Infrared Heating

Infrared is radiated heat: the feeling of warmth from the sun on your face; the heat from a coal fire, or a toaster.

How do infrared panels work? What makes them so efficient? Read on to find out everything you need to know about infrared heating technology – including which features to look out for when making your choice.

Radiated heat

Infrared heaters are slimline, stylish and easy to install. But what really sets them apart from other heaters is that they heat purely by radiation.

Radiated heat travels directly from the heat source to the solid objects in its path. Radiated heat does not waste energy heating the air – all the heat is absorbed directly by the surfaces, objects and people within range of the heater. A good example of radiated heat is our own sun. Radiated heat from the sun travels millions of miles across the vacuum of space to warm the planets in the solar system. Space stays cold, but the Earth gets warm enough to support human life.

Most heaters heat primarily through convection. This is the process of warming air which then circulates around the room and transfers its heat to the occupants. This is inherently less efficient than radiation because it requires an extra transfer of energy, during which heat is lost. Warming the air is particularly inefficient because heat is easily lost through draughts or opened doors. Radiation, sending all the panel’s heat directly to the recipient, effectively cuts out the middle man – cutting heat loss down to a minimum.

When we talk about infrared, we’re simply referring to radiated heat. Most heating systems – including electric and gas central heating radiators – give off some amount of infrared radiation when their surfaces get hot. Infrared panels, however, are unique in providing almost 100% of their heating through radiation.Infrared panels offer more choice in design and styling than any other heating system on the market. Ultra-slim, uniform and almost entirely featureless, infrared panels are effectively a blank canvas offering huge scope for customisation. It’s never been so easy to find stylish, unique designs that fit perfectly into the interior design scheme of your property. Here are your main choices:

White Panels

Basic infrared panels typically come with a plain white finish. Whilst white infrared panels are usually the cheapest range on offer, they remain a stylish choice that can be discreet or striking depending on your interior design. Many white infrared panels are suitable for painting; check before you buy, and make sure you use the recommended type of paint.

Glass Panels

Glass infrared panels make a sophisticated choice – smart, smooth and typically available in a wide range of colours. They usually use structured safety glass which is very durable and will not break easily. Most infrared towel rails use glass panels and make attractive bathroom accessories. Glass panels tend to be more expensive than aluminium panels.

Mirror Panels

A mirror infrared panel is the ultimate heater in disguise. Hung above your mantelpiece, mounted in your hallway or fitted over your bathroom sink, the panel will be indistinguishable from a normal mirror – yet it will provide you with energy efficient radiated heat. A great way to save space in rooms with limited wall space. Mirror infrared panels are particularly popular in bathrooms because the heated surface prevents condensation forming on the mirror surface – unlike ordinary bathroom mirrors, an infrared mirror panel will not “fog up”.

Picture Panels

Infrared picture panels give you the opportunity to make your heating truly unique. The panels can be printed with the image of your choice – be it a painting, a photograph or an abstract design – so you can literally turn your heaters into a work of art. Panels are typically available with a range of pre-printed designs, with the option to submit your own image for printing at no extra cost.