People who practice yoga experience numerous health benefits, and hot yoga is specifically designed to take those benefits to the next level. With the potential for such total mind and body wellness, it would be a huge disservice to participants to provide anything less than the ideal hot yoga environment. Not all heating solutions are created equal, however, and even the most common heating methods are not necessarily the best choice for hot yoga studios.
Prestyl’s far-infrared radiant heat panels are becoming an increasingly popular choice for hot yoga studios looking to heat their space as efficiently and effectively as possible. Total Home Supply is proud to partner with Prestyl to offer these innovative heat systems for sale on our website, and so we wanted to take some time to let consumers know exactly what makes these panels such a fantastic choice.
Why Radiant Heat?
Far-infrared radiant heat systems offer benefits that other popular heating methods do not. While these other heat systems may be cost effective, easy to use, and seemingly sufficient at getting the job done, they pale in comparison to radiant heat in terms of overall effectiveness.
Downfalls of Other Heating Methods
The two most popular non-radiant forms of heat are convection- and conduction-based heat systems.
Conduction-based systems allow heat to flow back and forth between the hottest and coldest surfaces in the room, until the temperatures are equal. This means that, while colder surfaces get warmer, warmer surfaces have a tendency to get colder. This is known as “heat loss” and is definitely not something you want when you are trying to achieve the high temperatures needed for hot yoga. To achieve such high temperatures using a conduction-based system requires a lot of extra energy, which is costly; you need a heat system that is going to compensate for heat losses, not create them.
Convection-based systems are the most widely used form of heating for both residential and commercial spaces. In fact, most standard heat systems are convection-based. There are several advantages to using a convection-based system — they are easy to service, use, and understand — but they are much less effective than most people believe and are actually the least efficient type of heat system out there. Convection-based systems work to the heat the air around people and objects; but because hot air rises, all of the heat energy becomes concentrated at the ceiling, leaving other areas of the room — particularly at floor- and eye-level — with inconsistent temperatures.
As you can see in the diagram above, differences between ceiling and floor temperatures can be as much as 90º F. Even the system’s thermostat can’t give a reliable reading, because the thermostat can only detect the temperature of the room at the level it is situated, which is usually at a person’s eye-level.
Also, because convection-based systems heat the air as opposed to the people and objects in the room, any heat energy the system does generate is easily lost when exterior doors or windows are opened. Since no room is built to be air-tight (or else we’d run out of oxygen), this also means your space is losing heat energy all the time, even when doors and windows are closed.
The solution to better, more efficient heating, as Prestyl has discovered, is far-infrared radiant heat panels.
Radiant Heat: How it Works
Radiant heat works to warm people and objects directly, much like the heat of the sun. The secret is Prestyl’s far-infrared heating technology, which operates as “invisible light” to radiate gentle but effective heat. When far-infrared energy collides with solid matter, a portion of the heat is absorbed by the object while the rest is reflected to the next person or object in the room. This process will continue until every surface reaches the desired temperature. Although this means it takes radiant heat a bit longer to heat the room than other methods of heating, the end result is much more effective.
The Benefits of Radiant Heat in Hot Yoga Studios
Unlike conduction-based heating, radiant heat does not take heat away from objects to even room temperature, but raises the temperature of every person and object until heat is consistent throughout the space. And unlike convection-based heating, radiant heat energy targets what actually needs to be heated, instead of heating aimlessly into the air. These differences are key, and provide a range a benefits to any space, hot yoga studios in particular.
The first, and most universal, benefit is the overall efficiency of far-infrared technology, which provides better heat for a fraction of the cost of traditional heat systems. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany showed far-infrared technology providing up to 50% energy savings over a heating season compared to traditional convection systems. While saving money and energy is an ideal that many people share, it is especially important for owners of large yoga studios who have overhead and therefore may have less to spend on heating costs.
The reason radiant heat is so efficient is virtually none of the heat generated becomes “lost”. According to other tests conducted in France around the use of far-infrared technology, over 80% of electrical energy is converted into radiant energy, meaning less than 20% of energy is lost.
Radiant heat also goes to much better use than other forms of heat. We have mentioned that far-infrared technology acts very much like the heat of the sun, and this includes the way radiant heat energy actually stores itself throughout the room to continue working even after the unit is switched off. Think of it this way: all day, the sun warms us and everything around us. At night, the temperature dips a bit but we don’t freeze because solar energy stores itself in objects and surfaces throughout the day. These objects and surfaces then start radiating heat energy on their own, keeping our environment sufficiently warm until the sun rises again.
People store radiant heat energy as well, and this is great news for participants of hot yoga because it means many of the beneficial effects of heat — such as muscle and joint flexibility and calories burned — continue long after the session has ended.
Another major benefit far-infrared technology provides for hot yoga studios is even, consistent heat, from floor to ceiling.
As shown in the above diagram, the difference in temperature from floor to ceiling is just 2º F. The floor-ceiling (or even the floor-eye level) temperature jump in rooms heated by a convection system makes it nearly impossible for participants to enjoy the full-body benefits of hot yoga, but the evenly dispersed temps in rooms heated with far-infrared technology provide the perfect environment from head to toe.
A common misconception when it comes to heating is that it is the air that needs to be heated for the process to be effective. When heat distribution via a convection-based heat system versus a radiant heat system is compared, however, we see that the opposite is true — the process of heating is more effective when air is not moved, because temperatures are more balanced and consistent, overall.
Even when temperatures are raised (as shown in panel “B” in the diagram above), the difference in floor-to-ceiling temperature is just 7º F, compared to the 90º F difference in panel “A”.
Unaffected air movement also means less noise, dust, and mold build-up, for an environment that is fully conducive to promoting total mind and body wellness.
Prestyl is the most trusted name in far-infrared heating technology. Although there are several manufacturers of similar far-infrared heating panels, Prestyl’s dedication to scientific innovation and investment in high-quality materials make their products the best in the industry, second to none.
Looking to save on the cost of production, some Prestyl competitors will use very thin high temperature heating wire and steel as a radiating surface. Steel is entirely inefficient for this purpose, however, and high temperature heating wire is quick to deteriorate, with an expected life-cycle of just 1-3 years.
Prestyl, on the other hand, uses aluminum hybrid film and an aluminum radiating surface, which not only ensures optimal electricity-to-heat conversion, but a longer life-cycle, as well. Aluminum is a bit more expensive than steel, but because you won’t be required to replace your panels every 1-3 years as they deteriorate, investing in a moderately priced Prestyl unit will actually save you money in the long-run.
An even more common feature of Prestyl competitors’ panels is the use of cheaply priced carbon as a heating element. Carbon naturally has a negative temperature coefficient (NTC), which means that the material’s resistance decreases with an increase in temperature. Carbon-based elements will therefore not work, or even start up, in temperatures too far below freezing.
This is not the case for Prestyl’s panels, which use an aluminum heating element equipped with a modified PTC (positive temperature coefficient) to actually work better when temperatures drop. This element has been field-proven for over 20 years to do what other far-infrared heat panels cannot, and is capable of working at temperatures below -75º F (60º C).
Electrical Specifications & Sizing
Radiant heat systems are sized in Watts/kilowatts per square foot. Prestyl heat panels are available in three different sizes to help you best accommodate your space. Here is a chart for quick reference:
Sizing varies on a variety of factors including the floor area of your space. the number of windows and doors, the insulation in the space, and what region you are located in. The desired room temperature also plays an important role. All of these factors combined together will give you a required wattage level. You can then use any combination of panels to achieve this wattage level. Traditional BTU calculation techniques do not work well with far infrared heat. Total Home Supply can help you to properly size a project of any size.
Wiring and Control
For smaller installations, panels can be plugged into a standard outlet. If you have a more complex setup with multiple panels you may choose to wire them together. Prestyl panels are controlled by line voltage thermostats. These thermostats control the power supply to the panels based on the temperature that you set them to. Each thermostat can have a maximum wattage running through it. Multiple thermostats may be needed for larger installations, or relays can be used. It is best to consult and electrician when installing multiple panels.
If you have any further questions regarding Prestyl’s far-infrared radiant heat panels, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-877-847-0050 and speak to one of our qualified sales representatives.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these units, you can do so on our website, or over the phone.