How effective are infrared heating panels? (personal experience)

Infrared heating panels are up to 40% more effective than other forms of space heating. Infrared panels are not affected by drafts and heat up in less than five minutes. They are the most costs effective form of electric heating.

Infrared heating panels produce radiation that heats you and objects that are in sight of the panel. Because of this, they are very focused heaters and don’t need to heat the entire room for you to be comfortable. This reduces approximately 40% of your energy use.

Conventional means of space heating such as a central heating system or a wood stove produce warm air. With this warm air, the entire room slowly fills with warmth. However, most of it rises to the ceiling, and another part is lost to drafts and opening doors.

Infrared heating heats you and your furniture directly. Warming the air is secondary through the release of heat from heated objects. With infrared heating, you don’t have to fill the entire room with warm air but can simply target a specific area within a room.

Infrared heating panels are the most effective form of heating if you:

  • want to heat a specific area such as a seating area or (open)kitchen
  • have poor insulation or drafts leading to the loss of warm air
  • want to feel the heat quickly
  • don’t want to run the heater while you are not at home
  • use electric heating and want to cut your energy bill by 40%
  • want a durable, maintenance-free, and easy to install way of heating

Conventional air-heating is your best option if you:

  • want to heat every nook and cranny of your room
  • want to heat your room as cheap as possible

Infrared heating panels are very effective zone heaters

Infrared heating panels are best suited for heating a specific area in your room. They can be mounted to a wall or ceiling in an area that requires heating, and will quickly heat the objects and people in this area. This works very similar to sitting on a terrace in the sun. Even if the air is relatively cold, you feel warm and comfortable when you are in sight of the heater.

I have installed my 700 watts infrared heating panel directly at the back of my workspace. In this way, I can work all day without getting cold. Even during winter while we have very poor insulation.

My 700W infrared panel heating my workspace

Infrared panels are effective, even through drafts

Even when you have poor insulation and/or drafts (like I do…), infrared heating is still very effective. In fact, it is much more effective than conventional heating.

Normally, a draft or poor insulation leads to a lot of heat loss. With infrared heating, however, you and your furniture are heated first. Therefore, you feel warm regardless of the air temperature.

You will still feel the cold air coming in from a draft like you would a cold gust when sitting on a terrace. I found that a warm blanket to cover my legs is perfect during winter when the air is cold.

Infrared heat is felt almost instantly, no need for pre-heating

Infrared heating panels have a very short start-up time. It takes less than five minutes to reach their maximum heat output. Therefore, you can completely turn off the heating when you are not at home. This will save a lot of energy.

In contrast, a central heating system is often set to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) when people are not at home. This still uses quite a bit of energy. On top of that, it takes about an hour to heat the room back up to 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius).

Infrared panels are excellent supplemental heaters

Depending on your wishes, local climate, and insulation of your house, you might want to use infrared as supplemental heating. You can use a central heating system to maintain a relatively warm air temperature, and use infrared heaters for zone-heating.

For example, you can set a relatively low air temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Infrared heating panels are then used to heat the areas that you want to heat, such as the seating area.

In my experience, the air feels fresh due to the relatively low air temperature, improving comfort. Next to that, the infrared-heated areas feel very comfortable, just like sitting in the sun.

My personal experience with infrared heating panels

I am currently using a total of 1000 watts of infrared heating panels as my main form of heating. Next to this, I use a portable electric heater to increase the air temperature during winter.

You can read all about my experience with infrared heating panels in my article: My firsthand experience with infrared heating panels.

Infrared is the most cost-effective electric heating

Unfortunately, infrared heating panels run on electricity, which is the most expensive form of energy. However, if you are already using some form of electric heater, infrared heating panels will greatly reduce your energy bill.

Infrared heating panels use about 40% less energy than other forms of heating. So if the energy price stays the same (because you are using electricity already) you will save 40% on your energy bill.

Electric heating is more expensive

Unfortunately, electricity is more expensive than other types of energy. Therefore, a central heating system running on gas is cheaper to run. Even while infrared heating uses 40% less energy for the same level of comfort.

I looked at the gas prices as well as electricity prices to compare the costs of infrared vs central heating. With this, I made the following table, showing the costs of running an infrared heater vs a gas-based heating system.

Run timecosts infrared ($)costs gas ($)
One hour30.6 cents12.5 cents
Day (6 hours)1 dollar and 84 cents75 cents
Week12 dollars and 86 cents5 dollar and 27 cents
Month (30 days)55.1 dollars22 dollars and 57 cents
Table 1: running costs of infrared heating vs gas

You can read all about the running costs of infrared heating vs other forms of heating in my article: The real running costs of infrared heating.

Infrared heating panels advantages over central heating

Although infrared heating panels are relatively expensive to run compared to a central heating system, they have many advantages over it, including:

  • Central heating produces warm air, which can lead to relatively poor air quality and uncomfortable dry air
  • Infrared panels are very easy to install, simply mount them to a wall or ceiling and plug them in. No need for all kinds of tubing running around the house
  • Infrared panels are very durable and can last up to 100.000 hours. My Ecosun panels came with 10 years warranty!
  • The panels are maintenance-free. They are simple sleek panels that do not have any parts that can break or need regular cleaning.

You can read all about the advantages (and some disadvantages) of infrared heating in my article: Infrared heating pros and cons.