How infrared heating works
Feeling warm and feeling cold does not actually depend on the air temperature around us.
For example climbers and skiers are bathed by the sun’s infrared rays, so they don’t freeze even in very cold air.
This form of infrared heat is experienced directly on our skin and from rays also reflected by other objects that surround us (snow, stones, earth etc). When an infrared wave touches a surface, heat energy is released regardless of the air temperature.
Infrared lies just beneath the visible light range in the electromagnetic spectrum, with its rays striking molecules – causing them to oscillate. We feel this as warmth and unlike shorter ultra violet waves, infrared has an extremely beneficial effect on us.
Infrared waves do not require a means of being carried, such as through air or water. They travel as easily through the air as they do through outer space and they produce heat only upon making contact with a surface such as the earth or a wall.
When rays from the sun hit an object they warm it so in the same way, when radiation from an infrared heater hits an object (wall, ceiling, floor, door, ornament etc), it usually warms it. It is in fact either absorbed or reflected but infrared waves continue to radiate through a room until all their energy is absorbed and all objects have warmed up.
Think of an infrared ray as a bouncy ball – you will know that if you drop a bouncy ball, it gradually bounces lower and lower until it stops.
This is because each time it hits a surface, a little of its energy is absorbed by that surface. The absorption of infrared radiation is very similar – the infrared waves jump around until their energy is absorbed throughout the room.
Infrared waves first hit the top layer of stone or brickwork and most of this energy reflects back into the room. Only a sixth of the energy is lost by absorption into the masonry approximately.
The core and accumulator are non-conductive and there is no risk of cool-patches or thermal layering when units are exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
The heating element – sourced from the space and aeronautical industry – is considered to be reliable beyond 100 years and is a ‘low electrosmog’ device (it doesn't’t emit harmful electromagnetic radiation).
A CSA and UL approved safety thermostat ensures that all units are protected from over-heating and its possible consequences.
The hard glass enamelled surface is made from enamelled steel and is the product of melting high quality stainless steel hard glass. The end surface is scratch and acid resistant, colourfast and, virtually indestructible – further adding to the product’s lifespan. This surface can be coated in a range of colours and even with decorative images. Also, these enamelled surfaces have very good heat reflection properties, minimising convection and maximising radiation.
With a special powder-coating, the heater surfaces possess ‘low transfer conductivity’, which means you can touch the surface without burning yourself, making them ideal for family homes schools and nurseries.
The rear of our panels are typically a galvanised metal sheet, which provides the necessary structural rigidity.
Heating by infrared radiation is as old as the discovery of fire. Stone, clay and tiled stoves all make use of Infrared.
Actually the first heating system ever was the Roman hypocaust, which functioned solely by infrared. A chamber was built which enabled steam to travel under floor tiles. The floors became warm and radiated heat into rooms, whilst the air temperature remained unaltered and fresh.
A tiled stove is another example of heat radiation. A strategically placed stove will warm the inside of a house’s walls, increasing their surface temperature yet leaving the temperature of the air in the room cool.
With the environment being at the forefront of many of our minds these days, age-old heating methods are finding their way back into modern homes. Only the way in which infrared radiation is produced (with electricity) is new. Ecological products can help achieve clean, healthy, energy-saving heating.
Infrared is a very efficient form of heating because it is heating you and not trying to heat the air - this will be warmed as a secondary effect. Also, once the panel reaches optimum temperature it will modulate on and off to maintain temperature, thus drawing on less power.
However, as with any form of heating, running costs will vary depending on the construction of the building, the quality of insulation, and the natural heat retention properties of the building.
InfraRed Direct heaters are easy to install. If you can hang a picture or put up a light, then you can install one!
Our infrared heaters are designed with discretion in mind – to blend into an environment without being noticed, rather than appearing as an ‘appliance’. They are therefore available in the form of pictures, mirrors, towel-rails, decorative stone panels and even blackboards!
For optimum distribution of infrared rays the heating panel should be fitted in the centre of the room, above seating areas or a number of panels distributed evenly across the whole area to be heated. Infrared is part of the light spectrum, so we want to bathe our room in light and not cause shadows, if infrared rays cannot reach a certain part of the room because, for example, there is furniture in the way we refer to a shadowing effect.
When fitted on the ceiling, infrared rays travel in an arc to about 45 degrees away from ceiling, so care should be taken not to position the heater too close to the wall, as this will cause the wall to heat up and energy will be wasted. Our small panels should be 50cm away from another wall and our large panel should be 150 cm away from another wall. Infrared rays can travel up to 7 metres depending on the size of your panel.
When fitted on the wall, panels should be high up on the wall, again to avoid any shadowing. Small panels should be more than 100cm above the floor and large panels 200cm above the floor.
For difficult to heat or particularly cold rooms we suggest using a number of smaller panels distributed across the ceiling and having more power wattage than our usual guidelines.
White panels are designed to be fitted either to the wall or ceiling and made from a very lightweight carbon fibre with a small aluminium frame. The bars on the reverse side are for fitting the heater, this also ensures the panel sits slightly away from the wall.
All screws and fixing are supplied with your panel. Simply mark and drill the four holes using the template supplied, insert wall plugs and screws with eye bolts supplied, these ensure about 0.5cm spacing from the ceiling, tighten screws and insert the screws into the mounting profile on the reverse of panel.
Our panels are designed for use in domestic homes or office ceilings, business and workplaces.
Panels have reflector technology to ensure heat is generated only from the front of the panel. Temperature safety controls ensure the panel will not overheat, once optimum temperature of the panel is achieved it will only draw power to maintain temperature.
When a low voltage electrical appliance is used in wet rooms or bathrooms it cannot be placed just anywhere! NEN1010 and IP54 contain a zone classification for this purpose. Infrared panels with internal switching contacts can only be
placed in zone 3.
In practise this means a distance of 0.6 meters from a shower cubicle or bath, if placed above a washbasin the distance must be at least 13cm.
Ask your electrician about fitting a pull switch or programmer outside the bathroom.