The Case for Replacing Cadets + Baseboards with Infrared Radiant Heat

The Case for Replacing Cadets + Baseboards with Infrared Radiant Heat

You may want to rethink replacing your old electric cadet-type wall heater or baseboard heater (right) with an infrared radiant ceiling panel (above) a radiant cove heaters or an infrared radiant wall heater. Infrared Radiant Heaters are vastly superior to baseboard or wall heaters by providing safety, comfort, efficiency, and maximizing usable floor space.

    Infrared Radiant Ceiling Panels are a relatively new and innovative home heating solutions that delivers sun-like heating warmth. They are both reasonably inexpensive and remarkably efficient, and vastly outperform older technology baseboard and wall heaters. Infrared Wall Heaters by BioSmart Solutions are also fantastic alternatives to serve as an efficient and simple replacement for cadet heaters by fitting into the exact same space on a wall. Infrared Radiant Comfort Cove Heaters emit radiant energy that warms people and objects in a room directly, much like the sun does. They eliminate the need for ducting entirely by radiating downwards and quickly warming everything in their path. 

    The following are factors that make radiant ceiling panels a better choice than both wall and baseboard heaters for your next replacement project:


    The National Fire Prevention Administration (NFPE) 2016 Report on Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment found that in 2009-2013 there were 6,500 home fires caused by fixed wall and baseboard heaters that were responsible for 430 injuries, 50 deaths and $155,000,000.00 in damages. The heaters are also safety hazards for young children and pets that are in close contact with the hot grills near the floor. Infrared Ceiling Panels, have virtually zero risk of fire, since they are installed on the ceiling out of the way and don’t reach surface temperatures above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s also zero risk of children or pets playing with them!



    Infrared radiant heaters generate a comfortable, sun-like heating, without blasting or blowing hot air. This heat generation occurs instantly, while the blowing of hot air by convection that wall and baseboard heaters rely on take almost 60 minutes for a room to feel comfortable. There are no noisy fans involved and the feeling of dry hot air being blown around a space is completely eliminated. 


    Based on recent findings, radiant ceiling heaters, wall heaters and cove heaters are 35% more efficient than wall heaters and 50% more efficient than baseboards. By eliminating the need to heat through convection, the infrared radiant panels transfer heat directly to you, the furniture, walls, floors, and other objects in the room, which in turn re-radiate the heat back to you. While the cost of purchasing a ceiling panel is slightly more expensive, the increased efficiency will recoup the cost of the radiant heater in just a few years.

    Maximizing Living Space 

    Wall heaters and baseboards, being placed on the floor, eliminate precious usable space where you can place furniture and create fire hazards. Infrared radiant heat in the form of ceiling panels and cove heaters takes up no wall space and are safely out of the way of furniture and drapery.


    Wall and baseboard heater manufacturers recommend that they are cleaned every 6 months to remove materials that often cause fires. If these heaters are not cleaned they pose risks of fire hazards and impair their efficiency. Alternatively, passive infrared radiant heaters are completely maintenance-free for life.

    Expected Life

    According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a cadet-type wall heater or baseboard heater has a 10-15 year life expectancy. The NAHB rates radiant ceiling panels and cove heaters with a 40 year life expectancy. In addition, most wall or baseboard heaters only have a 2 or 3 year warranty. One of the leading manufacturers of our radiant heaters, Ducoterra, gives a 20 year warranty on their panels, the longest warranty in the industry.


    Have more questions about replacing your cadet or baseboard heaters with infrared? Contact us today!


    JLC Live Northwest: Nov 29-30

    JLC Live Northwest: Nov 29-30

    JLC Live is the only regional trade event in the Pacific Northwest for builders, remodelers, contractors and their crews. The show returns to the Oregon Convention Center for the 7th consecutive year on November 28-30, 2018. And this year, they’re going green! Join us and the NW EcoBuilding Guild for a multi-day live demonstration of high performance building solutions.

    JLC LIVE Northwest showcases over 70 building product manufacturers, including 3 manufacturer-led building clinics. Additionally, 5 LIVE building clinics and over 40 conference sessions, all led by nationally recognized experts who are available to sharpen both your business and your job site skills. You can also join us at the after-show party on Thursday to meet and network with your residential construction peers from all over the Pacific Northwest.

    REGISTER HERE | FREE Expo Pass with Code: XP21

    Big Heat for a Small Footprint, presented by Laura Elfline | Friday, November 30, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

    A discussion of innovative heating solutions for small and multi-use spaces such as backyard cottages, ADUs, and compact townhomes. Hybrid heating solutions that are a super comfortable and healthy while saving space, are often also less expensive to install, and treading lightly on the environment.

    High Performance Building Clinic – all day on the Exhibit Hall floor – November 29 – 30, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

    Representatives of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild go start to finish on a low-carbon footprint building envelope that will last a century or more. The Guild empowers people through education to transform the built environment for long term sustainability. This multi-day live building clinic, will educate attendees on the how-to details of high performance buildings. NWEBG Leaders, this clinic will consist of building a demo tiny house while showcasing carbon negative and innovative non-toxic materials. We will cover interior and exterior insulation, airtightness and waterproofing, heating and ventilation, as well as durable and sustainable finish options.

    Radiant Panel Sizing in Four Easy Steps

    Radiant Panel Sizing in Four Easy Steps

    For any heating system, proper sizing is critical to performance – and infrared radiant ceiling panels are no different. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is how to size our infrared ceiling panels correctly. When we help someone size a system, we typically perform a heat loss calculation to determine system sizing. The following are some guidelines you can use to size panels for smaller projects, or when you don’t have all the information necessary for a heat loss calculation.


    Step 1 – Measure the space

    The size of the space is one piece of information you simply must have. Measure the length and width of the room and calculate the square footage by multiplying the two together. For example, if your room is 12 feet wide by 15 feet long, then the room size is 12 feet x 15 feet = 180 square feet (sf).

    Step 2 – Estimate the necessary wattage

    Next you need to estimate the amount of heating you’ll need. This is where a heat loss calculation comes in handy. However, there are some general guidelines we use that will get you pretty close.

    • Supplemental System (i.e. a ductless or forced air system is doing most of the work): 2 Watts/square foot (W/sf)
    • Super Insulated Room (meets US EPA Energy Star standards or above): 4.5 W/sf
    • Normally Insulated Room (meets current code): 6 W/sf
    • Low Insulation/Drafty Room: 7-9 W/sf

    Step 3 – Determine the watt density (intensity)

    Now you need to look at the mounting height (this is usually the ceiling height) of the panel to determine appropriate watt density. The higher the watt density, the more intense the maximum output of the panels.

    • 50w/sf – eg a 120AIP4-400 is 400 watts over 8 square feet of panel – 50w/sf. This watt density is best suited for lower intensity applications, like ceilings under 8′ in height.
    • 62.5w/sf – eg a 120AIP4-500 is 500 watts over 8 square feet of panel – 62.5w/sf. This watt density is the most versatile – readily used from 8′ ceilings up to 9’6″.
    • 93.75w/sf – eg a 120AIP4-750 @ 750 watts over 8 square feet of panel = 93.75w/sf. This watt density is best used in places where higher intensity is desired, such as high draft areas or ceilings over 10′.

    Step 4 – Determine # of panels

    We have a rule of thumb for coverage to get started here – take the square footage of the room and divide it by 20. Then, divide that number by either 6, 4, 3, or 2, depending on what panel size you think will work best in the room. Finally, round that number off and you have the number of panels you should use!

    Let’s use these steps in an example. Let’s say our example room is 12’x12′, with 8′ ceilings. It has normal insulation.

    Step 1 : 12 * 12 = 144 sf

    Step 2 : Normal insulation = 6 W/sf – 6 W/sf * 144 sf = 864W

    Step 3 : Watt density should be at least 62.5 W/sf (eg a 6′ 750W panel, or a 3′ 375W panel)

    So, we should use either a single 6′ 1000W panel, or two 4′ 500W panels for this room!

    Ceiling panels in a backyard cottage by Model Remodel + Live, Work, Play

    After this step, you’ll have to make a few judgement calls on the system. First, you need to make sure your wattage requirement determined in Step 2 is met by the panels you picked in Step 3 & 4 – if not, you’ll need to adjust your selection. Second, do you want more, but smaller panels, to achieve more even coverage in the space? You can use a single 6′ 750W to achieve the same heating as two 3′ 375W units. You could even use three 2′ 250W!  Some people like the symmetry and distributed coverage provided by smaller units; others prefer to simply install a single larger unit – the choice is up to you.

    Fall Infrared Heating Open Houses

    Fall Infrared Heating Open Houses

    Join us for an open house! Mighty Energy Solutions will be opening our home showroom to building professionals and homeowners on the following Tuesdays this fall: September 25, October 16, and November 6. This is an opportunity to see Infrared Radiant Ceiling PanelsRadiant Cove Heaters and our BioSmart Wall Heaters in action. Heating season is almost upon us and now is a great time to think about how to efficiently heat your home. Pacific Northwest rainy seasons can be tough, but not with Infrared Radiant Heat! These products provide a warm, cozy, and healthy heat all year long. Come experience this comforting heat for yourself!

    September 25 | October 16 | November 6

    8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

    3108 SW Webster St

    RSVP’s welcomed but not necessary. Drop in anytime, no formal presentation.

    Infrared Heat in 4-Star Built Green DADU

    Infrared Heat in 4-Star Built Green DADU

    This 2+ story DADU (detached auxiliary dwelling unit), by Living Shelter Design Architects, is heated solely with infrared radiant ceiling panels. Certified Built Green 4-Star, the project features an extremely tight building envelope and healthy finishes for superior indoor air quality. Total living space is under 650 square feet, so the expense of installing ductwork or a heat pump system just didn’t make sense.

    heat panels in DADU interior

    Instead of forced air, the owners chose cozy and efficient infrared radiant ceiling panels. Heated by an electric infrared coil, these heaters radiate energy downwards. They heat the people and objects in the room directly, much like the sun. Spaces warm up faster & stay warm longer with very little electricity and zero maintenance. By choosing electric infrared heat, these homeowners also eliminate the added costs of installing ductwork.


    Living Shelter designed this DADU as a multi-use space to add square footage to the owners’ already full home. They can use it as a space for guests, furniture storage and staging, and living space for future college age kids or renters. Because they are on the ceiling, the infrared radiant panels allow maximum flexibility for space use and layout.

    Longevity –

    The design/build team selected materials and finishes with the aim of creating an extremely durable structure that will provide this family with the space they need for decades. And the infrared heating system is no exception. The manufacturer provides a 20-year warranty and the heaters have an expected lifetime of over 40 years. This makes the radiant ceiling panels are the longest lasting heaters on the market. They will continue keep the space cozy for many years to come.

    Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) –

    Zero ductwork means that the homeowners also eliminated the risk of dust or allergens being blown around their space. With infrared heat they will also avoid the dreaded feeling of dry blown air in the winters.

    Read more about infrared ceiling panels here. 

    Built Green Conference: September 13

    Built Green Conference: September 13

    Each year, the Built Green Conference beckons the brightest and best in green building from across the Northwest and Mighty Energy Solutions is honored to sponsor this great event once again. Attendees receive valuable, cutting-edge information on green building and sustainability through an array of immersive topics. From building science to policy, from post-occupancy research to discussions on equity, affordability, and community issues and more, the full-day conference offers education and insight for all. We look forward to seeing you there!

    September 13, 2018 | 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM | Register Here

    Lynwood Convention Center | 3711 196th Street S.W. Lynnwood, WA 98036

    We’re Especially Looking Forward to these Sessions:

    portrait of Vien Truong

    9:00 AM – Keynote from Vien Truong – This year’s keynote speaker is Vien Truong, one of the country’s foremost policy experts and strategists on building an equitable green economy. She serves as CEO of the Dream Corps, and leads Green For All, a national initiative that puts communities of color at the forefront of the climate movement and equality at the center of environmental solutions.

    Vien has developed numerous energy, environmental, transportation, and economic policies and programs at the state, federal and local levels. She has advised on billions of dollars in public investments for energy and community development programs – including helping to create the biggest fund in history for low income communities.


    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Development and Displacement: A Discussion on Equitable Social Impacts

    Not only does displacement have negative environmental impacts as it contributes to sprawl, but it has major social ramifications as well. People who were previously rooted in their community are having to leave and this separation is painful and unhealthy both for individuals and communities. At the same time, as a region with a rapidly growing population, we must accommodate more people in urban areas. How do we develop while minimizing displacement? This discussion will grapple with this complex question, as panelists talk about creative ideas to maximize both social and environmental good through affordable housing, robust communities, and innovative policy.

    panelists for conference session

    3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Mayor’s Forum on Green Building

    We often hear about Seattle policy, but some smaller cities in our region have taken large steps to support green building too. Did you know that Kirkland was a leader in expediting permits for green building? Or that all development in the Issaquah Highlands had to be certified to green building standards? Or that Arlington allows more height for green or affordable buildings in its downtown?

    The mayors from these three cities will share information about the green building successes that have been achieved in their cities and what visions they have for the future. Come learn what these cities have planned for green development and how you can contribute to their progress.