Electric Radiators or Infrared Panels: what's the best electric heating system?

Last updated: February 2023 

Intuitive, sophisticated and efficient – electric heating is fast becoming a popular low carbon solution for modern homes. Not only is it eco-friendly but it’s also incredibly versatile, offering everything from smart electric radiators to cutting-edge infrared panels. But when it comes to heating your home, which option is most effective? We’ll be comparing electric radiators and infrared panels to see which type of electric heating perfectly matches your property.

Electric radiators vs infrared panels

Both electric radiators and infrared panels bring something unique to the table and one of their main differences is the way in which they provide warmth. To help decipher which is best for your space, let’s first take a look at how each one works.

How do electric radiators work?

For most standard electric radiators, 1/3 of the heat produced comes from radiation, warming people and objects directly. The rest is supplied via convection which heats the surrounding air. As a result, electric radiators can bring the room up to temperature quickly, whilst also providing more comfortable and lasting warmth that isn’t disturbed by air movement. They’re ideal for a variety of spaces, from a draught-prone garden workshop to a well-insulated living room, making them an incredibly versatile choice.

How do infrared panels work?

Unlike electric radiators, infrared panels produce 100% radiant warmth, which means they don’t have to rely on the surrounding air to supply heat. Instead, infrared warmth travels in a wave to heat people, objects and surfaces directly without getting lost to draughts. These panels provide a deeper level of warmth that is easily absorbed by the surrounding walls, meaning they’re also great for tackling damp. This makes them perfect for a range of spaces, including bathrooms, older properties and lofty interiors.

Top 5 benefits of electric radiators & infrared heating panels

Whilst both offer a different range of benefits, infrared heaters and electric radiators do have some advantages in common, such as:

Effective warmth

Both produce warmth through some degree of comfortable radiant heat, which warms on a deeper level and doesn’t get lost easily to open doors or windows.

Easy installation

No boiler or pipework is needed and many electric heaters are DIY-friendly, so they can be installed with very little fuss.

Zero maintenance

There are no risks of carbon monoxide leaks with electric, meaning you don’t have to pay for any annual servicing checks or callouts.

100% efficient

Both convert all the electricity drawn from the wall into usable heat, which is great for those keen on saving energy and reducing running costs.

Precise heat management

Many are fitted with precise digital thermostats that are often accurate to ±0.5 °C. This is to ensure your room always stays within a fraction of your preferred temperature for more efficient heating.

Intuitive smart control

Some even allow you to program your heating through WiFi or Bluetooth. Simply use a handy app on your smart device to make quick and easy adjustments – excellent for those seeking a modern way to manage their heating system.

Which heating system is best for your space?

Electric radiators

  • Responsive & lasting warmth
  • Lightweight & portable
  • DIY-friendly
  • Wide range of designs
  • Available with smart technology (WiFi programming, voice control etc.)

Electric radiators transfer warmth in a similar way to gas central heating systems, only they’re much more efficient. So, if you’re looking for a heating system that easily fits into your home and supplies warmth you’re already accustomed to, electric radiators are ideal.  

Offering sophisticated controllability, with a number of smart programming features including WiFi app control, weekly programming and in some cases, a motion sensor mode, electric radiators are intuitive and highly effective. With a range of styles, from traditional to designerslimline to vertical and several different colour variations, electric radiators are great if you’re seeking style and substance. Many appliances are even compatible with DIY installation and freestanding fitting, providing optimum versatility for heating your home.

Where to use them:

Throughout your property, from your bedroom to your kitchen as well as garden rooms and commercial spaces, however not all are compatible with bathroom installation.

Looking for the best electric radiator for your home? Check out our buying guide.

Infrared Panels

  • Warms people & surfaces directly
  • Discreet space-saving designs
  • Helps to prevent damp
  • Especially useful for lofty interiors
  • Available with smart technology (WiFi programming, voice control etc.)

Slimline and modern in design, infrared panels integrate seamlessly into any property, providing a discreet yet effective heating solution. When paired with additional controllers and thermostats, infrared panel heaters offer intelligent and convenient controllability, allowing you to tailor your heating to your needs through a range of smart features. There’s also much more freedom when it comes to placement, as many of these appliances can be wall or ceiling mounted, allowing you to direct heat to wherever it is needed most.

Infrared panels are especially beneficial for lofty interiors, simply because of the way they provide warmth. As the heat they produce isn’t easily lost to air flow, they’re much more effective at warming larger spaces. Unlike electric radiators, however, infrared heaters can take a little longer to heat up a space, so despite providing a deeper level of warmth, they may not be as responsive.

Where to use them:

Throughout your home, especially great for lofty, draught-prone spaces, bathrooms, garden rooms, warehouses, workshops and other commercial spaces.

Looking for the best infrared panel for your home? Check out our buying guide.

Find the right electric radiator or infrared panel for you

Whether you opt for a smart electric radiator or sleek infrared panel, the best heating system for you ultimately depends on your property and your individual preferences. Whichever heating solution you choose, you can rest assured that our diverse collection of electric radiators and infrared panels will provide you with a sophisticated heater that best suits you. Browse our full range today.

Key learnings

  • Electric radiators produce a third of their heat through radiation and the rest via convection. As a result, they can bring rooms up to temperature quickly, whilst also providing more comfortable and lasting warmth.
  • Infrared panels produce 100% radiant warmth. They provide a deeper level of warmth that is easily absorbed by the surrounding walls, meaning they’re also great for tackling damp.
  • Both electric radiators and infrared panels share some advantages in common, including: easy installation, zero maintenance, 100% efficiency, precise heat management and smart control.
  • Electric radiators are more versatile in appearance and are suitable for installation in a range of spaces.
  • Infrared panels have more variety when it comes to installation possibility and are particularly effective in lofty, draught-prone spaces.