For the past three months everyone (yes, everyone) who came to visit me had to see my latest gadget: a ThermIQ infrared panel. And in the same months, I came to believe that far infrared is the future of heating. (Note that I’m not being paid to write this article, I just believe in the technology and I like the founder Niels van Lingen.) What this panel does is quite different from standard convection heating: it heats you first, not the air in the room. Just like skiing in subzero temperatures while it’s sunny can feel warm (even hot) this far infrared panel was like adding a tiny 550-watt sun to my house.
Personalised My girlfriend likes heat more than I do. Old school heating systems have no solution for this: one temperature fits all. In the past, this would have meant high temperatures. Old school heating depends on heating all the air. With the ThermIQ panel we can have the thermostat at around 19 degrees celsius overall, with a mobile hotspot of heat. (In a full infrared setup, you’d have panels in every room attached to the ceiling, which can be operated with a smartphone.)
Cheap and plug and play These panels not only personalise heat, they’re also easy to install. I live in an apartment built in 1940 with single paned windows and in winter time it is draughty. We researched the possibility of double paned glass for the apartment, but this was going to cost over €10.000 – which is kind of crazy. Going full electric with infrared heating is far cheaper than insulating our place – and therefore saves money faster.(ThermIQ’s CEO Niels van Lingen cites €4000 – €5500 as the possible range for a total infrared heating solution. And it remains cheap: there are no moving parts in these panels, and therefore no service is necessary.) Off course, every new house should be built with a cheap water based heat pumps and good isolation. But both with or without good isolation available, infrared heating as your sole heat source is a no-brainer.
Full-electric future Saving money and making heat more personal is just the beginning. What I like on a deeper level about the ThermIQ panels is their simplicity. It allows anyone to completely quit natural gas – and quitting fossil fuels is something we’ll have to come to terms with anyway. Infrared panels are another step in the direction of the electrification of the world. In the future, there will be just one ‘energy’ connection in your home to power everything: your iPhone, electric car, battery storage – and an infrared heating system. Simple and clean. Obviously this mean we’ll be using more, not less electricity in the future – which makes it even more crucial to switch to renewable energy or next generation nuclear energy.
There are many more things to say about infrared panels. But if you’re intrigued by the possibilities of infrared heating, nothing beats just trying them.