Infrared Heating Panels

 

For the last few months I have been carrying out a complete renovation of an old village house in Parcent. The owners of the property who have now become very close friends, wanted to keep the originality of the house but tastefully bring it into the 21st century and install central heating. As you can imagine this became a problem – normally central heating is powered by gas or oil but in a village house there is no room for a large gas casita or indeed space for oil storage tanks, not to mention the legislative nightmare surrounding that decision. We then thought of hot and cold air conditioning units but this also came with its drawbacks. Firstly each good quality reliable unit cost around 800 -1,000 euro’s which soon adds up and the complicated run for the gas coolant pipe work created major problems. It was then that David Webb our local electrician suggested infrared heating panels; these are relatively new to Spain, 100% efficient and extremely inexpensive to buy and run. There are two types of infrared panels, glass and metal, the glass panels can be bought with a chosen image or an image, logo or photograph that you supply, the metal panels are pre painted white, or can be factory painted to any colour you desire, whatever you choose it looks like a decorative piece of art.


Infrared heating is probably the most original, natural form of heating you can experience. It is how we experience the heat from the sun, even though it is 92 million miles away across the cold depths of space. Infrared heat does not require a medium like air or water through which to travel and does not require that medium itself to be heated up unlike heat emitted from fan heaters, gas heaters, central heating radiators etc. - this is partly why it is so energy-efficient.
Infrared waves lie outside the visible spectrum of light in the long wavelength low frequency side of the electromagnetic spectrum. The long wavelength of red light is why sunsets and sunrises are red, as all other colour wavelengths are slowed and dissipated by the relatively thick slice of atmosphere being pierced by the early morning or late evening sun.


Infrared waves produce a sensation of heat by vibrating molecules on any solid surface they strike; this vibration consequently creates heat and a sensation of heat which is entirely independent of the temperature of the surrounding air. It is an entirely natural sensation of heat, it is efficient because the creation of the waves in the first place is energy-efficient and because no energy is lost in transit through the medium. Because infrared heating works by heating up objects, not the air, you can and should adopt a different approach which goes against the norm but will actually save you money. Whilst it initially takes 24 hours or more to raise the overall warmth of the house to the desired temperature, it then takes very little energy to maintain that temperature as the fabric of the house i.e. walls and other solid objects then take-over the radiating job for you. With the use of a thermostat or timer the heater itself can then effectively just tick over after that period. It then becomes more economical to leave the panel on and in this state for 24 hours a day, however odd that feels. A timer can be set to turn the panels on and off for 10 – 20 minutes per hour as required, or a thermostat can be used to switch it on and off as the desired temperature is reached. In normal conditions the panels will then only run on average up to 6 hours a day to maintain 24 hour heat.


There is also an added bonus - because it is the structure that is being warmed and not the air, there should be no condensation or mould growth, as this is generally caused by warm damp air condensing on cold surfaces. A typical 600 watt panel measuring 1.20m x 0.60m and costing around 300 euro’s would adequately heat a normal sized double bedroom. One word of warning, prices do vary dramatically for exactly the same product. I found the most inexpensive and knowledgeable company to buy from was RadyCal Heating in Moraira, next to Barclays Bank.

 

John Phillips (F.I.A.S. F.A.B.E. M.I.B.C.O. F.F.B. M.R.S.H. C.M.W.O.B.O. M.B.I.M)
Construction Buena Vista

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Construction Buena Vista
Urb. Palmeria. Orba 03790

 

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Buena Vista Villas s.l.

Urb. Palmeria. Orba 03790

 

Please call us on

 

0034 965 577 464 (office)

 

0034 629 554 561 (mobile)

 

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