Infrared heating and convection heating work very differently so it’s important to know how to best set up your infrared heater for maximum efficiency. So, what is the most efficient way to use an infrared heater and can infrared heaters run all the time?
The first place to begin is an understanding of the different ways that convection and infrared heat a space. There’s a misunderstanding that heat rises, actually this is not the case, warm air rises die to air flow caused by convection heat. Read on….
Convection heat is turned on and off regularly because it is not efficient. With convection based heating, the air is heated causing warm air to rise (because it is lighter) and the cold air to drop. Convection heats a space from the ceiling down and not only is this inefficient but it can also be uncomfortable due to an uneven temperature floor to ceiling. Because cold air floods into a space to displace warm air (the convection air flow as described earlier) this means that warmed air is easily lost to gaps and draughts and open doors etc.
Infrared has a different way of heating (which is the same way the sun works), it works by heating objects first, these objects then absorb and radiate heat back out (think of ripples in a pond). The end result is a room or office at the same temperature as a convection heated space, however there is one major difference. Efficiency.
Infrared heating is a far more efficient form or heating than convection because it is not affected by heat loss in the same way and because all the air in the space doesn’t need to be heated before you feel any benefit.
Infrared heating stores heat in a far more efficient way than convection because it is stored in the structure of a building. This means that heat is less easily lost and more easily maintained and stored. This efficiency means that we operate infrared heaters in a different way than we would convection heaters.
Can infrared heaters run all the time? Yes, and they should! To clarify, the most efficient way to set up an infrared heater is by using temperature parameters. Infrared heaters should be set up with an ‘on’ temperature, that is the temperature you want your home or office to be at when you are there and using it. There should also be an ‘off’ temperature, that is a temperature that you do not allow the home or office to drop below. Typically the ‘on’ temperature would be 20ºC or 21ºC with the ‘off’ set at 13ºC or 14ºC.
With the infrared heating set up in this way, heat is stored and maintained in the structure of the space that is being heated, meaning less heat loss, a more comfortable heat and a more cost efficient heating system. A well manufactured and efficient infrared heater will maintain both the ‘on’ and ‘off’ temperatures efficiently and will generally only be drawing power (and not full power) about 1/3 of the time. Can infrared heaters run all the time? Yes, and if you want an efficient heating system then this is the best way to set them up. There are also other efficiencies to consider with an infrared heating system. See below…
Learn more about our British Manufactured and Certified Infrared Heaters
For further reading we’d suggest: Infrared Heating Panels – Answers to Your Questions
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