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I have had some lovely conversations this week with David who has been trialling one of our infrared heating panels with his solar PV electricity, this is his review – using infrared heating with solar pv panels .

“Earlier this year we purchased a 600 W infrared panel which we have tried in the sitting room. We have been pleased with the performance and,  based on this experience,  are now planning to heat most of our rooms with similar panels, ceiling-mounted.

Our present array of 9 pv Solar Panels provides us with hot water (to 70 degrees on a sunny day, lukewarm on cloudy days) and do the bulk of our cooking using energy from the Sun.

The new battery storage pv system we are planning will run one 600 W panel for around 10 hours a day, or the equivalent. It will need around 7 hours of Sunlight to fully re-charge and my records from last year show that during last winter most weeks had at least 2 days of good sunshine. If we double the number of batteries we can run two heaters, and so on. Again, cost will be offset by FIT payments over 20 years. Because the FIT rate has been lowered, this will only give an annual return of around 5.5% but it is still a better rate than any investment scheme available at the moment.”

We look forward to an update next year when the extra solar panels are fitted along with battery storage and electric infrared heating panels.

Read the article about champagne and pancakes in The Telegraph this week and see if you can spot our infrared heating panels!

Mirror infrared heater“The Krug Kreperie pop-up has opened in London, bringing a dose of chalet chic to the East Piazza of Covent Garden from December 2 until December 8. A collaboration between the Krug champagne house and French chef Pierre Koffmann, the pop-up consists of three over-sized champagne crates, one housing the kitchen and bar and two operating as dining pods.”: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/restaurants-and-bars/17445/the-krug-kreperie-pop-up.html

Mirror infrared heating panels set into ornate wooden frames to match the Alpine inspired theme! Supplied by our reseller The Green Age in London.

Can I run infrared heating alongside my central heating?

Yes, infrared heating panels can heat a room on their own or work in conjunction with central heating when the weather is very cold.

Today I have quoted for a bungalow where the occupants are at home much of the time. The current central heating is costly to run and only has one control, all on or all off. The owner would like to be able to have heating on in only the rooms he is using during the day, thus avoiding wasting energy on heating rooms that are not in use. There are also times in the year when a little warmth is needed in the evening but it isn’t really cold enough to put the central heating on.

Infrared heating panels can be controlled individually with a room thermostat/programmer to achieve a comfortable temperature with a minimum of energy.

However, this customers room sizes require slightly higher than our usual 50 watts per square metre because it is generally a cold building, and just one panel per room would be slightly undersized and would struggle to really heat the room in cold weather although for most of the year it would probably be fine. So here I have suggested the client uses his central heating as back up because in very cold weather he would need that extra boost of warmth, plus the central heating can be programmed for fewer hours but sufficient to assist the panels in reaching a comfortable warmth. If both the central heating and the individual heating panels have room thermostats there is no chance of wasting energy or over heating the room.

For most of the year this customer will be only heating the rooms he is using with a far more energy efficient heating system and for just a few weeks of the year will return to his old central heating system. He will save on energy used and therefore the cost of heating his home will be greatly reduced.

So, yes you can run infrared heating alongside previously installed central heating.

 

Are infrared heaters expensive to run? Infrared heaters are very cheap to run, costing just a few pence per hour. Plus, by only heating the room you are using during the day you will save on fuel costs even further!

If you are at home all day there is often no need to heat the whole house when you spend most of your time in one room. Most central heating controllers heat the whole house which can be wasteful. Electric infrared heating panels can be fitted to one room, the room you sit in most, and be controlled from a programmer just like central heating but only in the one room.

Infrared heating panels are much cheaper to run than electric fires, fan heaters or oil filled radiators which may be using 2000 watts per hour, panels only use up to a maximum of 850 watts – depending on the model you choose – and will often be using far less than this. So, already we can see it will be cheaper to run. If we assume a price of 15 pence per kilowatt hour, tariffs vary, then 2000 watts will cost 30 pence per hour to heat the room, if we look at our largest  infrared heating panel at 850 watts it will cost 12 pence per hour to heat the room and will then use less energy to maintain warmth perhaps down to 6 pence per hour.

Infrared heating heats the room itself rather than heating the air, warm air can often escape through draughty windows and open doors, but infrared energy, just like the suns energy, warms walls, furniture and people which then give off warmth to heat the air, creating an all round feeling of comfortable warmth. Once the room itself is generating warmth the heater does not have to work so hard, and will turn on and off just to maintain temperature, again making it cheaper to run. We do recommend you fit a room thermostatic programmer.

Turn  the thermostat down! We all know that by turning the thermostat down by just one degree can make a huge difference to our heating bills, and with infrared heating this really is possible without noticing the difference, because infrared warmth can be felt directly on the skin, it promotes good blood circulation thus taking the warmth around the body to give a deep down comfortable warmth.

So to make the best savings on our heating bills:

Only heat the rooms you are using.

Fit energy efficient infrared heating panels to those rooms you want to control independently from the main central heating.

Use modern thermostatic programmers to achieve a comfortable temperature room by room.

Programmers have a number set points, choose a short warm up period, a suitable daytime temperature and boost it up in the evening. You can even set programmers with a frost protection temperature to prevent unused rooms becoming too cold and just enough warmth to keep them aired.

Infrared heating panels are not expensive run, very cheap in fact, plus there is no maintenance or servicing required and they are designed for a long life expectancy with a five year guarantee.

Infrared heating panels – what are they?

You know when you sit in the sun on a cold autumn or spring day and you can feel the warmth of the sun but you know that around you it is still cold, well infrared heating panels do the same but are for use indoors.

Eventually though, the infrared heating panels will warm the structure of the room up (the floor, the walls, the furniture) which in turn will radiate that warmth into the room giving you that nice all round feeling of warmth.

It is important though to size your infrared heating panel correctly if you are expecting the panel to warm up the room as above, other wise it will be like sitting outside, you’ll feel the warmth of the panel on you but it won’t heat the room up! This is great for areas like warehouses or workshop reception areas where you only want the staff to be warm, but in your home or office you will want the whole room to get itself up to temperature.

Ask us how much power, or how many panels you are likely to need to warm up your room!

It is that time of year when the temperatures start to fall! A bit later than normal in my opinion though.

Are you feeling the cold yet? Do you feel the need to turn the thermostat up? Are you concerned about energy costs?

Our infrared panel heaters are designed to use as little energy as possible to help keep your energy costs down but to keep you warm at the same time. A 600 watt panel will use just over a half a unit of electricity per hour – a unit of electricity can cost around 14 pence so it will cost just 8 pence an hour to run. That assumes that the panel is used in a very cold room and will be on all of the time – it won’t though and it is likely to cost you a lot less as the panel can be turned on and off by a room thermostat to use even less electricity.

Our infrared heating panels do not need to be used to heat up your entire house, just the room your are sitting in. With a pair of feet, when you move rooms, take the panel with you to the next room.

Infrared panel feet

Aluminium feet to make the infrared panel portable.

Do I need a programmable thermostat?

Our infrared heating panels are designed to be hard wired into your electrical system and can be just turned on or off as heating is required. However, a programmable thermostat like this AUBE TH232 will make the use of your panel even more efficient.

7-day programmable thermostat

Electronic Programmable Thermostat

By having the panel come on a particular time of day and to be turned on or off depending on the set room temperature is the most efficient way to control the use of your infrared heating panel. If the room temperature is already at your set temperature the panel will remain off and will only come on when the temperature drops below your set temperature.

The AUBE TH232 thermostat has been programmed with the following schedule:-

It comes on at 6am with a temperature set at 21 degrees centigrade and at 8:30am the set temperature is reduced to 16.5 degrees centigrade. At 4pm the temperature is increased to 21 degrees again and at 11pm the temperature is reduced again to 16.5 degrees. This is the standard setting for Monday to Friday, and on weekends it is set to come on at 6am and stay at 21 degrees until 11pm.

These times and temperatures can be adjusted to your own requirements.

It is easy to see that by using this sort of control your panel will only come on when it is needed to increase the room temperature and not to be on all the time!

 

Will infrared heating melt my chocolate?

We get asked many questions like this. Because infrared heating heats objects directly without heating the air first there is a misconception that infrared heating will warm up the wrong objects, like chocolate, cold drinks, salad, etc… but actually so do all forms of heating and infrared is no different, it just does it in a slightly different way.

Take the bar of chocolate – if you leave it in a room where the thermostat is set at 25 degrees centigrade the chocolate will be a lot more gooey than it would be in a room that is only 21 degrees centigrade. If you have a log burner or electric heater and you leave your bar of chocolate close to the fire it may well melt!

Infrared heating will do the same, if you set the room thermostat at 25 degrees centigrade then infrared heat will warm the room up to 25 degrees centigrade, so your chocolate will rise to be the same temperature. The infrared heat given off by our panels is not as fierce as that of outside infrared patio heaters, nor as fierce as the sun itself, they give off a nice gentle that will give you that gentle feeling of warmth, and it will do so for your chocolate as well.

So, no, an Infrapower Infrared Panel Heater will not melt your chocolate!

Will infrared heating heat just me?

This is the sort of question we get asked when someone has a very large room (or space in a warehouse for example) and they want to be warmed but do not necessarily want the whole room to be warmed.

This is just one excellent use of infrared heaters because they will do exactly that!

If you sit in a space with an infrared heater the warmth that comes from the heater can be felt whilst the rest of the room stays colder/cooler!

We have customers who use a 600w panel to keep them warm whilst watching TV without having to turn on the central heating or light a fire. We have customers who use the heater to keep them warm whilst they are working at home, again without the need to heat the whole house. We have customers who heat a space in a village hall when they have a meeting, it keeps them warm without having to heat the whole hall! We also have customers who have a receptionist in a large room and they have a small panel to just keep them warm instead of the whole room!

Another reason why infrared heaters can be efficient in these situations – fan heaters that warm the air up, just blow the warm air across you, but aren’t actually heating or warming you up!

Why not try an infrared heating panels to see if it will work for you – ask us about our 30 day money back guarantee!

Towel rail fitted to infrared heater

A white glass infrared heater with towel rail fitted

Our infrared panels are suitable for use in bathrooms being IP 44 rated!

These panels must be installed by a suitably qualified electrician to ensure that current regulations are applied.

Infrared heaters in bathrooms with towel rails add an extra dimension to putting heating into your bathroom!

Call us on 01237 451759 for more information!