Far Infrared Heating
A: The key difference between Far Infrared heating and other heating systems lies in the innovative way in which infrared technology dissipates heat. Infrared heaters heat objects and people directly, instead of heating the air around them. This means that heat is retained within walls, floors and furniture and is radiated back into the room for comfortable and long-lasting levels of heat.
LAVA Design panels use 2 cables which neutralize the magnetic field and can withstand 240°C. The cables are set in an aluminium foil which accelerates the heating process, reduces the infrared radiation from the back of the panel and creates a very homogenous heating temperature on the front panel surface. The heating components convert electricity to produce a radiant heat called “far infrared”. Surface temperatures of the panels are designed to gently warm people and buildings. LAVA Design panels emit infrared waves in the spectral range of 3 – 10 microns with no light at all. The majority of the heat produced from the panels is “radiant”, meaning the energy is used to directly heat objects and not the air.
A: LAVA far infrared heaters are completely safe. Far infrared heating is 100% natural for our bodies and our well-being. The human body is designed to accept and emit infrared waves.
Far Infrared heating works on the basis of gentle, long-wave Infrared which penetrates the air and heats solids. If you like the warmth of the sun then you will love the feeling you get from an infrared heating system. However, unlike the sun, LAVA panel heaters only emit safe infrared heat, not the harmful UV. So, you get the feeling of the sun without the damaging rays – but unfortunately no suntan!
A: Infrared waves are emitted from the front surface of the panel in the shape of a cone (30 degrees in every direction). All particulate materials on which the radiation impacts get warmer and emit warmth back into the room. This is the comfort effect from the radiation system. Good materials for absorbing infrared and emitting warmth are walls and ceilings; bad materials for radiation systems are windows. We would therefore not recommend positioning an infrared heater opposite a window.
A: Far infrared heating is not at all detrimental to your health. In fact, the opposite is true.
There is no air circulation, so there will be less dust movement within a room. Also, as the heat warms walls and keeps them dry there is no damp or mould to ruin your decorations or produce spores resulting in less allergens to breathe in. Two good reasons why infrared heating is so good for asthma and allergy sufferers.
Many health spas now offer Infrared Therapy. Champneys, for example, claims it “can help soothe and relieve stressed muscles” and “enhanced feelings of well-being, mood and energy levels can also be experienced.
A: Lava design far infrared heating is completely free of all carbon emissions. When used with electricity produced from a renewable source (e.g. wind or solar), it is one of the only heating systems that can truly claim to be 100% carbon free.
LAVA Design Infrared Heating Panels
A: Our Far Infrared Heater panels are manufactured by Etherma in Austria using quality European components.
A: In one word – ‘quality’. LAVA panels are market-leading in terms of energy efficiency. The Austrian manufacturer Etherma’s focus on quality and innovation is second to none. They have been at the forefront of infrared heating for over 35 years and are renowned for their cutting-edge technology which makes LAVA Design infrared panels some of the most efficient on the market. Etherma hold Technical Approval certification in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA.
LAVA panels have a high level of insulation on the back to focus the infrared radiation into the room. Cheaper products often have the same temperature on the rear of the panel (due to no insulation); half the energy used is lost through the wall. The higher operational costs of these ‘cheaper’ panels quickly negates the purchase price differential.
Other noticeable benefits of LAVA over cheaper products include:
- a far superior build quality
- LAVA heating elements do not create a magnetic field
- The surface emits a higher proportion of infrared radiation due to the insulation within the panel
We are aware of cheap imitations in the market but would urge caution. In some cases they may not even be Far Infrared panels at all. Whilst cheap to buy they can cause serious problems and in some cases may be dangerous.
You rarely win by buying cheap goods and infrared is no exception. The initial costs of our infrared panels will be quickly repaid by the savings you’ll make using LAVA Design heaters. You can rest assured you have a quality product which will last.
A: LAVA panels come with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty. The heating controls are covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.
A: The normal operating surface temperature of the LAVA Basic panel is 90°C and the LAVA glass panel is 85°C (and could potentially reach a max. of 100°C and 95°C respectively if left on continually in a warm room). The EU Norm for coated metal and glass panels specifies a max. surface temperature of 105°C and 120°C . If you touch the glass panel you will feel the heat (at an uncomfortable level) and will remove your hand. However this will not burn your skin because of the characteristics of the material used. By touching the panel surface your body absorbs more energy than the panel can produce during the period of contact. This is a reverse situation to metal surfaces where more energy is produced than your body can absorb and therefore your skin will burn. The exception to this is if you had a wet hand when you touched the glass surface you might receive a burn.
A: No – in fact the opposite is true. Carbon crystal is nothing more than a carbon heating foil, used for many applications including underfloor heating. At higher temperatures, over time it has the problem of losing power. A panel using carbon crystal may have uneven surface temperatures because the resistance of the carbon will change. In some cases colder spots could appear on the panel surface. It also has a high magnetic radiation field.
Etherma did start with foils in their early days; however they had a few problems with the lifetime expectancy of the product. They now use 2 heating cables in the LAVA panels which neutralize the magnetic field and can withstand 240°C. The cables are set in an aluminium foil which accelerates the heating process, reduces the infrared radiation from the back of the panel and creates a very homogenous heating temperature on the front panel surface. The aluminium is glued to the internal surfaces improving the heat transfer to the front surface of the infrared heater.
Using Infrared Heating
A: Infrared heat feels like walking into the sun from the shade. The infrared waves penetrate through air to heat solid objects including humans, creating a warm cosy feeling. It is perfect for our bodies and particularly for those who suffer aches and pains. As there are no convection currents allergens are not circulated, ideal for asthma sufferers.
A: Infrared warms the building fabric not the air, resulting in less energy being wasted through draughts. This means that your room will reach a higher ambient temperature with far infrared than it will with a convection heater of the same wattage.
Solids lose their heat more slowly than air, so less heat is required to maintain thermal comfort. As a result you need around 30% less wattage than you would with a traditional convector heater such as a radiator or storage heater.
Thermostats can be set at least 2 degrees lower than with convection systems without compromising the comfort level. For every degree less you save 6% energy so for a 2 degree reduction you will save a minimum of 12%. It is also likely the infrared system will be required to run for less time. In addition, almost 100% of input electrical energy is converted to infrared and therefore heat.
The amount saved will depend on each particular house or building and your previous heating solution. However, it has been proven that a sufficiently insulated building fitted with infrared panels, can expect significant reductions in energy usage, including:
- up to 30% reduction on gas central heating systems;
- up to 50% reduction on oil central heating systems;
- up to 60% reduction on electrical storage heating.
A: On Economy 7 you are probably paying a higher rate for daytime electricity than on a standard tariff. If you intend to run your LAVA panels overnight along with other appliances then it could make sense to stay on Economy 7. However, depending on your circumstances, it is likely that you will also use your panels in the daytime and it may well be that the extra daytime rates could outweigh any savings. Our best advice would be to run your LAVA panels for a season and then review the situation depending upon your usage.
Don’t forget that the average running cost of using our panels for 5 hours per day will give you a big saving and improved comfort levels compared to night storage heating regardless of whether you are on an Economy 7 tariff.
A: This depends on the insulation, the start temperature in the room and the temperatures of the particulate materials (e.g. walls and ceiling temperature). If you are in the radiation zone of the heater you will feel the warmth after a few minutes. However, if the particulate materials are cold (from heating system being off for a few days) and the people are not in the radiation zone, it will take a few hours to create a good comfort level in the room.
A: Yes. Placing furniture in front of the panel will reduce the effectiveness of the heating. In an ideal world they should be mounted at a low picture height. Remember panels can be either landscape, portrait or ceiling mounted which will give more flexibility when deciding where to put it.
A: By warming the fabric of the building damp issues are avoided, inhibiting mould growth. This will keep decoration costs down and, of course, improve thermal comfort and health.
Dry walls improve the insulation of the property; offering better insulation than damp walls which are a bad conductor of heat, resulting in heat-loss.
A: The temperature for each room can be set individually so if it is too hot for a person the temperature can be reduced. The radiant heat that is emitted directly from the panel surface can only be felt up to approx. 40cm from the surface. Beyond this, it is the gentle warmth of the infrared waves and the heat radiating from the rooms’ thermal mass which is felt.
A: Your fruit may deteriorate sooner because it is in a space where the heating is likely to be more consistent and higher overall, not due to the far infrared rays. The infrared, if anything, will make the fruit sweeter as it increases the sugar content through raised molecule activity.
Installing & Maintenance
A: Yes the infrared panels can either be installed by a qualified electrician or as a straightforward DIY task. DIY installations are simply a case of mounting the panel on the wall, plugging it into the nearest socket and switching on.Fitting by a qualified electrician is necessary for bathroom installation or where the panels are being hard-wired on their own circuit. Installation is nevertheless a quick and straightforward job which requires none of the expensive and invasive plumbing work required when fitting central heating. If infrared is replacing an incumbent electrical heating system the same wiring circuit can often be used.
A: LAVA infrared heaters can either plug into a standard square-pin 13 amp socket like any other UK household appliance or be hard-wired on their own circuit like storage heaters.
A: LAVA panels radiate far infrared heat through the air which is then absorbed by objects and surfaces of the room. The most effective place for you to mount your panels is usually higher up on the walls or on the ceiling.The heaters will be less effective if they are mounted directly opposite a window or door as there will be no thermal mass to absorb the energy.You will feel heat from the panels to a distance of around 2m, so if you want to have the feeling of the warmth from the panels try to mount them near to where you are normally located within the room.We recommend that you contact us for more advice.
A: Yes, the thermo-regulatory devices within the panel must be positioned at the top of the panel and that is why the panel must be installed in accordance with the up-arrows. Failure to do this could lead to overheating and irreversible damage to the LAVA panel.
A: A ceiling or wall installation will give you the same heating result assuming the wall-mounted option is not directly behind any furniture which may block the far infrared radiation.
A: No! Infrared heating is ideal for a wide range of applications, particularly where damp may be an issue. We have supplied panels to customers who have used them to heat caravans, pool houses, garages, garden offices, treehouses and conservatories.
A: Lava Infra-red heaters use solid state elements and, unlike fan assisted electric heating, have no moving parts. Therefore there is nothing to go wrong or to service. All you need to do is keep them clean with a soft, dry cloth. Mounted as per the manufacturer’s instructions these units will give you a lifetime of non-degrading service.
A: All LAVA 2.0 Infrared Panels are supplied with a UK plug and ‘Plug and Play’ connection. However, the LAVA BASIC-DM comes without plug and ‘Plug & Play’ connection as they are generally ‘hard wired’. If the LAVA 2.0 panels are to be hardwired the plug will need to be removed. The process of removing the plug will not invalidate the 5 year product warranty.