Arfield gave the hosts the lead on 14 minutes with a fine individual effort but Charlie Austin’s penalty after he was fouled by Dean Marney levelled the scores on 33 minutes.
But Ings showed his importance to the Burnley side by scoring what turned out to be the winner eight minutes before the break.
Sean Dyche’s men looked the more likely to score in the second period and cruised to victory as QPR, who drop into the bottom three, set a Premier League record of 10 successive defeats away from home at the start of a season.
Burnley took advantage of a strong wind in the early stages and the pressure told within 14 minutes.
There seemed little danger on the left flank when Arfield cut inside Mauricio Isla but the Burnley winger battled his way through a weak challenge from the on-loan Juventus man and next in his sights was Richard Dunne. The QPR defender was caught flat-footed by the winger, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and curled a shot into the bottom corner.
QPR almost hit back three minutes later but former Burnley striker Austin stabbed a shot from eight yards against the post after some nice play between Isla and Eduardo Vargas on the right flank.
However, Austin did get his name of the scoresheet with 33 minutes played.
Adel Taarabt, who was handed his first Premier League start for QPR since April 2013, linked the play in midfield well with Vargas, who in turn found Austin in the area. The striker beat one challenge before Marney left a lazy leg dangling and took down QPR’s top scorer in the area.
Austin dusted himself down and despite a barrage of boos for the returning striker, he confidently hammered the ball from the penalty spot past Tom Heaton into the bottom corner.
QPR had their best spell of the game after the goal and Vargas was denied by a flying save from Heaton after Joey Barton had found the winger with a fine long pass.
The QPR momentum looked certain to bring more chances but a moment of brilliance from Ings and some lacklustre defending from the visitors put the hosts back in front.
Ashley Barnes played a hopeful ball into the QPR area to Ings, who got to the ball ahead of Steven Caulker and showed great tenacity to hold him off. Ings still had Dunne to beat but did that majestically, shifting the ball to the left of the defender before firing a shot back across goal and into the far corner.
From that moment QPR never looked capable of getting back into the match despite being just one goal behind.
Barnes should have increased his team’s lead on 53 minutes but his shot from eight yards after a routine long throw wasn’t dealt with by Dunne and was palmed away by Green.
All the action continued to come down Green’s end of the pitch and he had to be quick off his line on 60 minutes to deny Ings, who had been found by his strike partner inside the box.
Ings went close again on 73 minutes but his touch let him down at a crucial moment when being played through on goal by Arfield.
Harry Redknapp threw on Bobby Zamora and new signing Mauro Zárate in the closing stages but it only opened the game up for Burnley to create more chances.
In the last 10 minutes, Michael Keane had a header saved from point blank range after a fine Kieran Trippier corner and Arfield was denied by a last gasp Isla tackle.
With time running out QPR finally created some pressure and Heaton had to be alert to divert a Caulker header over the crossbar as Burnley held on for an important victory in the battle for survival.
Soccer Saturday analysis – Phil Thompson
Burnley are getting a few breaks. They are carrying on the work they are doing and now they have Danny Ings available, Ashley Barnes in good form and Scott Arfield scored today. They had quite a few chances and scored two worldies. They have pressure and effort all the time. You talk about the science of football, but this is the same team – more or less – that has been playing right over the holiday period and they are still going! The effort, commitment and skill is still there. QPR had a go, but some of the defending was absolutely dreadful and that’s why they are where they are.
Burnley: Heaton (7); Mee (7), Shackell (7), Keane (8), Trippier (7); Boyd (7), Jones (6), Marney (6), Arfield (7); Barnes (7), Ings (7)
Subs: Vokes (6)
QPR: Green (7), Isla (6), Caulker (5), Dunne (5), Hill (6), Vargas (6), Henry (5), Barton (7), Fer (6), Austin (6), Taarabt (6)
Subs: Zarate (6), Zamora (6), Traore (6)
Man Of The Match: Michael Keane