Geo Answers: “How is Infrared Radiant Heat Different?”

Geo Answers: “How is Infrared Radiant Heat Different?”

We have all experienced infrared radiant heat when basking in sunshine. We just don’t associate this feeling with how we heat our buildings, since, in most cases when it’s cold out, we stay warm indoors by heating the air around us. The air around us is what our thermostats measure, too.

The sun shines a full spectrum of colors and we can see most of them. But at either end of that spectrum are invisible light rays: ultraviolet and infrared. Although ultraviolet light does many things, some vital to life, it can cause sunburn, skin discoloration, skin cancer, and some loss of eyesight. Infrared rays on the other hand, do not have those negative drawbacks. All of our heaters shine only infrared light at end of the spectrum that warms people, pets, furniture, and the surfaces in the room it shines on – just like the sun heats the land and the water. The air barely blocks this direct radiance, so it doesn’t heat up this way. Instead, the warmed surfaces that do block the light, like the floor, walls, and other surfaces, shed their warmth into the air and the warm air rises into the room. Also, since surfaces are warmed, it takes the edge off bare feet on a cold floor, and a warm couch is cozy. So, unlike other forms of interior heat, infrared provides heat we can feel three ways.

A kitchen with infrared radiant heat.

This is a big part of why infrared radiant heat is so efficient. Most types of installed furnaces and heaters use a noisy fan, (with moving parts that can fail,) to blow air across a hot element and into the living spaces. This means the very first stage of energy use is taken up just heating and blowing air around. This has the added effect of stirring up dust, allergens, and other particulates. And, as soon as this warmed, turbulent air enters the room (since it is lighter than the cooler air around it) it begins to rise toward the ceiling. This means the air in the room must be heated up enough to keep some of the warmth down where it is wanted. And, since all the air in the building is connected, the heat diffuses to every space even as it leaks out of the smallest cracks in the outside walls where the drafts get in.

While you feel it as warmth instead of seeing it, infrared radiance is, in fact, light. It may be useful to think of our heaters as light fixtures. You turn them on, and they shine. You can feel the warmth within minutes. There is no boom of expanding vents or white noise of rushing, dusty air – just warm radiance. The air temperature comes up and the thermostat registers it, but you will be warm even before that happens. And, just like you don’t need to turn on all the lights in the house to get the light you need, all the infrared radiant heaters in your home don’t have to be turned on just so you can get warm in the room you are actually in.

Warm family

Just as you will be warmer in the sunlight on a clear, chilly day than in the shade, even though the air temperature is the same. With infrared heat, the thermostat on the wall might read slightly lower than you used to think was comfortable, yet you will feel toasty and warm. In the sunlight on a clear, chilly day you will be warmer than you would be in the shade, even though the air temperature is the same. It is similar with infrared heat; the thermostat on the wall might read slightly lower than you used to think was comfortable, yet you will feel toasty, cozy, silent, direct heat where and when you need it – like a light coming on. You may find yourself giving your extra blankets to Goodwill, and spending less money staying cozy in your home. Mighty Energy Solutions carries several different models of infrared radiant heaters. Whether you need to heat your front porch, veranda, bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, please give Geo a call at 610.585.8851 to discuss which of our products keep you toasty.

MES and COVID-19 Production Updates

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Governor Jay Inslee has extended the Washington State “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through end of May. You can get the details [here]. Because heat is an essential part of an occupied space, our manufacturers’ factories have remained up and running, albeit with lean staffing. However, because installers were, until recently, prohibited from doing anything but emergency work, getting your heaters installed has either been a waiting game or a DIY project.
Since the products are made-to-order, it can take up to two weeks to have your order shipped and there may be a spike in orders as the COVID-19 situation abates. This may increase turnaround times for a little while. If you are set on getting infrared heating into your home this year, or to finish an ongoing project, you may find it useful to get the process started now. Modeling for your spaces can be fine-tuned for the way you will use each room, your preferences, and what works within your budget. We are always happy to assist you with this process before you order or just tell us what you need – we guarantee to always be the lowest price for these same products.
If you have questions about infrared heat or a project you are pricing out, please call Geo at 610.585.8851 or email: geo@mightyenergy.net

Energy Department Funds Research that Could Save You Energy and Money!

With funding from the Energy Department, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working to develop innovative insulating window film that preserves views while increasing occupants’ comfort and saving energy according to an article on Energy Department’s website.

This research effort creates a millimeter thick insulation film that results in clear insulation with values equivalent to R-20, which is equal to standard wall insulations. The new technology will boost the energy efficiency of current window retrofit technologies by as much as 80 percent  and building and homeowners will not need to replace their windows to take advantage of the technology!

Considering the billions of square feet of installed windows in the U.S., the NREL research provides a ripe opportunity for saving energy, reducing costs and cutting carbon pollution. The result: This window film could reduce building energy use by as much as 33 percent, creating a simple payback for window retrofits of less than one year.

Read More on the Energy Department’s website.

If window replacement is not on the docket, check out Indow windows for a spectacular, easy-to-install storm window option.

We BUY Local….But How Do We INVEST Locally?

That is the question Seattle Good Business Network is asking these days in the Community Capital: Seattle series designed to educate, connect, and spark dialogue around the emerging field of community capital.

Featuring successful, tested models from here and around the country, the series of breakfast meetings and happy hour panel discussions focuses on a different business or investment model each month. The conversations will explore how each model can be used for Seattle residents to begin to invest locally, how local businesses can take advantage of these funds, and what new projects might be started as a result.

Sound interesting? Reserve your spot for the next gathering here and pass word to your financial advisor to get him or her thinking outside the box too!