There has been a lot of debate regarding the energy-saving properties of certain electric heating systems. Infrared systems have recently been said to be the most effective of electric heating systems. However, you may need to consider that the laws of physics have not changed regardless of what people want you to believe.
One Kilowatt of Energy to One Kilowatt of Heat
The truth is that all direct acting electric heating systems will be 100% effective. This will include heating panels, infrared heating and radiators. For all of these systems, one unit or kilowatt of electrical energy will always produce a kilowatt of heat.
There have been many claims that infrared systems will be able to produce more heat than an electric radiator and use less electricity. However, there is little evidence which supports these claims. It would be a miracle if the 100% efficiency of direct acting electric heating where to be improved and the technology would technically be rewriting the laws of physics.
Two Methods of Heat Transfer
When looking at electric heating, there are two methods of heat transfer which are radiation and convection. Convection is when heat energy is transferred through the air into the rest of the room by circulation. Radiation is when there is a direct transfer of heat to objects and people.
Infrared heating panels will only produce radiant heat, but electric radiators will create a combination of radiation and convection heat. The effect of this combination will be the same as the effect from a conventional boiler-fired wet radiator system.
Some of the infrared heating panel manufacturers have claimed that the system has an energy saving of 50% when it is compared to other forms of electric heating. The claims state that a single kilowatt of heat from an infrared panel will be the same as 2 kilowatts of heat from other electric heaters. While many people will find that this claim could be plausible, the laws of physics state that a 2kw radiator will produce double the heat of a 1kw infrared heating panel.
Other Flaws in the Claim
There are other flaws in the claims that are made about infrared heating panels as well. These panels will only create radiant heat which is directional heat. This means that the infrared waves will travel in a straight line and will be absorbed by objects and people. If you want to feel the warms of the system, you will need to be in front of it. In most normal homes, this will result in a number of cold spots in each room. To counter this problem, more panels will need to be installed and this will increase the overall costs of the system and the amount of energy being used.
When using even the most basic of electric radiators, you will be able to regulate the energy consumption through a thermostat. Infrared heating panels will continue to draw the full power when they are turned on. When a room with an electric radiator has reached a certain temperature, the heater will only draw energy intermittently. The amount of electricity needed will be directly controlled by the air temperature which means that the radiator may draw 30 to 40% of the full capacity to maintain the set temperature.
If you are using an infrared heating panel, it will continue to draw the full power when on. This is due to the fact that radiation heat only heats objects and people and not the air making a thermostat redundant. Additionally, if the infrared heating panel is turned off, the heating effect will be gone leaving the people in the room to feel cold very quickly.
Uses for Infrared Heating Panels and Electric Radiators
Of course, there are useful applications of infrared heating panels. Traditional churches are impossible to heat generally because of their large size, lack of insulation and vaulted ceilings. When the occupants of the church remain seated, infrared heating panels suspended overhead will be able to beam heat down.
Modern electric radiators are still the best solution when it comes to heating your home. They are easy to install and reliable. They can also be used to heat any sized room.
If you are unsure which heating option is best for your home, Electric Heating Expert breaks down all the benefits of the different heating systems. Visit www.electricheatingexpert.co.uk to find the best heating solution for you.