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Infrared Heaters – All you need to know
The Basics About How They Work
These are a type of highly energy efficient electric heater. You probably first heard of infrared light in science class when you learned about wavelengths. Perhaps you’ve also heard of infrared technology or infrared radiation from magazines or commercials on TV. But perhaps you don’t remember the details or have altogether forgotten the science behind light spectra and wavelengths. This could leave you without much knowledge about how infrared heaters work.
The panels in an infrared heating system work the way sunlight does, using infrared light. This is far more efficient than traditional heating methods for multiple reasons. IR heating produces heat from the light that our eyes cannot see. This type of heater warms us up because our clothes and skin soak up this light. It’s similar to the difference between being inside or being out in the sunlight. The sun warms you up because it produces light that is absorbed by your skin and clothes. Sitting indoors or in the shade, however, means the light can’t touch you.
The Benefits of Infrared Heating Panel Systems:
Most heating types use convection to work, or gradually heat up the air surrounding them, circulating it until the room has warmed up. IR heaters, on the other hand, emit heat that warms you up instantly by creating a concentrated beam of warming light. With a heater like this, there is no waiting period. Instead, you can feel warm right away. This is especially useful for times when you are sitting at your desk working or on the couch watching TV and want the heat pointing directly at you. Let’s look at some other benefits to IR heating systems:
Infrared Heating Panels vs. Other Heater Types:
IR heaters produce rays that other items in the room absorb, leading the surroundings to increase in temperature gently. These don’t work the same way as other heater types you might think about using at work or home, but may heat the spaces with more efficiency and less energy. Let’s look at some other heating types before going into detail about infrared heating:
- Electric Space Heaters: Electric space heaters are popular and work well for specific rooms or small areas. They have the benefit of being portable and are usually very safe. Popular types include oil-filled or fan-forced varieties. These work by heating up the air in the room and usually take some time to make the area warmer. For this reason, you need to turn them on ahead of time.
- Baseboard Heaters: These are great for hallways and bedrooms. Easy to put in, safe, and low profile, baseboard heaters have been popular for quite some time. However, they are usually not enough to heat an entire house on their own.
- Garage Heaters: These produce radiant heat and are meant to be used in areas without good insulation. Garage heaters produce large blasts of heat intended to warm big spaces. If your home is properly insulated, this isn’t the right type of heating for use indoors.
There are also fireplace heaters, which add a decorative element along with heat to your living room. The pricier versions of these heaters look like a real fireplace but use electricity, making them cleaner and safer than burning wood. Oil-filled heaters work with a special oil that radiates heat into the area efficiently and safely. Every type of heating comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so keep reading to learn why IR heaters might be better for you.
A Gentle and Quiet Heat Source:
Many people require a peaceful, undisturbed environment for their peace of mind or for getting work done. IR heaters offer an alternative to noisier options. These heaters work without producing noise since no fan is involved, they are only radiating light. This makes them ideal for environments that shouldn’t be disturbed by noise, like bedrooms. The heat source distributes warmth evenly using the hot coils mentioned earlier and is then reflected to extend outward leading to a comfortable, gentle warmth.
IR Heating is Healthy:
IR heating is thought of as healthier than other options since they don’t reduce the content of oxygen or humidity in the home. Other types of heating can cause static or lead to dryness in your skin and sinuses. Since IR heaters create heat with light, you can enjoy warmth as you would from sunlight without harmful UV radiation. IR heat can even lead to better blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
Unlike other types of heating devices which suck humidity out of the air while they work, IR heaters won’t create any dry heat. This will reduce uncomfortable symptoms like dry throat and itchy eyes. This also reduces skin dryness that other heating sources can cause.
Infrared Heaters produce Concentrated Heat:
Similar to the way you only feel the sun when you’re standing in it, IR heating panels only heat the space in front of them. They are becoming increasingly popular for heating up workplaces and homes in the winter months and are worth considering. If you live or work in a small space or need a supplemental heat source for your home, an IR heater can offer you the warmth you need during the cold months.
These devices can work using propane, natural gas, or electricity and will come with varying designs, controls, and output levels. Some are portable, while others are ceramic. Even though all IR heaters are different, there is some general information that applies to all of them. This guide will walk you through that, so you understand better what this heating system can do for you. Let’s start with a couple of noteworthy qualities that come with an IR heating system:
- Gentle Heat and Comfort: IR heaters will warm you up no matter how cold it is outside. Inside your IR heater, there’s a circle-shaped hot coil that is designed to transfer heat evenly. This heat is then reflected by the reflector (a specific type of polished metal), which is why you can feel the warmth even several meters away from your heater. In addition, this type of heating system isn’t affected by wind or drafts in your home.
- Instant Warmth: IR heating gives you warmth instantly. Rather than heating up the air the way many other heaters do, these devices warm the objects in front of them. Heating up the air is a less efficient way to keep your room toasty during the winter months. IR heating produces rays that warm you thoroughly, penetrating your clothing and skin. The rays produce a widespread heat by heating up the objects in the room. This effect is immediate, so you don’t have to wait in discomfort before getting warm.
Other space heaters need time to cool down after you shut them off before you can turn them back on and use them again. IR heaters, on the other hand, will create the same reliable, strong heat regardless of how much time there is between being turned off and on again.
IR heaters don’t add pollutants to the room you use them in. They work without fuel lines, open flames, toxic by-products, or carbon combustion. In essence, IR heaters add nothing to the environment and don’t take anything from it either. Since these heaters only warm-up specific objects and areas, they don’t waste power warming the whole room.
All space heaters offer the benefit of zone heating. This means that if you choose an IR heater, only the areas in your home you need heated will be heated up. When you don’t heat up your whole house, your heating bill will become considerably lower. You also won’t have to preheat the room, since IR heat works right away. Some of these heaters only use 300 watts of power and almost all of the warmth created is sent out, leading to heating efficiency at a very affordable price.
IR heating can reduce your heating costs by 30 to 50 percent. Of course, how much you will save does depend on the construction of your home, ceiling height, insulation, and more. Keep in mind, also, that the efficiency you experience will also depend on the specific type of IR heater you choose. When you are trying to gauge how green an IR heater is, think about its power source.
IR Heating is Low-Maintenance:
You probably already have plenty of maintenance tasks to think about in the home, so the last thing you’ll want is to add more to that list. IR heaters only require very minimal maintenance. It comes with no moving parts, meaning that there aren’t any air filters to be replaced, no engine to wear out, and no lubrication needed. To keep the unit functioning well, you just have to clean out the reflectors periodically.
A Safe Choice:
When looking into space heating options, safety is one of the first concerns that people think of, especially if they have children. An infrared heater’s core temperature won’t even get as hot as that of a more conventional heater. These devices typically come with a metal sheath over their heating elements, too. In other words, children and animals can come into contact with the heater’s surface without any risk of burns.
In addition to being efficient and affordable, some IR heaters can look quite stylish, as well. Heaters aren’t often designed with décor or aesthetics in mind, but you can find one that is portable, compact, and won’t look bad in your home.
What to Consider with Infrared Heating Panels:
If you do choose to go with an IR heater for your home, there are some factors to consider to make sure the process goes as well as possible.
- Heating Safety: As mentioned, the coils inside of IR heaters get very hot. This can make them dangerous around pets and children if they are not made with the correct safety features. Thankfully, companies are starting to create most units with safety features because of their growing popularity. Many modern IR heaters come with cool cabinets protecting the heat source and even use a fan to disperse the warmth. Some models also come with auto shut-off and other safety features. Always make sure that, before you purchase a unit, it comes with features to keep you and your family safe.
- The Limited Spectrum of IR Heating: Although zone warming is a plus for many due to its money-saving potential, it may not be what’s best for others. If you tend to move around your home a lot or live with many people, using a single IR heater might not be enough, or you may need to buy more than one. Some are strong enough to heat up a whole room, but most of these heaters work most effectively on objects close by.
- They Stop Working when Switched Off: IR heaters are warm immediately after being turned on, but this means that the heat source is eliminated immediately after being turned off as well. Since you aren’t warming the air when you use an IR heater, the room will lose its warmth fast when you turn it off. Oil-filled heaters, on the other hand, can keep a room warm after you turn them off since the heated oil stays warm for some time.
IR heaters are more energy-efficient, so if this is a major concern for you, they could still be the ideal option despite these considerations. These days, how “green” a product is matters a lot, and the resources of the earth need to be used responsibly. An environmentally friendly choice, such as infrared heating, offers a way to do this.
Is Infrared Heating Right for you?
There are many health and cost benefits that come along with this type of heater. It offers warmth that is more comfortable since it relies on light while being efficient for the home, affordable, and cheap to use. New features on modern models also mean that IR heating is a safe option for households with pets and children. If you care about the environment, want to save money, and need to heat up specific areas immediately, an infrared heating panel is your best choice.
Call 01204 520544 now for help and advice on choosing the perfect Infra-Red heater for your home or business.