There is a risk of injury from touching any form of heater and Herschel panels are no different. However, a key benefit of Herschel panels, unlike conventional heaters, is that they can be mounted higher up on walls or ceilings – reducing the likelihood of accidentally touching them or falling against them. We always advise this, especially in areas where young children or the elderly are present.
Our Herschel Inspire and Select panel heaters (excluding our Herschel IR space heating range; Advantage, Aspect, IPR4) have surface temperatures of 85 – 95 degrees centigrade. If you do touch one of these panels you will perceive this as hot on initial contact but, provided you do not continue to touch the panel, are unlikely to scald or burn.
The reason that you can touch Herschel panels without immediately injuring yourself is because a Herschel infrared panel typically has a heat energy or “watt density” of 0.09 watts per cm2 – an energy level that the skin can absorb and conduct away from the area of contact.
It is not the temperature that does the damage but the heat energy in the object.
A kettle, for example, typically has a watt density of between 15 – 30 watts per cm2. The skin cannot absorb and conduct away this level of energy and consequently scalds on the area of contact. Yet, both the Herschel IR panel and the kettle are close to 100C.
Warning: Please note that prolonged contact with any heater, Herschel included, will result in injury. Please also note that the Herschel IR space heating range (Advantage, Aspect and IPR4) all utilise Ceramic elements which run at far higher temperatures and would cause immediate injury if touched. These heaters must always be mounted in accordance with our instructions & never be touched when switched on or for 30 minutes after use.
Please also see the FAQ on Are your heaters safe?