Infrared heaters and external wall insulation

Our friends over at the Eco Store are very enthusiastic about their infrared heating panels. So, we thought we would collaborate with them on this blog post to talk a little bit about why infrared heating panels and EWI are a bit of a match made in heaven.

What is infrared heating?

Well, infrared heating panels are a great energy-saving way to heat your home. Infrared produces a dry, sun-like heat. It’s considered to be a potentially environmentally friendly way to heat a property due to the fact that it does not directly produce any emissions – although they do run off of electricity, so their eco credentials depend on the source of your power.

How it works in scientific terms is that the infrared panel produces electromagnetic waves (radiation) which, when they hit an object, cause surface molecules to gain energy. When these molecules gain energy, they vibrate in place which produces heat.

The good thing about infrared is that it doesn’t heat up the air. This basically means that when you open the front door, the heat doesn’t whoosh out of the house, so you don’t need to use up even more electricity to constantly be reheating the house over and over again. This is because Infrared heaters heat up people, things and objects, and this is exactly where external wall insulation comes in really handy…

How do Infrared and EWI work together?

When your infrared panel is switched on, the heat that you will feel from it is from the infrared radiation hitting your skin. This is the primary method of how infrared produces heat. The secondary heating method of infrared is when the heat from your panel penetrates the fabric of the house, heating up the surface of the wall. The infrared heater will warm up the wall that it is attached to, and subsequently the heat from the warm wall will then gradually radiate back into the room.

Now, say you have mounted your panel onto a wall which is externally insulated with EWI. As before, the infrared panel heats up your wall. Heat from the warm wall is redirected into the room, however, with the external wall insulation it will far more effectively store the infrared heat. This way, once your panel is switched off, the EWI will gradually be redirecting the stored heat energy back into the room for much longer, thereby maintaining the room’s temperature so you won’t need the panel on for as long.

The good thing about infrared with external wall insulation is that you don’t have to worry about problems with damp. Because infrared is heating up the surface of objects it will produce a drying effect – particularly if it’s mounted onto the wall, so any problems with damp that you may have previously had will be resolved, and your EWI on that wall will be even more effective due to the support the infrared provides.

What if Infrared and external wall insulation makes my house too hot?

The great thing about infrared is that you can wire it to your thermostat. Once you switch on your infrared it gets going emitting heat and raising the temperature of the room. Then, as soon as the room is heated to the temperature on the thermostat, then the thermostat will automatically switch the panel off. So you don’t even have to lift a finger or keep having to remember to switch it off! 

The added benefit of EWI is that once your room is up to temperature and the infrared panel has been switched off by the thermostat, the externally insulated wall will maintain the heat in the room for much longer. Infrared panels do run on electricity, which is more expensive to run than gas. However, with EWI you will have them running for a lot less longer and a lot less often – plus, with the thermostat you won’t accidentally forget to switch it off and then end up running up your electricity bills. The actual panel also has a much longer life as a product when compared to other electric heaters so investing in the panels at the start will save you money in the long run.

If you are interested in infrared, then you can check them out on the Eco Store or give them a call – their sales team are very knowledgeable about how infrared can work for different homes. As for external wall insulation, give us a call here at EWI store and we will be able to point you in the direction of one of our approved installers!