Energy efficient heating system

Is infrared heating, as main heating system, energy efficient? 

In order to answer this question, it is necessary to understand what it means energetically to heat a room or a house.

Heating a room where we live in daily ( living room, kitchen, office ) needs a heating system as main heating to create the wanted and desired climate and comfort condition, this means to bring a sufficient amount of heat energy into that room; because it is the room itself which demands that energy.

When we can heat up a room, and we go into that room afterwards, then we feel comfortable in that room.

How to heat?

This can be done by supplying warm air which has a tremendous disadvantage called  “convection “, being air mouvement, draft….  or by using heat-energy coming from radiant-heat  called ” Far infrared heating “.

  • Warm air heating systems always need  the combination of : electricity and oil, or electricity and gaz, in order to heat up a third element “water”, so that this warmed up water can be send through tubes in order to reach the classic radiators in the specific rooms. During this process a lot of energy losses are the result by all these energy transformations from one form to another form before it reaches his target heat element. The final goal is to deliver warm air in a specific room.
  • Unfortunately warm air rises and gets nowhere accumulated in objects or materials which surrounds us in that room; materials like : walls, floors, fourniture, etc. The rooms have to be especially well insulated so that the warm air doesn’t get away immediately.

Convection

This process demands a continous supply of warm air. This results finally in a thick layer of warm air at the ceiling whilst at the floor a substantially lower temperature is measured…. this is called “convection”. So there is a continous convection in that room or house.

  • With every warm air heating system there is always a “burner” in which a fire takes place. A fire needs oxygen which it takes from the room,  and so the dangerous carbon monoxide and/or carbon dioxide are left over after the burning process. Extremely bad for the environment. Not energy efficient and definitely not interesting for the environment!.
  • Not the same process with heat pumps. In most cases also warm air production, but not by burning fossile fuels. Most of the time a very expensive solution, at least when the calculations for heat losses are respected to be well performing. Some questions to be asked : will it be warm enough in my rooms, and specifically in my bathroom? what will happen when the heating system fails?  what could be the costs for repair?  etc.     But the  issue of “convection” remains.
  • Using radiant heating panels FIR, the heat energy is produced by electricity running through a resistor foil. For this reason infrared heating is qualified as an electrical heater, but absolutely not a direct electrical heater. The front of the Nord Rhein Energy infrared heating panel is a glass surface which is heated up by  heat conduction; it is the heated up glass which radiates the heat, and so the far infrared heat is radiated towards the room. The transmission from electrical energy to warmth energy has practically no losses. The warmth energy is produced in the room itself where we need the heat as the main heating. When sufficient heat is radiated into the room, then this heat is absorbed and accumulated in the surrounding objects and materials, exactly like the radiating heat of the sun does continously all the time. This goes on until a temperature balance is reached between the radiant panel and the objects and materials in that room. From that moment on there is no need anymore to constantly produce warmth energy, and so there is no longer any need to consume electricity continuously and so the system becomes energy efficient. It all comes to deliver enough warmth energy and therefor heat loss calculations are extremely important. It is obvious that the warmth accumulation capacity of objects and materials ( inertia ) in the rooms is a very important factor.

Pleasant and comfortable warmth

This type of heating as main heating system provides a minimum of temperature differencies at different places in a room and so almost no convection. This means a much more comfortable climate than with the traditional heating systems, warm air based.