If you’ve ever stood in front of a bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night, felt the heat on your face and then put your hand in front of your face to shield yourself from the hot sensation, you’ve experienced infrared heat.
Likewise, if you’ve ever been outside on a sunny winter’s day and felt the heat of the sun only to suddenly feel cold as soon as you move into the shade, you’ve experienced infrared heat.
Finally, if you’ve ever watched a movie and seen a helicopter tracking someone using a colourful heat-seeking camera, you’ve seen that even humans emit infrared heat.
Infrared heats objects directly
Infrared heat is everywhere, even though we can’t see it as it falls just below the range of what the human eye can see on the electromagnetic spectrum.
The infrared waves come from the sun and heat anything they come into direct contact with. Hence the reason your hand gets hot instead of your face when you protect yourself in front of that bonfire.
The object that gets hit by the infrared waves absorbs the energy which causes that object’s molecules to vibrate, causing it to give off heat of it’s own.
Traditional convection heating
The most common way we currently heat our homes is via convection heat. A radiator heats a room by having hot water flow into it (or with electric heaters, the fluid inside is heated up).
The radiator then heats the air around it, causing the hot air to rise and sucking cold air into it’s place to also be heated up.
This process goes round and round until you switch the heating off and is known as convection heating.
The benefits of infrared heat emitters in the home
Now the power of infrared heating has been harnessed for use in homes via the use of infrared heaters.
As we previously discussed, infrared heat warms up objects directly, rather than just heating the air (like traditional convection radiators do) and this has a huge amount of benefits and advantages for the homeowner.
• Electric infrared heaters use considerably less energy (i.e. less money) to heat a room than convection heat emitters. This is because they heat objects like furniture or walls which have a thermal mass and retain their heat. Air has no thermal mass and needs to be constantly reheated in order to keep the room feeling warm.
• Electric infrared heating panels can be switched on and off individually, meaning they don’t have to be on in rooms that you are not using, saving yourself further on heating bills.
• It’s only takes an electric infrared heater 30 seconds to reach its optimal operating temperature. This is incredibly fast and means you start to feel warmth almost immediately, rather than the more lengthy ‘warming-up’ period you get with convection heat radiators.
• Electric infrared panels are very thin and don’t stick out from the wall very far. This makes them very versatile regarding where they can be installed. They can even be installed high up if you have limited wall space or have concerns about children or pets touching them.
• If your electric infrared heating panel is powered by solar panels, you will be heating your homes 100% emission free. Having a clean energy home is obviously great for reducing your carbon footprint and for the environment in general.
• There is minimal maintenance required after an infrared heating panel has been installed which means no worries about limescale or internal corrosion reducing the performance and efficiency of the heater.
As we’ve highlighted here, there are many benefits to considering having infrared heating panels in your home and we fully expect these to become increasingly popular as people seek a way to bring down their heating bills and reduce their impact on the environment.
View our range of infrared heating panels here >>
Article by Benjamin Clarke
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