Infrared Heating Panels


What is infrared light?

Infrared light is the reason why we feel warm when the sun is shining in the middle of a wintery day. Conventional wisdom would suggest that if the air temperature were freezing, then you too would feel cold. However the infrared waves emitted by the sun travel unimpeded through space, and warm any object they hit, including your body.

The visible light spectrum - infrared

Infrared is a form of electromagnetic radiation that sits just beyond the red end of the visible light range of the electromagnetic spectrum. We often hear the word radiation and automatically associate it with being harmful, but in fact, radiation is just a process of energy emission. Just like visible light radiation, infrared radiation is 100% safe and even our own bodies emit infrared radiation (which is what allows search and rescue helicopters to find lost travellers at night for example).

Conventional space heating in homes

Conventional heating in the home works by warming up the air around you; for instance a radiator does most of its heating through convection currents (it also gives off small amounts of infrared radiation).

When the radiator warms up, it heats the air directly around it, which then expands and rises. As the hot air rises, it creates a vacuum behind it, which pulls colder air into contact with the radiator, causing it to heat up. As the hot air begins to cool down it drops down back to floor level. This cold air gets heated again and this process keeps repeating itself – this is known as convection heating.

Most conventional heating systems do emit some infrared waves. For example, if you have ever sat near an open fire, you will have felt the heat on your face. Then when you put your hand in front of your face, this stops the infrared hitting your face directly; instead you will feel your hands get warm. This is infrared.

Infrared heaters in the home

Infrared heating is a fairly recent addition to the domestic and commercial heating scene. It is emitted from the heater, which then travels unimpeded through the air until it hits an object. The object absorbs the radiation, causing molecules within it to vibrate, producing heat.

If the waves come into contact with humans, they will travel about an inch into the body providing a feeling of deep heat, but even if you are not directly in the way of the waves, any solid body will vibrate when the waves hit them, causing them to radiate heat back towards you.

Despite being able to purchase gas, oil and solid fuel infrared heaters, we suggest using electric infrared panels in the home, since you do not need to integrate any pipework or fuel storage facilities when you install the panels. There are also no direct emissions associated with using the electrical panels (and if you use them in conjunction with solar panels you get 100% emission-free heating). According to a study made by Jigsaw infrared when adding solar panels to their infrared heating, you could save up to 50% on your energy bills. They also can be placed high up on the walls or the ceiling, so they will be easy to keep away from pets and children (they get about as warm as a standard radiator).

The electric panels come in numerous sizes and certain models can double up as mirrors. Since they have no moving parts, they operate in complete silence, which makes them ideal for any property.

>>> The cost of heating your home with gas vs electricity <<<

Energy savings from infrared heaters

Infrared heating works by heating the surface area of a room, rather than the volume (as is the case the traditional convection heaters), which means they are heating considerably less to provide the same amount of heat.

The following worked example compares a 800 Watt infrared heat panel and a standard 2000 Watt convection heater (like for like providing the same comfort of heat), providing heat up to 4 months of winter (November through to Feb 119 days) for 8 hours a day at a cost of £0.30 per kWh of electricity (As of May 2022 estimated 10 minutes per hour of use for IR panel. 10 minutes per hour for convection heater).

Infrared Heater Convection Heater
 Energy rating 800 Watts 2000 Watts
 Electricity units per hour 0.80 2.00
Total electrical units used 119kWh 238kWh
Total cost £35.70 £71.40

In addition, you are heating solid walls or objects with infrared radiation and these have a thermal mass, which means they retain heat and help keep the home cosy. Conversely, air has no thermal mass, so in the case of traditional convection-warmed rooms, when a door is opened, the hot air will quickly escape; requiring you to reheat the room to feel warm again. One brilliant factor in favour of these panels is the ability to provide the home with a fully-zoned property. Unlike central heating systems, the panels can be switched on in individual rooms using the thermostats. This means that heating is only fully used when required. If you think how much energy is wasted in rooms that do not need to be heated, such as guest bedrooms, this is a real benefit.

A study was placed by Aston University and Jigsaw Infrared which found that Jigsaw’s infrared panels can increase the room temperature to 18 C in 10 mins which is less than a 2000 W storage and convection heater take 15 and 17 min respectively. Moreover, the IR heating system has an efficiency 2 times higher than a 2000 W and storage and convection heating system. Therefore, the IR panel used half the energy (50% less) of the storage heater and reached room temp in almost half the time. Therefore, Infrared heating is much more efficient at heating a space than conventional space heaters. The heat is also contained in the thermal mass of the room surfaces, as opposed to the heat. This means that it stays warmer for longer and draughts do not play as large a part when compared with convection heaters.

Infrared vs. other heating systems

Heating System Annual Cost
Gas central heating with zone controls £608
Jigsaw infrared with zone controls £804
Reversible air con with zone controls £881
Air-water heat pump with zone controls £977
Biomass £1,209
Electric convector heating with zone controls £1,332
Electric underfloor heating with zone controls £1,508
New electric night storage with automatic controls £1,734

Based on a 2-bed property and May 2022 energy prices. Heating only.

Other advantages of infrared heating

Another major advantage of infrared heating is that unlike conventional heaters that just heat the air, infrared heaters heat the walls, which will mean they stay completely dry. It then builds up the thermal mass within the walls and the floors, which maintains the warmth and keeps it dry by reducing condensation. Therefore infrared heating helps prevent the spread of mould in the property.

>>> Get Rid of Black Spot Mould <<<

In addition, conventional heaters warm the room by convection currents that circulate dust particles continuously around the home, however these convection currents do not occur with infrared heating, so for people who suffer from asthma, infrared panels can be the ideal solution.




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!

    Looking for an infrared installer, or would like to know more?

    I would like to be contacted by a local installer

    I would like to receive occasional news from TheGreenAge

      How to install your infrared heating panels


    Positioning the infrared heating panels is key

    If you have purchased – or are about to purchase – infrared heaters, then understanding where to put them is important to get the best results.

    Infrared heating panels don’t operate like conventional convection heating, which warms air. Instead the panels emit far-infrared radiation, which travels unimpeded until it hits a solid object, which will in turn absorb the infrared and then heat up. Do not mistake infrared with harmful UV light, which is on the other side of the light spectrum – infrared is 100% safe.

    The main thing to remember is that if the infrared radiation is impeded before it reaches its destination, then the object will not warm up. As a result, to get the most out of the heating panel it should ideally be fitted in the centre of the room. Or if you have a larger area and are getting a number of panels, then they should be evenly distributed in that space. The panels should be above seating areas so as not to be shadowed, which is why positioning on the ceilings is by far the most popular.

    The distribution of infrared heater rays

    When the panel is positioned on the wall or ceiling, the infrared radiation will travel at 45o angles in all directions. If they are in a corner and too close to a wall other than the one they are attached to, then you will be warming a small concentrated area; this is not ideal since you will be wasting potentially useful heat. For this reason it is paramount that you don’t position the panels too close to the walls: rather ‘centre’ them as much as possible.

    300Watt and 350Watt panels should be at least 0.5m (1.5 feet) or more from the floor – and the larger panels (basically anything over 600Watts) should be at least 1.5m (5 feet) away. When the panels are on they will beam the infrared radiation up to 3m(10 feet). If you have higher ceilings, please give us a ring and we can discuss appropriate models to use in this instance.

    If you install the panels on the walls, then you should try and position them as high as possible. Positioning them too low will almost certainly result in furniture blocking the infrared radiation, which will limit their heating.

    For the smaller panels we recommend having them at least 1.0m (over 3 feet) and for the bigger panels this to be positioned 2.0m (6 to 7 feet) high. Like your radiators, the surface temperature of the panels gets to about 80oc, so do not touch or have objects too close to them.

    The installation process

    All our panels come with a UK plug, so you can simply plug in and go, but we recommend hardwiring them into an electric circuit where possible. This allows you to use a proper switch (like a light switch) to turn them on. It also means you can install a smart heating system for optimal efficiency. We strongly recommend a professional installation and having the panels ‘hard wired’ into your electrical system by a Part P-qualified electrician.

    In terms of the installations themselves we anticipate that most customers will seek the advice and expertise of a Part P qualified electrician who will hardwire the units to a thermostat and the property circuit board. You can find out whether your electrician is Part P qualified by looking up their details on the Competent Person Register.

    The infrared panels will invariably come with a frame on the back, which allows you to easily attach them to the wall. This does mean that the panels will sit about 1-2 cm off the wall.

    Although the panels radiate heat from their front surface (which will get warm), the reflector technology will ensure that there is no heat being emitted out of the back. The fact they are sitting away from the wall also helps in this respect.

    Most of the panels that are sold should be supplied with screws and fixings to get the panels attached to the wall or roof. We do recommend getting an electrician to fix them in position though, and hardwire them into your mains electricity rather than simply run through an existing plug socket.

    When the panels are plugged in, they take about 90 seconds to get up to full heat intensity and since you don’t need to wait for the air to get warm, you should feel their effect very quickly. To stop the panels from overheating, they will modulate and come on and off as required; however we recommend having them installed with some form of thermostatic control to ensure the room doesn’t get too warm.  The most basic option is a timer plug adapter, however we recommend going for a proper thermostat and programmer unit if you have the funds available.

    The installation is carried out as follows:

    Then when connecting to the wireless thermostat:

    This will ensure that when the receiver switches the power on it will reach the panel. Please note – switch contacts alone are volt-free and will not therefore supply power directly to the panel.

    Installing infrared panels in the bathroom

    Good infrared panels are either IP45 or IP54 rated, which means they can also be used in bathrooms. It is worth bearing in mind that building regulations state that any electrical bathroom installations should be undertaken by a Part P qualified electrician, who in turn will complete a BS7671 installation certificate.

    The pull switch or programmer needs to sit outside the bathroom. In terms of placement, the unit needs to be at least 0.6m (2 feet) from a shower or a bath. In addition if you are placing it above a washbasin, please ensure it is at least 13cm away. Again, your electrician should be able to advise and action as appropriate.



    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!

      Looking for an infrared installer, or would like to know more?

      I would like to be contacted by a local installer

      I would like to receive occasional news from TheGreenAge

        Infrared Heating Panel FAQ

        September 6, 2013

      How do infrared heating panels work?

      They work by turning electricity into infrared energy, which is directed at surfaces (ideally the floor), to warm the room. They work differently from convection heaters, which heat the air rather than surfaces, which makes these panels a more efficient way to heat a space.

      How efficient are they?

      Infrared panels are 100% efficient, converting all of the electrical energy directly into heat. However, this does not mean that they are cheaper to run than other methods of heating.

      A gas central heating solution is still significantly cheaper to run than heating your house using electricity – the reason being that gas is much cheaper than electricity per kilowatt hour.

      We therefore recommend using infrared panels for additional heating or in difficult to heat areas of the home or so-called ‘cold-spots’.

      Where should these panels be installed?

      Ideally they are fitted on the ceiling, so that they warm up the floor below and then the heat radiates back up into the room, however they still work excellently when installed on walls.

      This is different to traditional radiators or electric fan heaters, which are normally situated on the floor. These traditional forms of heater take advantage of convection heating, which is when the air is heated and moves around the room – the issue with this type of heating is that if a cold draught comes through a room it strips all the heat from the air.

      Infrared panels are therefore an ideal heating solution if you are opting to heat the home using electricity. They can be used in extensions, bathrooms and exposed areas of the house that need additional heating.

      Is infrared radiation safe?

      Yes – 100% safe

      Infrared radiation is the reason you feel the warmth of the sun on your face even in the midst of winter. The radiation emitted is on the safe end of the electromagnetic spectrum, (next to the red bit of visible light). As the unit is situated on the ceiling it can be less dangerous for children than a burning hot radiator in an easy to reach place.

      Do you need built in thermostats?

      You can purchase infrared heating panels with built in thermostats, however it is not something we recommend since if you have two panels in a room they will interfere with one another. It is much better to get a wireless thermostat, which should be situated on a wall adjacent to the panel.

      What types of panel are there and what do I need?

      They come in a range of sizes and styles. The size required will depend a little on how well insulated the room is and of course the size of the room. You can get Mirror, glass and carbon fibre effect panels. Mirror panels are particularly popular in bathrooms.

      This table gives you a rough idea of the panel required.

      Size (cm) Wattage Area Heated (m2)
      30 x 90 250 4 – 5
      60 x 60 350 5 – 7
      60 x 90 600 10 – 12
      60 x 120cm 850 13.5 – 17


      Does infrared kill mould?

      Mould tends to be the result of a build up of damp – therefore by using infrared panels directed at walls that have damp, they will dry out and this will prevent the spread of mould. In addition since these panels don’t heat spaces using convections, allergens won’t be circulated around the room – making it more suitable for sufferers of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

      How much does an infrared panel cost?

      Prices start from around £180, and you can buy your infrared heating panels in our energy efficiency shop using the link below!

      Buy Infrared Panels from TheGreenAge today!

      Visit our energy efficiency store

        Looking for an infrared installer, or would like to know more?

        I would like to be contacted by a local installer

        I would like to receive occasional news from TheGreenAge

          Getting the Right Infrared Heating Panel For Your Home

        Infrared heating panels are an energy efficient solution to heat cold rooms or spaces without using much energy. This means you can keep them on without running up massive energy bills, which invariably will be the case with traditional electric convection heaters.

        Location of the infrared heating panel

        The infrared heating panels come in various different sizes, which is relevant to the size of the room or space you want to heat. Go too small and it won’t provide you with enough heating or go too big and you will be overheating the space and wasting energy. It takes about 50 watts of heat output to cover 1m2 of space when fixing the panel to the ceiling or 60 watt heat output to cover 1m2 when fixing to a wall.

        These ultra slim heating panels (only 2.5cm thick) are an ideal heating solution to have on your study wall; in your bedrooms; integrated as part of a home heating solution or used in office and/ or commercial premises.

        Note: if you are looking to suspend the panel from the ceiling you may need a qualified electrician to fit this, as the wiring will need to be integrated into your existing electrical system. Otherwise, for just suspending on walls ensure the panel is near a wall socket.

        Buying the right panel size for your room

        Heating a small room or floor area (e.g. study, corner of your living room, etc)

        To heat a small room, ideally you are looking at a 250watt infrared panel, which can either be hung on the wall or held upright. This size panel will heat 4m2 if fixed to the wall or 5m2 if you fix to the ceiling. We stock this 250watt heating panel in a white carbon fibre finish – if you are interested in purchasing this size panel please go to our shop.

        Heating medium size rooms (medium size bedroom, bathroom, etc)

        To heat a medium size room, you need to go for a 350 – 400 watt panel, which come in both the carbon fibre or glass finishes. These will heat an area of  5m2 if hung on the wall or 7m2 if suspended from the ceiling.

        Heating larger rooms (living rooms, double bedrooms, hallways, etc)

        A 600watt heating panel is the most common one that we currently sell. This heats an area of about 10m2 if hung on the wall or 12m2 when suspended on the ceiling. The recommendation here is to have two panels of this size operating in the living or a larger room, which will mean it will then do justice by giving better heat spread.

        Heating large floor spaces (hallways, open plan properties and office space)

        The 800/ 850watt infrared heating panel is the largest size, which is designed to integrate into larger rooms. If you have large rooms with high ceiling or a fairly open plan property then using two or more panels with existing heating will give you excellent comfort. This is because large rooms tend to be draughty and loose heat quickly.

        The estimated coverage for a panel hung on the walls is about 13m2 or 17m2 if suspended from the ceilings.

        Using the infrared heating panel

        Infrared heating panels can be integrated with your existing heating to ensure the property is comfortable and warm in the coldest of months without adding significantly to your energy bills.

        To ensure that you don’t leave the panels longer than you need to you the panels are built with an integrated heating management function so they cut off when optimal temperature is reached. Otherwise you could also integrate them to a basic timer or spend a bit more money to have them working with your room thermostat. This way you can add another layer of management and sophistication to your heating pattern.


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