What’s the best infrared heater?
When the cold weather strikes you’ll be desperate to turn your thermostat up. Unfortunately, your energy bills will suddenly shoot up too. Heating your entire home is an ineffective way to stay warm in winter. You’ll save a huge amount of money if you invest in a quality infrared heater (or several) so you can selectively warm areas that you actually spend time in.
This will save you money as well because you won’t need to heat the entire house. Infrared heaters are extremely cost-effective as you’ll soon find out.
We’re going to discuss exactly how they work shortly, but first we’ll look at a few of the best infrared heaters on the market.
LifeSmart LifeLux Series Ultimate 8 Element
Best Infrared Quartz Heater (LS-8WIQH-LB-IN)
- Provides Infrared Warmth to an Extra-Large Room
- 3 Heat Settings Including Eco Setting 12 Hour Start and Stop Timer
- Stylish Wood Cabinet That is Cool To the Touch
- Digital Thermostat with Remote. Quiet Scroll Fan Circulates Heat.
- Remote Control
The LifeSmart LifeLux infrared heater was designed to warm up extra large rooms. You can tell it means business because it has 8 quartz elements wrapped up inside the metal heat exchanger coil. Switch it to the highest heat setting and you’ll be warm no matter how cold it is outside. LifeSmart heating elements will last roughly 25,000 hours, so your heater will keep you warm for many years to come.
You’ll appreciate the Eco setting because you’re determined to keep your energy costs down. When it’s switched on it will keep a small area of your home at a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater will use very little energy once it reaches this temperature, because it will only usually have to adjust it by a few degrees max.
Please Note: Even when you don’t have it set to Eco mode, an infrared heater is still the most economical way to heat a room. For example, they use roughly 35 percent less energy than a conventional furnace.
LifeSmart Quartz 6 Element
Best Infrared Heater (LS-6BPIQH-X-IN)
- 3 heat settings with ECO mode
- Digital Controls
- On/Off 12 hour timer
- Included remote control
This LifeSmart infrared heater has only 6 heating elements, which is why it’s a lot cheaper than other models. It’s a great option if you want something basic. You’ll still have access to the Eco setting that will use around 500 watts to keep your room sitting at a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will also have full control of your heater thanks to the remote control and dual timer. We’re going to focus on the latter because it will have the biggest impact on your home. You’ll be able to switch your heater off/on 12 hours in advance. Just make sure you don’t leave it on all day/night or your costs will begin to pile up.
Pro Tip: There is actually a quick formula you can use to determine how much the best infrared heater will cost you each month. You only need 3 specific figures before getting started:
- Appliance Wattage = 0.5 kW (Eco Mode)
- Cost Per kW On Your Bill = $0.10 (Estimate)
- Hours Used Per Day = 8 Hours (Estimate)
- 0.5 x 0.10 x 8 = $0.40 Per Day (Or $12 Per Month)
It would cost you around $12 per month to run your infrared heater for 8 hours every day on Eco mode. The cost would triple to $36 per month if you were running it on the highest setting. If you compare those prices to your energy bills last winter you’ll be impressed.
Best Infrared Quartz Heater : Oscillating
- The infrared heat helps to maintain the natural humidity within the air, resulting in moist, comfortable heat without drying out the room’s air
- 5,200 BTU heater provides supplemental zone heating for up to 1,000 square feet
- Patent pending Safer Plug fire prevention technology provides added safety by monitoring the temperature of the plug to prevent electrical fire, circuit or product damage
- Safe for kids and pets – stays cool to the touch
- Tip over safety switch – will automatically turn off the heater should it get knocked over
- Oscillation feature allows the heater to remain stationary, blowing in only one direction or alternately to oscillate and move side to side.
- Uses standard 120-Volt, 3-prong grounded outlet
- Electronic timer function: automatic timed shut off from 30 minutes up to 9 hours
- Heat output 5,200 BTU
- Infrared heating elements lifetime is over 20K hours
- Fan function can be used with or without heat for enjoyment in any season
- 1,500-Watt, 12.5-Amp
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates space heaters are responsible for around 25,000 residential fires per year. 6,000 Americans end up in emergency rooms to receive treatment for burns, plus the fires kill an average of 300 people annually. The best infrared heater will always be safer than cheaper models, but they’re still dangerous if used incorrectly.
You’ll be pleased to know the Duraflame 5HM8000-0142 tower heater takes safety to the next level. It comes with a Safer Plug built into it. There is a built-in thermostat designed to continuously monitor the temperature of the plug when the heater is switched on. Once it rises above a safe temperature the plug will automatically switch your heater off. You won’t be able to use it again until the plug and outlet cool down to a safe temperature.
Couple of other safety features you’ll be happy to see:
A Cool To Touch Surface – You won’t have to worry about the heater surface becoming too hot to touch. This is extremely useful if you have kids or pets. You might be smart enough to stay away from the heater, but kids and pets could accidentally burn themselves far too easily.
A Tip Over Safety Switch – The tip over safety switch is designed to turn the heater off automatically when it’s knocked over. You’ll still need to use a little common sense when using your heater. For example, keep it away from high traffic areas in your home. Even though it won’t cause a fire when it’s knocked over it could still break your toes.
Best 1500W Infrared Portable Space Heater
- Quickly and quietly heats areas up to 1000 sq. ft.
- Safe-to-touch design with no exposed heating elements
- Thermostat automatically maintains desired temperature setting
- Advanced dual heating system puts out 60% more heat than the other models in the market
- State of the art 7 in. blower that moves larger air volume with very low noise
- Listed by underwriters laboratories (UL) and Canada that ensures highest safety standards
- Perfectly safe around the children and pets with no exposed heating elements
- Thermostat regulates the heater and causes it to cycle on and off to maintain the set temperature
Your rooms will heat up quicker than ever before if you opt for the Dr. Infrared Heater DR968. There is more than one reason why it’s so effective. Firstly, it comes with a dual heating system to maximize the heat transfer rate. When you combine infrared and convection heat you can say goodbye to cold spots, which you’ll know all about later on.
Secondly, it’s the best infrared heater because it’s a lot more efficient than its competitors. In fact, in side-by-side tests it’s been shown the DR968 delivers 60 percent more heat than most other 1,500 watt models.
It would be wrong to talk about the DR968 infrared heater without mentioning the blower. At 7 inches long it’s nearly twice the length of standard blowers. This allows it to generate much more pressure in order to move large volumes of air at low speeds. It’s why it has a super quiet noise level of 39 decibels. Don’t pay too much attention to the fan speed when you switch between high and low settings on any heater. High mode isn’t designed to produce ‘faster’ heat, but it will give you ‘more’ heat.
Please Note: The best infrared heater will warm up rooms a lot quicker, but you have to take a lot more than the heater into consideration. Other variables like where it’s placed, floor plans, and the opening/closing of doors will affect things too.
LifeSmart Quartz Fireplace LS-IF1500-DOFP
Best infrared heater if you like traditional fireplaces.
- Dimensions: 24”L X 11”W X 20”H
- Heats 1000 sq. feet with 5100 BTU’s
- Features a Quakerstown dark oak cabinet and mantel
- Two levels of realistic fire glow
- Produces natural, quiet, and efficient infrared heat
If the number one thing you care about is style you shouldn’t need to look any further than the LifeSmart LS-IF1500-DOFP infrared quartz fireplace. Every other model pales in comparison when it comes to beauty. It will look like a real log fireplace when it’s sitting in your living room. There are two levels of realistic fire glow allowing you to mix things up. At 24 x 11 x 20 inches in size it’s large enough to look real too.
Unfortunately, the size also means it’s nearly twice as heavy as most models we’ve looked at today. It’s not the best infrared heater when it comes to weight, but don’t forget it’s still only 40 pounds. You’ll get E-Z glide casters to help you move it from room to room fairly easily.
How Infrared Heaters Work
Do you have any idea how infrared heaters actually work? The reason I ask is because they’re often completely misunderstood. Everyone seems to think it’s some breathtaking new technology we’ve only just gotten our hands on. It’s probably because products like infrared saunas have only hit the mainstream in recent years. In reality, you’ll be surprised to know radiated heat is the oldest and most basic form of heat our ancestors knew about.
It’s the warmth you feel when you’re sitting outside in the middle of summer and the sun rays are hitting your skin. The campfire you sat around as a child would have radiated infrared heat. You’ll even generate radiant heat if you are warmer than the environment around you. The human body sits at a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you’ll know why cops on TV shows always find their targets using thermal imaging.
Interesting Fact: Do you remember your science teacher telling you infrared is part of the electromagnetic spectrum? It’s invisible to the naked eye, but William Herschel discovered it in the early 19th century. He knew it sat below red (the color we can see) on the spectrum. ‘Infra’ actually means ‘below’ in Latin, so infrared it would translate to ‘below red’.
Quartz Infrared Heaters
We’ve looked at lots of quartz heaters today, so let’s dig deeper to see how they work. If you looked inside the best infrared heater you would find a heating element wrapped inside a quartz tube. Before it gets too complicated, we’re going to look at each part individually and discuss what they do:
Heating Element – The heating element is designed to produce heat at a certain wavelength. It’s supposed to reach a very high intensity in order to heat the specific material used. When it reaches its peak it will be extremely hot.
Quartz Tube – The quartz tube actually plays a few different roles at once. It’s supposed to protect the heating element to ensure no harm comes to it. The escape of any convection heat will be quashed too. Most importantly, it will experience a huge build up of heat and once it hits the desired temperature it will be emitted out of it.
Now you need to understand a basic principle of heat transfer. Heat moves from hot spaces to cold spaces, which your infrared heater will do. Unfortunately, you might be fooled into thinking it’s blasted around the room once it’s emitted from the quartz tube. That isn’t how it works. Infrared energy only travels away from its heat source in parallel lines. If you’re having a hard time understanding this just think about how the sun works.
You’ll feel hot when you’re standing directly underneath it, but you’ll quickly cool down once you step into the shade. The best infrared heater will have specially designed reflectors positioned inside it to send the warm air directly into your path. Some will even have fans to help it along the way.
Interesting Fact: Did you know the infrared spectrum sits mostly outside the absorption spectrum of air? It’s the reason why radiant heat will only warm up people and objects. The air is hardly warmed up at all. This is the complete opposite to convection heat, which warms up the air first and foremost.
Electric Heaters vs. Gas Heaters
So far we’ve talked about how infrared heaters work, but we’ve not touched on how they’re powered. If you’ve examined the models we looked at earlier on you’ll notice they’re all electric infrared heaters. You can buy models that use natural gas or liquid propane too, but if you want the best infrared heater you should avoid them. We’re going to discuss a few good reasons why electric models will always come out on top:
Electric Heaters Are A Lot Safer – When you own a gas heater you have to be aware of the 2 Fs. Flames and fumes take the danger to an entirely new level. We’ve already looked at accident stats high enough to scare the bravest people in the world. You don’t want to increase your chances of something disastrous happening.
Propane Gas Heater | Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy
You’ll Have A Lot More Freedom – The heaviest infrared heater we looked at today was 40 pounds. The majority of them were around the 20 pound mark. Your heater will be light and it will give you the freedom to move it around as you please. If you decide to buy a gas infrared heater it will take away some of that freedom.
Natural gas heaters will need to be attached to a pipe, which means you’ll probably be hanging it on the wall. Even if you buy a model that uses liquid propane tanks you’ll need to find a place to keep them out of sight. It’s not easy unless you hook your heater up to a little one.
Please Note: Some people do prefer to buy gas models when they’re hanging their heater in a fixed position. If you’re one of them look for a model with approximately 5,100 BTUs. This is about equal to a 1,500 watt electric heater.
They’re Much Easier To Maintain – It’s tough to maintain a gas heater, especially if you value your time. How much does it cost you to reach over to the outlet and plug something in? Now compare that to the time you’ll need to spend taking your gas bottles to be refilled on a regular basis. Even if you have a natural gas model you’ll need to hire a heating engineer to check everything on an annual basis. When you own an electric model the best infrared heater will require almost zero maintenance.
It’s Better For The Environment – We’ve already touched on the fumes you’ll create, so it’s pointless dwelling on it any longer. Just realize they’re bad for the environment and electric radiant heaters don’t release any toxic emissions.
They’ll Have A Longer Lifespan – You know an electric heating element lasts around 25,000 hours. In fact, one of the models we looked at today will last up to 80,000 hours. The reason they last this long is because they have zero (or nearly zero) moving parts. Gas infrared heaters are the exact opposite and they’ll last nowhere near as long.
Advantages Of Infrared Heaters
It’s now safe to assume you know how infrared heaters work. Although it’s important you know what you’re buying, you’ll also want to know why you should stay away from traditional convection heaters. The only way we’ll be able to do that is by discussing the main advantages infrared heaters offer you. We’ll discuss the ones you’ll want to know about in more detail right now:
Please Note: We’ve already touched on a few massive benefits. The biggest ones being energy efficiency and the speed in which they can heat up rooms. We won’t be touching on advantages that have been covered in-depth.
Infrared Heat Is Good For Your Health – When the best infrared heater is in full swing it won’t suck any moisture out of the air. The same can’t be said for convection heaters. This is a crucial feature to take into consideration because it will have ramifications on your health. When there is no moisture in the air it will dry out your skin and sinuses.
When there is humidity in the air you won’t run into these problems. Also, infrared heaters don’t just prevent health complications. They’re proactive in keeping you healthy too. For example, when your heater is switched on it will promote better blood circulation. You’ll get the benefits of UV radiation from natural sunlight without the dangers that come with it.
Safety Tip: Your infrared heater won’t remove the humidity from the air, which doesn’t mean it’s designed to be used in damp spaces. Humid basements and bathrooms are danger zones. Never go near your heater when you’re wet. If you do need a heater for your basement or bathroom turn towards one with a GFCI plug.
The Noise Levels Are Usually Bearable – Some of the best infrared heaters don’t make any noise, but lots of modern models will have blowers in them. It’s because manufacturers want to build safe heaters that are cool to touch, so they need fans to disperse the warm air. Luckily, they’re still almost silent compared to other models.
Your Room Will Cool Down Instantly – The best infrared heater can warm up large rooms quickly, but it can do the exact opposite too. Remember, the heaters only warm up people/objects and have almost no impact on the air. It means once you’ve switched your heater off the room will cool down straight away. If you want it to stay a bit warmer for longer you can use the built-in timer.
Safety Tip: The only reason infrared heaters can warm up people and objects quickly is because they produce a great deal of heat. It’s why you should always keep things like furniture, rugs, and curtains roughly 3 feet away from them at all times.
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