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Far infrared or near infrared. What’s the difference?

Infrared heating is often recommended for use in therapy and treatment rooms as it provides direct warmth to the skin, so the air may be warmed by traditional central heating or by infrared heating but in some situations the client might need some extra directed warmth on them as often they are lying down semi naked for some time.

So, what is the difference between near infrared and far infrared?

Near infrared heaters are the type which glow orange, those designed for outdoor use are often rated at 2000 watts, they provide a great deal of heat and can sometimes be overwhelmingly intense and should only be used in very cold environments.

Infrared heaters specifically designed for treatment use are between 100 and 650 watts for a part body lamp but often combine near infrared with a halogen lamp, the heat is targeted to one small area, torso, legs or shoulders to aide muscle warmth and relaxation. The lamp can be positioned just above the body and generates quite intense warmth to that one area only, which must be timed for specific treatments.

Far infrared heaters do not give off any light and the heat generated is far more gentle, it is designed to comfortably warm people and the air in the room. By positioning the heater high on the ceiling it provides an all round warmth and should be able to reach across a large area of the room. One heating panel positioned above a treatment couch will give a pleasant feeling of warmth but should be used in conjunction with another heating source, other heating panels or warm air heating. Far infrared heaters for this type of use are between 600 and 850 watts, the warmth is gentle and all round, it will still penetrate deep into the skin to promote good blood circulation but not at the intensity of a treatment lamp. Far infrared feels pleasant to sit under all day long.

Our bodies are designed to accept and utilise the wavelengths of far infrared, we then emit far infrared wavelengths and warmth ourselves. The warmth from the sun or massaging hands is far infrared warmth.


Talk to us for experienced advice.

Multiheat have been supplying infrared heaters for almost seven years, we are happy to discuss your project with you to make sure you get the best from your new heaters.

All buildings are different, the construction, the insulation, the outside weather, the use of the building, the expectations of the user, so all forms of heating will have differing requirements, programming times and consumption levels. Whilst we are an internet based company we give customers opportunity to give us a ring or email to discuss their needs to make sure they have a heating panel which will be able to heat their room effectively and in the timescale expected, this sometimes means positioning differently to how they first expected, altering the programmer or can mean having two smaller heaters to give extra power.

Imagine the heater as a light bulb, you want to shine the light down across the whole room. Infrared works by warming people, walls and furniture, the rays can be felt on the skin even through cooler air to give a comfortable feel of warmth, often the air temperature can be lower than normally expected but the perceived feeling of warmth is comfortable.  To achieve a more all-round warm air central  heating feel the heating panel needs time to warm the walls and furniture, these then give off warmth to also heat the air, the time involved can vary on the construction of the home and the chilling factor of cold exterior walls and windows.

Customer review of our mirror infrared heating panel

We have received a lovely customer review from The Salty Monk Hotel, near Sidmouth, over the new year break “We have now installed our 6th IR panel, this time as a bathroom mirror/ heater. Looks fab customers are in awe of their hot mirror! keeps the bathroom warm meant we could lose a heated towel radiator that cost a packet to run, the new towel shelf takes up less space is less obtrusive and consequently the bathroom looks bigger less cluttered and is warmer than before and costs less to run, all round winner..”

Ex-demo clearance sale of infrared heating panels

It’s time to clear out some of our second hand, ex-demo stock. Some of these panels have been sent out to customers who have decided that infrared heating is not for them. Some of them have been used by us to show to corporate customers. All are in perfect working order – they have been tested, a UK plug fixed, and apart from the occasional scuff mark, most look like new.

Please pop over there and have a look.


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.”:

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.