Conservatory Testimonials

Heaters for Conservatory

Our conservatory, heated with a butane gas heater, had an aging polycarbonate roof that was due for replacement. During our research for the roof, we also looked at options to dispense with the gas heater. We found the Infrared Heater Company and were initially interested in the white wall mounted heaters, but when we noticed clear glass panels that could be mounted in the apex of the conservatory roof we chose those. Our Conservatory is around 5.5m by 3.5m and on the North-East side of our house so we thought it would take quite a lot of heating and decided to go with 2 of the 1700W glass panel heaters, although the guidance suggested one would be sufficient.
This choice was not without its challenges.
The first of these was integrating the heaters into our house wiring, due to their loading our electrician had to undertake quite a bit of work to get the two heaters connected (via a wall mounted controller/thermostat).
The second challenge came in with adjusting the thermostat to achieve reasonable comfort. The two panel solution turned out to be the right decision, our installation was late November, so already cold, and the conservatory was being used as an auxiliary office, occupied during most of the day so it needed to be warm. Initially we set 23 degrees C but soon found that the nature of the heat generated by the panels resulted in the room feeling much warmer than the thermostat was reading and the heaters remaining on way past what felt comfortable. It took a good deal of trial and error before we adjusted the thermostat to achieve an acceptable comfort level (down to 20.5 Degrees C on the thermostat in our case).
In terms of energy use it is hard to say, they certainly seem to cost less to run than butane for the gas heater (though it should be noted the new roof is glass, hence marginally better insulated than the twin wall polycarbonate) and are technically more environmentally friendly, but, in our use case, they do have the smart meter flashing amber.
If I were to seek improvements, I would suggest the following:
1. The frame powder coat would blend in better if available in white.
I would like to see more options for mounts, the two brackets are OK, but they are quite short so limited how we could have them fitted, they are shaped for wall mounting, rather than ceiling and not that aesthetically pleasant given the clear glass heater (they really do need to be painted/coated to match the panel frame).
(This may have been our mistake in ordering the wrong thing) The timer/thermostat is designed for under floor heating and has limited 'programmability' also there are functions that simply are not required, I would suggest there may be better options.
Other than the installation and initial set up issues they seem to have worked fine and the only 2, fairly minor, issues are:
They do make quite an audible hum not loud or annoying, but present.
Secondly, and this may well be specific to our installation, as we have them parallel with the floor they have acted as a collection plate for dead flies and dust, which if you are concerned about climbing a couple of meters up a stepladder to clean them, may make that positioning unsuitable, but there are many mounting options that may reduce that issue so it should not be a showstopper.

Bottom line – We like them a lot, they look good, and they warm the room.

Heaters for Conservatory, Dundee

We are a retired couple living in Dundee in a Victorian south-facing terraced house and have recently had a new conservatory built on the north side of the house. Silly place to have a conservatory, you may think, but as we are in a conservation area, putting it on the front of the house was not an option.
On the east coast of Scotland we get a lot of fine, bright weather but often with a chilly wind, which makes it too cold to sit outside. Our kitchen-dining room on the north of the house receives no direct sun, so we thought that it would be pleasant to add a room where we would have the sky over our heads and although it may not get the sun for 4 months of the year, it does get morning sun for 8 months and full sun during the summer. Early in the process we started to consider what sort of heating would be best. The conservatory is octagonal, with a glazed entrance passage - rather like a lollipop on a stick. The glazing goes all the way to the ground so there was no possibility of low radiators on sleeper walls or any spare wall for a vertical radiator. We wanted the heating to be flexible: being energy conscious, we did not want it coming on every day at a fixed time when we might not be there to use it but on the other hand, if we wanted to have a coffee or read the paper there, we would need some heat at short notice. For this reason, we decided that underfloor heating was too unresponsive - it would be wasting when you didn’t need it and take too long to heat up if you suddenly decided you did want it. Plug-in electric heaters would be expensive to run, unattractive, a trip-hazard and take up valuable floor space - so they were out. At this point, we became aware of infrared panels and started to investigate them; reviews seemed favourable that they heated up quickly and gave out a pleasant quality of heat. We went and looked at a local showroom & my husband thought that hanging 2 or 3 opaque white ones from the roof might be the way forward. I, however, was less enthusiastic as this seemed to negate having a glass ceiling if you then blanked it out with opaque panels. So I continued to hunt online - and suddenly came across the Far transparent glass panels from the Infrared Heater Company. I had never imagined such a thing might exist - a heater that you could see through! But it was an instant “no-brainer” - clear glass panels for a clear glass roof! Dale Rose was very helpful and from our plans calculated what size of panels might be best. As the difference in price between panel sizes is not great, we decided to opt for 2 panels of the more generous 800W specification to ensure that we would not be under-heated. We also purchased a thermostat. It was a bit of a puzzle to know where to place them in a circular space, especially since they could only be hung at the specific height that matched the width of their brackets to the tent-like structure of the ceiling beams. They were eventually directed towards the table, where one might most usually sit. We are very pleased with them. Within minutes of being turned on, even though the space is cold, you can feel their heat, rather like having the sun on your back on a winter’s day. Then gradually the whole space warms up. The conservatory was finished just before Christmas and as we had the whole family staying, it was useful to have an extra room where grandchildren could be sent to do crafty things. However, it was very cold in January and February and we thought that it was neither responsible nor economic to heat the conservatory up through more than 15 degrees, so we did not really use it. Now, with the outside temperature hovering around 10 degrees and the sun starting to hit it in the morning, heating it is much more viable; after a relatively short time the space is pleasantly warm. At present, we tend to run the system on the on-off switch (which has a red reminder light!) rather than the thermostat but as our usage settles into more of a pattern, I daresay we shall use this more often. The panels are very discreet and one hardly notices that they are there. Guests can't understand where the heat is coming from and are rather incredulous when it is explained to them! We have no idea yet about the running costs but are not thinking too hard about it just now, as it is such a boon to have this bright, airy - and warm - garden space. The game is definitely worth the candle! We are very satisfied with the outcome; for a conservatory such as ours and the way we are using it, we think that the solution of Far Thermo Glass transparent panels from the Infrared Heater Company could not have been bettered.

Mrs CI Smoor Dundee