Home generalInfrared heating - advantages and disadvantages and long-term costs

Infrared heating - advantages and disadvantages and long-term costs

  • What is an infrared heater "> Advantages of infrared heating
  • Disadvantages of infrared heating
  • Long term cost of an infrared heater
    • Save energy costs
    • costing
  • Conclusion for the infrared heater

In recent years, infrared heating has become a popular supplement to the existing heating system. But quickly the question arises, which advantages and which disadvantages this heating variant exhibits. Can it level with conventional gas heaters and oil heaters or do differences exist? Costs and living comfort play a decisive role here. Read about the features of the infrared heater.

Whether in a new building or a modernization - the choice of the heating system is an important issue. He decides on the later maintenance costs and the living comfort. Infrared heaters are considered to be particularly easy to install and are therefore also used as an additional heat source. Especially in the bathroom this heater version is often used. In the bathroom, it is often desirable to heat regardless of the oil heater, so as not to freeze in the late summer after the bath. In addition to the comfort but also the consumption and the resulting maintenance costs must be considered. Below you will find a list of advantages and disadvantages as well as a sample calculation of electricity costs.

What is an infrared heater?

The infrared heater is an electric heater. While the goal of classic oil heaters and gas heaters is to heat the air, the infrared heater heats the objects in the room. Furniture in turn reflects the radiation to a large extent, so that creates a cozy warmth. The radiators are often constructed relatively flat and can be attached to the wall. The room temperature is not increased as much as with other heating variants. If one compares premises that were heated with a combustion heater and have a similar perceived temperature, then the measured temperature in the case of an infrared heater is approximately 2 to 4 degrees below the oil heater or the gas heater.

Advantages of infrared heating

  1. The heater heats objects in the room and not the air.

A big advantage is that the heat is emitted in a targeted way. Not the air, but the objects in the room are heated. Since the most important thing is to help people and furniture to reach the optimum temperature, this principle is an advantage. The infrared waves are distributed evenly in the room and thus reach every corner.

Operating principles 1 of 2
Principle of infrared heating
Principle of convection heating
  1. There is not much difference between the temperature near the ground and on the ceiling.

If you heat the room with a conventional heating system, the air in the vicinity of the heating elements is heated first. Then the warm air is distributed in the room, but rises to a large extent on the top. There is a difference in temperature between the floor and the ceiling. This is especially noticeable in old buildings with high ceilings. This heat loss has a negative effect on the heating costs. The infrared rays, on the other hand, act purposefully and warm people and furniture. The well-known cold feet are therefore largely avoided and it creates a pleasant living atmosphere.

  1. The temperature is controlled.

Like most other heating systems, the infrared heater is equipped with thermostats. This allows the desired heating effect to be controlled.

  1. The radiators can even be fixed to the ceiling.

During installation, you have the choice of installing the heater on the wall or ceiling. This gives you great flexibility in setting up the heating system. However, make sure when choosing which installation the selected radiators are suitable for. If these can be attached to the ceiling, you save space in the room. But even when mounted on the wall are generally compact and flat models.

  1. Different performance classes are offered.

The performance class can be selected according to the room size. In general, the values ​​are between 100 and 2, 500 watts. In this case, it can be assumed as a rule of thumb that for every square meter of room size, about 60 watts of heating power are needed. This requirement applies on average high premises.

  1. The radiators are available in different design variants.

Modern heaters often have an individual design. For example, models with a mirrored surface, with marble slabs or pictures are offered. Also Raufaseroptik or a personal motive are possible. However, the cost of purchasing increases the more elaborate the design is. The advantage here is the high possibility of integration into the furnishing style of the room.

Many different designs possible
  1. Indoor wall units are offered.

Particularly space-saving and inconspicuous are interior wall units. They are installed directly in the wall. However, in this case the installation is more expensive, which leads to an increased effort or higher costs.

  1. The heating is also suitable for larger halls.

In addition to the smaller variants for residential buildings, large heating systems for halls and commercial properties are also offered. Especially with high hall ceilings, the heating heat rises in a conventional heating and hangs under the ceiling. If the air escapes or is cooled too much, then a lot of heat is lost and the heating costs increase. Infrared heating makes it possible to illuminate individual workplaces and heating is effective.

  1. The radiators are provided with a protective layer so that burns are avoided.

The radiators can develop a heat of around 80 to 100 degrees Celsius with direct contact. To prevent burns, therefore, most radiators are provided with a protective layer.

  1. Even poorly insulated premises can be effectively heated.

Because infrared heaters heat the objects and not the air, they are also used for poorly insulated rooms. Even halls with a ceiling height over 6 meters and old buildings are effectively heated.

  1. Low acquisition costs.

The initial cost of infrared heaters is generally lower than other heating options. When moving, the radiators are usually easy to take with you. Add to that the fact that the installation is easy.

  1. Environmentally friendly (provided the electricity comes from renewable sources)
Environmentally compatible with electricity from renewable energies

By choosing the electricity provider or tariff, you decide for yourself whether the electricity comes from renewable or non-renewable energy sources. Choose eco-power, then you will save the environment.

  1. No dust upset

Classic radiators first attract dust and then distribute it in the air. This Staubaufwirbelung is just for allergy sufferers. Infrared heaters, on the other hand, avoid the stirring up of dust.

Hardly dust raising
  1. No maintenance

Infrared heaters are low maintenance and therefore inexpensive in entertainment. In general, no maintenance is necessary, only functional checks must be carried out. The refilling of water, the cleaning of the boiler and the other necessary in incinerators steps eliminated.

  1. Prevents mold growth

Since temperature differences between the floor and the ceiling are avoided, mold growth is prevented.

Disadvantages of infrared heating

  1. One of the disadvantages of infrared heaters is the higher electricity costs. However, it is important to select the right tariff. Many electricity providers have special heating tariffs in their offer, which can cut costs. If it is a poorly insulated old building, then this also has a high energy consumption in an oil heating or gas heating. Therefore, it depends on the individual case, whether the purchase is financially worthwhile.
  2. Harmful to the environment (provided the electricity comes from coal-fired or nuclear power plants)
    If you opt for a electricity tariff based on power generation in nuclear power plants or coal-fired power plants, then the use of infrared heaters will pollute the environment.
  1. No hot water treatment
    A conventional heating not only heats the premises but also the tap water. As a result, two different effects are achieved with a heating system. For infrared heaters, however, only a warming of the room, so that must be provided for an alternative heating of the drinking water.
Hot water treatment by means of electronic instantaneous water heaters

Tip: For the hot water supply modern electronic instantaneous water heaters are suitable, which only incur costs when hot water is needed.

Long term cost of an infrared heater

If you look at the energy costs with an infrared heater, you find that one kilowatt-hour of electricity is about three to four times as expensive as the equivalent amount of energy from natural gas or oil. This amount often increases again when green electricity is purchased. Green electricity is a prerequisite for climate-friendly heating.

Save energy costs

However, the increased cost of electricity is offset by the advantage of heating demand. The electricity is consumed only when the heat is produced. A retention like an oil heater does not take place. In combination with good planning and demand-based heating, costs and consumption can be significantly reduced and infrared heating is economical. Especially when heating in the bathroom, there are multiple benefits. If, for example, you have not switched on the oil heater in late summer and you still want to enjoy a slightly higher temperature in the bathroom, then infrared heating is an advantage. It is therefore often used in the bathroom as a supplement to the existing central heating system of the house. In addition to bathing in traditional houses, low-energy houses and passive houses are also popular.


To determine the cost of your home, you must first determine the heating demand. This depends on various factors and serves as the basis for estimating the costs:

  • ceiling height
  • room area
  • Ratio and number of room-dividing walls and exterior walls, since there is a different heat demand
  • insulation
  • Building material of the house
  • Isolation of windows and doors
  • desired room temperature
  • outside temperature

An example calculation for a detached house

  • Living area: 100 m²
  • Insulation: medium insulation
  • Ceiling height: 3 m
  • Heat requirement: 35 watts per m²
  • average number of hours of heating: 1, 600 hours per year (about 5 hours per day without June, July, August)

The formula for calculating the kilowatt hours required is:
Electricity consumption = living area x heating demand x number of heating hours

With the given data this results in the following calculation:
Electricity consumption = 100 m² x 35 watt / m² x 1600 hours = 5, 600, 000 watt hours = 5, 600 kilowatt hours

Assuming that the electricity costs amount to 0.27 euros per kilowatt hour, this results in an annual bill of 1, 512 euros . (equivalent to 126, - € per month)

The stated average number of heating hours is based on the assumption of a normal winter. In a long or very cold winter, the cost can increase.

Conclusion for the infrared heater

A big advantage of infrared heating is the low purchase price. It is also fast and variable in location. The space requirement is to be regarded as low. At the same time, you benefit from a pleasant room climate, as only the objects are heated. The design can be adapted to the furnishing style, so that the look can convince.

However, the increased energy costs have a disadvantageous effect. Here is the comparison with a gas heating or an oil heating in an average insulated house. Comparing a conventional electric heater and the infrared heater in a comparison, the cost of the infrared radiation is lower. The lack of water heating is a disadvantage, since it is not possible to use the infrared heater effectively as the sole heating of the house. Their strengths lie in the property as an additional heating option for individual rooms, such as the bathroom. The infrared heating is also a good choice for holiday homes and allotments, as oil heaters and gas heaters can often only be installed at great expense.

Tips for quick readers:

  • Objects are heated and not the air
  • Mold formation is avoided
  • Heating costs are higher
  • suitable for bathrooms, holiday homes, single rooms
  • little need for space
  • different design variants possible
  • easy installation
  • pay attention to room size at choice of performance
  • pleasant heat development
  • Estimate consumption in advance
  • Old buildings are also heated effectively
  • Heating industrial buildings with infrared
  • pay attention to eco-power (environmental protection)
  • Ask for a cheap rate at the provider
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