Everything You Need to Know About Infrared Heaters
How does an infrared heating system work?
An infrared heater is a direct source of warmth that's similar to the UV rays of the sun. The heat produced is a product of light that's invisible to our eyes. The reason we get warm is because our skin and clothes absorb the light. It's like the difference between sitting in the sun or sitting in the shade.
Infrared rays are not visible light rays - they're located just under the color red in the visible light spectrum. The heat we feel on Earth is from the infrared rays from the sun. The most beneficial of those infrared rays are the far rays because they promote blood circulation and healing.
The kind of heating unit you choose should be based on the heat desired and how large of an area your wish to warm.
How effective are they?
Infrared heaters are effective and operate quietly so they don't disturb the home environment in any way. They heat spaces quickly, providing immediate warmth to a room or areas when you need it most. There's no wait like other heaters. This heat type makes you feel warmer in just a few minutes.
Infrared technology does not use as much energy as the leading space heater either. In fact, you'll enjoy more warmth from an infrared heater than other traditional heating options. Infrared heat is a great source of warmth, but it doesn't create a stuffy feeling as most heaters can do.
So if you're looking for a efficient heater to provide immediate warmth to your personal space an infred heater is an ideal choice.
Where can they be used?
This heating option can be used indoors or outdoors. They come in variety of sizes and types. If you want to heat an outdoor patio area, an infrared heating system can effectively warm up to 20 diameters of space. If you want to warm an indoor area you can find a model that will heat anywhere from 150-400 sq. ft.
An indoor unit can warm up to 400 sq. ft. of space. For example, an electric fireplace heater combines infrared technology with convection so the immediate area is warmed and so is the rest of the room.
Other models warm about 150 sq. ft., the size of a bedroom. Some incorparate convection for widespread heating and some don't. Depending on how much warmth you want to generate should determine whether you use one without convection or with it.
If you plan on heating a bedroom, living room or other indoor space with an infrared heating system, you will want a model that is compact, portable and uses electricity to operate. Propane and natural gas models need some sort of ventilation because of the emissions they produce, so those units must be used outdoors.
Most models use an internal heating element like quartz to run. Quartz infrared heaters use a tungsten or copper wire contained in a quartz crystal tube. Electricity passes through the wire and the wire generates large amounts of heat. The heat trapped inside the quartz tube gets hotter still, and as the heat rises, infrared heat is emitted from the heating element into the room.
Are they expensive?
These heating units are typically inexpensive to purchase. On average an infrared heater costs about $50-$400.
Depending on the strength of the model and how much heat is produced depends on how much it costs to operate. Electric models usually feature a low watt energy draw so they cost only pennies to run.
If you use an outdoor propane or natural gas heater your cost will depend on the current cost of gas products.
Typically an outdoor heater that's fueled by propane runs for up to 10 hrs. before a tank change is required. So you can warm an outdoor area for an extended period of time without having to acquire more propane.
This heating system is truly inexpensive. Staying warm has never been more cost effective. Used indoors, one of these portable units lets you heat one room at a time. Instead of running your central heating system and paying to warm the whole house at once, you can control which rooms are heated and which aren't. And because they're portable, you can move it from room to room as needed.
Outdoors you can warm the area for your personal pleasure or for guests. As an investment, outdoor infrared heating units are inexpensive and pay for themselves quickly as you can use them year round to keep your outdoor patio area warm and comfortable.
Are they safe?
Infrared heaters are a safe source of warmth. Most models offer safety features that make them a safe resource. Common safety features include:
- Cool touch exterior
- Automatic shut off to prevent overheating
- Tip over safety switch to shut the heater off if it's knocked over
- Built-in thermostat to shut the heater off when the desired temperature is reached
These features make these units extremely safe to use. It's also important to follow manufacturer guidelines for use. Always keep a watchful eye on the heater, children and pets. Enjoy effective heating in a safe and efficient manner. According to AHAM, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the following suggestions should also be followed for safe heater use:
- Provide 3 feet of clearance from any clothing, furnishings, draperies, or other combustibles
- Turn the heater off when out of the room; never leave it unattended
- Make sure the power plug and cord is in good operating condition
- Don't use with an extension cord or power strip
- Don't place rugs, carpets or furnishing on top of the power cord
- Keep flammable material away from the heater
- Don't use in damp areas unless specifically designed for such use
- Check the outlet periodically to make sure it's in good operating ocndition
- Keep the heater away from children, and don't place in a child's room without supervision
- Place heater on a level flat surface