal afforded by the components. Infrared panels and other vices can sport a very generic look in a lot of instances, but the modern developments in infrared radiator technology means we are able to offer a stunning range of designer infrared heater options.

Again, many influences will determine the price point, but infrared heaters from BestHeating are available for between £149 and £410, and you should also factor in the installation cost that a heating engineer would charge on top of this outlay.

For context, infrared heating panels will tend to cost in the region of £500 apiece, so that total can add up as well if you are aiming to fully revamp your home heating system and place multiple infrared solutions in various rooms.

Can you save money with infrared heaters?

It is true to suggest you can save money with infrared heaters, with the potential to trim heating bills by up to 50% in comparison with alternative, more traditional heating systems. That said, a multitude of factors will again influence exactly how much your energy costs are trimmed by, such as the room layout, insulation attributes, ceiling height, general size and the heat output of your chosen infrared heater of course.

There’s the possibility to connect infrared radiators or panels to your existing home electricity setup too, so they can be switched on or turned off to your heart’s content in individual rooms as and when needed. This ensures no unnecessary energy is expended, which will also contribute to keeping heating running costs as low as possible.

What are the pros and cons of infrared heaters?

There’s plenty of advantages to infrared heaters, not least the energy efficiency with which they operate and their ability to significantly reduce household emissions, both especially so in comparison with gas boiler alternatives.

Infrared heaters are also low maintenance and simple to keep working to their full potential, and they retain heat with less hassle than traditional boilers also, whilst providing nothing in the way of noise pollution either.

From a looks perspective, BestHeating’s infrared heater collection features some of the very most stylish modern components that our site has to offer overall – there’s space-saving designs in both vertical and horizontal orientations to suit practically any room. On the downside, there is the ideology that infrared radiators can’t properly and adequately replace the services a traditional boiler can provide.

Plus, the layout of the room has to be readily considered, as any obstructions between infrared heaters and the objects they are designed to heat could lead to an inadequate performance. Infrared heaters are also more expensive to purchase initially than a variety of other more traditional heating appliances.

Infrared heater advantages

  • Energy efficiencyInfrared heaters work with the utmost energy efficiency by heating up people or objects in a direct manner, instead of wasting energy by warming up the air in between. The infrared radiation transmits instantly too, so there’s no wait to get warm.
  • Reduce emissionsAs infrared radiators don’t utilise fossil fuels for energy, they can greatly decrease household emissions in no time. This type of radiator can also be used in line with renewable energy source solutions for an ultimate green heating option.
  • Impressive aestheticsThe infrared heaters from BestHeating boast beautiful ultra-modern aesthetics that will enhance the look of virtually any home interiors, no matter what room they are positioned in.
  • Space-saving designYou can identify stylish infrared heaters in space-saving horizontal and vertical designs, perfect to enhance the home heating within any room of the home, no matter how diminutive.
  • Hassle-free heat retentionGiven that they warm up solid objects or people, infrared heaters can retain heat quicker and easier than a traditional central heating system would, with these setups susceptible to heat escaping via draughts through open windows or doors especially.
  • Zero noise pollutionThere are no fans within infrared heaters, so they remain silent whilst creating and transporting heat.
  • Easy maintenanceInfrared heaters feature no moving parts, which massively reduces the chances of wear and tear occurring. As such, they can work fine with little maintenance, as there is no engine to pose a concern, a lack of air filters to require potential replacement, and no lubrication necessary either. Essentially, a bit of basic cleaning is all that will be needed every so often to keep your infrared radiators in peak condition.
  • Infrared radiator health benefitsConsidering that air isn’t circulated from infrared heaters in the way it is from more classic heating solutions, the results are advantageous for anyone that suffers with breathing difficulties or conditions like asthma. Past studies from infrared technology specialists have shown infrared radiators and other vices of the same type to reduce damp in properties to assist with breathing issues for inhabitants.

Infrared heater disadvantages

  • Unable to properly replace boilers – Infrared heaters heat their objects directly, and as such are unable to heat up water in contrast to gas boilers. As such, they can’t be seen to properly replace boilers in every integral sense. However, infrared water heating technology is evolving at a rapid rate, so keep checking on the BestHeating Advice Centre for news on the latest developments in this regard.
  • No obstructions allowed – For the best effects of infrared heaters to take effect, a lack of obstructions is necessary between the radiators themselves and the objects or people they are trying to heat. This can limit the layout options of a home and influence how you might go about organising the décor within your space.
  • Infrared radiator cost – It is true that infrared heaters have a higher cost to buy outright than many more traditional alternative devices that work alongside gas boilers, for example. That said, potential buyers should consider the savings they’ll make when infrared radiators are installed, given their lower running costs, and the potential to include them on an existing electrical network.

Are infrared heaters economically friendly?

Milano Far white framed plug-in smart electric infrared panel heater

As they work from an electricity supply, infrared heaters are much more economically friendly than heating appliances which rely on gas or oil boilers to power up. That said, it is unlikely they can be deemed to be an absolute green heating solution, considering the majority of countries still rely on fossil fuels to generate electricity.

However, if infrared heaters are installed in a property that utilises the likes of air source heat pumps, or solar panels for the generation of energy, then infrared rads can be considered to deliver totally clean heat.

Furthermore, infrared heaters have a particularly high efficiency rating, with some models exceeding 100%, so less energy is required for them to work to their full capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Infrared heating operates by directly transferring heat from the infrared device itself to the object, which is the person or people within a room and the actual room as well.

As such, infrared heating works without heating the air in between the object that needs it, to offer one of the very most energy efficient means to gather warmth.

For a deeper insight, explore our blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared heaters, and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

Infrared heating is extremely energy efficient, as it directly transfers heat from an infrared device to an object like the person within a room or the room itself, without heating up the air in between.

This is done from any infrared heating option such as infrared panel heaters or any alternative appliance, making infrared heating one of the most efficient means for warmth consumption on the market.

To find out more, visit our blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared heaters and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

Infrared radiators work by transferring heat directly to the object that requires it, whether that be the person or people in a room or the space itself.

Therefore, infrared panel heaters (to give them their proper name) operate without actually heating the air between them and the object that needs it for an efficient performance.

To discover more, explore our blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared heaters and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

An infrared radiator (or infrared panel heater) is a modern heating device that works in a completely different way to more traditional heating options that rely on the process of convection to heat up.

Essentially, an infrared radiator will heat a person or object directly, so no energy is wasted warming up the air in between. As such, infrared radiators can be considered an economically viable heating solution that helps to preserve energy.

For further information, explore our blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared radiators and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

Infrared radiators (or panel heaters) are modern heating appliances that operate in a different manner to more classic heating devices that use convection to warm up.

Infrared radiators will essentially heat up an object or person via direct heat transfer, so there is no wasting of energy heating up the air in between. Therefore, infrared radiators are recognised as a green heating design that work in an economically friendly way.

To find out more, browse our blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared radiators and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

Infrared radiators (or infrared panel heaters – to give them their proper name) retain heat especially well, and particularly so in comparison with heating devices that rely on the convection process to warm up.

Infrared rads use radiation to directly heat up people or objects, and don’t warm up the space in between; as such, they are not susceptible to losing warmth via draughts from open windows and doors, as is the case with more traditional heating models.

Essentially, infrared radiators recycle their heat by retaining it well, and can work at a lower power output than alternative devices for a more efficient and economical overall performance.

To find out more, browse our blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared radiators, and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

Infrared radiators are certifiably safe and would represent a risk-free addition to any home. The infrared radiation that emerges from infrared heating appliances is the same sort that is delivered by our bodies themselves, which is why we are able to intake the radiation so easily.

The fact that infrared radiation technology is prominently incorporated in the typical incubators designed for babies indicates just how safe it is.

Plus, infrared radiators can be noted as a safer and healthier choice than traditional gas powered heating appliances for anyone suffering from beathing issues, or conditions such as asthma or dust allergies. This is because they won’t heat up air unnecessarily to risk shifting dust and other particles that may cause irritation.

Explore our dedicated blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared radiators, and Embracing radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators, to learn more.

Infrared radiators and panel heaters are very energy efficient, as they warm up people or objects via a direct heat transfer, so don’t waste energy by heating up the space in between. The infrared radiation is transported rapidly as well, so there is no wait for the desired temperature to be reached.

For a more detailed insight, browse our dedicated blogs, The ultimate guide to infrared radiators, and Embrace radiant warmth: infrared heaters, panels and radiators in the UK.

What next for infrared heaters?

With a UK gas boiler ban relatively imminent, there’s no doubting that infrared heaters will go from strength to strength as it pertains to their popularity in UK homes as people look for inventive new means to heat their houses in an economically friendly way. As continued advancements are made in infrared technology, expect to see a new wave of stylish infrared radiator designs dominate the market.

BestHeating already offer a wide selection of ultra-modern infrared heater models fit to upgrade any home. If you would like to know more about our infrared heater selection, or require further help or advice surrounding infrared, or any other green home heating options, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team.

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