Don’t you hate it when the room goes cold right after the heater shuts off?
It’s a never-ending battle between stuffy, over-warm air and a draft that chills your toes. Fortunately, there’s a way to reach the cozy middle we’ve all been looking for. The best infrared heater is designed to heat a room more effectively than an ordinary space heater. Its efficient design will help to save money and keep you comfortable, even when the temperatures outside plummet.
These specialty space heaters produce energy on a particular wavelength that works fast and keeps objects warm for a long time. Infrared radiant heaters also tend to be safer than conventional space heaters, since the coils don’t become extremely hot. They dry the air less than other space heaters or forced-air furnaces. These heaters even operate quietly, so they won’t interrupt your conversation.
Why haven’t we all bought one already?
It might be because we’re not sure which infrared heater is right for our needs. An infrared heater for the garage isn’t likely to perform well in the bedroom, after all. It takes a little bit of homework to get your perfect infrared heater, but it doesn’t have to be a hard process. With a little perseverance and some critical thinking, anyone can figure out which heater will do the best job.
To start with, we’ve rounded up the top 10 heater models and reviewed all their features. You’re certain to find the right one for your needs!
|Product Name||Image||Power||Overall Rating||Details|
|Duraflame 5HM8000-O142 Portable Electric Infrared Quartz Oscillating Tower Heater||1500 Watt||10||Check price|
|Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 Advanced Dual Heating System||1500 Watt||8.5||Check price|
|Lifesmart LS-6BPIQH-X-IN 6 Element Infrared Heater with Remote||1500 Watt||9||Check price|
|Lifesmart LS-8WIQH-LB-IN Lifelux Series Ultimate 8 Element Infrared Heater||1500 Watt||8||Check price|
|Lifesmart LS-1000X-6W-IN 6 Element Large Room Infrared Quartz Heater||1500 Watt||8.5||Check price|
|EdenPURE A5095 Gen2 Pure Infrared Heater||1500 Watt||9||Check price|
|Homegear Pro 1500w Infrared Space/Cabinet Heater||1500 Watt||7.5||Check price|
|Duraflame 9HM9126-O142 Portable Electric Infrared Heater||1500 Watt||9.5||Check price|
|Della Portable Electric Infrared Quartz Heater||1500 Watt||9||Check price|
|Heat Storm Smithfield Classic Indoor Portable Infrared Space Heater||1500 Watt||8||Check price|
Duraflame 5HM8000-O142 Portable Electric Infrared Quartz Oscillating Tower Heater
We all know that different people have different heating preferences. With this infrared heater from Duraflame, you can program your own using the remote to create an individual profile. That easily keeps your space comfortable without changing a family member’s preferences.
A step up from Duraflame’s more basic model, the 5HM8000-O142 offers a slim profile, oscillation, and some extra new programming features. In addition to the individual setting options and standard digital timer and thermostat, it also provides the option to use the device as a heater only or as an oscillating fan only.
With two different oak finishes and a real wood case, this heater would be an attractive and practical addition to your living space.
It works well in every season!
- Oscillating motion heats faster and more evenly
- Two finish options to coordinate with more decorating schemes
- Individualized programming options for multiple users
- Clear, readable digital displays on both heater and remote control
- Safer Plug technology monitors plug temperature to prevent fires
- Real hardwood and wood veneer construction
This tower-style infrared space heater is both warm and beautiful. It features two fan speeds, in addition to the digital thermostat. This allows you to choose a quieter environment or one that heats up quickly. The 5HM8000-O142’s programmable thermostat remembers all your settings, even when the power goes out.
This device does have a narrow thermostat range of between 64 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This can make it poorly suited for outdoor use or in environments where the temperature needs to be high, such as a greenhouse.
- Two fan speeds
- Small footprint
- Quiet operation
- Classic design
- Narrow thermostat range
- Remote offers limited function
Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 Advanced Dual Heating System
Heaters are among the biggest contributors: they suck moisture from the air and leave it bone-dry and lifeless. The DR998 from Dr. Infrared Heater is designed to combat this problem. It has a built-in humidifier that produces a fine, soothing mist. In other words, this model allows you to operate the heater, humidifier, and fan individually or together to create the ideal environment.
But that’s not even the best part!
Just remember that while the fan inside the unit oscillates, the case itself is immobile. That can restrict the available heating and cooling range for this device. Position the heater in the right spot, however, and you’ll greatly increase its ability to keep your rooms warm.
- Dual-heating system that includes both ceramic and infrared heating elements
- Oscillation function provides fast, even heating for a larger space
- Overheat and anti-tip protection for fire safety
- Remote and automatic thermostat allow hands-free temperature adjustment
- Lifetime filter for low-maintenance use
- Durable casters allow easy portability
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 is an excellent choice if you want to avoid storing a separate heater, oscillating fan and humidifier. This generally quiet infrared heater does create a little white noise when running on its highest setting. When used on low, the device is almost silent. Running on the lowest setting also helps this model save energy. Most users won’t require the high setting unless their rooms are very cold.
This infrared heater with humidifier is portable enough to roll with you from room to room throughout your day. That keeps central heating bills low without consigning you to cold fingers. If you haven’t started using zone heating in your home, it could be time to let this unit show you how.
For consistent heat without the need to run a noisy conventional appliance, the DR998 is a great choice!
- Multiple functions in one compact case
- Energy-saving setting
- Solid construction and attractive design
- Heats spaces quickly, without hot spots
- Small footprint
- Requires owner-provided water bottle to run humidifier
- Produces a low hum that can distract some users
Lifesmart LS-6BPIQH-X-IN 6 Element Infrared Heater with Remote
Lifesmart’s six-element heater is meant for use in large rooms when you need a comfortable living space, but don’t want to heat the entire house. This green, eco-friendly electric heater is cool to the touch, so it’s safe around kids and pets.
Even prying little fingers won’t be able to reach any hot surfaces on this heater. When you want a safe but energy-efficient space-heating option, think about Lifesmart’s six-element model.
Want to know even more?
With its sleek, dark metal cabinet, this heater works well in rooms where wood just wouldn’t look right. After all, most cabinet-style infrared devices are housed in oak or similar cases. These look fine when you have classic-style furniture. Traditional oak doesn’t really mix with mid-century modern pieces or other funky shapes. If you’ve never really wanted your heater to stand out visually, the LS-6BPIQH-X-IN might be the heater for you.
- A washable air filter meant for lifetime use lets you avoid wasteful disposable filters
- Attractive metal cabinet with modern design elements
- Infrared quartz heating elements reduce dry air and dust
- Efficient “Eco” setting heats smaller areas using the least possible energy
- Standby mode prevents electrical issues and reduces fire risk
This standalone infrared quartz heater would be ideal for anyone who needs more heat without more energy use. It heats rooms up to and over 500 square feet evenly and efficiently. While its relatively slow fan keeps Lifesmart’s 6-element heater quiet, it also decreases heating speeds.
That makes this Lifesmart model best for those of us who want rooms kept at a constant temperature. If you prefer to leave your heat off overnight, give this model plenty of time to bring the temperature up in the morning.
With large, clear digital controls and a large-button remote, the heater is easy to program and adjust. Unfortunately, this model has no “display off” function, so it’s not the right heater for most bedrooms. In the kitchen, living room or basement, however, the Lifesmart LS-6BPIQH-X-IN can keep you warm without increasing heating bills.
It offers a build solid enough to make us all happy, and it’s safe enough for use in kids’ rooms, even with no parents present!
- Three separate heat settings, including Eco mode
- Programmable 12-hour timer and remote control
- Large, readable digital controls
- One-year warranty on infrared elements and electrical components
- Relatively low fan speed
- Digital display remains lit at all times
LS 6BPIQH X Infrared Heater
Lifesmart LS-8WIQH-LB-IN Lifelux Series Ultimate 8 Element Infrared Heater
If you’re someone with bigger heating needs, Lifesmart’s Lifelux Series 8 element heater could be your best choice. This attractive little heater has a sleek wood cabinet that also serves as an end or occasional table.
It’s made for extra large rooms: up to 1800 square feet. That’s suitable for a basement rec room, a chilly wing of the house, or an accessory apartment. If you want to supplement a heat pump or keep the chill off when the furnace isn’t running, consider choosing this surprisingly powerful little heater.
What about the power?
With a 1400W high setting, this device has enough power to heat most open rooms. That makes it much more efficient than convection heaters, which can draw up to twice as much power for the same task.
Many users will require only the lower-wattage settings to maintain a good temperature. You just have to remember that volume is as important as square footage when it comes to heating. If you have vaulted ceilings in your home, turn your infrared device up a little.
- Eight quartz infrared elements for heating big spaces
- Large, clear digital display with programmable timer, thermostat and remote
- Multiple energy settings for higher energy efficiency
- Durable wood cabinet with smooth-running casters
- All hot elements safely enclosed in a wooden cabinet that stays cool to the touch
The Lifesmart LS-8WIQH-LB-IN provides all the power you need heat a big room and keep it warm. If your basement game room tends to be chilly, or your enclosed sun room is a little drafty, this infrared heater can help!
Use the large, comfortable remote to set a 12-hour timer, and your room will be just as cozy when you get home as when you left. The unit’s small size and caster wheels make it easy to move around the home, too.
This Lifesmart heater works best for people who want to maintain the same temperature all the time. If you prefer to turn the heat off at night, your room could stay cold for a little while as the heater works. Just allow some extra time, or use the convenient “Eco” setting to efficiently maintain your room at 68 degrees when you’re not using it. The process is automatic!
- Heats large rooms effectively
- Safe, heavy-duty power cord
- “Eco” setting saves power
- Fan can get loud in high settings
- Draws more power than smaller models
- Takes time to reach target temperature
Lifesmart LS-1000X-6W-IN 6 Element Large Room Infrared Quartz Heater
If you love the look of wood but don’t need the power of an eight-element heater, the Lifesmart LS-1000X-6W-IN is a great choice. This model offers the efficiency and low power use of the six-element LS-6BPIQH-X-IN, wrapped in an attractive wood casing. Since this heater remains safe and cool to the touch, it can be used as a handy small table while it provides a warm, comforting environment.
Sounds good, isn’t it?
Just like the LS-6BPIQH-X-IN, this heater is energy-efficient and can help you keep spaces warm without increasing your heating bills. It blends in with traditional-style furniture and makes a great infrared heater for the bathroom, home office or bedroom. Since it’s not quite as powerful as Lifesmart’s eight-element product, this heater doesn’t run quite as loudly at the highest setting.
- 1500 watts maximum energy use for better efficiency
- Sturdy wood cabinet construction
- Convenient casters for easy mobility
- Anti-tip and anti-overheating safety functions to reduce worries
With a maximum 1500 watt capacity, Lifesmart’s 6-element wood cabinet heater provides plenty of warmth for as much as 1400 cubic feet of space. It helps maintain temperatures in cooler parts of the house, and it acts as an excellent supplement to a larger furnace.
This model is safe around children and pets, due to its sturdy build and low exterior temperature. It even comes with a one-year warranty to ensure you stay warm and comfortable all winter long.
This heater isn’t as effective when you need to heat a very large space, however. If you have an open plan living room and kitchen combo or a large basement game room, this smaller infrared space heater might struggle. Consider using this heater as a supplemental heater in those spaces, or choose a more powerful model. Very high ceilings can also be a challenge for smaller heaters.
But here is the deal!
For comfort in your home office, den, studio apartment or workshop, however, the Lifesmart LS-1000X-6W-IN is an efficient and attractive choice. Its wrapped infrared elements heat more quickly and evenly than non-wrapped components. Cold-season heating can be really expensive with conventional devices, but Lifesmart is here to help you stay comfortable this winter without breaking your budget.
- Heats up to 1400 cubic feet evenly
- One year warranty on manufacturing and parts
- Attractive design to blend in with furniture
- Remote operation and digital controls
- Easy-glide casters make this unit truly portable
- Fan can be loud in quiet spaces
- Not appropriate for very large rooms
EdenPURE A5095 Gen2 Pure Infrared Heater
If you want a simple, but trustworthy infrared heater, consider EdenPURE’s A5095. At just 15 by 11.5 by 9.5 inches, and only 15 pounds, it’s one of the smallest infrared cabinet heaters we’ve reviewed. Designed to heat up to 1000 square feet, this device offers a two-year warranty on manufacturing and materials.
Any additional features?
It also includes a remote and digital display, to make changing temperatures or settings easy. This little heater is as at-home in the family room as it is in the laundry room, and it can make either a cozy place to stay.
The A5095 offers a quiet mode that is invaluable when you can’t afford the noise of an infrared heater fan. Simply switch into this mode for that important phone call or at night to get really restful sleep.
When temperatures warm up, don’t pack your EdenPURE away! It includes a fan that provides gentle cooling during the warmer months. Add the optional air purification kit to get rid of dust, smoke and other air pollution while your heater works. It includes both a HEPA filter for particulates in the air and a UV light to treat mold spores, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.
- Two-year warranty provides peace of mind
- Electric thermostat with digital readout and remote for easy temperature maintenance
- Quiet mode for use in bedrooms, offices and other noise-sensitive spaces
- Dual function: fan and infrared heater, for multi-season use
- Lightweight and portable for users on the go
This compact little heater is deceptively simple to look at. Its quartz infrared elements are up to the task of heating rooms as big as 1000 square feet. EdenPURE designed this model to operate primarily via remote: convenient for some, a hassle for others.
Fortunately, once you’ve set the heater’s 12-hour timer and thermostat, you won’t need to make a lot of changes. Most owners don’t even need to think about their infrared unit very often.
I’d have to say it’s super easy to use.
You can set this heater to maintain a temperature anywhere from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact that it’s not restricted to room temperatures makes the A5095 a great choice for environments outside the home, like a garage or a greenhouse.
Just make sure you bring an extension cord if you want to move very far from an outlet: the cord is only six feet long. That’s enough for most indoor uses, fortunately. When you need comforting infrared heat, this reliable little heater does the job.
- Heats up to 1000 square feet
- Air purification upgrade kit available
- Automatic on/off setting with 12-hour timer
- Wide thermostat temperature range
- Small footprint won’t hog floor space
- Remote control operation only
- Relatively short cord
- Higher price than some competitors
Homegear Pro 1500w Infrared Space/Cabinet Heater
Homegear offers a stylish option in its large-room infrared heater. Enclosed in an attractive gray and black case, this heater is quiet, efficient and effective. It includes a bright, easy-to-read LED display so you can check your settings at a glance. It also combines on-unit and remote controls. It’s easy to configure your Homegear Pro infrared heater however you choose.
Here is what makes this heater special.
This model of infrared heater provides two different kinds of heating tube: quartz and mica. This allows the unit to heat a room faster than models with just one kind of tube. Homegear’s infrared heater also includes a number of safety features, including anti-overheat functions that prevent fire risk. The device itself is lightweight, ETL safety-certified and stays cool to the touch, so you can trust it around even small children.
- Dual heating system for quicker results
- LED display and remote make settings simple
- Bright, readable display
- ETL safety-listed
Solid performance marks this little infrared heater, which can heat as much as 1500 square feet comfortably. It also offers an outsized power level: at 1500 watts maximum, this heater can put out the same amount of heat as some of its larger competitors.
Just set the controls once and allow the heater to maintain the temperature you prefer. Workshops, craft rooms and far-flung guest rooms are especially good spots to try out the Homegear Pro cabinet heater.
If you have a home with older wiring, consider using a lower setting on the Homegear Pro. You’ll use less energy to maintain the temperature, and you won’t have to worry about tripping any household breakers. At 1500 watts, this infrared heater does require a 13 amp circuit, with a 15 amp circuit recommended for the best results.
How about the design?
If you don’t care for the wood look of many cabinet-style heaters, this model could be the perfect choice for you. It features modern design elements and a display with large, bright numbers. The on-unit controls do beep loudly when pressed, to indicate they’re operational. This can be distracting, but most of us won’t need to reset our Homegear infrared heaters very often.
This unit probably isn’t the right choice if you’re looking for a highly portable heater. This device has a short cord, at only around 71 inches. It also features small feet, rather than casters, on the bottom of the device. For owners who don’t intend to move their infrared heater much, however, Homegear’s large-room model is an excellent and efficient choice.
- Heats up to 1500 square feet with a 5100 BTU output
- Two types of heating tubes for faster response
- Lower settings use less energy and won’t trip breakers
- Buttons beep when pressed
- Cord is less than 6 feet long
- No casters
Duraflame 9HM9126-O142 Portable Electric Infrared Heater
If you want an infrared heater with a thermostat and a well-known brand behind it, the Duraflame 9HM9126-O142 could provide everything you need. This heater features a genuine wood case and basic safety features, plus all the benefits of infrared. It’s designed to keep your rooms warm without creating dry, hard-to-breathe air or cold spots.
What could be better?
This unit also helps save you money by letting you keep your furnace thermostat low. At only 5,200 BTU, this Duraflame heater isn’t going to replace your central heating system, but it will help you operate it less often.
It is rated for rooms up to 1000 square feet, so it can be used as supplemental heat in living rooms, basements, studio apartments and many other parts of the house. For smaller rooms, this heater can act as the primary heat source.
- Rated for spaces up to 1000 square feet
- Real hardwood and wood veneers make a stylish cabinet
- Safety switch to prevent overheating when left unmonitored
- Remote control, electronic timer and digital controls provide an option for every user
- Safer Plug technology monitors plug temperature to prevent fires
At around 30 pounds, the Duraflame 9HM9126-O142 is no lightweight. Fortunately, its four concealed casters help it earn the name “portable.” This heater is easy to move around and won’t overheat, even at the plug.
Duraflame protects this common weak spot with its innovative Safer Plug, which monitors plug and cord temperatures. This device features a basic black plastic grate over the heating elements and electronics. While this material lacks the style of metal, it also keeps temperatures from rising too high.
The exterior of this heater stays cool to the touch, including the grate over the heating elements. There are six separate quartz elements, allowing the device to provide supplementary heat for even fairly large rooms.
You need to add a little extra heat to a rec room or an open plan house?
This could be the right heater for your needs. The device does take a while to heat a space that started out cold, such as a sun room on a winter morning. It’s most effective when it’s used to maintain a room at the same temperature most of the time, or as a supplement to your furnace.
- Reliable heat for a variety of spaces
- Remembers settings even after a power outage
- Energy efficient
- Well-known brand name
- Heats relatively slowly
- Black trim is plastic, not metal
Della Portable Electric Infrared Quartz Heater
Cold nights can quickly increase your heating bills, making an infrared unit the smart choice. Della’s portable electric model offers an inexpensive way to start saving money on your heating bills.
It provides supplemental heat for up to 1000 square feet, or primary heat for a smaller room. If you’ve been feeling the pinch this winter, consider a basic infrared heater like this one.
Della’s budget-minded model of infrared heater is pretty no-frills, but that’s just what makes it an ideal started model. You won’t need to experience buyer’s remorse given the relatively low price tag and high reliability of a Della infrared heater. You’ll be able to sleep soundly and warmly knowing that your heater will keep things comfortable until you wake.
- Large-button remote and programmable digital display make settings easy
- Two energy settings for greater efficiency
- Hidden casters increase portability
- Rated for rooms up to 1000 square feet
- Three infrared heating elements
This infrared heater from Della won’t win any awards for style, but it will get the job done perfectly. It’s a simple black cabinet-style space heater without any optional attachments or kits. It works equally well as an infrared heater for outdoor use as it does for indoor heating. After all, there’s no delicate finish to damage, and the plastic case is easy to clean.
Start saving right now!
At less than half the price of most competitors, this Della heater is a simple way to start saving money on your heating bills. It features half as many infrared elements as some more expensive models, so it could take a while to heat a cold room. Once you’ve brought the temperature up, however, you’ll have little trouble keeping it there with this efficient, useful little heater.
- Low price compared to most other infrared heaters
- Heavy duty cord
- Quiet operation
- Safety features, including anti-tip and anti-overheating functions
- Wide temperature range, from 59 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
- All-plastic case is very basic
- Beeps loudly when settings are changed
Heat Storm Smithfield Classic Indoor Portable Infrared Space Heater
The Smithfield Classic from Heat Storm is an interesting device. It offers 1500 watts and six elements worth of infrared heat. It also includes a unique central LED design and a heat exchange method that helps conserve a room’s humidity.
Rated for rooms of up to 1000 square feet, this heater works in all kinds of spaces. From the playroom to the reading nook, you’ll enjoy the comforting heat of Heat Storm’s Smithfield Classic infrared heater.
- 1500 watt power consumption, rated to heat 1000 square feet
- Patented heat exchanger design preserves existing moisture in room
- Energy efficient mode halves power consumption
- Highly visible central LED display with remote
The Heat Storm Smithfield Classic infrared heater has one of those looks you’ll either love or hate.
Unlike many similar heaters, it positions its digital display in a large central circle motif. The numbers are clear and easy to read, but the unconventional look might be off-putting for some. Otherwise, the design is one of classic wood, which will fit in with a wide range of furniture styles.
This unit also features handy casters to make it portable. These don’t come assembled already: you’ll have to attach them yourself. The job is easy, however, and the unit is otherwise fully assembled.
Heat Storm’s portable infrared heater offers two heating modes, the lower of which decreases energy consumption by half. The higher mode will heat a space faster, but it does use a higher fan speed.
This can be noisy or distracting in a very quiet room, so light sleepers shouldn’t plan on keeping this model in a bedroom. Otherwise, the Smithfield Classic heats quietly and efficiently in the background. Use it in your living room, your guest room, or any other part of the house!
- Interesting circle design feature
- Intuitive controls
- Fits in with existing wood furniture
- Light and easy to carry
- Requires minimal assembly
- Fan can be loud
How Does An Infrared Heater Work?
Most of us have heard about infrared light, even if we only have a dim memory from high school science class.
What you might not know is how this type of energy can be used to heat a room!
While this kind of energy isn’t visible to the unaided human eye, it is something we can sense. Whenever we stand in a beam of sunlight, the warmth we feel is infrared energy. By generating the same kind of energy in a small appliance, we can use it to keep ourselves warm. Infrared heaters can even be more efficient than other types of appliance.
Infrared energy can be produced through many different methods, but it all behaves the same way when it reaches an object. Infrared energy doesn’t heat up the air. Instead, it transmits directly to a person or piece of furniture. That helps reduce heat loss and improves energy efficiency. It’s also why the air coming out of your infrared heater doesn’t feel as hot as the air from a normal electric space heater. You aren’t wasting extra power by heating up the air first.
All Types of the Infrared Heaters
Every heater includes an element that creates the energy. This could be made of tungsten wire, but some also make use of carbon or a proprietary metal alloy. This type of emitter might be found in an infrared heater lamp, which produces light along with infrared rays.
Very large devices can even use infrared heater panels to emit long wave infrared rays. These are common in saunas and some more expensive space heaters. A ceramic material provides another option for heaters that don’t generate any light.
Infrared emitters can also be made of quartz glass, which melts less easily than standard glass. These are filled with halogen gas and are among the fastest-heating infrared generating methods. They are common in infrared heaters for home use, but they can also appear in infrared camping lanterns and other devices.
No matter which kind of emitter a heater uses, it can generate energy from several kinds of fuel. Electric infrared heaters are the most common for home use. Others are also available, however. Natural gas infrared heaters are common in commercial spaces or industrial buildings.
They are designed to keep a building warm even when cold air often rushes in, such as in a garage or store. You might also encounter infrared heaters that run on propane gas. They are difficult to safely use indoors, but they can be a useful choice when you need to heat a space that doesn’t have an outlet, such as a shed or cabin.
Just like visible light, infrared comes in a spectrum, too. You can’t see the differences between them, but you can feel them. Near infrared energy is very high intensity and can produce temperatures of 2300 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Ironically, energy in the near infrared wavelength doesn’t damage human skin much.
Human and animal tissue tends not to absorb this kind of energy at all. Instead, manufacturers use this intense type of infrared energy to form plastic, weld metal and cook on a very large scale.
Medium wave infrared energy is still hot, at about 900 to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. Like near infrared energy, this type isn’t well-absorbed by humans. Instead, it’s the kind we use in thermal imaging systems such as night vision goggles.
Medium infrared can also be used in very large commercial ceramic infrared heater installations. It’s more efficient than traditional heating applications and can withstand constantly opening and closing doors better. You might also encounter mid-range wavelengths in an infrared heater for paint removal.
The kind of energy in your home infrared wall heater tends to be far infrared. Elements of this kind emit energy at a relatively cool temperature – at least when compared to near and medium infrared wavelengths. Far infrared energy is about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and produces no light. This type of energy can easily be absorbed by human skin. That’s why it’s so much more efficient than a fire or a normal electric heater.
How to Buy the Best Infrared Heater
Not all heaters are the same, but do you know how to tell the difference?
- Exterior differences such as case design and size are easy to identify, and mostly up to your own preferences. What’s underneath could be a lot more important, however.
- Take a look at factors such as energy type, capacity, safety ratings, emitter material and reliability. An electric heater will work best for most home applications. Natural gas and propane options make good emergency heaters for conditions with no electricity.
- Consider the amount of space each heater is meant to warm, too. Your heater should be rated for a specific volume and may struggle to heat a larger space.
- When in doubt, choose a larger heater and keep it at a lower setting.
How Does An Infrared Heater Save Money?
None of us want to pay too much for home heating, but it’s one of the most expensive parts of every winter. Infrared heaters are famous for being more efficient than their convection heater cousins, and they can help reduce your heating bills. You have to use them correctly, however.
Simply running a set of infrared heaters the way you would a home furnace probably won’t help you achieve lower bills. In fact, your heating bill could go up!
What do you need to do if you want those reduced heating costs?
First, understand that infrared space heating is best as a supplement to more conventional central heating. If you have a furnace or heat pump, your infrared heater could keep them from switching on as frequently.
Second, you should always practice zone heating. Instead of keeping the whole house toasty warm, try intensively heating only the room you’re currently occupying. An infrared heater lets you stay comfortable without heating everything at once.
When you leave the room, you can turn off the infrared heater or set it to a lower maintenance temperature. Since infrared heaters are generally more efficient than other types of space heater, zone heating with them is cheaper than doing it with an electric model.
How Much Energy Does an Infrared Heater Use?
You might find it hard to quantify how much you’ll save with an infrared space heater. That’s because heaters vary significantly, both in how much space they’re meant to heat and how much power they draw. Most electric infrared space heaters use at least 1500W, but units meant for larger rooms can pull a lot more power.
What power do I need?
Your heater will use more energy if you’re heating a bigger space or if you want to keep the area a few degrees warmer. For smaller rooms and lower temperatures, most heaters are more efficient.
Don’t make the mistake of buying a heater with a capacity that is much larger than your room, however. A slightly oversized heater can keep things cozy, but an excessively large one will tend to alternately overheat and chill a room. This is both less comfortable and less efficient than a smaller unit.
Other factors that affect energy use include:
- The frequency with which you’ll run your heater, whether your unit produces just heat or also light, and whether your heater will be used indoors or outdoors.
- Running a heater on “eco” mode keeps rooms more comfortable, but it does use more energy overall than heating the room only when you’re using it.
- An infrared heater fireplace will use more energy than a heater that doesn’t waste energy on light.
- Indoor models are generally more efficient than outdoor models since more enclosed spaces allow less heat to escape.
Infrared Heater Vs. Ceramic Heater
This question can be a tricky one since there are types of infrared heater that use ceramic elements. There are even infrared heaters that use convection-type ceramic elements as support for their infrared components.
Most heaters labeled “ceramic,” however, are really just a type of forced air heater. They are safer than space heaters that rely on heated wires, but they aren’t much more efficient and don’t specifically produce infrared energy.
Did you know that infrared energy was completely unknown until the year 1800?
It was a world where we understood heat and knew a lot about light, but we didn’t understand how heat could be transmitted. Sir William Herschel used a spectrometer to discover this wavelength, but he didn’t really know what to do about it.
The first infrared heaters, for industrial purposes, weren’t invented until about 130 years later. Factories in World War II adopted them to speed up drying times and use less fuel. Infrared heating devices for comfort were introduced in 1950s Germany.
Originally designed to heat churches, they soon spread to other venues and other countries. Home heaters appeared later, but they’ve taken off as word of their efficiency and comfort has spread.
The market is just packed with different infrared heater designs. The most basic variety is made up of an element, such as an electric ribbon or quartz element, with a reflector behind it. This older heater design tends to be less effective than more recent types.
They combine a larger number of elements with a fan to help distribute the energy more evenly. These larger infrared heaters use more energy to do their jobs, but they also heat a larger area and do so with more consistency.
You can also find electric infrared heaters that add oscillation, aiming their heat emitters at a larger area. These designs are usually more expensive, but they can boost a device’s ability to heat bigger rooms.
So, how do you take care of your infrared heater once you own one?
It’s actually pretty simple. Most heaters need to be monitored, especially in their first days. That’s enough time to figure out whether your heater has arrived with a defect that might cause the cord to heat up or create another problem. After that, all you really need to do is check your heater over every once in a while. If you put it away for the summer, be sure to inspect it as soon as you get it back out of storage.
Many infrared heaters also include a reusable filter. You can just pop it out of the machine when it’s time to empty it. Then you’re ready to wash it by hand or give it a quick vacuum and put the filter back into your heater. That’s all there is to maintaining most infrared space heaters, but be certain to check the manual for your specific model. Every manufacturer does things just a little differently.
Just like any other appliance, an infrared heater can go wrong. Sometimes there’s a manufacturing problem. In other cases, your heater has just gotten old. There are a few things you can do to keep your heater from being damaged or becoming a fire risk, though.
Let’s take a look.
Most infrared heating units have safety features designed to prevent shorts, overheating or fires. These include automatic shut-off functions when the thermostat senses a certain temperature or the device tips over, as well as microchips that monitor plug and cord temperatures. Grills over heating elements should have small spacing to prevent access by kids or pets, and the elements themselves should be well-enclosed.
The way you set up your heater matters, too. It can be tempting to cram an infrared device between two other pieces of furniture, especially since the surface of an infrared heater doesn’t get very hot. This creates a fire hazard, though. Most heaters need to be placed anywhere from a few inches to a few feet away from walls and furnishings.
Give them the space to breathe and they’ll work much more efficiently!
Avoid operating your heater in any room that might flood while the heater is still on. Electric devices still carry a risk of shorting out or creating an electric shock. Keeping your heater on a dry, level surface away from flammables can do a lot to keep it safe. Practice good judgment whenever you use your infrared heater. Eliminate all fire hazards before you turn anything on.
If you’re going to be buying a portable infrared space heater, there isn’t much installation to worry about. Most come fully or almost fully-assembled, and are ready to go as soon as you take them out of their boxes. Just make sure that you place your heater according to the instructions from your manufacturer, and you’re ready to turn it on. Do be sure to read all instructions thoroughly.
No one wants to ruin the new heater, right?
Other types of heater can require a little more effort to get them ready. Infrared fireplace inserts, for instance, need to be installed on a clean, even surface with the right amount of clearance. Some infrared heaters require wall-mounting on a sturdy framing stud. For safety reasons, it’s a good idea to get someone else to help you do this. Gas-powered devices may need a vent for safe operation. Follow all instructions carefully, and when in doubt, call in an installation professional.
What will you do if a component breaks suddenly?
Whenever possible, choose a product with a longer warranty. These devices have few to no user-serviceable parts. That means you’ll have to take your heater to a professional if it stops working correctly. In some cases, you might be required to mail it back to the manufacturer for additional work.
A warranty keeps repair bills for a defective part or bad assembly from rising sky-high. The majority of models offer a one-year warranty, though this can be extended in some cases if you’re willing to pay more. Some manufacturers provide a two-year warranty or greater. These products tend to be more expensive, but they’re often worth it in terms of longevity.
Think hard before you choose an unwarrantied product at a lower price!
Which infrared home heater is your personal best buy?
It can be hard to say for sure; different home sizes, budgets and aesthetic preferences make this a complex decision. There are plenty of excellent heater models on the market, all with great features and design.
Out of the 10 reviewed above, however, we chose number 9, the Duraflame 5HM8000-O142. In a sea of boxy, no-name infrared heaters, this model provides a different look and a well-known name. This heater also has a history of customer satisfaction and a reasonable one-year warranty.
Its genuine hardwood construction and veneers help the Duraflame 5HM8000-O142 look like a real piece of furniture and a welcome addition to any room. Out of all the options we’ve reviewed, it’s the best infrared heater for most people.
In short, an infrared heater could be the perfect addition to your home, or any home, as long as the owner wants to stay warm and save money! Used correctly, these heaters can make a big difference in your comfort and your heating bill. So, now it’s your turn. Find the infrared space heater that’ll keep you warm this winter.
Can you or your budget really afford not to?