An introduction to infrared heating

How does infrared heating work?

Unlike traditional forms of heating, infrared works through radiation, not convection. Infrared light is the reason we feel warm in the sun, even when the air temperature is low. Infrared waves travel through space and warm any objects they hit, including your body.

Convection, on the other hand (i.e from radiators), works by heating the air around you. This means the heat is easily lost through draughts and leaks through the thermal envelope of a building.

The thermal mass of objects means they absorb heat and help keep your home cosy. Once heated with infrared, furniture, walls and floors, will release it slowly back into the room over time. Convection does not heat objects, so once the air you have heated escapes, (which it easily does through doors, windows and floorboards) that’s it.

Is infrared radiation safe?

Clearly, the word ‘radiation’ rings alarm bells for some people, but infrared radiation is 100% safe. Our own bodies emit it – this is how search and rescue helicopters find lost people at night. You can read more here.

How much does an infrared panel cost?

Prices start from less than £200, depending on the size and finish. Panels are available in white, mirrored, glass or even painted, to fit in any home.

How much do infrared panels cost to run?

Infrared heats the surface area of the room, not the volume like conventional central heating systems or convection heaters. So you can generate the same amount of heat with considerably less energy – this saves you money on your bills.

The following worked example compares a 600 Watt infrared heat panel and a standard 1500 Watt convection heater (like for like providing the same comfort of heat), providing heat up to 4 months of winter (November through to Feb) for 8 hours a day at a cost of £0.14 per kWh of electricity.

Infrared Heater Convection Heater
 Energy rating 600 Watts 1500 Watts
 Electricity units per hour 0.60 1.50
 Thermostat savings 50% 80%
 Total electrical units used 288 1152
 Total cost £40.32 £161.28

Can I install infrared panels myself?

You could simply hang them on the wall and plug them into the walls – but you may prefer to have them hardwired in by an electrician. This allows you to install thermostatic controls at the same time.


  • Stylish – sits almost flat on the wall and takes up very little space.
  • Operates completely silently.
  • Do not glow or change colour when emitting heat – it is all invisible to the eye.
  • Can be controlled by smart thermostats which detect when you need your heating on – so you don’t pay for heating you don’t want, and you don’t have to keep switching panels on and off.
  • Little to no maintenance required – no leaks, no bleeding or balancing.
  • Great for allergy sufferers because dusty/pollen-laden air is not circulated.
  • Helps dry out walls, preventing damp.
  • Emits infrared rays, which is completely safe for consumer use.


  • May not be as effective if objects are placed between panels and people.
  • Consumers won’t benefit from economy 7 because the infrared heaters are not a store of energy. However, they cost less to run.

Installing infrared heating

Are you thinking about installing infrared heating in your home? We have scoured the country for the best tradespeople, so that we can make sure we only recommend those we really trust.

If you would like us to find you a local installer to help install infrared heating in your home, just fill in the form below and we will be in touch shortly!

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