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Mode of action of infrared heaters

Infrared heating mode of operation

More than just hot air: differences between conventional heating systems and IR heaters

Conventional heating systems, such as heat pumps, pellet stoves, gas or oil heating work on the principle of convection heat. Convection heat works by first heating the air, which as a result warms the people in the room. This process creates an uncomfortable indoor air climate due to high heating air temperatures, air movement and uneven layers of warm and cold air. In addition, when doors and windows are opened, the heated room air is quickly replaced by cool, fresh air, which means that it has to be reheated after each airing – an inefficient and, above all, costly heating concept that, on top of everything else, only generates noticeable heat after longer heating periods. In addition, the air is dried out by the heating in convection heating systems and the low humidity leads to a constant distribution of dust particles and thus to an increased dust load, which can be particularly problematic for elderly and sensitive people and allergy sufferers.

And how does an IR heater work?

IR heating, on the other hand, does not heat the air, but the walls and all the objects and people that are in the room. The infrared radiation stored in the walls and furniture is then uniformly radiated in turn as gentle heat. This is a completely natural process - similar to the way a tiled stove works or the sun heats the ground and body while sunbathing. The heat waves generated in this way also have hardly any effect on the air movement and ensure a constant, pleasant humidity. Thus, the air remains fresh and dust-free, and even ventilating the room has no negative impact on the heating effect. Moreover, infrared heat is perceived more intensively due to its direct effect - up to 2° to 3° C warmer than conventional convection heating systems.
Inefficient heat distribution when using a convection heater
Efficient heat distribution when using an infrared heater

Disadvantages of convection heating

  • High acquisition costs
  • Ongoing maintenance costs
  • Lower life expectancy and very expensive to replace
  • Additional electricity and other utilities such as chimney sweep service, etc.
  • Unfavorable temperature distribution in the room (cold on the floor, hot under the ceiling)
  • High energy loss due to high ventilation losses (30-40%) and thus additional heating costs
  • Unhealthy indoor climate due to high dust generation and drier air
  • Additional space requirement for storage of e.g. pellets, oil etc.
  • Enormous heat loss due to heat generation in an external room (therme in other room).
  • Often unappealing design