Infrared heating technology has been in circulation for some time, mostly used in commercial concessions such as restaurants and factories and often mistaken for 'heat lamps' or similar looking apparatus. Over the last few years however, infrared technology has excelled in the home heating sector too, with many infrared heating panels being as stylish and unassuming as a painting hung on the wall or a mirror in the bathroom. This newer, more popular version of infrared heating is known as 'far infrared' heating, but how does it work?
To best explain the benefits of far infrared, let's first start by talking about standard or 'near' infrared. Near infrared heating is what most of us will be accredited to – the 'heat lamp' in the outside dining area of the restaurant or the wire protected heater hung above doors in factories and industrial kitchens. These heaters can emit temperatures of up to 1300 degrees Celsius, and you can often see a flaw glowing red light coming from the element. The heat delivered from near infrared units can often be a little too much to bear if you get too close, and most of us will have experienced this now and again when we've sat a little too close to a heater on a patio or outside dining area – the heat can be extremely fiercely, not ideal for the home.
Far infrared heating however, use 'long wave' infrared and reach temperatures of around 100 degrees Celsius – far more comfortable for use indoors at close proximacy. They also give off no light, and the heat is manageable with the addition of a thermostat. Another thing worth mentioning about far infrared is that, because of the lower temperature levels, the heating 'panel' can be painted and decorated to blend in with its surroundings. Perfect for those looking for a modern, stylish alternative to radiators.
If you're unsure as to how infrared heat may work, you only need to cast an eye to the sky and think about how the sun works. The sun heats our planet with infrared rays and, much like the sun, infrared heaters work by heating the objects in a given area rather than the air around it. With traditional heaters, say, electric convector heaters for example, there's an element element with a fan pushing the 'hot air' out into the room. This is the same way our standard radiators work. With infrared, only the objects in the room are heated – so the walls, furniture, and us!