Infrared is a relative newcomer to the heating market but it’s swiftly proving itself to be a strong contender in terms of its potential scope of application and the quality of heat produced. The variation in available product types is due to the fact that the properties of infrared vary depending on their wavelength within the electromagnetic spectrum. Consumers most often hear about products at either extreme of the scale: far infrared heaters for comfort, or near infrared heaters for intensity.
Rare is the time that we see much information about heaters that operate between these two points, often referred to as ‘mid-range’ infrared, which can actually fit a much broader range of applications. Ceramic heaters fall under this category, although they lean closer toward far infrared in terms of the type of heat they provide. They balance comfortable longwave radiant heat with a higher intensity unachievable by purely comfort orientated infrared products. It’s this balance of characteristics that makes ceramic heaters so versatile.
Offices & Meeting Areas
Heating solutions for office meeting rooms are usually a secondary concern – after all, why would a business want to heat a space that might only get used once or twice a week? But cost-cutting quick fixes leave staff and visitors on the receiving end of ineffective heaters that are sluggish to heat up or ill-equipped to deal with larger room areas. Convection heaters can work in smaller spaces although they can dry out the air and exacerbate the effects of what might already be a stuffy room full of people.
Ceramic heaters use infrared to transfer heat directly to people, objects and surfaces in the room for a more pleasant sensation of heat that doesn’t rely on circulating hot air. What particularly makes these heaters discreet is their ‘no glow’ quality. Ceramic heaters don’t emit light or create any noticeable noise when in operation, making them ideal for rooms where you might need to host seminars. There’s no distracting orange glow or obnoxious whirring to pull focus during quiet presentations or instances where you may need to dim the lights. Any public meeting spaces from small village halls to large civic buildings will be able to benefit from the effective heat of ceramic heaters, so this doesn’t just apply to offices.
Garages & Workshops
Industrial indoor workspaces can suffer from a lack of adequate heating due to their open plan layouts, high volumes of air and draughty construction. Thoroughly warming every inch of a workshop is seldom a thrifty or practical option and few standard domestic heaters will be able to cope with the higher levels of heat loss present in these building types.
The targeted heating offered by infrared products allows users to zone their heating, pinpointing a few key areas of the room that are regularly used to direct heat only where it’s needed. Their energy saving potential is enormous – instead of trying to heat the entire room, you can angle the ceramic heater toward workbenches and desks for maximum efficiency. Ceramic heaters work so well in this application that industrial heaters are available which can be hung from the ceiling to provide heat over an even wider area. As with other heaters that use a form of far infrared, the type of radiation used provides lasting heat that can be felt on a deeper level.
Up until this point, we’ve mainly looked at ceramic heaters within commercial applications but there’s nothing to say that they can’t be used within the home. Most rooms in the house won’t need the level of intensity provided by ceramic heaters but they can come in useful for rooms with particularly high levels of heat loss. Conservatories are well-known for being problematic to keep warm because they lose heat easily and need a stronger heat source to balance out this loss. While ceramic heaters might not be as stylish as infrared panels, they still make very discreet heating solutions that can be wall mounted just about anywhere, leaving you with plenty of options when it comes to choosing a suitable location.
Retail & Service Industry Heating
The hustle and bustle of customers coming into shops poses quite a significant problem where patrons may be sitting near the doorway. Warm air from inside is swept away with each opening of the door and is quickly displaced by the chilly outdoor atmosphere. It’s important for businesses to make their customers as comfortable as possible and not feel like they have to hurriedly finish their coffees just so they can get out of the draught. This is an issue that isn’t easily solved with convection heaters, which get stuck in an endless cycle of trying to warm air that’s constantly being replenished with lower temperatures from outside. Ceramic heaters will use their effective radiant heat to warm customers directly and provide a pleasing warmth that’s akin to sitting outside on a sunny day.
Some ceramic heaters are even suitable for outdoor applications or partially covered areas, depending on their IP rating. Restaurants, cafes and pubs usually have a sizable percentage of their seating area outside and through part of the year they’re left unused as our intemperate UK weather refuses to co-operate. Using ceramic heaters to keep these spaces heated automatically allows your business to operate at maximum capacity and encourages more foot traffic into your establishment. The compromise between mid-range and far infrared provided by ceramic heaters is absolutely ideal for this application – providing a slightly higher intensity heat to combat cooler air temperature, but retaining much of the gentle heat provided by longwave radiation.
Gyms & Hot Yoga Studios
Like many other commercial areas, gyms tend to be large, open plan spaces with high ceilings that can benefit from the direct heating provided by infrared. The deep heat provided by radiation makes infrared products a popular solution for exercise areas as they can help muscles relax, and in fact, you may even have an infrared sauna at your local gym.
Infrared heating is often used in hot yoga studios that require a baking 40 °C atmosphere during classes. As you can imagine, it would be incredibly hard for regular heaters to reach this level of warmth in a room that might be large enough to accommodate 20 or 30 people. Hot yoga studios can benefit from ceramic heaters as they can reach the higher temperatures necessary for this type of exercise. It can be tempting to opt for infrared panels for these spaces as they do look very pretty, but you might find that you’ll need more of them to reach equivalent heat levels. This is because panels are designed for comfort heating levels generally between 20 – 30 degrees.
Ceramic Heaters – The Happy Medium
Ceramic heaters have a large range of applications, and for the sake of brevity, we’ve just touched upon the most popular ones. Wherever you’ve got a larger indoor space that’s hard to keep warm, ceramic heaters may well be the solution you’ve been looking for. Browse our range to find a heater that’s right for your project, or even give our sales team a call for further information.