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Infrared Heating Panels: Pros, Cons & Costs

Rob Wells
By: Rob Wells
Updated: 5th November 2021

No to gas boilers

Rather than heating the space in a room, infrared directly warms up the objects and people in the room – reducing heat loss as well putting a stop to dust circulation. This process makes infrared heating panels a highly efficient, effective and healthier way to heat a property.

Find out the pros, cons and costs of using infrared heating panels to keep your home warm.

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What is infrared heat?

Infrared heat is a form of light sitting on the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and visible light.

Radio - Microwave - Infrared - Visible - UV - X-ray - Gamma rays

Infrared is the same type of heat emitted by the sun but doesn't contain the harmful UV light. There are 3 different types of infrared light (near, mid and far infrared), with 2 of them making frequent appearances in our everyday life:

  • Near infrared: Used in TV remotes or sending data between devices (mobile phones or computers) – we don't feel the heat off this type of infrared.
  • Far infrared: We feel the heat from far infrared and is used in hospital incubators for newborn babies, saunas and modern hairdryers.

A certain level of infrared radiation is emitted from any object with a temperature – even our own bodies – and is perfectly safe, which is why it's used for newborn babies in hospital incubators.

How do infrared heating panels work?

Infrared heating systems are still a fairly recent addition to the UK market but their efficiency, simplicity and potential to reduce your energy bills makes them well worth considering over a traditional heating system.

By emitting radiant heat, infrared heating panels directly warm objects and people rather than the air, as traditional radiators do. So if you were to sit near an infrared heating panel in a cold room, you would feel warm despite the air being cold.

One of the major benefits of heating this way is that solid walls and other objects have thermal mass, meaning that they retain heat. Keeping your home warmer for longer as there's no chance of it escaping through doors, windows or cracks.

Infrared heating panels pros and cons

While infrared heating might be very different to traditional radiators, which have been ever present in UK properties for a number of years, there are many advantages to using infrared heating panels. Some of the many advantages include:

  • Heats objects and people rather than the air in any given room, like a traditional heating system, which can leave a static atmosphere.
  • Efficiently heats the space to help reduce energy bills.
  • Achieve the requested heating temperature within 30 seconds of being switched on.
  • Heating objects and people is a much more efficient process that heating the air too.
  • Used for its reported physical benefits to treat detoxification, acne, insomnia, blood circulation, pain relief, anti-ageing as well as ear, nose and throat conditions.
  • Helps to reduce mould, damp and dust circulation thanks to lower operating temperatures and minimal air circulation.
  • In some cases, they can provide a second function such as being a mirror, speaker or even a baby monitor.
  • Quiet in operation as there are no moving parts – perfect for bedrooms.
  • Very little maintenance it ever required so you won't have to worry about bleeding or balancing radiators ever again.
  • No need for any pipework which makes the installation much simpler.

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On the other hand, some infrared heating panel disadvantages include:

  • Needing to keep the space around the infrared panels clear from objects to allow the heat to spread efficiently (this is also true of other central heating systems too).
  • Are often more expensive than traditional heating systems but are capable of reducing your energy bills which can see you make a return on your investment.

As you can see, there are far fewer disadvantages than advantages when it comes to heating a property. Not only in terms of efficiency but your overall health too.

Can infrared heating panels impact health?

It's a common misconception that infrared is bad for your health but in reality having infrared heating panels around your home can benefit your health.

In fact, compare infrared heating panels with traditional radiators and the air quality within your home could actually improve. This is because infrared heaters don't cause the air to circulate, reducing the amount of dust being moved around the property. Plus, mould and damp are much less likely to form.

Infrared heating efficiency

Infrared heating panels need electricity to run, which is an expensive fuel to run – especially when compared to natural gas – but as a highly efficient heating system, they don't need to be on for quite as long.

The running costs of an infrared heating panel will differ depending on the price you pay for electricity, the size of the panel and the wattage.

Finding the right size infrared heating panel

Infrared heating panels are available in various physical sizes as well as output ratings, with both needing to be considered to find the most efficient panel for each room.

How much do infrared heaters cost?

The price of infrared heating panels will vary greatly depending on the size of the manufacturer, model and size of the infrared panel. Prices per infrared panel can start from around £150 rising up to £500+ for the more expensive models with additional features.

Infrared heating vs gas

It can be hard to imagine a property without a boiler and radiators but the efficient and safe form of heating offered by infrared panels is seeing more and more people turn to this modern heating solution.

On the face of it, the higher cost of electricity – 14.4p/kWh on average in the UK compared to 3.8p/kWh for gas – is enough for some to rule out infrared heating panels altogether. However, infrared heating panels don't need a boiler to fire up every time you turn the central heating on and it's much easier to control the heating in individual rooms.

Plus, infrared heating panels are much safer than a central heating system powered by gas:

  • There's no risk of carbon monoxide (CO) leaking from the boiler
  • Dust isn't circulated around the room

There's also the maintenance factor. Traditional central heating systems can need bleeding, balancing or even need a powerflush to remove a build up of sludge which prevents radiators from heating up properly. Infrared heating panels, on the other hand, won't encounter any of these problems.

Looking for a new central heating system?

If it's time for you to replace your current heating system, then we can match you with heating engineers based in your local area. Simply complete our online form, providing details of the work you want carrying out and you'll get free quotes from fully-qualified local heating engineers.

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Main image features Clear Heater infrared panels, supplied by Logicor’

Rob Wells

About the author

Rob Wells

Rob is another of our resident home heating experts. He manages our external partnerships, making sure you get the most up to date information.

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