How Energy Efficient Is An Infrared Heater?

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Energy efficiency is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing appliances for your home.

Heating systems are must-haves, especially during the winter season, and they come in different types like the infrared heater.

Infrared heaters actually have a positive effect on your electric bill over time. Their efficiency is high-quality, with some variations between the brands and models.

Overall, they tend to lower your heating costs when used as a supplemental heating system.

We will answer some of the common questions about infrared heaters and the cost of running them.

This way, you can feel confident you understand an infrared heater and its effect on electric bills.

It will also help you decide if it’s the best type of heating system for your home or room.

How Infrared Heating Works

Before we could answer, “Are infrared heaters energy efficient?“, you must have an understanding of how infrared heating works.

Here is the simplest explanation of how they convert energy to transfer and distribute heat.

Energy Conversion

Infrared heaters work a lot differently than convection space heaters, especially in terms of converting energy.

They work by converting electricity that runs through their system into radiant heat.

Radiant heat is the same type of heat that leaves our bodies naturally.

Heat Transfer and Distribution

Infrared heat can be transferred to any object within the range of your heater; this process makes you feel warm.

Since radiant heat does not warm the air, infrared heaters are generally more energy-efficient than electric space heaters.

That is because electric space heaters usually use fans to distribute warmth around the room.

This mechanism allows some warmth to escape, which, in turn, leads to a higher cost of energy.

Can I Leave the Infrared Heater on All the Time?

Yes, you can! When it comes to infrared heater efficiency, leaving your infrared heater on all the time is actually an efficient way to use it.

Infrared heaters store heat in objects in the room, so it is more efficient to let it run.

Some Considerations

Although you can leave an infrared heater running all the time, you will want to choose a model that when it reaches a specific temperature, will stop running.

Also, one of the best ways to run your heater is to set time parameters if the model allows it. Or add a smart plug to control your heater.

Doing so prevents heat loss, increases efficiency, and keeps your room comfortable when using the space.

You can even leave them on while you are sleeping, without them being a danger to you.

This is because infrared heaters typically have an overheating prevention system that turns down the unit if it gets too hot.

Plus, most models nowadays will also turn themselves off if they fall over.

So you should be sure that the unit you buy has these safety features if you plan to leave it unsupervised.

Overall, we recommend that you leave it on all of the time, but make sure to set a temperature range on the unit.

Are Infrared Heaters Energy Efficient?

An infrared heater uses 100% of the heat produced, which means there are no heat transfer losses.

This process is similar to how sunshine warms objects, which causes them to stay at an elevated temperature for a while.

Infrared heaters do not heat the air meaning because of this they use less energy than other types of heaters.

If you want to have more efficient heating systems at home, consider infrared heaters before the other options.

Do Infrared Heaters Cost a Lot To Run?

The cost to run an infrared heater is one of the best ways to answer the question “Are infrared heaters cost-effective?

Infrared heaters are pretty inexpensive to run, even if you leave them on all of the time.

While energy costs vary by your location, the country’s average price is 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Infrared heaters are commonly 1500 watts (1.5 kilowatts). If your energy costs are around the national average and you run your heater for 10 hours per day (or 15 kilowatt-hours), you can expect to pay about $60 per month to run the heater.

ApplianceTypical Consumption Per HourCost Per Hour (at 13 cents per kilowatt-hour)
Space heater1,500 watts0.195 cents

Of course, you will likely leave it on less than that if you have the ability to set temperature parameters set on your model.

This means the machine will shut off when it senses the room has warmed enough and turns itself back on later when the area cools down.

Are Infrared Heaters Cheaper Than Electric Heat?

Infrared heaters are also more affordable to run than electric ones since they can heat a room in less time.

Doing so allows them to shut off faster, which means they use a lot less power to run.

Infrared heaters tend to use less electricity overall when compared with conventional heaters.

So you can feel confident that your energy usage is not nearly as high as it could be at the end of the month.

However, you might end up paying more upfront for the heater than an electric space heater.

This would be because electric space heaters can be easily mass-produced, making them cost less.

It is still essential to keep in mind that the initial price tag is nothing compared to how much money you will save on heating with an infrared option in the long run.

Hence, this further proves that the answer to “Are infrared heaters cost effective?” is yes.

You would not regret bringing one home after seeing how much your heating costs are lowered on your next bill.

infrared heater effect on electric bill

Can Infrared Heaters Cause Fires?

No, you do not have to worry about your infrared heating catching on fire in most cases.

Infrared heating does not use liquid fuels, like propane or kerosene, to create warmth.

That means they do not produce carbon monoxide, which is toxic.

Even if your unit was to tip over, the likelihood of it causing a fire is very, very low. 

Plus, most infrared heaters today will come with additional safety features that prevent them from starting a fire.

If you want a safe space heater, then infrared heating is one of the safest options you can currently buy.

What Heating Elements Do Infrared Heaters Use?

An infrared heater typically uses quartz infrared as its primary heating element.

There are many differences between traditional heating elements and quartz options.

Traditional Heating

A space heater with a traditional heating element circulates hot air through the room, typically with a fan.

The heater warms the air with a metal heating element that has electricity coursing through it.

The most common material for this is nichrome. It resists melting and has many features perfect for a heating system.

Other heaters use ceramic wire to warm the air. However, neither of these materials has a way to retain heat for very long.

That is why the temperature drops as soon as you shut down your conventional heater.

The only type of heater that offers fantastic heat retention, outside of infrared heaters, would be the oil radiators.

This is because the unit’s oil stays hot for hours, allowing it to travel throughout the room and keep it warm even when turned off.

Finally, this type of heating system tends to dry out the air.

If you experience nose bleeds often or have dry eyes, this could be what is causing those issues.

Switching to an infrared heater or trying a new humidifier are excellent ways to combat air that has had moisture sucked out of it.

Quartz Infrared

Quartz heating elements are used to produce infrared waves, which act similarly to heat from the sun.

It is used to warm objects in a room, which then radiates heat.

The word quartz is referring to wires that run through a quartz tube.

This material can resist up to 1,600 degrees F, making it perfect for these high-efficiency heaters.

Most metal types would melt under such hot temperatures, making quartz tubes the only option for surrounding such hot wiring in the infrared system.

Quartz materials also have good heat retention, putting them on par with oil radiators for long-lasting warmth.

That way, your infrared heater’s effect on electric bills would be unnoticeable.

Plus, infrared heating does not steal moisture from the air. If you easily experience dry eyes, then having an infrared system at home will not worsen your symptoms.

Overall, quartz allows the unit to be more efficient than other models that do not have that type of heating element present.

Since it uses waves to provide heat, people tend to believe that they are harmful to their health.

However, infrared heating is perfectly safe to use because of the following: 

They Do Not Emit UV

Another question we often hear is, “Is infrared heating safe?” “Doesn’t it emit waves like the sun?

Your body is continually releasing infrared, meaning it can accept it in the form of heat as well.

While the warmth from your infrared heater might remind you of the sunshine, it is not harmful.

This is because infrared waves do not carry UV rays with them, or there is never any UV emitted from an infrared heater.

So, you do not need to worry about your health when using these types of space heaters at home.

They Do Not Emit Radiation

Another misconception is that infrared waves are radioactive or similar to the waves from your microwave.

You should be happy to learn that they are not. You can not get sick from an infrared heater.

As mentioned, infrared heaters work by warming nearby objects with radiant heat. No harmful wavelengths are used to accomplish this.

That radiant heat is produced by light that you can likely see, which comes from the quartz system behind the unit’s panels.

Overall, owning an infrared heater will not harm you in any way, shape, or form.

You can feel confident that you are getting healthy heat at home.

Infrared Heater Effect on Electric Bills: The Conclusion

A new infrared heater could be the perfect way to save some extra money during the winter season.

A quality unit can help lower your energy bills when used as a supplemental heating source at home.

An infrared heater can warm up a room faster than an electric or gas-burning heater.

Plus, they also cost a lot less to run and can be on for a lot longer without becoming dangerous.

The quartz material used in these space heaters produces a lot of heat.

It allows that warmth to stick around a lot longer with its natural heat retention.

Quartz infrared is also a lot safer than most people think, even for our health. 

In short, an infrared heater could be the best option for you to have at home!

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