Since its inception, infrared heating technology is used extensively in commercial establishments such as factories and restaurants. It is often mistakenly thought to be a heat lamp or other similar-looking apparatus. Infrared technology has also excelled in home heating over the past few years. Many infrared panels are as elegant and simple as paintings hung on walls or mirrors in bathrooms. Far infrared heating, a newer and more popular type of infrared heating, is now more widely known. But how does it work?

Let’s start with standard or ‘near infrared to best explain the many benefits of far-infrared. Near infrared heating will be what most people are familiar with – the heaters that hang above doors in factories or industrial kitchens, and the heat lamps in restaurants. You can see a faint glowing red light from these heaters, which can reach temperatures up to 1300°C. Near infrared heaters can sometimes be too hot to handle if you are too close. Most of us have seen this happen when we sit too close to heaters on patios or outdoor dining areas. The heat can be very intense and not ideal for our homes best infrared heating pad.

Far infrared heating, however, uses ‘long wave infrared. It can reach temperatures of about 100 degrees Celsius and is far more comfortable to use indoors. The heat can be controlled by adding a thermostat to the heating system. They emit no light and are very easy to maintain. Far infrared can also be painted or decorated to blend with the surrounding environment. This is a great alternative to radiators.

You don’t need to be a scientist to understand how infrared heat works. Just look up at the sky and consider how the sun works. Infrared rays heat the planet. Infrared heaters are similar to the sun. They heat objects within a specific area and not the surrounding air. For example, in traditional heaters like electric convector heaters, an element is attached to a fan that pushes the hot air out of the room. The same principle applies to standard radiators. Infrared heats only the objects within the room, so walls, furniture and even us are not heated by it.

Martin Groves worked in the heating industry for many years. He now consults with industry professionals and journalists on energy efficiency.


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