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

Infrared panel heat: any reviews?

tmallett | Posted in Mechanicals on

I am heating my zone 6 2300sf house with minisplits and a propane fireplace. The bathrooms, however are more isolated in the floor plan. I had been considering supplemental infloor electric radiant or kickspace heaters until I discovered ceiling- or wall-mounted infrared heating panels. The smallest 250w glass or steel units look like they easily heat 50sf rooms. Some are even available as a mirror. It looks like an efficient way to occasionally heat rooms that have air pulled into the HRV. Are there any good independent reviews out there on the concept? I have heard that infrared can be uncomfortable if mounted in the ceiling.

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.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    You are correct: electric resistance heaters will easily heat a bathroom. You can choose a kickspace heater, a wall-mounted electric heater, in-floor resistance heat, or a ceiling-mounted radiant panel. They all work.

    These heaters should be controlled by a thermostat. Most people find them comfortable.

    However, some people don't like ceiling-mounted radiant heaters. (It's also true that some people don't like in-floor heating systems.) People are idiosyncratic. If you think that a hot floor or a hot ceiling might be irritating, choose a simple wall-mounted electric heater.

  2. tmallett | | #2

    Thanks Martin,
    Yes I have thermostats roughed in. I was just wondering if resistance was less efficient because the warm air would be continually drawn out of the room by the HRV. At least with radiant, the solid surfaces are warmed. Maybe the difference is negligible? Resistance is certainly far cheaper to install.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Unless I misunderstand your question, all of these systems are electric-resistance heaters. All of these heaters provide heat partly by radiation, and partly by convection.

    It's true that an electric-resistance ("radiant") heating panel on the ceiling can provide comfort even when the air temperature is low. However, I doubt whether you plan to keep your bathroom at a cold air temperature (as would happen in a garage or warehouse).

    An HRV exhaust grille won't significantly cool your bathroom. Basically, you can keep your bathroom as cool or as warm as you want -- that's what the thermostat is for.

  4. tmallett | | #4

    Perfect. You answered my questions. Thx /E

  5. user-2890856 | | #5

    Edward , I would caution not using sq ft as your guide . A 50 sf room requiring 17 BTUh would be well served but if the load was above that you may find yourself uncomfortable .

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |