Infrared heating panel – background to the challenge
With ever rising home working in the UK, demands for home office space is increasing – this is why the Muspratts wanted to convert their garden room into a fully functioning office. Initially the room was retrofitted with insulation, in the roof space, walls and floors to bring the heat demand of the property down. Insulation should always be the first step for homes and businesses before heating systems are looked at. Insulation reduces draughts and increases the heat retention of the property.
Having completely refurbished the garden room, the Muspratts came to TheGreenAge to talk a little bit more about infrared heating. Initially infrared heating appealed very much because it is easy to install, it can be installed on the ceilings, therefore blending unnoticed in the environment and the heat is drying and low cost to run.
The infrared heating panel solution
Having shared the floor plans of the property, the team helped the Muspratts size the panels appropriately so as not to be disappointed in the heating output. It is very important to size them correctly, because if you go too low then the heating output will not be adequate enough and you may be disappointed. The solution in this case was sized to accommodate heating of 50 watts per m2, which is fine because the property is well insulated. If you have uninsulated solid walls or unfilled cavities, then you many need to accommodate 100 – 150 watts per m2.
The Muspratts went for three 850watt carbon fibre panels to heat an area of approximately 40m2. Although they were slightly oversized, it is not a bad thing because the room would get to target temperature much quicker and therefore reduce the frequent thirst for electricity to power it.
Installation of the heaters
The heaters themselves were installed as part of the general retrofit of the property. This is a good thing because it further makes the installation process easier to administer, as this can allow for a nice and tidy wiring job with minimal trunken. The panels were wired to a wireless thermostat to allow the Muspratts maximum temperature and time control.
During the summer months, Mr Anderson decided that enough was enough and it was time to replace their old storage heaters. Instead of directly replacing them with new storage heaters they wanted to consider other heating solutions that might be available to them considering they didn’t have access to mains gas.
What about the property?
The flat itself was ground floor with 2 bedrooms and built in the 1970’s – with cavity walls that have since been insulated by injecting them. The heat demand of the property therefore is not nearly as big as an equivalent solid wall property and since the house was ‘mid-terrace’ there is very little heat loss with their neighbours and likewise through the ceiling because there is another flat above, however the heat demand is far higher than a house built today to building regulations.
Since the house didn’t have access to mains gas, a new central heating system was not possible, therefore efficient heating options were limited – in our opinion there were 3 options, an air source heat pump (which would of allowed them access to the Renewable Heat incentive), infrared heating or fan assisted storage heaters.
Why install Infrared in the home?
Mr Anderson was extremely keen to go down the infrared heating route for a number of reasons – firstly the panels are thin and therefore don’t steal space in a room (they stick out just over 2.5cm from the wall once installed), secondly the warmth they can produce can be felt far quicker than traditional heating systems and therefore are more cost effective since the heating doesn’t need to be on as long. Lastly the panels look rather slick compared to other types of heating system.
How did he go about the change to Infrared?
We received the floor plan through from Mr Anderson so we could accurately size the panels based on his specific requirements. We recommended 4 panels, one for each bedroom, one for the lounge and a final one in the corridor, each with their own thermostat (to create heating zones in the home).
In addition to supplying the panels, we were also able to get one of our approved electrician partners to carry out the install in the home, which took just 1 day. His new infrared heating system cost just over £1000 and he now has a cost effective way to heat his home as and when he needs it, with the added benefit of being maintenance free unlike a wet central heating system. He also has the piece of mind that our select range of infrared heating comes with a 5 year warranty and our Inspire range, built in Germany, comes with a 10 year warranty should an issue arise.
We are getting more and more customers who don’t simply want to use infrared to supplement the heating in their home, they want to take advantage of infrared heating as a whole home heating system.