Infrared heating in a domestic setting

Herschel take a look at how new technologies are revolutionising the heating market

Far infrared heating is an energy efficient, sustainable electric heating solution that is already popular in Germany and other European countries. Knowledge of far infrared heating is now growing at a pace within the UK domestic market alongside the commercial market where it is currently one of the fastest growing of the new, alternative heating technologies.

Heating homes from fossil fuels will soon be a thing of the past as consumers quickly change to heating powered by renewables to do their part in the movement towards a more sustainable world.

Far infrared is radiant heating, the most basic form of heating used by man. Radiant heating has been around for centuries – cavemen lighting fires to heat themselves is a clear example. Radiant heating heats objects which then radiate back and keep the environment warm around you. Over the last few decades, we have witnessed a shift away from radiant heating and towards central heating because the price of fossil fuels made central heating a cheaper alternative.

Today, advancements in technology, in the form of 100% energy efficient far infrared heaters, have meant that once again we can use radiant heating in a cost-effective way.

Infrared itself divides into three types, depending on temperature: Near, medium and far. It is far infrared that is most relevant for consumers as this is the wavelength that humans most efficiently absorb when warm objects radiate heat, it is 100% safe and natural. If you enjoy the comfortable feeling of warmth from the winter sun on your face then you will enjoy the feeling of warmth from far infrared heaters.

Herschel is the market leader in far infrared heating having introduced far infrared to the UK seven years ago. They are passionate about changing the way people and buildings are heated and were recently selected as a finalist in the 2015 Energy Efficiency awards.

Highly energy-efficient, Herschel heaters are stylish, fully controllable, very simple to install and compatible with other green energy technologies so the heating system is completely free of all carbon emissions. Far infrared heaters require no maintenance and have zero light, silent operation and no fumes.

Far infrared panels from Herschel come in a variety of styles and finishes and are ultra slim-line making them ideal for the home environment. The panel finishes include a discrete white or a selection of other styles that can add to your home’s décor in the form of a mirror, a sleek glass finish, a picture panel with your own artwork or photo and even a bespoke hand-painted design of your choice.

In addition, Herschel offers space heaters which can be used for larger properties, those with high ceilings, and all commercial environments. For those looking for a stylish outdoor heater, the Herschel Aspect XL is a recently launched outdoor heater that uses far infrared to gently heat people and which avoids the intense heat and glow from alternative outdoor heaters. It is only suitable for use under sheltered, covered areas creating the ideal temperature for those people looking to extend their evenings outdoors.

Maximum energy efficiency can be achieved from far infrared when the heaters are controlled, regulating temperature and managing optimum comfort levels. The benefit of radiant heating is that it can directly heat people in the areas where they need to be heated so heaters can be mounted only in those areas (or zones). With traditional systems that use convection heating (for example, central heating systems) it is more difficult to efficiently zone heaters because as soon as air is heated, it rises and distributes in an uncontrolled manner. A convection heater consequently has to warm the entire volume of air in a room until its average temperature feels acceptable which is a much less efficient way of heating.

In order to control the heater and the required heat within the room, use of a thermostat is recommended, whether this is a simple plug in, a timer control or an intelligent control system that can be used wirelessly if preferred. The greatest flexibility for homeowners can be achieved by using a full control system. Herschel iQ is a revolutionary control system from Herschel that can be accessed remotely, anywhere in the world, via an App on your tablet or smartphone and provides the ideal solution for when returning from holidays or weekends away. Instead of running a central boiler to heat just a couple of rooms, homeowners can save energy consumption and money by only heating those rooms that need to be heated, as and when they require, to suit their lifestyle. This unique system can also be extended to include other systems within the home such as lighting and security so that your property becomes a cutting edge, smart and energy efficient home.

Alternative electric heaters are available on the market however these mostly heat the air which retains heat poorly and can disappear on draughts. Far infrared heaters do not heat the air. They heat the fabric of a building which can retain heat for much longer, creating better thermal comfort, and a warmer, more comfortable home. Heating air requires much higher energy; digital electric convection radiators typically need around 40wm3 unlike Herschel far infrared heaters which typically only require 25wm3. This difference in power wattage results in a huge saving on energy consumption of nearly 40% versus digital electric radiators and a greater saving still, up to 60%, compared to electric storage heaters. Easy to install, far infrared is the perfect choice for new apartment blocks and flat owners looking to replace their existing electric radiators and storage heaters.

Far infrared is a quick and effective alternative to underfloor heating without the upheaval, mess and timeframe involved with the installation of underfloor. The heaters can even be ceiling-mounted for that extra space saving option.

Heat pumps are another new, alternative heating technology. When the total cost of ownership of heat pumps is analysed versus other heating solutions (including purchase and installation costs, required maintenance and ongoing running costs), then far infrared is shown to provide a substantially quicker payback time for consumers. Heat pumps can also be noisy, sometimes unsightly and result in upheaval from a lengthy installation, unlike Herschel heaters which create minimal installation disturbance.

Other benefits to using far infrared in the domestic environment include being able to maintain a higher temperature in the building material versus a lower air temperature resulting in less moisture creation and, consequently, less condensation, less corrosion of metal parts and less damage to paintwork. Perfect for any construction type whether old or new, an apartment or barn conversion, far infrared delivers impressive energy savings for any application.

If buildings could decide, they really would choose Herschel Far Infrared!

As use of renewable energy increases, there exists further potential for enhanced savings through the use of solar panels to generate electricity and power far infrared electric heaters. As solar battery storage continues to develop, the first home batteries having already been launched, it will be feasible to use solar-generated electricity to heat houses by far infrared, when it is most needed, usually during evenings and early mornings.

The future for far infrared is exciting and is completely changing the way we heat ourselves.

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