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If you’re considering buying an infrared heater then you might want to ask some questions to determine if it will work in your home situation.
Question #1 – What is an infrared heater
If you go out in the sun you will start to feel the heat penetrating your body and making you feel warm, it manages to do this by transferring heat from infrared waves.
Infrared heaters work the same way by producing the invisible infrared waves waves which are absorbed by your body to make you feel warmth. They also transfer heat to other objects in the room which heat up and radiate heat out as well.
Some of the benefits are:
Instant heat – because the heater isn’t trying to heat the air around you which in turn will then heat you, it will start to emit infrared waves and you will feel the warmth straight away, so instant heat.
Run Quietly – they run very quietly because they are emitting light waves. These heaters are not trying to send heat out with a fan and ones that do have a fan tend not to make much noise either.
Healthy – You might find a standard gas fire or electric can heat the room and make you feel uncomfortable because it dries out the air, an infrared heater is not a dry heat because it doesn’t heat the surrounding air so it feels better, it leaves the moisture in the air so you don’t feel like a dried up prune.
Efficient – they don’t try to heat a whole room but heat people and objects in the direct path of the infrared waves, also they heat any moisture in the air, so no wasted energy as you feel the heat straight away.
Good for the environment – electric based heaters offer a clean fuel source which creates no pollution in the environment because no fossil fuel is used. You also won’t need to worry if regulations change on emissions of heaters as these don’t have any. It’s excellent for drying out humid areas like bathrooms and basements.
Question #2 – How does an infrared heater work
Most Infrared heaters work using primarily infrared radiation (this isn’t dangerous) it’s the same way that the sun radiates infrared light which is how you get warm in the sun. They also take advantage of convection, conduction and absorption to transfer heat.
Some heaters create infrared and transmit that directly into the room which is then absorbed by objects in its path and then those objects radiate their heat back out into the room.
Other heaters create heat using 3 parts, infrared bulbs, a heat exchanger like copper and a fan that blows air onto the exchanger to create heat.
These heaters can have different power sources like propane and natural gas. They can also be run from electricity and be portable.
Question #3 – Are infrared heaters cost effective
Infrared heaters can be cost effective but it depends on the heat output from your heater. You might get heaters which have the same wattage but different heat outputs depending on the amount of heating elements they have installed and the heat output from these elements. You can also check the BTU consumption (Britich Thermal Unit) which measure the electricity consumption so you can check which has the best BTU. In theory if you are only heating objects rather than the air it will take less energy. These heaters have infrared bulbs that usually have a life of 3-5 years so saving costs of replacing elements.
Most people are using portable infrared heaters to keep well used areas in their home warm while turning down the main heating so saving money.
Question #4 – Are Infrared heaters safe
Infrared heaters are safe due to the heaters not getting hot so you can’t burn yourself if you touch it accidentally making it safer to have around children, pets and older people. Most have automatic safety features of switching off if they tip over but because they aren’t hot to the touch they don’t set fire to the carpets and when switched off there is not residual heat in the infrared heater. They are also environmentally safe by not producing smoke or fumes and putting no emissions into the atmosphere.
Question #5 – What types of Infrared heaters are there.
Infrared space heaters
Infrared heaters come in different types depending on the places to be heated. Many shops, workshops, factories and open work areas use infrared space heaters to keep people warm when doors that are opening and shutting all of the time.
Patio and outdoor infrared heaters
People may also be aware of outdoor infrared heaters as you can buy patio infrared heaters to heat outside so you can spend more time in your garden, outdoor infrared heaters are often used by restaurants with outdoor seating to keep customers comfortable.
Infrared heating panels
Infrared heating panels are being created that offer an easy installation on walls and ceilings so that no floorspace is used up. These heaters heat objects including walls will can hold and then release heat to keep the room warm, they also allow people to absorb the heat too. These come in different colours, can look like pictures so they can fit in with the décor and can also be mirrored so can be installed in bathrooms, hallways or living rooms and not look like heaters.
Portable infrared heaters
Portable infrared heaters are used by people as a heating unit that can be used in different locations. This has the benefit of being able to be used whichever room you happen to be in. Most of these are on casters so can be moved easily and are useful to be used in rooms that you don’t use often or for basements where you want to keep a minimum temperature in colder months. They also don’t need any installation, just plug in and your ready.
Question #6 – Downsides of Infrared heaters
Infrared heaters can only heat the area that they are in, not like central heating which can heat the whole house. You would probably need a few panels or portable heaters to heat a whole house which might not be as cost effective unless you had solar panels on the roof creating some or all of the cost of your electricity.
If you want to use a portable in your bedroom they tend to have a heat glow which might affect your sleep with it being a light source.
Portable heaters can take up space and be a bit bulky.
If you’re looking for an alternative heat source that doesn’t drain your energy by sucking the oxygen and moisture out of the room then check these infrared heaters out.