If you enjoy being out in the sunny weather, sunbathing somewhere on the beach and feeling warm and relaxed, there is a way to keep that feeling all year long - just buy an infrared heater! This simple heating device uses the same principle as the sun to heat people and objects around it.
Now is a great time to buy a heater and prepare for the fast approaching cold days as you will have a chance to test it and make sure it will be able to keep you warm and comfortable when the winter kicks in. We are here to help you, as usual, and guide you through the process of finding the best infrared heater on the market but also enable you to make your own well-informed choice.
What Are Infrared Heaters and How Do They Function?
An infrared heater represents a body with a higher temperature which through electromagnetic radiation transfers energy to a body with a lower temperature. Infrared heaters utilize infrared light from the electromagnetic spectrum creating infrared rays which release heat energy as soon as they heat hard surface. More specifically, these rays cause the molecules that they hit to vibrate and thus acquire the energy that heats them up.
In order to produce the infrared light, these heaters feature a series of coils and a reflector which direct the light outward. Your body absorbs this light and gets warm. You cannot see this light because it's beyond our visible spectrum. However, it is absorbed by your skin, clothes, and objects that surround you.
Infrared heaters provide a natural and enjoyable type of heat as they do not dry out the air, but rather directly heat people and objects in their proximity. It can be compared to the warmth felt when your hands are near a burning fire.
As we already mentioned, this is the same type of heat you experience when you are sunbathing, or the sun rays hit your face. You know that it is warmer in direct sunlight than in the shade – this is because a lot of the light is blocked out by the shade. Your infrared heater will also warm only areas directly in front of it just like the natural giant outside heater.
Infrared heaters can be powered by electricity, propane or natural gas and feature different maximum output levels, controls, and designs; but, they are by definition affordable, cost-effective, and offer numerous other benefits which we will discuss in the following section.
Benefits of Using Infrared Heaters
Infrared heaters have a whole host of benefits that cannot be sought from other types of heaters.
As radiant infrared heating transfer the heat directly to people and objects no energy nor money is wasted on heating the air or unused space. Moreover, infrared rays warm up people and objects around them almost instantly, without waiting for them to heat up the air and circulate it and this results in lower heating bills.
In addition, there is no heat loss due to ventilation ducts or draughts from open doors as there is no air circulating and no ventilation needed.
You can warm only specific areas and objects and not waste energy heating the entire space. Since these heaters work instantly, there is also no need to preheat a room.
They transfer almost 100 percent of the heat created out and can use as little as 300 watts of electricity – this means you get super-efficient heating for a very low cost.
As soon as you turn it on an infrared heater will start emitting infrared light warming bodies and objects in almost no time. This is a stark contrast to other types of heaters that usually take much longer to warm the space as most of them rely on the circulation of air to heat a room.
Radiant heat rays work as soon as they hit the object or person in their zone.
Most heaters work through convection. You do not need to wait to warm up while you sit in your armchair or at your desk because their heat is concentrated on you and not the entire room.
Most of the heaters on the market require a fan to circulate the warm air (convection current) around the space and can be quite noisy while operating. On the other hand, infrared units are incredibly quiet as they use light to warm you.
This is especially important if you intend to heat your bedroom where noisy heaters would be very unwelcome.
Preserving the air quality
Infrared beams disperse into the room evenly and the heat produced is comfortable and pleasant. The air quality of the room is not negatively impacted: the level of moisture in the air stays the same and dust and spores stay put.
Other types of heating can dry out your sinuses, skin, nails, and hair and cause static electricity. With infrared heaters, there is no moving which is a great advantage for individuals with dust allergies.
Infrared heating benefits your health as it does not reduce humidity or oxygen level in the room. It produces the same type of heat as the sun so you can also enjoy the advantages of natural sunlight without fear of the dangerous effects of UV radiation. Infrared heat can also promote healthier blood circulation.
These heaters require almost no maintenance as there are no moving parts to care for and lubricate, no motor to wear out or air filters to replace. You simply clean the reflectors from time to time, and your unit should work perfectly.
Many modern models of infrared space heaters are very stylish. They come with a furniture-like wood finish that can fit your decor. It is definitely possible to find an infrared heater you will display proudly.
Most of the infrared heaters are very compact and portable. This means you can use them in different areas of your house or take them with you wherever you go. They can also be easily stored away when the winter season is over.
What to Look for When Buying an Infrared Heater?
Heating power/ Surface it can heat
First, measure the room you intend to heat. If you intend to use it in different rooms, measure the biggest one or opt for dual mode heater which offers different settings. Heating output and wattage will show you the heating potential, and most of the packages also include the estimated square feet that can be successfully heated.
Once again, if you intend to move the heater around your house, make sure that you can do that easily and safely. There are heaters with handles and wheels that offer the greatest portability but are usually not very large. The fixed models cannot be moved but are safer though.
All heating appliance carry certain safety risks, and it is very important that they incorporate the necessary safe guards; infrared heaters are no different. The best infrared heaters feature:
Timers – They allow you to set the heater to turn on or cut off exactly when you want it to. It helps save your hard earned money, but most importantly, it prevents the unit from overheating which can be very dangerous.
Tip-over automatic shut off – When the heater has an anti-tip shut off function, it will turn off immediately if it is tipped over for any reason. This feature will give you a peace of mind as it eliminates the risk of fire should the heater get tipped over accidentally. This feature is particularly practical if the heater is used by or around the children, elderly, or pets and so is being cool to touch.
Overheat protection- This safety feature is designed to automatically shut off the heater when the temperature reaches dangerous levels.
Value for your money
It is always important to stay within your budget and do not overpay the heater believing that the most expensive unit is always the best; that is often not the case. Another thing to look for is cost efficiency that can save more money on your heating bills.
By opting for infrared heaters instead of some other type of heating will immediately help you save about 50% on energy
Five Best Infrared Heaters Reviewed
Duraflame 9HM8101-O142 1500W infrared heater is designed to heat larger spaces of up to 1000 square feet. It is intended for supplemental zone heating in your property. It is a modern looking unit, but due to the wooden casing, it can be a good fit in every traditional home too. It is fast and very quiet, perfect even for your bedroom.
The wooden casing keeps the heater cool to the touch and provides essential safety for children, the elderly and your pets It also features an overheat protection that will turn the unit in case the temperature reaches dangerous levels. The concealed casters make it highly portable.
On the downside, this heater can operate only on 1500 watts of electricity which means that you are not able to adjust the heat output which diminishes energy and cost efficiency. On the other hand, a thermostat allows you to set the temperature of the room, and the timer lets you decide when the unit should turn on or off. The infra-red remote is simple and has all the same buttons as the front panel, including the timer.
- Quiet and efficient
- Highly portable
- Safe around children and pets
- It can operate only on 1500 watts
- Not exceedingly cost efficient
The Dr. Infrared is another 1500W heater suitable for heating larger living spaces of up to 1000 square feet. We especially liked the fact that it has a dual heating system allowing for two heat settings - low and high, which means that it can be efficiently run in smaller rooms too, saving both energy and your money. The incorporated blower distributes the heat fast but quietly too.
Another major advantage of the Dr. Infrared Heater is the built-in humidifier which releases extra moisture into the air; this is particularly beneficial during the winter months as the air tends to become stale and dry quickly.
As far as the safety features are concerned, it has an overheat protection which switches the heater off should it get too hot preventing any damage to the heater and surroundings. It also has a tip-over switch which is good considering that it is a portable wheeled unit. The wheels could have stoppers though. We have other complaints too-the timer does not allow you to set it to turn on at a certain time, it can just shut off after the set time. Furthermore, the heater responds to any TV remote.
- Dual heating system
- Built-in humidifier
- Wheels do not have stoppers
- Timer only shuts off the unit
- Heater can be turned on by any TV remote
Homegear Pro is a 1500W compact infrared Quartz heater which is advertised as being capable of heating up a room of up to 1800 square feet. We want to be clear right away that it is not a case, it can heat up to 1500 square feet at most, and we would not guarantee that either as we think that 1000 sq ft are the safest assumption for a heater this powerful.
This is an energy efficient heater with a quiet and efficient blower fan; safe around kids or pets as it stays cool to the touch and has a tip over cut off safety feature. Moreover, it is both ETL certified, and UL listed. It also features a remote control for ease of adjustment, and a bright LED display always to be aware of the set temperature.
Another bonus is a Dual Heating System which combines Mica and Quartz infrared heating tubes and has three heating settings- eco (750W), low (1000W), and high (1500W). On the economy setting, it keeps constantly running at 68 °F and is very quiet, so this setting is ideal for heating your bedroom during the night.
- Three heating settings
- LED display for easy monitoring
- Remote control included
- Misleading information of the space it is able to heat
The EdenPURE A5095 infrared heater also has the power of 1500W and can heat up to 1000 square feet, but in our opinion, it is more suitable for smaller rooms. On the other hand, its smaller design makes it highly portable and easy to move around the house- ideal for people who intend to heat multiple rooms of their house with one heater.
We especially liked the mechanism by which it works as the heater never exceeds a safe temperature thanks to the smart-safe operating temperature system. The unit also features a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature you feel most comfortable with; it comes with remote and timer. The exterior is never too hot to the touch.
On the downside, the 6-foot long power cable prevents you from positioning the heater far from your power outlet. Another issue we encountered is a manual that sometimes fails to explain the procedure in detail, and you can end up searching the internet in order to perform some simple adjustments. The price can also be an issue for those on a low budget.
- Compact and portable
- Numerous safety features
- Remote control
- Short power cable
- Manual not detailed enough
Ivation IVAIFWM1500 infrared heater can, as all the other reviewed heaters, heat up to 1000 square feet, but what sets it apart is its stylish design. It features a gorgeous dark wood cabinet that would look decorative in any room. The smooth rolling casters and compact dimensions make it highly portable.
The unit also features an illuminated display easy to read and monitor temperature settings, and a mini remote. It has six eco-friendly infrared quartz elements which maintain the temperature in the room more efficiently and with less power. This infrared heater includes all the necessary safety features- it is cool to touch, and automatically shuts off in case it overheats or tips-over and even has a child look.
The blower heats up the space quickly but not quite quietly. That is the only complaint we have. The thermostat is perfect - 100% accurate and intuitive, perhaps the best we have tested so far. It shuts off as soon as it reaches the desired temperature, and when it drops for two degrees, it turns back on. The cleanable air filter is another plus, great for people with allergies.
- Three modes: Low, High or Eco Heat [68°F]
- Stylish design
- Great price
- 100% accurate thermostat
- Not very quiet
The Best Infrared Heater
Although all the heaters reviewed are great at doing their job and offer numerous useful features, this time we had no doubt when choosing the best of the best- it is Ivation IVAIFWM1500 Infrared Heater.
This infrared heater wowed us with its stylish design and efficient heating. Most of all, we were impressed by the accuracy of the thermostat and numerous safety features included. At the price it sells, it cannot be beaten, so hurry up, buy this best infrared heater, and be prepared for the winter!