A new independent report has revealed that low carbon heating technologies such as computer-controlled infrared (CCIR) heating have a higher performance than both traditional systems and air source heat pumps (ASHPs).

The review, carried out by Fichtner Consulting Engineers, revealed that CCIR provided the same levels of comfort within a room while using 60% less energy than a standard electric convection system and 3% less than ASHPs. This reduced consumption rate means that carbon emissions are also more than 60% lower than traditional systems.

Data was analysed from households with CCIR heaters installed as well as those with traditional convection heating and air source heat pumps. Fichtner’s experts calculated a performance ratio for each heating system, which enabled them to create a benchmark for comparison and accurately assess the performance ratio of each system. 

It found that CCIR used less energy than the benchmark, and was more efficient than traditional central heating or space heaters – in some instances, significantly so.

The review also compared CCIR’s performance against the performance of AHSPs, which revealed that ASHPs’ effective performance ratio was 2.6, compared with 2.68 for CCIR technology, demonstrating that it uses less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature than ASHPs. Finally, the review also revealed that there was no correlation between the property’s EPC rating and the performance ratio of CCIR.

Oliver Baker, Chief Executive of Ambion Heating, said: “The decarbonisation of the UK’s built environment is a key priority for the government and its plans to hit net-zero emissions by 2050, and the shift away from fossil fuel systems to low-carbon alternatives is a vital part of these plans. Earlier this year, it was confirmed in the Future Homes Standard that all new homes must have greater energy efficiency and be ‘zero-carbon ready’ by 2025.

“However, to date, heat pumps have largely been the focus when it comes to the decarbonisation of heating, and they are not the only solution. That was the purpose of this review – to demonstrate that there are viable low-carbon heating alternatives that can match, if not better, the performance of heat pumps when it comes to reducing emissions and bills. One of these is CCIR heating.” 

CCIR works by using infrared combined with processors, software and sensors. Compared to traditional convective systems that heat the air within a room, CCIR achieves the same levels of comfort by using infrared to heat the walls and other surfaces of each room.

The processors and sensors give CCIR the ability to learn about the environment it is operating in and optimise the amount of energy required to achieve the target temperature accordingly. This unique combination enables users to benefit from high-performance, cost-effective and comfortable heating. 

Oliver continued: “The future of heating is low-carbon. However, many of the solutions being championed now are likely to need upgrading further down the line. That is why we’re in conversation with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about why CCIR should be on their agenda to ensure a full understanding of the benefits these new and successful technologies can bring.”