From gas to wood-burning to electric — there are a number of options when it comes to heating, but which one is right for your home? Les Sperring, national sales manager at Herschel, answers a few questions about an innovative option that is gaining popularity: infrared heating.
How does Herschel infrared work in terms of home heating?
Herschel infrared heats your home the same way the sun heats the earth. It uses far infrared energy to warm up the fabric of the building and all the things inside it, including you for home heating. This turns the very surfaces of your home into part of your radiant heating solution, delivering you a consistently warm and comfortable environment.
What is the difference between radiant and convection heat?
Simply put, convection heat is heating the air and moving it around the house. Radiant heat travels through the air and is instead absorbed by objects and the room materials themselves. Once the objects and room have been heated enough, they radiate the heat as well, and your whole room becomes part of the heating system, giving you a wonderfully cosy environment to enjoy.
What are the advantages of radiant heat?
Heating the air is an inefficient heating solution because air cannot hold much heat. This is why a cool draught can cool your room quickly, or if you switch off your heater or heat pump the warmth seems to disappear. Convection requires that warm air continually be created to maintain a given temperature, so it consumes more energy. Using convection to heat a room, you need to heat the entire volume of air. And convection heat rises, meaning most of the energy you are creating is sitting over your head where you can’t feel it. The heat that does reach you gets chilled by your windows or absorbed into the cold surfaces of the room. This does not create an ideal environment for heating a person. If you’ve ever been in a room with a convection heater on and the air seems warm but your feet are cold, this is why.
Radiant heat, on the other hand, is ideal for heating people, as we are radiant ourselves. We absorb radiant heat into our bodies far better than when hot air is blown around us.
Once the environment around us has reached our selected temperature, it is surprisingly easy to maintain a comfortable, warm environment lower in the room where you actually sit, without losing heat unnecessarily or being forced to run your heater continually.
Have you ever sat in front of a fire and marvelled at the way it heats you all the way through? This feeling is radiant heat at work. Herschel far infrared heaters get you this result with consistency, accuracy and the minimum of effort from you, making them a superior electric heating solution.
Something else you may not have realised is that warm air attracts moisture. Heating the air inside your home actually contributes to moisture and dampness issues. Heating the home itself dries it out, reducing damp and mould.
Does Herschel Infrared cost more to run?
Actually, no. When installed and operated correctly, it can be more cost-effective to warm your home over a 24-hour period than with a heat pump. Once your home is up to temperature, it radiates that heat back out slowly.
When operated with a thermostat, the heaters will heat the environment, then switch off and let your home radiate that warmth back, only coming back on to recharge it again. We call this running time the cycle time. Once your home is heated up, the cycle time drops dramatically over a 24-hour period. Depending on what your home is made of, this could be as little as four hours a day for a home that is warm day and night.
What about power providers?
Home heating is estimated at being as much as 40 per cent of the peak load to the power network, coming in the evenings of course, when we all get home from work and turn our heaters on high. With Herschel infrared, this load gets spread evenly throughout the day, warming up your home during the day to release that warmth into the evening.
What about solar power and free heating?
Herschel delivers exactly what you need – low wattage and the ability to heat up your home during the day while the sun is shining.
How about the aesthetics?
The good news is Herschel heaters look great – a slimline discreet panel that can be ceiling- or wall-mounted. Available in a range of styles, from white metal to black or white glass and even mirrors. For high ceilings we have a hanging pendant version, and we also have outdoor heating so you can enjoy the feeling of the sun on the patio long after it has set.
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