Energy and heating costs have steadily been on the rise for years, and many have been searching for economical ways to warm their homes. I’ve discovered that infrared space heaters, or radiant heaters, are an excellent heating method because of their ability to add warmth to a specified room or area while keeping the thermostat at a lower setting. These environmentally friendly units can keep the power bills down while allowing the user to control the warmth.
On The Hunt For an Infrared Heater?
Let me begin with the basics; how does an infrared heater work?
Infrared heaters operate very closely to the way the sun heats objects outside. These heaters create heat by utilizing wavelengths that are beyond the visible spectrum for items in the room. These objects will absorb the heat, and then warm the encircling air to raise the temperature in that area. Infrared heaters warm the air almost instantly. The rays emitted can be aimed toward any region that requires heat.
Infrared heaters are typically composed of a metal filament that is inside of a heat-resistant quartz envelope. The envelope is in turn attached to a metal reflector. This particular structure operates much like a halogen light bulb, although instead of visible light, it radiates light in the infrared spectrum.
What To Look for in an Infrared Heater?
The most important decision to make is whether the infrared heater will be utilized for spot heating or to warm an entire room. Infrared heaters are available in two select varieties: radiant heaters and room heaters. Radiant heaters directly warm objects and people, while room heaters warm a complete room.
Infrared heaters can be fueled by electricity, natural gas, or propane.
- Electric Heaters: The most common heat method for heating units is electricity. Electric heaters are generally available in stand-alone (vs. portable) units. Stand-alone heaters are very energy efficient and can save up to 50 percent on heating bills. Electric heaters take longer to heat up, but once warm, keep the hot air enclosed for an extended period of time.
- Gas Heaters: These heaters are typically used to warm larger spaces that are equipped with ventilation. There are two general types of gas heaters: vented and unvented. Vented models are to be positioned against a wall with a direct vent, and then connected to an outside exhaust fan. Unvented units emit harmful gases and are not for indoor use.
- Propane Heaters: Requiring electricity for ignition, propane heaters can be lit with a match. Available in several different sizes, they suit various amounts of fuel and burn for a long time.
The Thermostat is Another Feature to Consider
These are typically considered one of the most important features when buying an infrared heater. Heating units have either adjustable thermostats or programmable thermostats. With an adjustable thermostat, the set temperature cannot be sustained, however, the output of warmth can be regulated based on user selection.
These thermostats will either have buttons or a knob that can change the heat from low to high. The programmable thermostat is just a bit different. This thermostat can be programmed to stay at a chosen temperature, while the heat is cycled on and off automatically.
Other Safety Features:
- Tip-over Protection: If the unit is accidentally pushed over, this switch will automatically shut off the heater. No matter what type of heater you purchase, this is an extremely important feature for those with children or pets.
- Cool to the Touch: I consider this one of the most crucial safety features, as it can eliminate the risk of burn injuries. Units with the “Cool to the touch” features have heat-resistant exteriors, and cool-touch, non-flammable cabinets.
- Overheating Protection Security: Many infrared heaters are currently equipped with an overheat protection switch. Acting as a sensor, this switch will detect when the heater’s internal elements reach an unsafe temperature level. The heater will automatically turn off when this pre-determined temperature is attained.
Four Benefits of Having an Infrared Heater
Your energy bills will be lower because this type of heating does not consume as much power because only certain specific areas of the room are heated, energy is not consumed and wasted by warming an entire room.
Also, infrared heaters work instantaneously, so preheating the room is not necessary. Essentially, only 300 watts of power are utilized, and nearly 100 percent of that heat is forced out. That means extremely efficient heating for a very reasonable cost.
Infrared environmentally friendly
This is another reason I am a huge fan of infrared heaters. These units will not add any pollutants in the room. Infrared heaters operate with no carbon combustion, no open flames, no fuel lines, and lastly, no toxic-by-products. The heaters will also not add any products to the air, nor will they take anything away.
Infrared heaters are healthier
Infrared heaters are healthier than other kinds of heaters, Infrared heaters are healthier than other kinds of heaters, Infrared heaters are healthier than other kinds of heaters, Infrared heaters are healthier than other kinds of heaters, Infrared heaters are healthier than other kinds of heaters,
Infrared heaters do not reduce oxygen content or humidity, so they are actually considered healthier than other kinds of heaters. Other heaters can cause static electricity, as well as dry out your skin and sinuses.
Because the heaters create the same means of heat like the sun, the benefits of natural sunlight can be enjoyed without the harmful consequences of ultraviolet radiation. Another benefit of infrared heating? Healthier blood circulation.
Say goodbye to cold spots!
A common reason that space heaters are used is to rid rooms of cold areas. In older houses, heating systems may not be maximized to warm every room. There could be one single space in the home that is cold, while the rest of the house is a comfortable temperature. An infrared heater can warm the room, and raise it to the same temperature as the rest of the house.
Say hello to a quieter home
On most days, silence in my home is appreciated. Since infrared heaters do not use a fan, they operate silently. That means no more headaches and disturbances from a loud, roaring heater fan!
With the Pros, Also Come the Cons
Safety is a concern with infrared heaters because the coils on the components can get very hot. If you have pets as I have, or children, be sure to look closely at the safety features included on most heaters. Several companies are striving to make these devices safer because the use of radiant heaters is steadily on the rise.
Infrared heating only offers limited warming.
Many consider spatial warming an idealistic situation. However, if moving around the heated area a great deal, the warming may feel restricted. Infrared heat moves in a straight line; this means that several people may not be able to reap the benefits of a single heater at one time. I have discovered that some radiant heaters are just not effective enough to heat a full room, designed only to warm a small space.
When the device is turned off, the heating stops.
When an infrared heater is turned on, it begins working instantaneously. When the heater is turned off, however, the heat immediately stops radiating. The room will lose heat extremely fast.
This is because the air in the space is not actually warmed. A certain disadvantage to infrared heating.
The Search Can Be Tedious…
…but in the end very rewarding. Purchasing an infrared heater will result in lower heat and energy bills, a healthier, more environmentally-friendly home, and a warmer you!