Infrared panels are noted for their energy efficiency and ability to heat you up directly. They’re versatile too and can be installed in living spaces, offices and outdoor rooms.
But do they have the longevity to match these benefits?
This article will go into the details on how long you can expect an infrared panel to last, how this compares to other traditional forms of heating and the maintenance requirements to keep them in good working order.
How long do infrared panels last for?
Thanks to good quality materials and advanced heating technology, most modern infrared heating panels are built to last for 20 years and more.
Calculating use in years can be arbitrary as one household or place of work might use a panel significantly more than another. A more accurate lifespan estimation comes from hours of operation.
- A top performing infrared (IR) panel can operate for as long as 100,000 hours. To put this into perspective, this is around 11 years of around-the-clock, continuous use!
For most infrared panel owners, you won’t come anywhere near this type of constant use. In a more common usage scenario where a panel is only used for a few hours each day on average, the lifespan could effectively be much longer.
In theory, this means an IR panel could last for 50+ years. As far as sustainability goes, this is fantastic and a major advantage of infrared panels.
Depending on the quality of manufacturing, the best infrared panels will come with a 5-10 year warranty. The more years in the warranty, the more confidence a manufacturer has in their product.
Lifespan of infrared panels vs traditional heating
When considering heating options, longevity is a crucial factor.
Infrared panels are known for their durability and should last around 20 years, but depending on the quality of the panel, this could be anywhere from 10 to 30 years. So, how does this compare to traditional heating methods?
Standard boiler driven radiator systems operate very differently to IR panels. A ‘wet’ radiator system circulates hot water around a series of pipes and is usually powered by a gas boiler. As there are more components and moving parts within the system, there’s more wear and tear which reduces the average lifespan.
You can expect a traditional radiator and boiler system to last around 10-15 years if it’s been well maintained. As these heating systems are more complex, when it’s time to upgrade you’ll have a fairly big job on your hands.
An electric convection radiator, which has similarities to both infrared heaters and traditional radiators, has a lifespan of around 15-20 years.
As far as time in service goes, this is a clear win for infrared panels.
How much maintenance do infrared panels require?
Infrared heating panels are renowned for their very low maintenance requirements. Unlike traditional heating systems, which have several moving parts, fans and valves to deal with, infrared panels involve no movement.
This also helps to decrease the associated health and safety risks.
- For this reason, IR panels don’t require annual maintenance unlike standard convection-based boiler systems.
As a solid state system, there’s less strain on infrared panel components, very little wear and tear and fewer mechanical failures.
This means fewer breakdowns. Thankfully, you won’t have to call out a gas technician or heating specialist when something goes wrong, as you do with traditional boilers. Over time, no servicing or emergency call outs will save you a good amount of money.
To maintain an infrared panel’s excellent condition, all you need to do is give it a dust every now and again with a dry cloth – just make sure it’s turned off and cool first. You should also check the electrical connections every so often to make sure everything is secure and in good condition.
Do infrared panels wear out?
An infrared panel will wear out eventually – but hopefully not for a good few decades.
With no moving parts, the wear and tear that’s usually found in mechanical systems is almost eliminated.
Previously, infrared heaters used a form of resistance via electricity and a metal wire to create heat. Although this worked, it’s more prone to wear and tear over time.
Newer infrared heating models use alternative forms of technology to create infrared heat, which has increased the longevity of infrared panels.
For example, PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heaters use advanced ceramic materials, usually arranged in honeycomb shapes or fins to produce long-wave infrared wavelengths. Carbon crystal heating elements, an advanced version of carbon fibre, are also more commonly used in modern panels. The result of these technology advancements is higher energy efficiency and reduced heat loss.
All of this heating technology is usually housed in an aluminium casing, which is long lasting and recyclable when it’s no longer needed.
So yes, infrared panels will wear out, but only after they’ve been in operation for up to 100,000 hours.
It’s the combination of duration and energy efficiency that positions infrared heating panels as a smart choice for sustainable home heating. With proper installation and occasional cleaning, infrared panels can operate consistently over a long period of time with minimal upkeep.