Customer review of infrared home heating panels
“I bought the heaters in the UK (from MultiHeat) and decided they would work well in my house in France where I have oil fired central heating. The latter of course is very expensive to run so rather than have my central heating on during the day or when the house feels chilly I utilise my panels. In fact each is located in an area where we might sit or be during the day namely in front of the computer, the lounge or the kitchen. I have used one in the bedroom as can be seen. Each panel is actually hung on a secure picture hook and then a wire loop on the back of the heaters so they are easily taken down if required but they merge in quite well and I have not bothered to take them down whatever the season.
Typically in colder periods I will have the boiler come on for 30 minutes in the morning for hot water and a little central heating. Then after that I decide whether to have a panel on or not.
At home in the UK I have a further 4 panels – a mirror one in the bathroom – so lovely to have a shave in front of a warm clear mirror. Typically I use a timer on the bathroom panel where I have an auto turn off after 30 minutes so set it before making my morning cuppa leaving the bathroom very pleasant and ready for my shower. If the sun is out then I consider it all free as I have solar panel for electricity. I then have a small model on the wall behind me in the kitchen so on chill days I keep warm in front of the computer. I have a panel behind the sofa in the lounge and that is connected to a remote control and we use that throughout the year as and when we need it – sometimes in spring or autumn it’s actually cooler in the house than outside! I also have a small panel on little legs that I use in my ‘office’ and use as and when I need it.”
So, all in all I am most happy at the flexibility the panels give me to have heat or not without charging up the whole central heating system. I had been going to purchase a picture panel for the lounge (to replace the panel up and behind the sofa) but I admit however after first thinking a white panel will look odd in the lounge it does in fact merge into the room quite easily and we never even notice it. In terms of running costs then I all I can say is that I have never even noticed any increased cost – in fact my monthly DD in the UK went down this year! Of course there is a cost but certainly insignificant using the panels the way I have.
One of the main selling points of infrared heating is that it doesn’t heat the air directly, it heats objects up. With many traditional forms of heating it is all about convection of air. The air is warmed, the warm air rises, and as the cooler air drops it is heated and rises and so on, until the air around you is nice and warm and hence you are warm, however, this can use a lot of energy.
With infrared heating, the infrared is heating you up directly, transferring heat from the panel to you without the need for the air around you necessarily being warmed up. I often use the example of a cold day with the sun shining, we know it is cold outside but the sun is warming our backs when we are outside and we can feel that infrared warmth, but the air temperature isn’t warming up that much!
In an enclosed room, the infrared is heating not just you the person in the room, but it is heating the walls, the floor and the furniture, anything that it comes into contact with. Each of these items will in turn radiate heat so as the air passes it is also being warmed up. Not by the infrared directly, but indirectly.
The difference in temperature between floor and ceiling can be as little as 1 degree C giving you that all round feeling of warmth!
The ambient temperature in the room can be a few degrees lower than it would be traditionally because the infrared is continuing to warm you up plus warm objects around you makes you feel more comfortable.
So, does infrared heating heat up the air, of course it does, but not in the traditional convection heating way!
Infrared for healthy warmth in a fitness studio
Infrared is a very gentle and natural form of heating, just like sitting in the sunshine, infrared rays penetrate our skin creating a comfortable direct warming sensation, in a fitness studio this is far more pleasant than the stuffy and stale environment often encountered with hot air heating. Infrared warms the walls, floor and furnishings which in turn warms the air, when you are surrounded by warm objects you feel warm yourself, the air does not need to be as warm as one might expect because the very building feels warm.
Infrared wavelengths penetrate the skin causing molecules within the surface layers of the skin to vibrate, this invigorates cells creating heat and movement of blood around the body and overall improves metabolism. In the intense infrared heat of a hot yoga session the blood circulation increases with the heart rate, diverting warmth to the extremities in a bid to cool the body, and with no increase in blood pressure, this vasodilatation allows the body to flex and stretch deeper.
The stimulation of blood within all the smaller vessels also brings oxygen to help aide tissue repair, especially useful in sprains and for muscle pain relief, reducing the bodies’ recovery time from injury. In this way infrared warmth also relaxes muscles in preparation for massage where deeper work is needed.
The quicker metabolism also means the body will sweat, releasing toxins and waste materials from the skin. It also brings nutrients to the skin, giving that healthy glow after exercise!
One infrared heating panel in your home will not have all the health benefits described above, but it certainly will not do you any harm! Infrared is a very healthy and beneficial form of heating, much healthier than blowing hot air, dust and germs around your home!
The sun naturally gives off infrared energy, it is the warmth we feel on our bodies. Natural infrared from the sun penetrates into the upper layers of the skin, encouraging movement of blood and carrying warmth around the whole body.
The diagram shows the wavelengths of energy given off from the sun, including visible light and powerful UV rays, those which cause tanning and damage to the skin. The areas for each particular type of wavelength are very specific, for instance radiowaves is a very large area and accounts for many different frequencies. Modern infrared heaters fall into two very specific areas within the infrared range.
Near infrared is close to the red end of the spectrum, and is used for patio heaters which give off a strong amount of heat and a red glow.
Far infrared is close to the mid/far end of the spectrum and is more suited to domestic heating as it does not give off any light and provides a more gentle heat. A very specific wavelength produces the most comfortable and effective warmth with the minimum of electrical energy.
Natural infrared from the sun travels through the air and directly passes to objects causing molecules to vibrate and create heat, some objects are better than others for absorbing infrared energy, we can notice this ourselves, tarmac and stone walls heat up easily and radiate warmth, so towns feel hotter than the countryside.
In our homes the natural infrared passes through glass to warm objects within rooms, so once the walls and floor become warm they give off warmth to heat the air, creating an all round comfortable warmth. If we think of wintertime when the walls and floor are cold, the whole room feels cold even though the air temperature, heated by radiators, reaches 21 degrees the room still gives off a cold feeling, particularly in old uninsulated properties. In the summer the air temperature may be no more than 21 degrees but the whole room feels more comfortable because the objects are giving off warmth. Infrared heating panels use this principle to warm the whole room creating the all round comfortable warmth we love.
Infrared heating helps reduce damp and mould
Over the winter black mould can build on cold walls, caused by moisture in the air meeting cold exterior walls and creating condensation, this moisture sits on the cold wall and gradually builds into black mould patches. This is especially a problem in houses made from solid walls where the cold builds from the outside in winter and seeps through the solid stone or brick. Modern insulated building rarely get this problem, although it can of course happen in bathrooms when there is little air circulation to dry off the walls.
Infrared heating helps reduce damp and mould forming by warming the wall and therefore taking away the coldness where condensation will form. Infrared energy warms people and objects directly, that means walls too, this is very gentle warmth and warms objects only by a very small amount but sufficient to alter the perceived feeling of cold in an older property and help reduce the occurrence of wall condensation.
There are of course other matters to consider, infrared heating is not a total solution, building problems or leaks need to be eliminated first, then, good air circulation needs to be addressed to open up the problem area, simply opening the window for a while everyday and rearranging furniture away from the wall really does help, or the DIY job of adding insulated plasterboard makes the walls instantly feel warm to the touch.
Infrared heating will benefit any room prone to condensation because it does not add moisture to the air unlike some forms of heating and helps keep objects warm which then radiates warmth back into the room and helps dry away any moisture. Infrared heaters need a little trial and error to work out what timing and temperature settings work best for your situation, often in a very cold and old building it is better to keep the heating on at a low temperature day and night to maintain warmth rather than let the walls become cold then blast the room with hot air which instantly causes the condensation problem!
We would recommend that you choose a heating panel of a higher wattage than our normal recommendations to heat an old or uninsulated property. Please give us a call or email over some details and we can help warm your home effectively to eliminate the mould problem.
Infrared heating has many advantages over traditional wet radiators…
- Infrared is cheap to run, saving you money on your fuel bills
- Its easy to retro install, saving time, money and disruption
- Panels can be fitted high on the wall or on the ceiling to free up floor space
- Panels look good and do not easily damage or mark as a radiator might
- Infrared is energy efficient to do your bit to save the planet
- Radiant warmth feels comfortable and gentle
- Panels do not create air currents, dust or harbour germs
- One panel can be run from a domestic solar PV system, giving you free heating to the room you use most
And the disadvantages….
- Infrared panels can not be fitted on high ceilings they must be hung lower on chains
- Infrared energy can only be felt up to 3 metres away so heaters need to be evenly distributed in larger areas
- Infrared energy can pass through glass so heaters should not face windows
- Heating panels are not suitable for very cold situations like outside seating areas
Have a happy Easter on us!
Get 20% off our 600 watt infrared heating panels.
The lovely sunshine is here for the Easter weekend but don’t be fooled into thinking summer is here just yet! There may
still be some chilly evenings to come.
Infrared heating panels provide a room by room heating solution to save energy and save money. Heating the whole room, objects and people and not just the air.
Infrared heating is energy efficient to help save money on your fuel costs.
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Our infrared heating panels do not have any controls installed because they are fitted into so many different situations that require different amounts of programming. Between our guidance and your electricians we can come up with the best solution for you, whether you need one programmer per heater or an office of 50 heaters with one central programmer, you need to work out the times and temperatures that suit your needs efficiently.
At this time of year, my infrared heating panel in the lounge gets programmed slightly differently to the rest of the house, this room is always cold as the sunlight doesn’t shine in like other rooms so it doesn’t naturally warm up. I have changed the settings from their winter times to spring, in the early morning the thermostat is only set to 18 degrees, just to take the chill off if we have had a cold night and in the afternoon around three o’clock the heating again comes on at 18 degrees, some days it is already naturally warm in the room but the weather can be so changeable at this time of year you never know! A starting point of 18 degrees means the room will not take long to come up to 19.5 degrees later in the evening when we are using the room. Sitting under an infrared heater means you feel that infrared energy on your skin and 19.5 degrees is plenty warm enough! The heating turns off around 9.30 as the whole room is now generating warmth with lovely all round comfort there is no need to use energy.
Use a little trial and error and see how quickly your room warms up at different times of the year and how it retains warmth at the end of the day, that will help you programme the infrared heating panel most effectively for your comfort and efficiently for your pocket!
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We can see from this image how a thermal camera can visualise infrared heat within the body, the red areas are warmest – core body warmth, and blue is coldest – hands and feet, but if we look closer the elbow on the right hand side of the image is also red, a trained thermographers eye will determine if this heat is caused by inflammation, or if in fact the person has simply been sat close to a window with their arm in the sun.
Infrared warmth from the sun or a heating panel travels deep into the body warming tissues, causing the red areas in the thermal image, it is a natural process our bodies deal with on a daily basis. Our bodies are designed to receive and emit infrared warmth which is why we find sitting in the sun or under an infrared heater very comfortable.