Far Infrared Heating. It’s heating, Jim, but not as we know it! (but you may need more power, Scotty)

December 11, 2017 Jeff Rhys-Jones 9 comments
(above) 600W ‘Glass’ FIR panels mounted on the lounge ceiling. A RAIS 2:1 double sided integrated stove is also in use as a supplementary / alternative heat source)

ACC HAUS founder, Jeff Rhys-Jones, shares his ‘experiences’ in the conversion of his 1920s home from gas to Far Infrared heating…

It’s been a year since I completed the renovation work on our 1920s era home, part of which was a rather bold move to ditch the traditional gas central heating, and instead switch to a completely different type of heating, Far Infrared (FIR). It’s certainly been an interesting (in both a good and bad way!) project and so I thought I would share our experiences on this blog to help any other ‘conFIRts’.

 

Quite a few of the challenges experienced probably require their own blog but I thought I would kick things off with a err – ‘brief’ – summary of the pros and cons for those interested.

What is Far Infrared (FIR) heating?

Far Infrared comes in many forms these days – wall & ceiling panels, underfloor heating, and even domestic hot water (DHW) and ‘wet’ central heating systems. Whatever the form, they all use the same principle of generating FIR by passing electric current through a panel containing layers of carbon graphite polyimide, copper, nickel & nano silver to around 100c at which point long wave infra read / FIR is emitted. Unlike a traditional electric room heater, FIR is only absorbed by ‘matter’ and not air, so it does not rely on convection for heat transfer. The theory goes that as you are not heating air, but matter, far less energy is required to heat the same space than traditional electric heaters.

Is FIR really far better?

I can confirm that it’s true, FIR panels *do* emit a more natural heat sensation, the analogy used by many companies who sell FIR panels, is that of the sensation of feeling the sun on your face, on a cold winter morning, is a claim I can verify – though I’m afraid you can change back out of those Speedos – you won’t get a tan!

 

There are quite a few listed health benefits, mainly because without heat convection, there is less house dust in circulation, so people with asthmatic conditions, or simply just don’t like the drying out / ‘Bombay duck’ feeling of traditional central heating will find living in a FIR home far more comfortable. Our old central heating system somehow used to suck the life out of me like a Dementor from Harry Potter which would lead to constant ‘window open, window shut’ arguments with the wife every night.

 

We no longer have a gas boiler or any radiators, so because of that – there’s no requirement for gas boiler repairs, gas checks, pumps, valves, pipes, leaks and the pain of annual radiator ‘weeing’ as the wife used to call it. Being electric and with no moving parts, a FIR solution is essentially ‘solid state’ and therefore requires pretty much no servicing and panels can simply be swapped out by a home owner if they do break. So it’s certainly a far more resilient & ‘sold state’ type of solution. So there are certainly savings made on not having to service it.

Where To Put Them?


(above) 400w FIR panel on ceiling of upstairs hall. Always try to match panel ‘shapes’ to match the space you intend to heat – so in this case, a long thin panel was a better choice than a square one.

The best place to fix FIR panels is on the ceiling, so this means a huge amount of wall space in your house can be reclaimed that was previously taken by ugly looking radiators. FIR panels are an interior decorators dream. Perhaps you don’t want to put anything on the wall at all – and you can feel really good about having a pure white space to look at. Some do!

 

*IMPORTANT NOTE ON CEILING MOUNTED GLASS FIR PANELS!*

You may notice around our website that we have photos of glass FIR panels which are ceiling mounted. If you want to benefit from the extra performance / different aesthetic appearance of ceiling mounted glass FIR panels, you MUST take into account a number of important safety considerations. 

  1. Glass FIR panels are quite a bit heavier than non-glass variants so you will need to make sure your ceiling fixing are capable of holding the additional weight.
  2. Glass is fixed to the FIR panel using adhesive in the manufacturing process. Over time, and due to certain environmental factors, it is possible that the adhesive could fail. Because of this fact, we strongly recommend that if you would like ceiling mounted glass FIR panels, that you purchase Herschel Infrared’s ‘Inspire’ Glass FIR product. Only this particular range of products come fitted with special clips that act an additional safeguard to protect against glass adhesive failure.

 

Being electric, together with smart home technology, you can create some highly customised, and efficient heating regimes. Heat rooms based on individual preferences, perhaps automatically turn down if movement is not detected for a number of days. It’s true that the £/KwH is more for electricity than gas, but with a wet central heating solution, you can’t simply ‘move’ a working radiator from one room to another. With FIR you can heat three rooms in rotation, using a fixed kWH budget – so a bit like getting a heater, heating a room for a bit, physically moving it to the next, and so on, until all rooms are up to temp. Once rooms hit the desired temp, they drop out of the loop, and thus ‘shortening’ it, so that the remaining rooms get more heat, until they in turn drop out, until all rooms come out of the loop and heating is off. So it’s a loop rotation system that ‘spread’ heat around the house. We have created a powerful Loxone program to do just this – we call it SLAM or Sequential Loop Active Membership.

 

Read our Loxone setup guide

 

Above: A basic demo of our Loxone SLAM program. Naturally SLAM works for anyy devices you want to run in a dynamically changing sequence…

FIR heating is quite responsive, unlike underfloor heating which can take quite a while to get going, you can ‘boost’ a FIR room back up to comfort temperature in a very short time. Likewise, if a room was ever to get too warm with FIR, the panels can simply be turned off.

 

The panels are very nearly 100% efficient. With no heat loss though boiler, pipes and other heating paraphernalia such as pumps.  It takes 600 watts to run a 600w FIR panel, and all of this energy is transferred to the room – so there is virtually no loss at all aside from minimal resistance in electric copper cabling.

 

Finally, they can be powered by the sun. It’s going to be a while until a household can viably generate its own gas, but you can use solar to  generate your own electricity. On a sunny winters day, if you have a large sized PV system on the roof (we have a 4KW system), you’ll likely not have to pay anything for your heating at all.

 

FIR – The Considerations

Any technology which is powered by electricity is going to be more expensive to run on paper, than gas, simply because the cost / KwH of electricity is far higher than using gas. So the key factors to a successful FIR deployment are as follows:

Insulation, insulation and insulation!

As with any heating solution, the better insulated your house, then the better it will retain its heat, and therefore the less time it will need to be on. If your house has poor insulation then the W/meter cubed required to heat your home will be higher, and therefore so will your electricity bill. Just with anything electric, it will be considerably higher! So work our your w/ meter cubed first, that will help you estimate your worst case scenario electricity bills.

Panel type and placement

This is rather crucial. Panels should be placed as central to a room as possible, and remember that FIR cannot pass around corners, so any strange shaped rooms would be better suited to multiple smaller panels, rather than a large central one.

 

At ACC HAUS we have partnered with and recommend panels from Herschel Infrared, who offer a great range of FIR panels for all budgets. The crucial factor with Herschel panels (for the UK market specifically) is that they are supplied with UK rated elements, and not EU rated. Calm down, this is nothing about Brexit (after all our Smart Home system vendor is Loxone – from Austria!) but actually about voltage, and how the panels perform. We mention this a few paragraphs down, but as Herchel supply panels with heating elements specifically designed to run at 240V, the output wattage exactly matches the specified wattage. If you were to buy a FIR panel with an EU / 230V element, your 600W panel would actually run at something like 640W. You may think more wattage = better, but actually it’s quite the opposite.

So this is why if you are in the UK and considering buying a FIR panel, you should make sure it’s Herschel.

 

Thermostats / temperature sensors

They more you have the more you can manage and optimise. Because FIR heats matter and not air (which is what thermostats measure) you would typical set a thermostat a few degrees lower for FIR than for traditional central heating. So 19.5c rather than 21.5c. Using smart home management systems such as the Loxone system which we use and recommend, you can even feed multiple temperature sensors into a room control system, so take readings from different parts of a room and from this calculate an average.

Smart Home Management Plans

This is certainly a topic in its own right, but basically, if you are thinking about FIR you really should also consider deploying it with full smart home integration, monitoring and reporting in order to control running costs. For our project we used the powerfully and highly functional Loxone Smart Home solution. ACC are a fully qualified / certified Loxone Silver partner – so please contact us about any Loxone requirements!

Secondary / Alternative heat source

To take the ‘heat’ out of deep winter bills, I would recommend building an additional high power heat source that uses and alternative energy source from electricity, a wood burning stove with passive heat circulation to other rooms in the house is a great choice – and something we installed. It means in a power cut, we don’t freeze!

Wiring & fixing points

I would caution anyone trying to retrofit FIR room by room, rather than part of a full refurb. If you have one room which is not on your central heating, then fine, but doing the whole house – that’s a big job. If you are refurbishing anyway, as we were – then this is the time to think about it. Make sure you isolate your panels to their own ‘rings’ and carefully calculate the max potential load on each ring.

Temperature Sensor Placement

This needs to be carefully thought out. If your sensors are too close to your panels, the entire room will not get up to heat, but conversely, placing them too far from the panels, you may find your panels are on more than they need to be. Thankfully Loxone make a wireless light switch with built in temperature and humidity sensor, so this gives you the ability to move it around to get the best placement.

Voltage

A FIR BIGGIE! If you are buying FIR panels, you need to check with the panel vendor that the heating elements in the panels are rated to run at your local voltage, in, in the UK, this is 240v. We were unlucky enough to ‘learn’ this important fact only after we found our now recommended FIR panel vendor of Herschel Infrared.

 

We made the mistake of purchasing FIR panels with elements rated for 230v, because pretty much like everything else in the house runs fine. This is totally legal, however, for ceiling panels in particular – can cause major problems, because UK voltage is 240v – all of our FIR panels were running over wattage. Yes, they will give out more heat – which you might think is good – but not so. To prevent them overheating, FIR panels have a built in overheat cut off safety feature, and up on the ceiling where it’s warmest, a panel that is supposed to run at 230v and 600w, on 240v will likely run at around 640w. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but this WILL cause the panels to run hotter, overheat, and constantly switch off (you will hear constant clicking sounds as this occurs). This is in no way dangerous, (quite the contrary it proves the safety feature works), it’s just that with all the clicking off, cooling down, and then heating up etc, this completely disrupts the generation of FIR and therefore means you won’t be getting uniform output.

 

This was exactly the case for us, strangely, more so in some rooms than others. FIR panels were never getting a long enough ‘burn’ because they were constantly clicking off and on. But we had purchased and fitted all our FIR panels (all 28 of them!) and there was nothing technically ‘wrong’ with them. Some lateral thinking was required!

 

The (rather ingenious I might add!) solution was – rather than return and replace all the panels, and likely have to re-do all the mounting points (lot of work) – was to purchase in a VO or ‘Voltage Optimiser’ which enabled us to down step the voltage in the house from 240v to 226.5v – so very nearly 230v. This was only possible because we have all the panels on their own dedicated power rings, so we simply moved the FIR rings over to the VO and the problem was solved. It’s not really what at VO is supposed to do, but it really saved our bacon!

 

The take away from all of this, is hopefully on reading this blog you will not fall into this same trap as us, and you will make sure your FIR panels are 240v rated elements – which if you buy from Herschel Infraredwill be the case.

 

EPC Rating

Another biggie. If you are doing a retro fit, then prepare for your EPC rating to drop like a stone. You will be subjected to a type of EPC check called an ‘rdSAP’ (residential SAP) type of assessment. This type of EPC check has many assumptions, and also, there is no ‘category’ for your FIR panels, so the rdSAP assessor will simply put them in as ‘Electric Panel Heaters’ which will result in an awful rating.

 

To get around this, you need to embark on something called ‘Full SAP’ – something usually done for new builds only. However – thanks to a brainwave by Mark Hunt at MH Energy Consultants – if you change your primary heat source (as we did) plus you have full architect’s drawings, so floor plans, elevations and importantly cross sections. So this is a much more accurate figure can be calculated by a Full SAP assessor. The difference is huge. After rdSAP – for our renovated home, they came back with a rating of E, and very nearly nearly F (awful). Full SAP, the house was upgraded all the way to C. After the rating was awarded, ominously the powers that be (presumably surprised that an electric powered house could obtain a C rating) demanded a full EPC audit. That came back… with 100% accuracy – so C it was – and I have a strong suspicion that we own the only 100% FIR heated 1920s era property with a C rating in the UK – and who knows, perhaps Europe too?! With feed in tariffs (FITs) kicking in from D and better, you can see getting the Full SAP was important. Even without FITs – your EPC figure will no doubt be printed on the estate agents details about your home if you ever decided to sell, so a bad rating might make the property less attractive. New regulations coming in to force in 2018 could also prove extremely troublesome (you will not be able to let the property for rent!) if your EPC ratings are below E.

 

Is FIR cheaper than gas central heating?

For us, I’m pretty sure, no. At the moment, gas is seriously cheap compared to electrics, and boilers are getting more and more efficient all the time. We were one of the last households to scrape in with a FIT before the end of the year (last few days of 2015) We will be generating and earning much better yields from our 4Kw array through the summer, and we’ve estimated this will offset over the additional amount spent during the winter. There is still quite a bit of optimising to do in the house, plus some internal & external insulation that can be added to older external walls, plus we will have a much larger log store to enable us to buy wood in bigger bulk during the summer when it’s cheaper.

 

So next year I’m hoping we will be running a much tighter (and warmer) ship. Realistically though I think we will be paying pretty much the same.

 

Energy Usage & PV With FIR

Take a look at some of the following charts.

 

Firstly, lets look at the total FIR use for the house, which is approx 100sq meters downstairs, and the same upstairs – so we need to heat approx 200sq meters:

So – this time of year (Early April), outside temperatures are ranging from 5c at night to a high of 14 day time. The house needs from 15kWh to 33kWh to heat it.

 

Next lets take a look at the power generated by the PV system over the same period – which is 4KW:

You can see that clearly, the 10th and the 12th of April were quite sunny days. This time of year, due to the angle of the sun, you’re not going to get the full power out of your PV array, but 17.5kWh is not bad for April.

 

The next chart shows the amount of energy used by the FIR system, whilst the PV was working. It’s not simply a case of subtracting PV from FIR, because these are per day figures, and it’s possible that some PV power was generated when FIR panels were off. But in any case, it gives you a nice indication of how much FIR power was being used after the PV had been taken off:

So aside the 7th, we are around the 20kWh per day mark at this time of year. This still make some people wince, however remember that in addition to the PV energy we are using, we are at the same time getting a good generation tariff too – and this more or less than covers the cost of what’s left to pay. Finally in the main summer months when FIR is not needed at all, we will also be exporting power into the grid so we’ll get a little extra for that too.

 

So…. Is FIR for you?

As mentioned above like with most things in life there are benefits and considerations.

 

The main takeaway point is that a FIR solution is not something that should be done on a whim and should be properly planned, and done as part of a major house refurb as there is quite a bit of wiring to do. There are also quite a few ‘gotchas’ such as panel transformer voltage issues and placement so it’s definitely a project which has the potential to go horribly wrong.

 

It should also be done in combination with Solar generation and perhaps wind too. Yes it’s likely that in the coldest parts of the year, there is not going to be much sun to power your FIR, but in the Autumn & Spring you will find that plenty of days (like this week!) are sunny but chilly. So your heating for free during the day, good home insulation will keep much of that day time warmth in so you’ll just be needing room by room top ups throughout the night. Today is a very sunny but chilly day, and I can see from the house computer that we’re not using anything from the grid, the house is nicely warm, and there is not a leaky valve or noisy pump in use. Mission accomplished!

 

Final Word

Quite often in life, the cheapest isn’t always the best. Lifestyle is important. Going FIR for us was less about creating the cheapest possible heating solution, (for that we might have decided to go underfloor heating which I have a passionate hatred of) but more about creating the best quality of heat. Yes that’s right – heat has quality! I just really like the type of heat these FIR panels give out, and the simplicity and room segment control that FIR panels give you.

 

As the developed world tries to wean itself off fossil fuels, I do feel a little satisfaction that my home is not (directly anyway) heated by them. As mentioned above, on some days, it entirely heats itself for nothing.

 

The future of heating your home is electric – in my opinion, that’s a cold certainty.

 

The big question is how little can you get away with using, and are you able to generate and perhaps store, any of it yourself.

9 Comments on “Far Infrared Heating. It’s heating, Jim, but not as we know it! (but you may need more power, Scotty)

  1. Very interesting article, and informative. Clearly, if you want to retrofit, then you really need to do the sums. A dedicated wiring circuit can be intrusive to install and expensive. The fact there is a ‘conflict of interest’ relating to the voltage rating of the product and the UK rating of a domestic circuit, is important to consider and resolve. As I have an ‘ancient’ warm air C/H system, I have been looking at skirting heating systems, which appear not to be intrusive, unlike traditional panel radiators. Yes, I still require a gas boiler, but these are highly efficient these days, and as the author points out, gas in much cheaper than electricity. And when the ‘lights go out’ (I’m a pessimist) neither system will work anyway!

    1. Hi Roger, and thanks for your kind words! Retrofit FIR is certainly a challenge, but maybe you are on to something with regards to the skirting heating system – what about sticking a ring behind coving and then running a small amount of conduit to the panel? Check regs but this would put cables (properly protected etc) within a 125mm ‘safe zone’. So you could run FIR cables around the top of the walls. From what I have learnt looking at the installation cost & work required should be a 2ndary consideration to estimating the running costs. There is no point even considering FIR if you live in a large poorly insulated house – unless you don’t mind big bills. So I would always recommend looking at the building heat loss characteristics FIRST and then from this find a suitable technology to match. Gas is currently the cheapest so you can afford to lose your heat and keep replacing it – and still be cheaper that a FIR solution. Another idea is to consider a system like ESPs Heliotherm ASHP (same company that make the amazing EcoCent system we mention on this site). Paired with special rads, this system will chuck out 4 X the KWs than you put in, even down to -7c. And being an ASHP – these same rads can provide cooling in the summer. As Gas is 3 x the price of electricity, with a 400% efficient system – that, in my view is a game changer. I am actually considering one of these systems for my existing FIR converted property – not to replace, more to use in conjunction and for demos. Personally, I think a FIR / small sized ASHP combo might be a winner – as FIR is much easier to retro fit on the 1st floor as you can drop cables down from the loft….. so using FIR upstairs means you only have to get rads for downstairs, and a much smaller, cheaper ASHP solution. The only snag to this idea is that as a hybrid / mixed system you would not get any subsidy than if you ran your entire home on it….Watch this space!Jeff

  2. Jeff,

    This is a fantastic analysis and thank you for sharing. So I’m in the States and considering doing the same on a 4,000 sq. foot home (although part of that is a rentable apartment (roughly 1000 sq. ft).

    My question is this – it is a new build with pretty much full day sun to a solar array. I want to heat it via:

    1) The primary infrared ceiling panels which I would oversize to each room (that seems to be a common recommendation)
    2) Building will be done with SIPs and hyperinsulated. R38 walls, R49 Ceilings.
    3) Wood burning stove in main kitchen/living/dining area
    4) Passive solar will also play a role but true solar doesn’t kick in till about 10:30am – 5/8pm.

    My question is with the above in mind what would your recommendation be for a solar array. The house is big at 4k sq. feet, but what would be a good recommendation for solar array to truly offset.
    I am looking at the 6-8kw solar array (probably max of the roof I have that is South is 8kw).

    Thoughts?

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your kind comments about the blog!

      First of all can I say how envious I am that you are using SIPs for walls and ceilings – as mentioned in the blog, you need to conserve as much heat as possible to ensure that your FIR panels are burning away for as little as possible.

      Sizing the solar array is a bit of a tricky question, as your primary size requirement is to get it to offset FIR usage.

      I’m not familiar with the US solar market – are there an subsidies given to those generating solar? In the UK we have generation and feed in tarrifs – so the income from these ‘offset’ a little against FIR use. So that can be taken in to the equation.

      The main ‘offset’ is that you want to use energy from the roof to actually run as much of (or all) of your FIR requirement. To do this we therefore need to work out what will be your average ‘live’ FIR use – so not the total KW usage over 24 hours, but the max load at any one time in your solar generation window – so from 10am to 6pm say. Estimating FIR usage is a critical part I think of implementation, and any decent FIR panel vendor should be able to provide you with all the calcs based on your unique property situation. Your geographic position / winter climate, aspect (and number of windows facing the sun), insulation materials, room size (including height) – heating regimes (for instance, 19c in hallways, 20c in bedrooms, 21 in living spaces etc). I think only when you have all this data, can you work out what your typical FIR load is going to be during the cold season.

      FIR heating is notoriously difficult to control via thermostats as thermostats monitor air temp, which FIR panels do not heat, so as also mentioned on the blog, position of stats is important. They may require adjustment, or if it’s possible , use multiple stats in a room and take an average and use this average to control your FIRs.

      We ended up basically giving up on precise control, and instead used our ‘SLAM’ system to sequence panels around and set the room temps higher, so the sequence is basically always on, unless there is serious cold and then panels over ride and come on independently. Using SLAM our FIR usage will never be more than 1/3 of the total KW output of all panels put together. We have 25KW of FIR panels here for a 200m2 house, and a such the maximum draw never exceeds 4KW when SLAM is in operation. Typically it is nearer 2KW because some SLAM strings are not active. This is extremely temperature dependant for us as we have a old style house partially built with solid wall (no insulation at all!). So with a SIPs house, I would expect KW usage to be far far lower.

      So not really a definitive answer I’m afraid – but hopefully useful?

      You didn’t mention ventilation, I’m sure as you are using SIPs you will be wanting high levels of air tightness, so you will be looking to use some sort of heat recovery system?

      For your wood burning stove, I would recommend getting one that can take an externally fed air source for this if it’s possible – otherwise you will get air pressure issues with tightly sealed houses. So our wood burner gets it’s air supply from the outside which runs under the floor via a 200mm pipe and then rises up and connects to the underside of the stove. Try to avoid systems that ‘pump’ air in via smaller 22m pipes as these will not work if you ever suffer a power failure… with a FIR powered house at night – that stove will be much appreciated – good call putting that in! Our stove was also designed to feed heat to part of the upstairs – which is super simple (basically an heat exchanged air pipe) but quiet effective!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  3. Thanks for an interesting article. I’ve been looking at FIR for an old detached stone sail loft at our new property which my partner and I will be using as artists’ studios but can find no-one who has such a system installed to ask about them. There’s plenty on the internet but usually from someone with an interest in promoting FIR and the electricians I’ve spoken to tend to hold opinions but without first hand experience. Unfortunately electricity is our only practical choice (and being in a conservation area rules out solar or wind generation) but FIR looks as though it might work for us. We expect to be be using the space (three rooms, each about 11×17 feet – two studios with high ceilings and one low room for storage/preparation) intermittently and just want to keep ourselves warm when working and keep the structure of the building dry and sound. A local company has recommended two heaters totalling around 2kw in each studio and 1kw for the storage area with thermostats in each space. We don’t need the spaces to be cosy but want the heating to be fairly immediate. Any thoughts you have would be welcome. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Stuart, thanks very much for your feedback, and welcome to our ‘Haus’!

      This is mentioned in a number of blogs / articles we have on FIR around our site, but I would recommend the following:

      1) Get a good FIR panel provider. We recommend Herschel, and not just because they are better panels and rated for the UK, but also because they offer pre-sales service that is vital to FIR projects – so will help you with 2)

      2) You need to approach a FIR solution somewhat a little more scientifically than say gas CH. A good panel vendor like Herschel will do all of the maths for you, select the right sized panels, place them properly, place thermostats and then calculate average heating bills, based on your working habits. You really want to know what sort of heating estimate you are going to be expecting before you start. Draw up a plan, give them as much info about the space as possible (even down to estimating the thickness of walls, which walls are south facing, rooms with external walls etc – as much as you can. These details really matter.

      3) Control – of course we are a smart building specialists (and in particular with FIR control) so naturally we would recommend controlling your FIRs using something like our Loxone solution, and if possible adding on extra ‘smarts’ too. Doing this will enable you to keep on top of usage, enable you to do clever things like activate panels only on motion, and also ‘tune’ it better. Don’t worry about wall thickness and the wireless controllers, we have ways of solving that problem (we have a case study of a circa 1900s house in France with thick internal sold stone walls).

      Fitting a FIR system is not difficult, any competent electrician should be able to do do this. There’s a blog on our site (see related column to the right) about how a small flat is done. Might be useful. It’s simply a case of giving them a plan of where to place the panels and telling him what wattage they are.

      High ceilings in particular are ideal for FIR – heat is not ‘lost’ through air or relies on convection. This is why you will see FIR used quite a lot in warehouses, mounted on the ceiling so the heat literally ‘beams’ down.

      If your rooms are rectangular and no odd nooks (that FIR can not get around) – 11 x 17ft is 187 square and therefore around 17sq meters. But then you have building fabric to take into account. Total wattage of FIR per room is likely to be around the 750W size, however, if you want to direct heat better over working area, it might be better to split this into 2 X 550W – suspect you will need to over rate due to the solid walls. But I would defer to Herschel on this!

      This is why it’s important to supply a company like Herschel with plans so everything can be worked out – you want to be looking at the the cost to implement and then also the cost to run over the heating year too. My suspicion is that a ‘traditional’ electric heater system would be cheaper to implement but will be far more expensive to run over the years as they use more juice. They will also be far more likely to break down, with exposed elements…. we have nearly 30 FIR panels in our own properly, we have not had a single fault on any panel yet. Zero maintenance cost over four years!

      If you would like – I can get in touch with someone @ Herschel for you?

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

        1. Thanks for the comment Hugh. I guess this does depend on the size of the panel and also the make of the panel.

          For instance, the article you reference states that the service of panels gets to around 80c – this is on the low side, but might just be the type of panel that was tested. They do say later in the article “If you have higher ceilings, please give us a ring and we can discuss appropriate models to use in this instance.” So yes I would always check with the FIR vendor first, room plan, ceiling height etc and they will recommend the best panel make up. It might end up being a mix of ceiling and wall panels depending on the design of the room.

          Certainly there is no one side fits all solution…. this is why working with a reputable FIR vendor, who will work with you to get an optimum setup, and then also give you running costs – is so important.

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

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