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Infrared heating for churches: a good or bad idea?

Whether it’s a church with a religious vocation, or a former church whose vocation has been changed, this type of building certainly presents heating challenges, especially in winter.

The advantages of infrared heating for a church?

Infrared heating for a church has many advantages, and here are just a few of them.

The energy efficiency of electric infrared heating

The energy efficiency of this type of heating makes this a really interesting option for a church. With conventional heating, the height of the roof causes the heat to rise. Infrared heating heats the masses rather than the air, so the heat has the potential to be much more uniform.

The advantage of infrared heating over convection heating for church heating, according to Technirep

The fast heat-up time of infrared heating

Unlike conventional types of heating, which take longer to heat a large mass of air (as is the case in a church), infrared heating heats up much more quickly. For example, Fostoria’s MTM model uses a radiant lamp with 96% radiant efficiency. This is particularly useful if a church is only used at certain times, when the heating can be turned up and down just before and after the event in question.

Aesthetics and discretion for this type of heater

Infrared heaters are often compact and can be mounted on walls or ceilings, so they can be very discreet to preserve the historic character of some churches.

Infrared heating operating costs

Installing an infrared heating system requires a certain investment, which can be higher than that for a conventional heating system. On the other hand, the cost of using infrared heating is advantageous, especially if the heating is used strategically, so infrared systems add up to savings over the medium and long term.

The comfort of infrared heating in a church

Infrared heating gives a sensation similar to the warmth of the sun, resulting in increased comfort for parishioners.

Less air circulation with infrared heating

Infrared heating means there’s less air circulation than with convection heating systems, so less dust or allergens can be dispersed in the air.

Considerations for infrared heating in churches

Obviously, before you decide to opt for infrared heating for a church, there are a few points to consider.

Insulating the church

In addition to the height of the ceilings, if the church is poorly insulated, any convection system will have great difficulty in keeping the church comfortable, whereas with infrared heating, it makes no difference, since this type of heating heats the masses rather than the air. Radiation makes heat feel warm, even when the ambient temperature is relatively cold.

Initial cost

As stated above, the initial installation of an infrared heating system requires a larger investment. It’s important to compare the potential long-term savings against the heating costs of a convection heating system.

Quantity of panels to cover the church

Ensuring that the panels are well positioned to cover the entire space in the church is an essential consideration. A preliminary study and appropriate planning are essential. Our team takes care of the design from A to Z. We take care of the preliminary study, the layout of the units, the number of heaters to be installed, the mounting height, the type of reflector, the wattage and much more!

Ultimately, the project of installing an infrared heating system in a church is indeed a viable one, but as with any other project, a full assessment of the elements to be taken into consideration is required before making a decision.

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View the Sainte-Anne church project here


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