So you’ve grown tired of dealing with heating options that require installation and gruesome maintenance. No, that’s not a question, we know it for a fact and this is why we are presenting you with an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the best infrared heaters on the market today.
Read on our infrared heater reviews and see the finest products that made our exclusive selection.
These devices have a number of advantages and versatile uses, all of which we have highlighted in our buying guide below. In addition to the useful info about features and characteristics, we will give you an in-depth look at how exactly infrared heaters beat out the competition and lower your electricity bill.
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What is Infrared Heating and How Does an Infrared Heating System Work?
The most adequate comparison we can use in order to explain infrared heating is that it resembles the way the sun heats us when we are outside. What it does is heat not just the air but mainly the objects and the people in its range. Thus temperature is retained and some heat is radiated back into the surrounding space. This is the short version of how infrared heaters work.
In other words, once the objects in a room get warmer, the room stays warm for longer. This effect is the same regardless of whether we talk about infrared heater panels or regular quartz infrared heaters. The only difference is that the first type of work by heating a ceramic panel which then emits warmth. When it comes to the second type, the process happens inside a tube and then this very tube is the one heating everything else around.
The Efficiency of Infrared Heaters
The best oil-filled heaters warm up just the air. Since hot air is lighter, it goes up to the ceiling and when it comes back down it is now cool. Eventually, we all know what happens – heat goes out the door.
There are 4 methods of heat transfer:
Infrared heaters utilize all of the above and this is one of their major benefits. Infrared radiation is generated by these heaters. This means that energy is transferred from a hot to cool surface in a waveform. Air is not needed nor used in this process – the transfer is direct.
Objects perform the so-called absorption and most things in a household have very good levels of absorption. We are talking about concrete or metals. Since they are highly absorptive, they are simply ideal for infrared heating.
When heat is transferred through solid objects we have conduction. It eventually leads to convection which basically means that the air is also getting warmer. All of the above aids in the even distribution of heat in a room. This way heat loss is lower and we end up paying less for electricity thanks to the infrared heater efficiency.
How Does The Magic Happen in Infrared Heating?
An Infrared heater has a burner heat-exchanger tube and a reflector. The flame started by the burner goes down this highly emissive tube. The process is typically enhanced by a pump or maybe a fan. The reflector is put in such a way that it directs the heat down toward the floor.
Why You Need an Infrared Heater
At this point, you have likely realized which are the general infrared heaters’ pros and cons but we will still list a few. Who knows, we might catch you by surprise with our quick facts about infrared heaters and actually help you learn a thing or two.
Pros of Infrared Heaters
- Environmentally friendly – don’t expect any pollution from those babies. There’s no fuel, no wood or coal to be burnt inside the heater. It’s only electricity and this is very pleasant. Don’t expect to feel any smell or see any fumes.
- Silent and gentle – the finest models feature a fan but it is there just to provide a little support. The fans of the infrared heaters are one of the quietest among all similar devices. You get heat but your machine will not remind you about it through noises.
- Stylish – no other heating device comes even close to the design of the infrared heaters. We have to give them the first prize here pronouncing them champions of the domestic interior and coziness.
- Easy to maintain – with the exception of the occasional dusting you have nothing else to do in order to keep the heater clean. It doesn’t come apart, nothing is supposed to be changed and nothing will require washing or scrubbing.
Cons of Infrared Heaters
- Limited – zone heating means that you heat just a part of your home. The infrared heating means that rays of heat go directly straight. Combine the two and you get a warmth around the heater but not in the next room.
- Cools off quickly – air isn’t really heated. A halfway decent electric wall heater will warm the air first and then everything else. Check out our electric wall heater reviews in case you are interested. The infrared heater doesn’t work like that. Air is heated last – objects and people come first. This means that if you shut it off you lose all the heat in the premises.
- Safety – Infrared heater safety is generally not an issue but if you have children playing around, you need to be extra careful. Despite all the safety mechanisms and systems that these devices have installed, their temperature is still very high and any interaction with them needs to be conducted carefully.
Best Infrared Heaters Comparison Chart
Duraflame Infrared Quartz Heater
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Dr. Infrared Portable Heater
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Homegear Infrared Heater
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LifeSmart Zone Series 4 Infrared Heater
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Heat Storm Logan Deluxe Infrared Heater
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EdenPURE Classic Plus Infrared Heater
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Duraflame Oscillating Infrared Tower Heater
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1. Duraflame Infrared Quartz Heater
This product features a rather simple but very effective design. It looks like a cupboard but the front panel gives it away – it’s an infrared heater. The Quartz mechanism doesn’t allow for the air to dry out too much. Even though the heater is quite powerful and will be able to cover 1000 square feet, you will still enjoy enough humidity in the air.
Touching its surface is not a problem as the heater will stay cool even while functioning. No need to worry about overheating as the thermostat will shut the heater down upon reaching a certain threshold. The front panel is easy to operate as you get to decide on the exact temperature by pressing the “up” and “down” arrows. The product comes fully assembled and all the user needs to do is plug it and operate the digital panel on the front.
2. Dr. Infrared Portable Heater
There are a number of useful functions and modes in this infrared heater and all of them make operating it rather easy. The Dr. Infrared Portable Heater has built-in tip-over protection which means that the product will shut off in case it falls over. The range of the temperature you can get is between 50 and 86 degrees. The thermostat will turn off the heater in case the highest temperature is reached. This is a safety measure to prevent overheating.
Another cool feature is the dual heating system which utilizes infrared and convection heat. The lowest power output is 1000W while the highest is 1500W. Along with the thermostat, there is also a timer. 12 hours is the maximum time lapse at which the timer can work. This function can also be accessed through the remote control which comes with the heater. The fan is ultra-quiet with its 39 dB.
3. Homegear Infrared Heater
While this item is not disguised as a furnishing addition to your interior, it still does a great job when it comes to heating. Yes, it is mostly plastic with a metal cover only on the back but this is something you can live with. The Homegear Infrared Heater features a dual heating system similar to other models. It combines Quartz Infrared tubes with Mica tubes. The LED display has a few convenient options one of which allows you to alternate between Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees.
A slight downside is that the heater doesn’t support 240V networks. It does have a number of other merits, though, such as overheat protection, 1500W of maximum output, and remote control. It also complies with all the regulations being cETL and ETL certified. The BTU output is 5100, typical for an infrared heater.
4. LifeSmart Zone Series 4 Infrared Heater
The body of this product is fireproof and will remain cool if you want to move it while operational. Most infrared heaters have 2 or maximum 3 heating elements but here we get 4. This allows the heater to constantly support a 68-degree temperature even in rooms larger than 500 square feet. This is achieved through the ECO setting which is just one of the 3 possible outputs. The other 2 are 1000W and 1500W for maximum heat.
The digital panel is easy to use as it only has buttons. Use them to turn the heater on and cycle through the temperatures until you find the one you want. There is a fan that will enhance the heating of the room. The product also comes with remote control and has all the necessary safety features. The two most important ones are a thermostat and a tip-over “turn off” function. The filter is re-washable.
5. Heat Storm Logan Deluxe Infrared Heater
What this heater brings to the table is softer heat thanks to utilizing the humidity in the room. HMS Technology allows for this to happen and the results are nice. The Heat Storm Deluxe Infrared Heater resembles a stylish furnishing piece but also has 4 wheels for mobility. The product is pretty heavy (28 lb.) but you do not need to lift it as you can simply roll it in and out of a room.
The control panel is one of the simplest on the market. It is a digital circular LED dial with sensor buttons. Press up and down on the arrows to select the temperature you wish. There are 2 power output variants – 750W and 1500W. At the highest setting, a room of about 1000 square feet can be heated. There’s nothing surprising about the other main features – remote control and a thermostat. The warranty is for 1 year.
6. EdenPURE Classic Plus Infrared Heater
This heater features a specialized patented technology called Copper Helix. This is what the quartz tubes are made of and they render the product quite powerful and efficient. This makes it great for larger rooms as it consumes less electricity. What it also does is heat the room evenly similar to a convection heater. The lifespan of these Copper bulbs is about 10 000 hours which is basically countless winters.
The body features the Cool Touch technology making the heater safe for pets and children. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have casters or handles in order to be moved freely. However, the heater is fairly light (17 lb.) and can be lifted and then relocated. The front panel is one of the easiest to operate as it has 4 simple buttons. Additionally, a little scale on the right side gives you a graphic representation of how much heat the product is making.
7. Duraflame Oscillating Infrared Tower Heater
Similar to a typical tower fan, the Duraflame Infrared Tower heater blows air around but in a very sophisticated fashion. The oscillation feature lets the whole item remain still while spreading some hot air around the room. The design is sharp as it is a mixture between a fireplace and a bookshelf. The air doesn’t dry out and the room is evenly heated (1000 square feet at maximum).
The heater gives off nice supplemental zone heating thanks to the 5 200 BTU. In addition to the various temperature functions (from 62 to 82), there are also 2 fan speeds. Controlling is made easy thanks to the digital thermostat and the remote. The 6 heating elements will heat up a room in less than 15 minutes. Moving the product, though, isn’t the easiest thing as it needs to be lifted. Weighs 23 lb.
8. EdenPURE Gen2 Pure Heater
The main goal of the manufacturer here was to create a space-saving infrared heater. The dimensions of the EdenPURE heater are 15 x 11.5 x 9.6 inches and it is also fairly light – 16 lb. The product is considered powerful as it can heat up to about 1000 square feet. Not bad for an item that looks like a small box. The design stands true to most infrared heaters. It resembles a piece of furniture and people might take it for a bookshelf or a small stool.
Although the product can get quite heated, there’s no hazard because of the built-in thermostat. The fan will distribute heat quicker, although you can select “quiet mode” and not use the fan at all. There is a remote control included in the set in order to make controls easier. If you decide to go with a more advanced package, you can get a UV Light and a Hepa filter with the heater.
9. Unbrand2 Infrared Quartz Heater
Resembling a typical space heater, this infrared product will give you efficiency thanks to its economic power output. The Unbrand2 Infrared heater has two settings – 600W and 1200W. Unlike other infrared heaters, this one is exceptionally easy to carry and relocate. The exterior never gets overheated so touching it is not a problem. Along with that, there is an adjustable thermostat making it easy to control the heat threshold.
On top of the body, you will find two dials. They are rather straightforward to use. One controls the output while the other is the thermostat dial. If the product falls over, it automatically shuts off as a safety precaution. This version is a 120V one and in order for the heater to be plugged into a 240V electrical network, an adapter needs to be purchased separately. This is the lightest product on our list as it weighs only 8.8 lb.
10. Quartz Infrared Heater
We are now back to the furniture-looking heaters as this next product has a typical infrared heater design. The main additional feature here, however, is the humidifier mode. This property sets the product apart as it will definitely keep the air moisturized. The quartz tubes tend to dry the air out but not in this case. The heater has a special plastic cartridge that is easily pulled in and out. Once filled with water, it will start to humidify the area automatically upon turning the heater on.
On that note, it might make a little bit more noise than other products (42 dB). The highest temperature which can be achieved is 90 degrees. There is a remote control included and the heater also has an overheat safe cut-out along with a tip-over “switch off”. The Hepa filter will aid in removing particles from the airflow and the fan can be set to blow some water vapor around.
Types of Infrared Heaters
What we just described above goes mainly for those infrared heaters which we use at home. Going through some infrared heater consumer reports show us that the ones for residential use are somewhat simpler than the industrial devices. This is why we will talk about both types below.
- High-intensity heaters
- Low-intensity heaters
The first group, as the name suggests, emit energy at a higher amplitude and temperature. They rarely have fans. The main heating process there is related to thousands of tiny flames passing through a surface. They basically blanket the emitter and produce enormous temperatures on a small scale.
The low-intensity heaters function in the way we explained above. The burning happens in a tube which then emits heat thus warming people and objects. This procedure is sort of “covered” because unlike the high-intensity heaters, here we do not actually see the flames inside the tube.
Common Uses of High-Intensity Infrared Heaters
These heaters are also known as spot heaters or box heaters. There’s a good chance that in this category you might be able to locate the best outdoor infrared heater. This is because the low-intensity counterparts are typically for indoor use only.
The “big boys” are cost-effective and easy to install. They are mainly used to heat large spaces such as warehouses or workshops. Thanks to their intensity, having a few of them installed in a 3000 square foot warehouse will be just enough.
Workshops also benefit from high-intensity infrared heaters as they can be used as spot heaters. You aim them at a certain area and get both light and heat. In the name of safety, these should be installed near the ceiling and should be far away from objects and people. Some of the uses comprise:
- Space heaters – the best space heaters are nice for loading docks or storage houses
- Patio heaters – the design and functionality of top-rated patio heaters render them convenient for outdoor use. You might see them at restaurants or houses with porches.
- Portable heaters – most commonly used at construction sites. They are rarely powered by electricity but typically use gas. Very good where permanent heating isn’t required. One example is a top-notch portable car heaters.
Uses of Low-Intensity Heaters
One word will catch your attention when we speak about those “smaller” infrared heaters. Let us know if you see it. Those devices can also be called radiant tube heaters, tube brooders, or push tubes. Yep, the magic happens inside that tube, alright.
Hopefully, you noticed that in the information above we didn’t speak about any residential use. This is because the domestic application is reserved for these lower intensity heaters.
In fact, people use them for total building heating. Their main use is in apartments and houses. Smaller businesses such as car-washes also benefit greatly from tube infrared heaters. The soft warmth which those devices produce makes them excellent for agricultural applications.
But let’s go a little deeper and take a look at the 3 most popular tube heating mechanisms incorporated in infrared heaters with low intensity.
- Forced draft system – this is by far the most widespread infrared domestic heating mechanism. It uses positive pressure and pushes the products of combustion (the flame) down a tube. Everything happens in one compartment and this is why these heaters generally have a lower price.
- Draft induced system – it works the other way around. Such a heater uses negative pressure and basically pulls the flame from the tube instead of pushing it in.
- Multiple burner systems – this last type resembles the draft induced system but the difference is that here we talk about a number of runs through a few connected tubes.
Are Infrared Heaters Green?
Heating your home completely and causing minimal harm to the surroundings isn’t very easy. Yet, infrared heater panels are an excellent choice for domestic heating as they will take it easy on the environment. Nothing is 100% green but electric heaters are somewhat better.
First off, you need to determine the power source of the desired infrared heater. Gas heaters are somewhat of higher maintenance. Gas needs to be gathered and transported. This is definitely not the best way to heat your home. Additionally, fumes are released when natural gas is used in any way.
Electric infrared heaters do not have such problems. They do not release anything negative into the atmosphere. In fact, most manufacturers claim that their electric products do not harm the breathing air all – not even by drying it out.
Furthermore, they don’t require fuel, natural gas, or a pipeline to run. Very few resources and little infrastructure is needed for such a device to function properly. We can safely conclude that electric infrared heaters are the closest thing to “green” in our case.
The Most Important Features of Infrared Heaters
As usual, we will help you differentiate between the various models of infrared heaters by outlining the most popular characteristics. This is to help you further answer the question “are infrared heaters worth buying?” Once you are armed with this exact knowledge, you can freely decide which particular model will be fine for your residential heating purposes.
This might be the first type of heater where we can freely say that we do not necessarily mind the size. Since most infrared heaters are designed to look like a piece of furniture, you shouldn’t mind having them blend in. They can’t be too small or they might end up looking ridiculous next to that desk or cupboard that you have.
On the other hand, since infrared heaters provide zone heating, this means that you might have to move them quite often. Something of a smaller size is definitely easier to lift and carry. This is unless there is a wheel installed on the bottom.
It is pretty straightforward here. Don’t fall for anything without a timer. We won’t even bother mentioning the thermostat and the remote because all the best infrared heaters have them. A timer, however, is crucial especially when it comes to a device that generates so much heat.
You don’t want it constantly running because a) your energy bill will skyrocket and b) because of infrared heating safety concerns. The other typical settings that you see are related to power output or temperature. The more convenient models will let you select an exact temperature. The other will simply have buttons or a dial which helps you cycle through wattage settings.
Unfortunately, when it comes to those little domestic infrared heaters, their operation is pretty straightforward. If we look at the bigger picture and select among all sizes and purposes of infrared heaters then we will surely be able to satisfy every need we might have in terms of heating.
Residential infrared heaters are simply warm boxes with control panels and remote control. The more versatile models feature wheels so that you can easily roll them around. And that’s it.
Our guide to getting a hold of the best infrared heaters comes to an end. As seen above, the information about these devices is interesting and multidimensional. Our hope is that you have found exactly what you have been looking for and that we have answered most, if not all, of your questions.
Do not hesitate to contact us about anything which needs to be added to the guide. If you like the page, please share it and leave us a comment. Check out some of our other guides like the best electric radiant floor heating systems and the top-rated air purifiers for mold in case you are looking to get info on a number of the best heating and cooling options. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!
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