Our Experience of Infrared Heating Panels in the Office

We work in a small to medium sized office, in a large town centre location. The office is open plan with a small kitchen attached; but, the space only had storage heaters…

We opted to try infrared heating for the space, and here is our experience of having and using these panels in a commercial setting.

Why we considered infrared heating for the office

When we took over the office space, it used old storage heaters on the walls to heat the environment. 

There were a few things that were not ideal about having storage heaters:

  • They stink; when you turn them on, they make an awful smell. 
  • They’re expensive to run; not great for a small business. Every penny needs investing in the right areas to achieve growth ambitions.  
  • Not a nice heat; the type of heat that storage heaters produce does not feel that nice and it was important to think about how we could be comfortable in the office environment. 

After spending some time looking at a couple of solutions, we ended up on infrared panels being a good way to go. They looked better and would heat the objects in the room rather than the air. 

IR heat is the same as the sun, and we all know how nice it is to be in a warm country with the sun shining on you; but most of all, they promised to be cheap to run. 

Where a typical Electric Radiator would need 2KWh, the same space could be heated with 800W of power. A 60% potential saving!

Do infrared heating panels really work?

The office is warm and standing next to the panels on the wall is very nice. It’s the sort of heat you get from standing in the sunshine before you jump into the swimming pool on holiday!

The science backs it up too – according to Herschel Infrared heaters, humans are designed for radiant heat. Infrared is the same wavelength that our bodies absorb and emit, so it’s the best way to keep us from feeling cold. 

By creating “thermal mass” within an environment, we humans feel nice and toasty!

Heating methods we used in the office

We previously used storage heaters to heat the space, and as previously mentioned, the heat quality was poor and they were expensive to run.

There were no other simple solutions to replace the heaters, other than IR panels. With us leasing the space, any large overhaul of systems would need to be approved by the landlord, and it’s likely that we’d have to fork out for the changes. As a small business, that wasn’t really viable, so investing in infrared technology was ideal.

What infrared panels do we use in the office?

We ended up settling on Ecostrad IQ infrared heating panels for the office. One of the main reasons was being able to control them from an app along with setting up a schedule of heating. 

Initially, we wanted to test the panels alongside our existing storage heaters and bought a couple of smaller 595mm X 595mm panels. We’ve now gone all in and got 5 1,205mm X 925mm panels to heat the whole office space using IR heat. 

The original panels were 270w and would only heat about 5m2 of space, and we got 2. Often, we’d come in to find someone standing in front of them when it’s much colder outside. 

We’re now using the 1100W panels and have 5 so they can heat an area of 22m2 per panel – more than enough to get our space to a nice comfortable temperature very quickly. 

How we use infrared panels to heat an office space 

Getting advice from an expert in the field of infrared technology is key when installing panels in your office space. Martina Woodworth, Distributor of iHelios, heating systems, explains below how to best set up infrared panels in an office environment.

Created with a focus on environmental responsibility, luxury and user convenience, iHelio’s cutting-edge eco-infrared and smart technology transforms the very essence of business efficiency and household living.

What is the best placement for infrared panels in an office?

Infrared panels on ceilings are perfect for an office environment. Ceiling panels are a good choice for a plastered ceiling and can be attached by a regular tradesman, and an electrician can fit a fused spur at minimal cost for the film, thermostat and sensor.

Another alternative for an office is suspended ceiling panels, which can easily replace current suspended ceiling tiles, making installation a cinch.

The best thing about infrared is that it can be controlled using a sensor that detects the presence of staff (their heartbeat and breath) and only turns it on when a room is occupied and warm instantly; hence, there is no need to turn it on and off; it does it intuitively.

All offices and other rooms – such as kitchens, social areas and meeting rooms can all be heated independently of each other. You can even heat just one area in an office (so only desks that are being used). So you can really pinpoint your energy usage for ultimate energy efficiency.

What is the best heating system for an office?

After nerding out on the science behind heating systems, my personal opinion is that infrared heating systems should be used in pretty much every office going. 

It’s cheaper, looks better than the other options (mostly) and you can even get your company branding printed on the front of them! 

The systems are becoming more and more accessible in both cost and how they are used to heat when needed. 

This video is a good one to explain how IR heating works better and is cheaper to run than normal convection-based heating systems, such as radiators. 

Are there government grants to help with infrared heating?

Martina Woodworth, Director of iHelios Heating Systems, explains that there are grants currently for air source heat pumps; however, even with these grants, infrared heating is much cheaper to buy and install (circa a third of the price).

Additionally, if solar PV is added to the system, it is still over £5,000 cheaper than a similar air source heat pump set-up.

However, the most significant saving is that ongoing costs will be circa 90% or more less energy consumption, leading to a similar regular percentage of savings on energy bills so capital outlay costs can be paid back within 3 years in some cases. 

It is widely known that electricity prices are linked to the price of gas. Due to the UK government’s decision to phase out gas, this price link will soon be eradicated and that will lead to a reduction in the price of electricity.

Additionally, infrared heating can use solar energy which, of course, is free!

About the author 

Matt Tomkin

Matt, founder of Eco Affect, is a passionate and experienced writer in the eco-friendly, sustainability sector and has worked on various projects to support individuals and businesses looking to reduce costs, carbon footprint and ecological impacts.

His main goal with Eco Affect is to create a space whereby any individual or organisation can learn about their environmental impact and make positive changes to support the environment. This passion is driven by his fear for the future his young children will grow up in, and a first-hand understanding of running a business in a sustainable manner in 2024.

Matt has:
- Years of supporting and writing in the environmental sector
- Close contact with important players in the eco-sphere, including working relationships with green-tech manufacturers and eco-educators from the top Universities in the UK
- First-hand experience of implementing green-tech into his home and working environments

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