The advantages and disadvantages of far infrared heating (IR-C)?
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Reproduce the sunlight…
The heating by infrared (short or far) is the subject of several expert articles on our website. For more information about this rising technology, please visit our page dedicated to the infrared radiation.
The principle of infrared heating can be summarised in few words: contactless heat transmission to the building structure, objects, humans.
Access the infrared heating space
Advantages of the heating by far infrared in the frame of residential heating
The benefits of the infrared heating in comparison to other modes/types of heating (including the advantages of electric heating):
- More economical (for the most performant) than most electric heaters with conventional technologies (convectors, inertia, accumulation, etc.).
- Comfortable feeling (for the most performant): soft and homogenous heat from floor to ceiling.
- The air is not stirred (for heaters with high radiation range) unlike conventional convectors. Consequently, dust and allergens are “spread” less in the room. An important point for persons with allergies. In addition, the air of the room can be renewed more often without loosing the benefit of the heat that had been accumulated in the structure and not only in the air.
- The ambient humidity is pushed out without drying the ambient air (due to the accumulation of the energy in the walls, floor, etc.).
- Silent (no residual noise related to water circulation for example).
- The lifetime and the guarantee are often more significant than for the conventional electric heaters.
- Open to Design: allows a form of “heater’s discretion” for the high-end models (customisable in terms of finish) and free some living space (extra flat wall or ceiling mounted heaters for example). Sometimes even totally invisible in case of infrared heating films hidden under the flooring.
- When paired with “green” electricity, it is the clean heating solution (without greenhouse gas emissions).
- Fast and easy installation that does not require major works (simple electric connection). Extensible installation from one room to another according to needs.
- Combined with adapted solutions, the infrared heating offers a wide flexibility in terms of temperature control (by room, centralised, via wireless or wired thermostat, remote control by internet) and a high control precision (to optimise comfort and consumption).
- No maintenance at all (no maintenance costs).
Disadvantages of infrared heaters
The field of electric infrared heating not being “framed”, the disappointment from the differences between the announced and real performances can be significant. It is imperative to choose high-end models (between £1000 and £1400 to heat 25 m2) in order to enjoy the advantages described above.
In terms of disadvantages or none truth, the following points are reported:
- The higher electricity cost than the price of wood or gas. However, studies show that over a period of 20 years and across all costs, the infrared heating is the most profitable (see the study).
- The delay of initial rising temperature (for an unheated room – at the beginning of winter for example) is comparable to other technologies of electric heating. Indeed, the energy must first accumulate in the structure (floor, ceiling, walls) before being radiated back into the room.
- The positioning of the heater within the room is an important parameter to achieve the objectives of comfort and consumption. As the radiation has to achieve all the areas of the room, the choice of positioning is important. Since the effective infrared heaters have a high surface temperature, It is also appropriate to place them out of reach of children or persons with disabilities.
- The far infrared is not adapted to verandas whose walls are fully glazed, as the infrared passes through the glazing (as does the sun). Prefer the infrared dedicated to this type of room. A heat emitter creates “a heat bubble”, it does not heat the whole room but only one area.
- The far infrared is not suited to bathrooms with floor and walls fully tiled and whose tiles are reflective. Indeed, the infrared needs to be partially absorbed by the walls, floor and ceiling, to heat the whole room. When the room is partially tiled, we can increase the power by a little bit (15%).
Drilling the subject of infrared heating…
To know more about What a far infrared heater is?
See the testimony of domain experts: Conventional wisdom regarding the infrared heaters
To know more about the thermal comfort
The far infrared heater: a step closer to low consumption… evidence by numbers…