April 11, 2023

The fascinating history of far-infrared heating

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Far-infrared heating has become a popular and energy-efficient way to warm up our homes and other spaces, providing unparalleled comfort, energy savings, and environmental benefits. But where did this remarkable technology come from, and how has it evolved over time? In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating history of far-infrared heating, tracing its origins and exploring its development throughout the years.

The discovery of infrared radiation

The story of far-infrared heating begins with the discovery of infrared radiation. In 1800, Sir William Herschel, a British astronomer and scientist, was conducting experiments with sunlight. He aimed to measure the temperature of different colours of light by passing sunlight through a glass prism and observing how the temperature changed across the colour spectrum.

To Herschel’s surprise, he discovered that the temperature continued to rise even beyond the visible red light, in a region where no light could be seen. He named this invisible form of radiation “infrared,” which means “below red.” Infrared radiation, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation, falls just outside the visible light spectrum and has a longer wavelength than visible light.

Early applications of infrared heating

Although the discovery of infrared radiation was groundbreaking, it took some time for its potential applications to become apparent. One of the first practical uses of infrared heating was in the early 20th century when infrared lamps were developed for medical purposes. These lamps were used to treat various ailments and conditions by providing targeted, deep-penetrating heat to affected areas of the body.

During World War II, infrared heating technology found another application in military and industrial settings. Infrared lamps were used to dry paint and coatings on military equipment quickly, and factories began using infrared heaters to speed up various manufacturing processes.

The emergence of far-infrared heating

Far-infrared heating, a specific type of infrared heating, emerged in the latter half of the 20th century. Far-infrared radiation has a longer wavelength than other types of infrared radiation, and it is particularly effective at transferring heat energy to objects and surfaces, rather than heating the air.

Researchers and engineers recognized the potential of far-infrared heating for various applications, and in the 1960s and 1970s, far-infrared heating systems began to be developed and marketed for residential and commercial use. These early systems typically used ceramic or metallic heating elements to generate far-infrared radiation.

One of the pioneers in far-infrared heating was Japanese inventor Dr. Tadashi Ishikawa, who, in the 1970s, developed the first far-infrared heater using a ceramic heating element. Dr. Ishikawa’s invention was initially used in saunas and other therapeutic settings, but it wasn’t long before the potential of far-infrared heating for broader applications became apparent.

The expansion of far-infrared heating technology

As the benefits of far-infrared heating became more widely recognized, the technology began to spread and diversify. In the 1980s and 1990s, far-infrared heating systems became increasingly popular in homes, offices, and other spaces, as they offered significant advantages over traditional heating systems.

Far-infrared heating systems are more energy-efficient, as they transfer heat directly to objects and surfaces, rather than heating the air. This means that they can provide the same level of comfort as traditional heating systems but at a lower energy consumption. Additionally, far-infrared heating systems have no moving parts and require minimal maintenance, making them a reliable and cost-effective option.

During this period, the development of new materials and manufacturing techniques led to significant advancements in far-infrared heating technology. In particular, the emergence of carbon fibre heating elements, which have excellent electrical and thermal conductivity properties, allowed for the creation of far-infrared heaters that were even more efficient and effective. Carbon fibre heating elements enabled manufacturers to create heaters that were lighter, more durable, and capable of generating a more consistent and evenly distributed heat.

The 21st century: continued growth and innovation

In the 21st century, the popularity of far-infrared heating has continued to grow, driven by increasing awareness of its many benefits and the demand for more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly heating solutions. Technological advancements have led to the development of far-infrared heating panels that are not only more efficient but also more aesthetically pleasing, allowing them to be seamlessly integrated into modern interior design.

One significant innovation in recent years has been the integration of smart technology with far-infrared heating systems. Smart thermostats, sensors, and Wi-Fi connectivity have made it possible for users to control their heating systems remotely, adjust settings based on occupancy and usage patterns, and monitor energy consumption in real-time. This level of control and convenience has further enhanced the appeal of far-infrared heating, as it allows users to optimize their heating systems for maximum comfort and energy savings.

Another exciting development in the field of far-infrared heating is the increasing use of renewable energy sources, such as solar power, to generate the electricity needed to power these heating systems. By integrating far-infrared heating systems with solar panels, users can enjoy a completely sustainable and environmentally friendly heating solution that harnesses free, clean energy from the sun.


The history of far-infrared heating is a captivating story. It involves scientific discovery, technological innovation, and a relentless pursuit of improved ways to keep our spaces warm and comfortable. From its early 19th-century origins to its widespread adoption and ongoing development in the 21st century, far-infrared heating has come a long way.

Far-infrared heating offers an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and effective heating solution that has truly stood the test of time. As we look to the future, it is clear that Infracomfort far-infrared heating will continue playing a vital role in our quest for more sustainable and comfortable living environments.

Disclaimer: This article was created with assistance from GPT-4