With the rising costs of energy, and more people looking for greener home heating alternatives than ever, many are turning to infrared heating during the cold winter months. Not only does infrared heating save homeowners on their energy bills, but it’s also saving the planet!
How Does Infrared Heating Work and What are the Benefits?
Infrared heaters emit electromagnetic radiation to heat nearby people and objects, much like the sun. The heaters don’t add any harmful gases into the atmosphere, don’t dry out our sinuses or skin, and don’t produce any static electricity. Most infrared heaters don’t include any moving parts or fans, so noise and maintenance costs are kept to a minimum. These heaters work with a heat source, coils to distribute the heat evenly, and reflector panels to radiate the heat for longer distances. The reflector panels may need an occasional wipe down, but the rest of the unit should work smoothly for a lengthy amount of time.
The heater works by heating nearby objects and people, instead of heating the air like traditional units do. This means, as soon as the heater is switched off, the person won’t feel the warmth anymore. However, infrared heaters do produce heat immediately upon activation, so the homeowner doesn’t need to wait for the system to gradually heat the surrounding air before they feel the benefits. For this reason, some homeowners keep separate units in the most used areas of the house, so they can feel the warmth wherever they go. Furthermore, the heaters aren’t wasting any energy heating the whole home and rooms that aren’t in use.
How Does Infrared Heating Save Me Money?
If we break down the costs associated with infrared heating compared to other methods, you will be surprised at how much infrared heating can save you! A typical family will use their heating for around 5 hours per day for about 4 months of the year. If heating costs 12.5£/kWh, then the average family will spend £90 with a 1kW electric convection heater and only £30 with a 0.4kW infrared heater. Typically, a 0.4kW infrared heater will produce the same comfort level as a 1kW electric convection heater.
Gas heating only costs 3.5£/kWh, so it’s considerably cheaper than either of these options. However, your gas-powered unit will be working to heat up the entire home—even rooms that aren’t in use. If your house is drafty, your unit is constantly kicking on, or you’re having to crank up the heat just to fully warm up the biggest rooms, the expenses can really add up. Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct comparison with gas-powered heating and infrared heating as every home is different. However, to cut down on energy costs with a gas-powered heater, you can supplement with infrared when there’s only one person in the home or when the family is all occupying the same space together.
Lastly, infrared heaters are fairly inexpensive, and many homeowners can afford to install a few around the home. Switching from an electric system to a gas powered system, or having to install air ducts throughout the home can cause high upfront costs that not everyone can afford.