The Advantages and Disadvantages of Infrared Heating Panels Written by Beth Howell Updated on 18 October 2022 ✔ Some of the best infrared panels on the market have an efficiency rating of 100%✔ Users can turn infrared panels into art or add a personal photo✔ Infrared panels don’t work properly if anything is obstructing themInfrared panels are fairly unknown form of low-emission heating with few people knowing what they are, let alone what the costs of infrared heating panels are.They're effective at heating your home, but, like many things in life, infrared heating panels also have their downsides. In other words, they might not be for everyone.Check out our helpful guide below to get a better idea of infrared panels, and whether they'd be right for you.Once you're ready to get yourself a set of infrared panels, you can get the ball rolling by using our easy-to-navigate tool. All you have to do is provide a few quick details, and our expert installers will be in touch with free bespoke quotes. Get free infrared panel quotes Answer a few quick questions, and our trusted installers will send you bespoke infrared panel quotes – for free. Compare now Image credit: CürvWhat’s on this page? 01 The advantages of infrared heating panels 02 The disadvantages of infrared heating panels 03 Summary Summary: pros and cons of infrared heating panelsProsConsLow emissions The whole system is more expensive than the average gas boilerAesthetically pleasing There can’t be any obstructions Don’t take up much space Runs on electricity, which is expensiveSimple to installCan’t fully replace a boiler Low maintenanceMore efficient than central heating systems Reduce energy consumption with 'zoning' featuresCan have health benefitsNo noise pollutionCan be connected to solar panelsCan be installed in listed buildings The advantages of infrared heating panelsSimple to installGenerally speaking, it won't take installers longer than a day to set up your infrared panels. Unlike traditional boilers, infrared panels don’t need any pipework, which means installation is as simple as mounting the system to either the wall or ceiling and connecting it to an electric circuit.As an added bonus, many infrared panel suppliers now include installation costs in the purchase price if you buy directly from them, purely because of how quick and easy the process is. Want to learn more? Check out our infrared heating costs page.Bear in mind that installing underfloor infrared heating will come with a few extra steps, but there’s still no pipework needed, which makes it much easier than installing gas heating.Low emissionsGlobally, heating accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption, and roughly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.However, by switching from a boiler to infrared panels, homeowners can drastically lower their energy usage, which means their emissions will also start to decrease – good news for the 49% of UK residents that claim to be ‘very anxious’ or ‘extremely anxious’ about climate change.This is mainly thanks to the panels’ high efficiency rating – some of the best infrared panels on the market have a rating of 100%.Infrared panels also don’t lose as much heat as traditional boilers because they heat objects directly, rather than heating the air. This means the warmth generated by the panels can’t be lost through draughts, so you won’t be wasting as much energy.Buying infrared panels will also mean you can move away from gas, which many people want to do in light of both climate change and the recent energy crisis.What’s more, if you have a renewable energy tariff, or have a set of solar panels on your roof, you’ll be able to use 100% clean heat – but more on that later.Despite the benefits of this low-carbon tech, only 17% of people in the UK have heard of infrared panels – that's according to our National Home Energy Survey. You've heard of infrared panels now, but have you heard infrared wallpaper? It may be worth considering too.Aesthetically pleasingSome people are immediately put off when confronted with a bulky boiler or heat pump – after all, we do want our homes to look nice.Thankfully, infrared panels have a sleek, modern look to them.Users can even turn their panels into art, add a personal photo to the panels, or transform them into a mirror, which makes them a great option for anyone worried about how heating systems will affect their interior design. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, you'll be pleased to hear that mirrored or image panels don't have an impact on the product's performance.Don’t take up much spaceThese compact panels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – whether you’re after a rectangular one, a small square one, or a wide and narrow horizontal panel.These panels are also very versatile in terms of where you can put them. Unlike radiators, which can only be placed low on an interior wall, you can mount infrared panels anywhere on a wall or the ceiling, and even prop them up on the floor.This is particularly handy for making sure panels won’t be blocked off by any furniture.Low maintenanceThere are no moving parts in an infrared heating system, which means there’s very little risk of wear and tear. If you’re used to the upkeep of a boiler or a heat pump, you’ll be happy to know that infrared panels don’t need to have any air filters replaced, they don’t have an engine to wear out, and you won’t need to top up lubrication. To keep the unit in tip-top condition, you just have to clean the reflectors every now and then.Some suppliers also state that these panels don’t need annual servicing, unlike boilers and heat pumps.More efficient than central heating systemsThe best infrared heating panels on the market have an efficiency rating of 112-115%, as opposed to just 100%. Infrared heating essentially cuts out the middle man – rather than heating the air, which then heats us, this system directly heats objects. This means that homeowners with draughty homes won’t have to suffer from inefficient heating anymore.Plus, the panels only take about 3–5 minutes to get up to full heat intensity, so you can forget about having to wait to get warm with infrared heating in your home. It also means that you won’t need to keep your heating on for as long as you would with a boiler.On top of this, since the panels can be turned off and on by a switch on a wall, you can just keep one heating panel on, and avoid wasting excess energy by heating empty rooms.Reduced energy consumption through ‘zoning' featureAn additional feature that makes infrared more efficient than some other heating methods is the fact that users can ‘zone’ their heating.This feature basically means users can place panels in a strategic way to heat rooms that they use more frequently, have high ceilings, are poorly insulated, or have draughty areas.By doing this, users can cut back on energy consumption, which could lead to lower energy bills. Did You Know? Infrared panels can be integrated into your home’s electricity system, which means they can be switched on or off in individual rooms whenever you like.They can have health benefitsInfrared heating can be healthier than gas heating for anyone who suffers from dust allergies or asthma.Whilst conventional radiators heat the room by moving the air about the room, infrared radiation only heats objects, meaning the air doesn’t move around and dust isn’t disturbed.Infrared supplier Herschel looked into this further in one of its case studies. The individual in the study claimed that after installing infrared heating, the house was no longer damp and he “is certain that his children’s asthma problems have significantly reduced since the renovation”. No noise pollutionSince there are no moving parts in infrared heating panels, they’re silent whilst running.This advantage makes infrared panels particularly good for people living in blocks of flats or quiet neighbourhoods.Can be connected to solar panelsIf you really want to shrink your bills and your carbon footprint, you can pair your infrared panels with solar panels.This is particularly good news for anyone who already has a solar panel system on their home. In this case, all you need to do is get an installer to connect the infrared panels to the electrical circuit, and you’ll be enjoying zero heating bills!Anyone who doesn’t currently have solar panels installed onto their property, however, will need to invest a fair bit of money to do this first – an average of £7,860 for a three-bedroom house, to be specific. Want to learn more? Head to our page on Solar Panel Costs.Bear in mind that you’ll make up for this investment with the money you save on bills.Can be installed on listed buildingsAnyone living in a listed property in the UK isn’t allowed to alter the aesthetic of the property, which often means they can’t install solar panels or heat pumps.Infrared panels, on the other hand, look sleek, don’t take up much room, and have a better chance of getting approved than solar panels do. On top of this, infrared panels can be transformed into mirrors or even have printed artwork on them, which means they can blend into the background more easily.However, listed buildings are limited in terms of insulation and double glazing upgrades, which may affect the efficacy of infrared. The disadvantages of infrared heating panelsThe whole system is more expensive than the average gas boilerDespite the affordable price of individual panels, the cost of a full infrared heating system can mount up to a few thousand pounds.You can expect to pay considerably more for the whole infrared system than you would for a gas boiler. On average, it would cost about £6,000 to fit a three-bedroom house with infrared panels. Below, we’ve listed the average cost of different types of infrared panels. Bear in mind that you’ll need at least one panel in each room of your property.Type of infrared panelAverage costWall-mounted£495Ceiling-mounted£380Mirror£600Painting/picture style£540The overall price of infrared panels will depend on a number of factors, including the size and type of property, and the installer you go with.Want a better idea of how much infrared panels will cost you? Try using our personalised quote tool. All you have to do is pop a few details in the form, and we'll put you in touch with trusted installers, who'll provide you with free bespoke quotes.There can’t be any obstructionsLet’s have a quick recap: infrared panels transfer heat to objects, not the air. Although this makes them far more efficient than traditional boilers, it also means that they won’t work properly if anything is obstructing them. If you pop a piece of furniture in front of a panel, that object will be absorbing all of its heat.So, unfortunately, smaller homes might struggle to make space for infrared panels. In these cases, a ceiling panel could be the answer – but you’ll have to pay a little extra for it.Run on electricity, which is expensiveAlthough infrared panels are efficient enough to help you save on energy bills, they also run on electricity – which is currently pricier than most other fuels.For context, electricity is currently 27.35p per kWh, whilst gas is only priced at 6.89p per kWh.They can’t fully replace a boilerAlthough infrared panels can heat up your home, they can’t heat water, which means they currently aren’t able to fully replace a gas boiler. As an alternative, you can couple infrared panels with a traditional electric immersion heater or water cylinder.But keep your eyes peeled, because this won’t always be the case. Even though infrared panels are very new to the heating industry, some companies are already looking into ways to evolve the panels to include water-heating technology. SummaryAlthough only 17% of people in the UK are familiar with infrared panels, they're already showing signs of a promising future. Admittedly, there are a few disadvantages to infrared heating systems, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.Think infrared panels would be perfect for your home? Find the perfect set of panels by using our easy-to-navigate tool. Simply pop a few quick details in the form, and our expert installers will be in touch with free quotes.Alternatively, you can learn more about infrared panels by checking out some of our helpful guides below:Should You Get Infrared Heating Panels?A Beginner’s Guide to Infrared Heating PanelsInfrared Heating Panel Costs Written by: Beth Howell Content Manager Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.