The article on Case Study #3: Electric Infrared Heaters vs. HVAC already presented the original, full-length U.S. study.

The study was conducted in 1994 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center, with the financial aid of the U.S. Department of Energy and SSHC INC., an U.S. infrared panel manufacturer.

Some of the main arguments against surface-mounted electric infrared heating systems center on the preconceived notions that “all-electric heating is always expensive” and “heat rises, so placing heating panels up on a wall or on the ceiling makes no sense”.

Therefore, the focus of an U.S. study was to compare the thermal comfort, operational costs and energy consumption in an occupied residential research house for a common air-to-air heat pump system (HVAC) and a ceiling-mounted electric infrared heating system. Further, energy consumption was compared to an electric baseboard heating system, which was previously installed in the same research house.

 

The study provides proof, that buildings can be energy-efficient and feel comfortably warm inside without extensive insulation measures, and without an “air-tight thermos bottle” construction.

This is relevant for today’s building construction, as it enables to build affordable, yet high-quality homes.   

 

A project report made by ehaus2020™ summarizes the important points of the U.S. study, and makes relevant comparisons to current Middle-European building code stipulations and costs.

 

The project report can be downloaded here.

 

author

Oswald Oberladstatter, ME
Perl, Germany
October 2016