Modern Heating: Warmth distributed by infrared radiation

Effectiv convection boosting achieved with fins

In the 19th century it was thought that there is a material transport necessary to distribute heat in an interior space. For this reason the engineers tried to move the molecules of the room air as effectively as possible to realize an even heat distribution. Heating techniques which achieved this target were regarded as particularly modern. Thus, supply air heating systems, convection heaters and underfloor heating were developed.

IR exchange of all surfaces

But already several discoveries during the second part of the 19th century had revealed that this assumption was wrong. The energy of a heating surface is already distributed by the surfaces of an interior space! This is so because the room surfaces continuously exchange energy with infrared radiation. The infrared radiation exchange leads to a continuous heat balance. 


As a result, also the air temperatur increases according to the rising surface temperatures. If, on the other hand, the surfaces get cooler, also the air becomes colder.


Nowadays, it is easy to become clear about it. By means of an IR thermometer, which is cheaply available in electronics markets, everyone can easily observe what is happening:

Measurement with IR thermometer

The non-contact measurement of the surface temperatures shows that all surface temperatures in the interior room increase everywhere after an infrared heater has been switched on. with room thermometer for measuring the air temperature, it can be seen that the air temperature also rises. In order to get to know the phenomenon of invisible energy exchange between interior surfaces, so you don´t necessarily have to study the physical laws of radiation. The outcomes of your measurement speak unequivocally for themselves.

Surfaces heat the room air
Heaters without convection

All the heating technology efforts for complete heating by air are thus dispensable. To compensate for the heat losses of an interior space, simple heating surfaces are sufficient. The only important thing is that their radiation power is adapted to the heat loss.  Heat is distributed then all over the room.

Air temperature preset

Since the air temperature in interior spaces is determined by the surface temperature, infrared heating can also be regulated via a conventional room thermostat according to the desired air temperature.


The air is also always as warm as you want. It is thus completely superfluous to distribute the heat of the building in an enclosed space by means of circulation, floor convection or ventilation. Those who heat in this way are only burdened with unnecessary disadvantages:

  • Unbalanced room climate
  • Unnaturally high air dryness (i.e. low humidity)
  • Dust swirling
  • Higher heating costs

A "modern" heating system looks different today: in the case of infrared heaters, these disadvantages are no longer present. You can not heat more naturally and economically.

Modern heaters in the 21st century

Infrared radiation in macro- und microphysics


Infrared radiation was discovered by W. Herschel in 1800 by temperature measurements. Decades later, it was identified, measured and calculated as electromagnetic energy radiation. In classical physics (macrophysics), electromagnetic radiation could only be quantified with wavelength and wave frequency: the smaller the wavelength and the greater the wave frequency, the stronger the energy radiation.

Infrared rays are also referred to as heat waves, infrared heaters and heat wave heaters. The IR waves have a length between 1 mm and 0.00078 mm (780 nm). Light waves are shorter. Radiowells are meterlang.

In modern microphysics, electromagnetic energy radiation can also be observed and measured as the current of minute energy units (quanta or photons). This energy flow is from all surfaces warmer than -273 ° C.

The energy of a photon is only 3.16 x 10 ^ -19 joules. The photon current emerging from a 20 ° C warm wall is thus unimaginably close to macrophysics. The photonic current emitted by human skin is even denser, because the skin has a temperature of about 33 ° C. Since all bodies are continuously emitting photons, we live, so to speak, in an invisible sea of ​​photon streams.
Increased energy density

Rubbing a surface will make it warmer. The surface then radiates more energy quanta per time-unit than before. When a surface is heated electrically, its photon density also increases. One can therefore call infrared heating also quantum heating. The quanta density present in a room is increased by IR heaters until the desired room temperature is reached.


For more information on the physics of infrared radiation and the infrared heating method have a look at this link selection.