There are so many options when choosing a bathroom heating strategy, it can be difficult to know where to begin. It’s a room that has very different heating requirements from the rest of your house and a place where everyone has a different opinion about what makes it comfortable. Maybe your bathroom is an oasis of calm from a busy life, a place to relax and escape. Or perhaps it’s a noisy hub littered with kids’ toys and toothpaste tubes. Or maybe it’s a super stylish, ultra-efficient suite designed to set you up for the day ahead as fast as possible. We all use our bathrooms in different ways, so no one heating strategy is right for everyone. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of five important considerations to bear in mind when choosing an infrared heater for your bathroom.
Where does your bathroom get cold?
Depending on the size of your bathroom, the quality of your insulation and the material used in your flooring, your bathroom will get cold in different places. Some bathrooms, especially bathrooms with ceramic tiled floors, suffer from cold floors – and no one enjoys getting out of a nice warm shower to step onto chilly tiles. In other bathrooms, cold air is more of an issue – making taking a bath an uncomfortable experience, with half of you toasty warm underwater and the rest of you covered in goose-bumps! Many of our customers find that cold spots in their bathroom vary throughout the year: fluctuating with the seasons, with different uses of the bathroom and sometimes throughout the day. This makes it difficult to tackle cold spots directly.
Convection heaters offer a cheap and easy-to-install bathroom heating solution. However, they will not take the chill off the tiles because they only heat the air. They can also be inefficient because the hot air generated can be quickly lost through your extractor fan. Underfloor heating is a great way to warm up those chilly tiles, and will also warm up the rest of your room if you use a system of at least 150w/m2. However, it can take a little while to install, so if you’re looking for a faster, more flexible solution, you might want to consider infrared bathroom heating.
Infrared heaters are ideal if you want an easy-install bathroom heating solution that will warm your entire bathroom, irrespective of your extractor fan. Infrared heaters heat by radiation, heating the people and objects beneath them in the same way the sun warms the earth. Radiant heat is absorbed by the objects in its path and re-radiated – effectively warming walls, ceilings and floors if they are within range of the heater. Infrared heat does not directly warm the air, because it doesn’t need to! Imagine bathing outdoors on a bright sunny day – the warmth of the sun warms you even if the air temperature is low. It’s a luxurious feeling.
Is your bathroom well ventilated?
Ventilation is a major issue in bathrooms, where high levels of humidity can cause mould and rot in the walls. There are two basic methods used to decrease humidity in mould-prone bathrooms. First, ventilation can be increased using extractor fans to clear excess steam and condensation. Second, the wall temperature can be kept at a level which prevents condensation from forming in the first place. This is the responsibility of your heating system. Radiant heaters, such as our infrared panels, heat surfaces directly so are much more effective at reducing condensation than conventional convection heaters. Infrared is an ideal choice in poorly ventilated bathrooms which are prone to mould.
How much space is available?
Every available inch in smaller bathrooms is a precious commodity, and giving up any amount of this space is never ideal, even if it is for something as vital as a heater. Infrared panels are the ultimate in slimline bathroom heating solutions as they’re a mere 2.5cm thick, and can be wall mounted away from other fittings ensuring that it’s completely unobtrusive. Install on an unused stretch of wall and free up your floor! Quartz bathroom heaters are another discreet option that are perfect for heating smaller spaces and are similarly very compact so that they take up as little room as possible. To save even more space, some infrared panels double as mirrors and combine two uses in one – which leads us to the next advantage of infrared bathroom heating.
Is steam a problem in your bathroom?
Excessive levels of steam are not only a problem for the potential damage to walls and ceilings. Any man who has attempted a shave after a long hot shower will be familiar with the problem of inexorable condensation on mirrors. It’s an inconvenient irritation that can be alleviated to some extent with a powerful extractor fan above the mirror. But for a more elegant, efficient and effective solution, why not tackle the problem directly with a mirror infrared panel? Indistinguishable from a conventional mirror, the panel will heat the entire room and operate with a surface temperature which prevents condensation from forming on the mirror. Fogging up becomes a problem of the past and your room will be kept warm with a stylish, subtle, space-saving heating solution.
How long do you spend in your bathroom?
We all have different habits when it comes to bathroom usage. Some of us like a long bath, soaking for hours with a good book and perhaps a few candles. Others prefer a functional shower, loitering only for a quick scrub and a hair wash. Others use the bathroom as a forum for personal grooming – where the edge of the bath becomes a busy salon for hair-dying, nail-polishing, fake-tan application and make-up experimentation. As a general rule in home heating, investing in top quality heating products pays off most in rooms which see frequent use – whereas you can afford to cut corners a little in less busy rooms. If your family spends a lot of time in the bathroom, it’s worth investing in top quality far infrared heating products – such as our Herschel infrared panels – which will heat the room efficiently and reduce your heating bill. If your bathroom is a little-visited space, a cheaper electric bathroom heater such as the Stiebel Eltron Bathroom Quartz Heater should be sufficient for your needs. Quartz heaters use a short-wave form of infrared called near infrared.
If you’re considering an infrared heating solution for your bathroom, check out our indoor infrared heaters collection. You’ll find a wide range of heaters with models to search every budget and every interior design scheme.