Everything You Need to Know about Infrared Heating
Are you looking for a new heating system for your home or office? If so then you should consider infrared heating.
What’s it all about? You first have to know about “radiant heat.” This is the same as feeling the sum’s warmth on your face, the heat given off by a coal fire, or body heat. In fact, this is the most basic type of heat humans use. Cavemen used to by heating themselves via fires.
Meanwhile, the Ancient Romans used infrared heating via log burners as well as tile stoves. This type of heating lasted for thousands of years because it heats objects, which then provide heat back and maintain a warm environment around people. It’s important to note that radiating heat doesn’t heat air, which holds little heat and also disappears.
It’s important to note that during the past six decades or so it seems that humans have forgotten about this type of heating. That wasn’t because improved tech replaced it, but instead fossil fuels used to central power heating made heating air much cheaper.
However, today infrared heating is back in the form of energy-efficient heating panels. This allows homes and offices to use radiant heating again in a stylish, comfy, and controllable way.
Here’s an example. If you’re using central heating to maintain a room temperature of 21°C with your back on an outside wall at 17°C, you’ll be radiating heat outwards to the outside wall, and you’ll thus feel cold. It won’t matter how comfortable the air temperature feels. This highlights the main difference between infrared vs. convection heating.
An experiment that was conducted by a US laboratory explained the difference about people’s varying perceptions of heat. People in a room with a temperature of 50°C of warm air/cooled walls froze greatly. When they were in a room with cool air temperatures and warm walls, they started sweating a lot.
Feeling warm isn’t related to air temps. It’s related to absorbing from the environment (warm up), or stopping people from losing radiation (cool down) to a colder outdoors.
There’s also the issue of “far” infrared. Infrared heat includes a broad range of radiated heat, which ranges from heat from a light bulb, to heat from glowing coal, or a sun-warmed rock. There are different types of infrared. They’re referred to as near, medium, and far infrared.
The only good waveband for “comfort heating” is far infrared. How about the other ones? Shortwave is too strong. Middleweight is absorbed better by the skin and is reflected less than shortwave.
Longwave/far infrared is the wave band when water starts to absorb heat well for the smallest input energy. This type of heat is absorbed optimally by the skin’s surface, where the warmth is absorbed quickly by conduction into tissue/blood then moved throughout the body. That’s why far infrared is used to heat baby incubators and cabins.
Infrared heating has been around for eons, and it’s still an effective way to heat residential and commercial buildings. It’s an option you should certainly consider when considering different heating options.