Since Roman times we have used pretty much the same methods of heating for our homes. Back then, water was heated and pumped through the walls of the house to radiate heat out through the building and keep the occupants inside as warm as possible. They were the originators of this form of underfloor heating and the essential premise is one which was taken into all central heating systems you see around the world today. Boil water, circulate, heat.
When you reflect upon this it is perhaps a little surprising that the method hasn’t evolved any further. In many ways it is a credit to how advanced the Romans were but surely, in the 21st century there is another way of getting the same results if not better through more advanced and efficient means?
What’s the solution?
Over the last few years there has been a lot of talk about how infrared radiant heating might be the solution. The main point of difference is that the direct nature of the heating which is applied. If you think about the process of central heating it is hugely inefficient because of the sheer number of links in the chain. First you need to heat the water, which in turn heats the radiator which then heats the air which is required to heat the people in it. At each one of these energy transactions there is a loss and given how many transactions there is, you don’t need to be a physicist to realise that quite a bit of the money you are pouring into your heating bill isn’t ultimately heating you at all.
In contrast, infrared technology is completely direct. Rather than heating the air around you, it heats literally everything. Tables, lamps, even the people in the room itself all receive direct heat and their temperatures are raised by the infrared rays which bounce around the room.
Benefits to Infrared Heating
This is obviously a much more efficient system than the previous one which was on offer, simply in terms of the significantly fewer links in the chain. But there are other benefits too. This added efficiency means that you can also set your temperature a little lower than you would with central heating. The direct nature of the heating means that you can feel it almost instantaneously, so you no longer have to worry about setting your heating to turn on an hour before you get home in the middle of winter.
All of these things have the added bonus of course of effecting your bottom line. More efficient, lower temperature, quicker acting heating cuts through that horrible sense of impending fear when the heating bill lands on the mat in the hall. So it seems pretty fair to say that in this head to head contest, infrared heating is the clear victory and it is arguably a knock out.