Infrared heaters are getting more and more popular than convection heaters such as radiators, which are used to heat the air. Sometimes referred to as radiant heaters, infrared heaters heat objects directly, making them extremely efficient.
Are these heaters safe to use?
Yes, infrared heaters are 100% safe, even though they’re a type of electromagnetic radiation. The term radiation usually makes people scared and it’s a fact that some forms of electromagnetic radiation may be dangerous, including ultraviolet and x-rays. Keep in mind, however, that visible light (the one you see with your eyes) is a form of electromagnetic radiation as well, and like infrared, it’s 100% safe.
So, what have experts to say about the safety of infrared heaters? What has research discovered in this regard? This piece outlines some positive arguments as to why infrared heaters are safe to use.
Radiation levels are usually low
Research has uncovered that infrared heaters generate low amounts of radiation, which makes the devices safe for human use. However, long-term exposure to severe heat may cause damage to the eyes and skin.
Short-wave infrared wavelengths can especially affect the eyes by producing highly intense radiation. Infrared lamps are usually used in commercial and industrial settings, which is why employees exposed to these environments are normally advised to put on special protective glasses.
Infrared heaters are generally solid
The fragile nature of some of the parts used to make infrared heaters is another cause for concern. For this reason, quartz is no longer used to make the main heating element of some models. Quartz can shatter to pieces easily, which then would require that the heating element is replaced—not to mention the mess inside your house.
If you do choose to buy a quartz model, however, ensure that the heater generates low-pressure levels, which won’t affect the quartz. Furthermore, you should only opt for a quartz infrared heater if it has a protective panel or sheath, shielding you and your family from potential shards if the quartz breaks into pieces.
How to ensure you’re totally safe
Since infrared heaters are also used outside homes, in environments like tanning salons and saunas, there are a few safety tips you should generally follow.
Keep your distance. You don’t have to get too close to an infrared heater as it’s able to produce heat at some distance, just like the sun. Ensure that the heater is at least 18 inches away from you or the closest object in the room.
If you are tanning near an infrared heater, make sure you’re not exposed to more than 20 or 30 minutes of heat. You’re unlikely to suffer burns, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Look after the sensitive. Never place infrared lamps or heaters too close to young children or those who are sleeping. Moreover, think twice before you use these devices if you have particularly irritable eyes or skin, or a circulatory system condition.
Keep infrared lamps safely away from all and any materials that might catch fire, or plants that could be damaged by intense exposure to heat and light.