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Infrared Heating: A Comparison with Alternative Heating Systems

Infrared Heating: A Comparison with Alternative Heating Systems

Comparing Infrared Heating with Air Source Heat Pumps, Gas Central Heating, Storage Heaters, Underfloor Heating & More

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on heating solutions, where we delve into an in-depth comparison of infrared heating and various alternative methods. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of gas central heating, air source heat pumps, underfloor heating, electric convection radiators, storage heaters, and underfloor heating. Our aim is to provide you with a thorough understanding of each option, ensuring you have the required information to make a fully informed decision on your next heating system. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of these heating systems and discover the best solution for your needs.

Infrared Heating Vs Air Source Heat Pumps

When comparing heating solutions, many UK homeowners are torn between infrared heating and air source heat pumps (ASHP). While both systems offer energy efficiency, infrared heating often proves to be a more cost-effective option in terms of running, installation, and servicing, especially for the UK climate. Here’s why:

Installation Costs

Infrared Heating:

Infrared heating panels are relatively simple to install. They can be mounted on walls or ceilings without the need for extensive ductwork or outdoor units. The installation process is straightforward and typically requires less labour, reducing initial setup costs.

Air Source Heat Pumps:

ASHPs require a more complex installation process, including the placement of an external unit and integration with the home’s existing heating system. This often involves higher labour costs and potentially structural modifications, leading to a more expensive installation.

Servicing and Maintenance Costs

Infrared Heating:

Infrared panels have few moving parts, which means there is less that can go wrong. This results in lower maintenance requirements and costs. They typically have a long lifespan and require minimal servicing, primarily occasional cleaning to maintain efficiency.

Air Source Heat Pumps:

ASHPs have more components, including compressors, fans, and refrigerant systems, which require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. The more complex technology and moving parts mean higher servicing costs and a greater likelihood of needing repairs.

Energy Efficiency and Running Costs

Infrared Heating:

Infrared heaters convert almost all the electricity they use into heat, providing efficient and direct warmth to people and objects. This targeted heating reduces energy waste, particularly in poorly insulated homes or spaces with high ceilings, leading to lower running costs.

Air Source Heat Pumps:

While ASHPs are also energy efficient, their performance can be significantly impacted by external temperatures. In colder weather, they become less efficient and may require supplemental heating, increasing running costs. They consume electricity to operate the heat pump, and their efficiency (measured by the Coefficient of Performance) can vary, potentially leading to higher energy bills in colder months.

Heat Up Time

Infrared Heating:

Infrared panels provide almost instantaneous heat, allowing for on-demand heating without the need to preheat the space. This reduces the time and energy spent maintaining a comfortable temperature. They enable zone heating, allowing you to heat only the areas you are using, which further lowers energy consumption and costs.

Air Source Heat Pumps:

ASHPs generally take longer to warm up a space as they need to heat the air, which can be less efficient in larger or poorly insulated areas. The need to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house can result in higher overall energy use.

Versatility and Adaptability

Infrared Heating:

Infrared panels can be used in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, and outdoor spaces. This adaptability can eliminate the need for multiple heating systems. They can easily be added to existing structures without significant alterations, making them a flexible and cost-effective option.

Air Source Heat Pumps:

ASHPs are primarily designed for whole-house heating and may not be as effective for localised or supplementary heating needs. Their installation can be more invasive, requiring sufficient outdoor space and proper ventilation, which can limit their applicability in some homes.

Impact of External Temperatures

Infrared Heating:

Infrared heaters are not affected by external temperatures as they directly heat people and objects within their range. This ensures consistent performance regardless of outdoor conditions.

Air Source Heat Pumps:

ASHPs are significantly impacted by external temperatures, which is particularly relevant in the UK climate. During colder months, their efficiency drops, and they need to work harder and use additional electrical heating to maintain comfort levels. This can lead to higher energy consumption and increased running costs.


In conclusion, while both infrared heating and air source heat pumps offer benefits, infrared heating often stands out as a more economical choice in the UK due to its lower installation and servicing costs, higher energy efficiency, adaptability, and consistent performance regardless of external temperatures. For homeowners looking to save money and simplify their heating solution, infrared heating presents a compelling option. 

Infrared Panels Vs Storage Heaters

Infrared heating panels are approximately 60% more efficient than traditional night storage heaters. This efficiency translates into lower electricity consumption and reduced running costs over time. By providing instant warmth and heating objects directly, infrared panels minimise energy wastage and optimise heating efficiency.

Users of infrared heating panels typically experience lower electricity bills compared to those using storage heaters. The targeted heating approach of infrared panels means they use less energy to achieve the same level of comfort, resulting in significant savings on energy expenses. Storage heaters rely on storing heat during off-peak electricity hours (typically overnight) and releasing it throughout the day. While this can be beneficial for reducing peak electricity demand, storage heaters often suffer from heat loss and can struggle to maintain consistent warmth throughout the day.

Infrared Heating Panels Vs Gas Central Heating

When comparing infrared heating panels to gas central heating, several key differences become apparent. Infrared panels are generally more efficient, converting nearly all the energy they consume directly into heat, while gas central heating systems can lose energy through pipework and combustion. This efficiency can lead to potential cost savings on energy bills over time. Additionally, infrared heating panels typically have lower installation costs, as they do not require extensive pipework or boiler systems. Once installed, they often require minimal maintenance, unlike gas systems which usually need regular servicing and inspections. Infrared panels also feature a sleek, space-saving design that can be mounted on ceilings or walls, blending into various décor styles. In contrast, gas central heating systems often involve bulkier radiators and more complex infrastructure. Overall, infrared heating presents a modern alternative to traditional gas central heating, with distinct advantages in efficiency, installation, and maintenance.

Infrared Heating Panels Vs Underfloor Heating

While both infrared heating panels and underfloor heating systems offer efficient ways to heat your home, infrared panels stand out for their simplicity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Infrared panels can be mounted on walls or ceilings with minimal disruption, whereas underfloor heating often requires significant modifications to flooring and structures. This simplicity also extends to maintenance – infrared panels are easy to access and repair or replace  whereas fixing underfloor heating systems can be costly and intrusive, often requiring the flooring to be lifted. In terms of cost-effectiveness, infrared heating panels are generally more affordable to purchase and install compared to underfloor heating. They provide a practical heating solution with lower initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs.

Infrared Heating Panels Vs Electric Convection Radiators

When comparing infrared heating panels to electric convection radiators, several distinct advantages of infrared heating panels emerge. Firstly, infrared panels require approximately 42% less wattage to heat an equal-sized area compared to electric convection radiators. This efficiency not only results in immediate energy savings but also reduces the overall electricity consumption, contributing to lower energy bills in the long run.

Additionally, infrared heating panels offer more targeted and efficient heat distribution. They emit infrared radiation that directly heats objects and people in the room, rather than heating the air like convection radiators do. This approach ensures quicker warmth and maintains a more consistent temperature throughout the space. 

Moreover, infrared heating panels typically have a longer lifespan and require minimal maintenance as they do not have any moving parts. In terms of installation and aesthetics, infrared panels are often slimmer and can be mounted on walls or ceilings, saving valuable floor space and blending seamlessly into various room designs. On the other hand, electric convection radiators are usually bulkier and must be positioned on the floor or against walls, potentially limiting room layout options.

While both heating methods have their merits depending on specific needs and preferences, the energy efficiency, targeted heating, longevity, and design flexibility make infrared heating panels a compelling choice for modern home and commercial heating solutions.

Final Thoughts

There we have it. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post. We hope that this comprehensive comparison has provided you with all the information you need to make a fully informed decision when choosing your next heating system. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each option, you can confidently select the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution for your home. Here's to a warmer, greener future!

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