What is infrared heat?
Imaging basking the warmth you feel when basking in the sun. The visible sun rays don’t, however, provide the warmth you feel, but rather infrared and ultraviolet rays. These rays transmit heat energy from the sun to your skin or other objects and aren’t absorbed by the air. This explains why your body will feel warmer when you bask in the sun while the air remains cooler. UV rays are, however, harmful to your skin, one of the reasons it is advisable to wear sunscreen before going outdoors. Infrared heat is infrared light invisible to the naked eye and only travels in a straight line, heating objects it comes in contact with. It has a wavelength of between 0.78 and 2.5 microns. Infrared heaters thus use these rays to help heat objects but not the space, therefore efficient for direct heating. Please see Electric Heating Expert for all your electric heating needs.
Advantages of Infrared heaters
- Produces Heat Almost Instantly
As mentioned before, infrared light travels in a straight line and only heats objects it comes in contact with. An infrared heater thus doesn’t have to heat the air around but rather warms you up almost instantaneously. You can thus feel the warmth within 30 seconds of turning the heater ON. This is unlike convection heaters that heat the surrounding air first before their effect can be felt.
- Infrared Heaters Are Quiet and Efficient
Infrared heaters don’t rely on additional aids (oil, water, fans, etc.) to distribute heat. With very few to no movable parts, an infrared heater will sit quietly in your living room and still produce enough heat to keep you warm even in the coldest of weather. They are thus commonly preferred in bedrooms, study rooms, and other areas where the slightest hum or noise can be distracting.
- Health Benefits
While this point might be subjective (as you’ll see later on), infrared heaters can/are quite beneficial to your health. For starters, infrared heaters do not use forced air systems or fans to keep you or the room warm. This helps prevent pollen, dust, and other allergens from circulated and recirculated in the house – good for those with allergies. With no forced air, the heater won’t affect your home’s indoor moisture levels.
Downsides Of Infrared Heaters
While infrared heaters are an excellent option for direct and targeted heating, the heating elements can get dangerously hot and sometimes produce intense heat. It thus heats any object/material within its reach, a reason you want to be careful with it. The hot heating elements can be a hazard for pets and young children if touched. You thus want to be extra cautious when using these heaters, especially if there are young kids and pets around.
- Probable Health Issues
Long-term exposure to infrared rays can be harmful to your skin and eyes. While it might be almost impossible for one to get such exposure, it still is a risk you should consider if/when looking to invest in an infrared heater. Unlike conventional heaters that are gentle on the skin, sitting too close to the heater can cause one to overheat, with some people experiencing blemished skin. This might be an indicator that prolonged exposure to infrared heat could damage your skin on the cellular level.
- Not Ideal for Heating Large Spaces
Although infrared heaters come in handy for heating specific spaces, they aren’t as efficient in large spaces. One needs to be close enough (within a certain distance) to feel the warmth. Convection heaters, on the other hand, heat the air then circulate it within the desired space. They thus outperform infrared heaters in large areas where indirect heating might be needed to keep rooms and offices warm. As an added advantage, convection heaters provide better temperature control because they use radiators to heat the air.