Think now about cutting church winter heating bills

 In Energy Saving, Heating, Infrared Panel Heaters, News

With summer round the corner, it may seem a strange time for churches to think about cutting their winter heating bills.

But Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox said planning now will help places of worship to lower their Christmas energy bills and running costs, as well as reducing their carbon footprint.

“The problem is that unlike their homes many churches have old buildings, poor insulation and high ceilings which were not designed for modern 21st century,” said Ron.

But he said there is one simple solution, install infrared panel heaters that can reduce costs by up to 70 per cent.

“They are a relatively new way of heating churches,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park, “as they deliver warmth directly to people and furnishings rather than trying to heat the entire area and so are more energy efficient.”

Other advantages include:

  • As the infrared panels are stand-alone units, without any pipes, they can be positioned to fit the layout of the church, or even be hung on the ceiling so that they point down to the people below.
  • They’re cheaper to buy and to run than gas heaters, especially as spares for gas boilers won’t be so readily available in future.
  • It takes only 30 seconds for them to reach their optimal heating temperature whereas in some churches they put the heating on Saturday night to ensure the building is warm for the Sunday service the next morning.
  • They are particularly effective in older buildings such as churches which have large areas with high ceilings and poor insulation.
  • Also, many churches are unsuitable for air source heat pumps as they are usually too draughty and the radiators would have to be replaced with aluminium ones.
  • They are ideal for churches who want to just heat an office or a hall.
  • Condensation, mould and dampness can be eliminated.
  • They do not dry out the air so is good for allergy and cold sufferers.
  • Infrared heating is completely safe – it is UV (ultraviolet) rays that can cause some problems.
  • The units are British manufactured and made with stainless steel and have a 10-year warranty.
  • The panels are easily installed by experts leading to minimum disruption for church members.

With the Church of England aiming to be net zero by 2030 places of worship can help achieve this target at the same time as reducing their heating costs.

Ron added there was a big difference between most central heating systems compared to the newer infra-red panel heaters.

The former mainly use convection to distribute heat with the radiators warming up the air which circulates around the room, though they emit some thermal radiation which is why people can feel the heating coming off them.

However, he said, infrared panels work by converting electricity into radiant heat, which makes them an efficient heating system as the panels deliver warmth directly to the people sitting in the church, even though the air around them is still fairly cold.

“The result,” added Ron, is that much less expensive electricity is needed than if the entire volume of the church is to be heated for the occupants to feel comfortable.

“These infrared panel heaters are particularly effective in older buildings such as churches. Lack of insulation makes a conventional heating system very inefficient as the heat produced by the boiler is constantly lost through the walls and roof,” he continued.

“This isn’t a problem for infrared heaters as the heat is delivered directly to the people in the room and it is also absorbed by walls and furnishings, which store heat much more effectively than air.

“Probably one of the biggest advantages,” said Ron, “is that for around £300 people can have a panel put up in just one part of the church to try them out before putting them up in more areas.”

He added: “It also shows that the church can lead the way in running more sustainable buildings at the same time as reducing its carbon emissions.”

For those church leaders wanting more advice on green energy, infrared heating panels and how to cut their heating bills call Ron on 01782 756995 or go to

Caption: A modern way to keep churches warm – infrared heaters at St Peter’s Church, Norbury, Staffordshire. Picture: Tansun Ltd.

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