Surprising Developments in Heating – Infrared

October 30 2014

James Patten


When most people mention the word ‘infrared’, a number of topics are liable to spring to mind. The first is probably a wavering image of a photography team stalking some elusive animal on TV (see right!) whilst the dulcet tones of David Attenborough intone in the background. Such technology has been around for years, and plenty of us will have come into contact with infrared for night-vision purposes like this, even if it’s only by witnessing the use of such devices on TV.

The second use for infrared that comes to mind is likely to be the transferring of files over mobile phone. For those of us who have been using mobile phones since the early days, infrared was one of the very first ways to swap files – aside from texting of course – and anyone who was at school about 10 years ago will surely remember holding two phones together (at increasingly awkward angles) to send the very latest ringtone over to a friend. Sure, it might seem clumsy, but it worked!

Infrared Heating – the Early Days

However, we’re willing to bet that hardly anybody heard the word ‘infrared’ and thought of heating systems. It’s just not something that we readily associate with heating – at least in terms of widespread knowledge – but actually it’s been on the go for a number of years. In fact, the history of infrared goes all the way back to 1800, when British astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered this useful form of radiation during his studies. Herschel’s experiments revealed that red light possesses the highest degree of temperature change of all available options, but infrared heating was still some way off being completed in those days.

It wasn’t until the Second World War that infrared heating really took off. In this demanding environment, infrared was used to cure or dry paints and lacquers, as these sorts of finishes were frequently used on military equipment. The technique swiftly became popular because it greatly minimised the drying times that were usual. Infrared light banks were also utilised from time to time, but the intensities were lower than they are today. Following the war, infrared adoption continued to gather speed, with other sectors, such as the motor industry, also making heavy use of this new technology.

Modern Infrared Heating

In technical terms, infrared heaters transfer their heat to a much cooler body through electromagnetic radiation; no contact is needed, and they can even prove to be utile in a vacuum (should the rather unlikely need arise). Here at Heritage Heating and Cooling, we use infrared heating primarily within our radiant heating solutions, and – taking the form of tubes (see below) – these heaters are both efficient and cost-effective.

One of the primary benefits of infrared radiant heaters is that they allow you to warm priority areas without wasting further energy. Because radiant heaters warm objects, rather than the air temperature, warmth isn’t lost by having doors and the like open, and the rise in temperature is also instantaneous. All told, radiant heaters are one of the best options in terms of cost-effective and quick heating, and you can purchase such a system from us right now to be ready for the winter.

We’ve years of experience when it comes to both providing and installing heating systems, and so you can count on us to offer you a truly comprehensive service. With the winter months approaching, it’s very important that your heaters are operating at their optimum level, otherwise you risk losing a lot of efficiency. If you’d like further information about our industrial heating solutions, or would like us to repair or maintain an existing unit, don’t hesitate to contact us now by calling 01509 814 123 or emailing

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