GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

can you create a blog on infrared heating panels?

Iona Jonasson | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

People would benefit from knowing how infrared heating panels are more efficient, comfortable, and safer than conventional heating methods.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.

Replies

  1. Nate G | | #1

    "Energy efficient saving 50-70% over traditional methods"

    Wow that sounds amazing!!!!!! Can you provide some lab results to back up this claim? ;-)

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Iona,
    I see that your email address includes "@greendirections.ca" -- the company you are promoting. So to answer your question: No, we won't write such a blog. And, to clarify the situation, I'm hereby informing you that your post is in violation of GBA policy, which prohibits attempts by marketers to post free ads.

    But I may leave your post up for a few days, just to take an opportunity to ridicule the exaggerated claims and lies included in your brochure.

    Stay away from this company, folks -- run the opposite direction.

  3. Dan Kolbert | | #3

    Put on a sweater.

  4. Greg Smith | | #4

    Martin,

    Thanks for leaving this up for awhile. I went to visit the website and you can't deny that it is very entertaining!

    I did enjoy reading their explanation of infrared heating:

    Infrared energy is best compared to the warmth of the sun.

    The vast amount of energy emitted by the sun is transported to the surface via electromagnetic beams that are divided into different wavelengths. Rays that do reach the earth’s surface contain a number of wavelengths representing both visible and invisible light; ranging from Ultraviolet light (UV) then traveling through the visible light to the Infrared IR) portion of the spectrum.

    Ultraviolet light has a high frequency and thus a short wavelength that possesses a large amount of energy. Infrared waves have the lowest frequency of all and therefore also the lowest energy level. Infrared is absorbed, stored and “re-transmitted”.

    Every object emits Infrared energy; when an object has a higher temperature than its surroundings, the Infrared light it emits will warm-up nearby objects. This is also called “indirect” heating.

    What is far-infrared heating?
    Infrared heating converts electricity into far-infrared energy which heats all the objects in the space.

    Does infrared heat cause cancer?
    Not at all. Because far-infrared heat is produced from the safe end of the infrared spectrum of light; the opposite end from ultraviolet light which can cause skin cancer. There is absolutely no danger from exposure to far infrared heat; rather it is therapeutic and healing for our bodies.

    Is far-infrared heating healthy?
    Far-infrared heating can stop swelling, improve mobility, enhance circulation of the blood and lower blood pressure, improve healing, etc, etc.

    Is infrared heating safe?
    Yes, totally. Far infrared heating uses light from the safe end of the infrared spectrum of light from the sun to warm spaces without burning them.

    How efficient is far-infrared heat?
    100%. No heat is lost through hot air rising or flowing out an open door or window as happens with convection heat. Since the objects in the room are heated, the heat is retained in them and conserved for later usage. The temperature in the room can be turned down sooner than you would expect.

    ----------------------------------------

    wow!

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    Greg,
    Never have glowing toaster elements sounded fancier...

  6. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #6

    Human comfort is about mean radiant temperature, not air temperature. Like radiant floors & ceilings, radiant panel heating can provide human comfort at much lower ambient air temperatures. With occupancy sensor controls and careful selection of panel placement relative to where people would be sitting/standing you MIGHT be able to achieve those kinds of savings over "traditional methods", if by "traditional methods" they mean electric baseboard convectors or an electric hot air furnace, simply by allowing the ambient air temperatures drop to 50F or lower.
    Even a +20F in calm winds with lots of reflective snow to help out, standing under the big toaster in the sky can be T-shirt weather. (Even with light winds and moderate ground speeds I've skied comfortably in a T-shirt & fleece vest for hours at outdoor temps in the 20sF.)

    But a heat pump maintaining the ambient temp will do as well or even better than a radiant panel, in almost any climate, and without needing occupancy sensor control.

    In a house heated by a mini-splits where low load doored off rooms such as bathrooms have no local heat source, an occupancy sensor & thermostatically controlled radiant panel or low-voltage mesh radiant floor may be "worth" it for the extra cush-factor for those who really want it. Most people can be comfortable enough without it.

    Their marketing hype is indeed pretty gooey stuff, taking great liberties, and without citing conditions under which those savings might (if only in theory) might be achieved. The notion that it prevents/eliminates ice damming on roofs is pretty kewl stuff- makes me wonder where the marketing company is located. (Is recreational cannabis legal there? :-) )

    The Innovation Center at the Rocky Mountain Institute is an experimental building where there is no centralized heating/cooling, only personal-scale localized conditioning systems. It's pretty new and I expect it will be awhile before all the energy use data is in, but well controlled radiant panels could (theoretically) be part of such a system, but I don't think they needed or wanted them in that building. See:

    http://www.rmi.org/innovationcenter_thermal_comfort

    http://www.rmi.org/Content/Files/Insight%20brief_Thermal%20Comfort%20V7_FINAL%20FOR%20RELEASE.pdf

  7. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #7

    Dana,
    I think you're being too charitable.

    "Energy efficient saving 50-70% over traditional methods"?

    It's an electric radiant heater. Most people will leave it on until the air temperature in the room is in the comfortable range. The fuel price is between 2.5 to 3 times the price of the fuel for a minisplit, and almost anywhere in North America, considerably more expensive than natural gas. 'Nuff said.

  8. Charlie Sullivan | | #8

    I'm pleased to learn that:

    1) "Far-infrared heating can stop swelling, improve mobility, enhance circulation of the blood and lower blood pressure, improve healing, etc, etc."

    and

    2) "Every object emits Infrared energy."

    I happen to be sitting in a cluttered office. There are objects all around me. Now that I know they are emitting infrared energy, and I know that that's good for me, I am delighted.

  9. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #9

    I'm not really being all that charitable, in that it's predicated on allowing 50F or lower air temperatures, and being under occupancy sensor control as necessary conditions for achieving that level of savings. That's not how it's being advertised, or how most people would use it, but it COULD be used that way.

    I've long advocated occupancy sensor controls on low mass electric panel radiators or cove heaters in low load intermittent use doored off areas such as bathrooms for this reason- it really CAN save that much, but few have really taken that advice. It beats oversized ductless heat pump heads on both upfront cost and often on energy use in those applications.

  10. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #10

    Dana,
    I think we're in agreement on the scientific principles.

    But very few Americans or Canadians who read the deceptive brochure we are talking about are thinking, "That's a great idea! I'll keep my house at 50 degrees F, and use an electric radiant heater to take the edge off. I'll put a radiant heater in each room and each radiant heater will be controlled by an occupancy sensor, so that when I walk from the living room to the kitchen, the heater in the living room will turn off automatically, while the heater in the kitchen will turn on when I enter. Of course, I'll shiver for half a minute in the 50 degree air in the kitchen while the heater warms up, but I think I'll save on my fuel bills."

    Not going to happen. And the promotional materials are misleading and obfuscatory. The brochure tries to fleece unsuspecting customers of their money rather than trying to solve a genuine problem with high heating bills.

  11. Dave De C | | #11

    But.....SCIENCE!
    Infrared, Ultraviolet, Frequency, Wavelength, Electromagnetic Beams!
    All sciencey high tech sounding stuff.

    I mean... the thing has friggin Electromagnetic Beams. That has science written all over it. How can you deny that it's all high tech and clearly better. Because... BEAMS...and electromagnetic ones at that! Makes me warm just thinking about it. .

  12. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #12

    There is even weirder, less probable "solutions" than that. Check these folks out:

    http://phoenixenergynv.com/

    http://docplayer.net/docs-images/28/13007323/images/4-0.png

    Can you believe they are currently the high bidder on an unfinished nuclear plant in Alabama? (I can't... quite... grasp... )

    http://www.trivalleycentral.com/trivalley_dispatch/health_and_wellness/nevada-company-submits-bid-for-unfinished-nuclear-plant/article_4045ae5e-79e8-11e6-ae62-1baa3457b77d.html

    I'm not sure if or how they raised the $38 million bid price, but anybody vetting their described technology has to suspend reality to buy in:

    http://peswiki.com/directory:induction-fueled-power-plant-design-by-phoenix-energy-of-nevada-penv-llc

    Conventional stuff, right? Just 8MW-in to yield 90MW-out. KWEL! No fuel consumed, no nasty emissions, nothing, the only byproduct is spectroscopically pure distilled water! (No violations of the first law of thermodynamics either... or wait- how does that go again? ) That's WAY better than 50-70% savings over conventional systems- with these powering the grid end use efficiency won't even matter!

    We all know the tooth fairy doesn't really have wings- she really rides a unicorn. Either that or she drives a Delorean that was converted into a time machine powered by a flux capacitor or something...

    If they succeed in buying the half-built nuke they'll have a great prop for selling their story to others. Who knows how far they will get with this, if they're able to pull off the purchase & sale! It's nice mostly-wooded riverfront property, with GREAT grid infrastructure access already built in, perfect for setting up a high wattage P.T. Barnum side show for making the pitch.

  13. Terry Hovey | | #13

    I would like to put my 2 cents in on this. I lived in a home where we installed infared panels after a fire. I have to say it was the best heat I ever had. It was a 1500 watt panel comparable to my baseboard heater lost in the fire. It was about 2/3 of the cost of the baseboard to run but the heat was wonderful since it warmed everything in the room there were no cold spots an having artritis it meant less pain since my joints were warmed. however the only down side was that it was very slow to heat if it was set on 10 f it took about 4 hours to rise the room temp to 30. I bought it in Fredericton NB from a small company. Would I recommend it a resounding yes.

  14. D Dorsett | | #14

    Terry: Sounds like an anecdotal ~33% net savings, then (not 50-70% as advertised).

    The comfort effects of raising the mean radiant temperature (MRT) of a room are well understood (which is why radiant floors and panel radiators are popular upgrades in luxury housing.) But with a heat pump one can raise the MRT by raising the ambient termperate at a lower operational cost than resistance electric panels.

  15. D Dorsett | | #15

    This, from a more realistic fan of infrared panel heating in Australia (refered to as Far Infra Red heating, in this bit o' bloggery: https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/space-heating-cooling-homes-time-rethink/ )

    "..we of course only turned on a panel when someone was sitting under it – we made no attempt to warm the room. While I was sitting under a panel enjoying lovely warmth (around 20-22⁰C) on a cold Canberra evening, just a few metres away the temperature in one corner of the room was often around 12⁰C. I rapidly became a ‘person’, not ‘space’, heating convert!"

    Then:

    "Of course, in practice, the energy gains of personal, rather than space, heating are not clear cut. With one person in a large room you will almost certainly use less energy by heating with FIR than you would using a heat pump. However, as the number of room occupants increases, or the size of the room decreases, the energy use/person balance between the two heating options is likely to change in favour of space heating."

    So yes, with occupancy sensor control (or a diligent occupant who attends to the "off" switch) and allowing low ambient air temperatures it's possible to save on heating energy use, but it's not really going to be a significant energy saver for most.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.

Community

Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |