Infrared heating what is your experience?

jowitt.europe
jowitt.europe Posts: 1,456 admin
edited November 2021 in Building Projects

I am very much climate change conscious and I want to make our living as nature friendly as possible. So far our house is heated with oil. We also have two tile stoves heated by wood. The house is well insulated and the windows are changed and we have double and triple glazing windows.

We are looking for more nature friendly heating possibilities and one is infrared heating. As the panels are heated by electricity, this might be our next big project - the photovoltaic on the roof of the house or photovoltaic tiles on the roof.

But one step at a time. Does anyone use infrared heating? What advice could you give? Is there anything that the companies, selling infrared panels do not mention? Are you satisfied?

We can have quite cold winters down to -15C, but just for a week or so. Otherwise the temperature is -5 to +5 C during the coldest season.

Comments

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I lived, briefly, in a house that had a single infared lamp in the master bathroom ceiling. It was wonderful! Since I generally like to keep the house cooler than a lot of people are comfortable with, bath time can get cold! That one lamp, turned on only when bathing, was the best thing ever. One could shower or use the jetted tub and get dressed in comfort. That's one thing I would do again.

    I have also purchased one of those infared portable electric heaters for about 100.00 on Amazon. It works well to keep a pretty large room warm and much less fire danger and safer for the cats than the other space heaters. The school I worked for in Idaho had them in classrooms in the coldest weeks.

    That's all I have for you. I imagine others have more experience. This is the one I got.


  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It takes a lot of electricity to produce heat. Putting up a solar array to generate electricity to produce heat is not an efficient way to do it.

    You have already taken the best initial steps toward efficiency. Your house is well insulated and sealed, and you have supplementary wood heat. That's pretty much where my own house stands. Despite our cold climate, it costs us more to air condition it in summer than to heat it in winter!

    A small electric space heater works well if you are just heating a single room and running it occasionally. It's not cost or energy efficient as a primary heat source. I use one to heat my bedroom during the coldest nights, turning it off when I go to bed, or to put some hot air on me when I am in the downstairs computer room. The bedrooms and computer room are the coldest rooms in the house, because they are the farthest from the wood stove!

    If building a new house, there are steps you can take to integrate a direct solar heating system, but that approach is expensive up-front and probably not possible as an add-on to an existing home.

    I've seriously considered putting an attached solar-heated greenhouse on the south side of our house, with entry next to the front door of the house. This would make it easy to grow food all winter, and would probably also increase energy efficiency of the main house by providing an insulation buffer on one outside wall.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,521 admin

    We have an electric infrared heater in our coldest room. It is mounted on the upper portion of the wall and points downward into the room. Where it points is adjustable. It isn't the prettiest thing, but it sure makes a difference! Since our living room & dining room are fairly openly joined, it does help somewhat in our second room as well.

    I'm including this in case someone is considering these for their coops. I know some are supposed to be safe in chicken coops (the fully enclosed panels are most likely best in that case, although one like ours is still supposed to be safe), but if your power goes out and you have no backup for heat, the sudden loss of a heat source can kill them.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No matter whether you are looking at heating the house, the barn, or a coop, and what methods you are considering, backups are a good thing.

    Always plan on the assumption that Murphy rules, and what can go wrong, will go wrong

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,456 admin

    @Mary Linda Bittle, West Plains, Missouri thank you.it is very encouraging what you write. We brought one panel from the company to try it out. I have to say that I like the warmth it produces and one can easily regulate it. One can buy extra remote controller and programme it, so that it switches off during the night or, lowers it if we need heating in winter. The bill for electricity will go up, of course, but changing into infrared heating needs less investment in comparison to air pump heating. Thus we have a reserve to pay electricity bills. I am glad you write that you are satisfied with a heater bought in Amazon. We are wondering whether we should risk buying online or from a company. The difference in prices is enormous.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,456 admin

    @VermontCathy if we were to built a new house now, I would put in more wood stoves. I love the warmth from the stove and there is lots of wood available as the municipality always sells the wood after they clean the forest from fallen trees after every winter. People living in the village are also allowed to collect fallen branches free of charge, so my husband sometimes does it instead of jogging or other physical activity. He loves working with wood. And, as you rightly mention- the stoves will keep us warm when electricity fails.

    I mentioned the roof as we will have to change it anyway. Thus, I thought, we could combine roof and electricity. We are also vaguely thinking of an electric car. Well....

    a solar heated greenhouse for cold moths would be ideal. However it is not suitable for us, as, because of the mountains, we do not have any sun on the house from mid November to mid January. And very shortly in October and February. But you should go ahead. It would provide you with food, warmth and fun, of course.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,456 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning good that you mentioned chicken. Once I have a few (which I plan to do), I will have this in mind.

    you also sound positive about the infrared heater.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,521 admin

    @jowitt.europe It is the closest feel to wood heat that I am aware of.

    Do your research on coop safety and the heaters. I have read from chicken keepers that the ceramic infrared bulbs are really good, and I have seen stories of panel ones catching fire (not sure why). I don't know if you need to protect the ceramic bulb from accidentally getting hit...most likely...but it is still better than using the old style bulbs.

    I choose not to heat my coops and keep only hardy birds, giving them a few helps in colder weather. There is nothing worse that either burning down the coop by accident or having the power go out & having your birds die of temperature shock.

    If you keep any large animals such as steers, sometimes they can be housed indoors (like in a barn) with the chickens (not roaming in there free of course), and this can keep your building at a good temperature with no worries if the power goes out.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I should say that the one we put in the bathroom was a ceramic bulb type thing like they use in chicken houses. The builder thought I was crazy, but even the ex liked it on a cold day!