Updated: November 2017

Best Infrared Heaters - Infrared Heater Review

How Infrared Heaters Work - Are they the best for your heating needs?
On the electromagnetic spectrum, infrared light lies between visible light and microwaves. They are invisible and have a range of wavelengths. Near infrared has shorter wavelengths and is closer on the spectrum to visible light while far infrared has longer wavelengths and is closer to microwaves. Near infrared waves are used by things like remote controls and other household devices, as well as medical scanning equipment. Those on the other side of the spectrum are thermal waves - heat. When we feel the sun or warmth from a fire, we are feeling far infrared waves. This is the premise behind infrared heaters. We feel the light when our skin absorbs the infrared light. There are different types of infrared heaters, with different power sources and specifications. What should you know about infrared heaters and how can you pick the right one for your needs? Read on so you can stay warm.

infrared heaters

The Best Infrared Heaters: Why They are Beneficial

As the price of heating fuel continues to rise, heating homes in the winter can be a huge financial burden. If you want to conserve fuel and keep your furnace from running constantly, you may cringe at the thought of heat being pumped into rooms you rarely use or that can be a bit cooler, like bedrooms or pantries.

This is where infrared heaters come in handy. Portable heaters are great if you want to instantly warm a room without cranking up your thermostat. For instance, if your family regularly spends the evening gathered in the living room, why heat the house to a toasty 70? You can turn down your thermostat and place a small heater in the room with you. It provides enough warmth for that room, while keeping your energy consumption way down. You can heat an average size room easily with a small unit. Infrared heaters are different from traditional ones in that they warm objects (including you!) that are being hit with the infrared rays - or radiation (don't worry, it's good radiation). Other heaters heat the air, which then circulates throughout the room. Infrared is, therefore, much more efficient because it is warming what you really want warmed. Would you rather the air be warm or you? Other advantages of infrared heaters:
  • low maintenance - no moving parts, no motors, no filters
  • safety - no combustion or gases, no open flames, not hot to the touch
  • quiet - no fans, no moving parts
  • fast - you get instant heat with infrared
  • better winter humidity - doesn't dry out the air like convection heaters

When to Use an Infrared Heater

A small heater that uses far infrared rays can be an enormous help in any number of situations. You can turn it on to warm the room while you dress in the morning. You can heat a room in which your family spends the most time. You can add heat to a bedroom on especially cold nights. You can turn it on before you walk too far on freezing tile. Place one in your garage while you do projects or in a room that has a door with frequent traffic. While they do not heat an entire home, they are terrific at providing specific heating solutions without driving up your energy bill. You won't have to see the oil delivery truck quite as often. View a variety of infrared heaters for all budgets. We'll see some of the most popular models below.

Infrared Electric Heaters

There are electric, natural gas, and propane heaters that use infrared light. Which should you choose? Here is a rundown of each type, as well as some product suggestions, to help you decide.

Electric infrared heaters work by heating a filament or coil. This is protected by a quartz glass tube. As it warms, it becomes the primary source of heat. The heat is then transferred to nearby objects rather than the air. It uses electricity as its power source, surprise, surprise. When choosing an electric heater, you will want to look at the wattage and BTUs. The watts measure the rate of energy consumption, while the BTU rating indicates the heating capacity. The higher the BTUs, the more heat you can expect. Your choice will depend on the size of the room in which it will be used, the level of insulation you have in that room, the ceiling height, and the heat increase you want. For instance, if you want to heat a room that measures 10' x 16', with average insulation and an eight-foot ceiling by five to ten degrees, you will need a unit that has at least 2800 BTUs and uses about 800 watts. Smaller rooms will need less of each, while larger rooms will require more. Good choices include:

The Soleus HGW-308r. This is an ultra-thin panel heater that heats a room instantly and quietly. It has an energy-saving mode, overheat protection, low temperature surface, fall-down safety switch, and uses an eco-friendly 1000watts/1500watts. It is also wallet-friendly at less than $100. This customer tidily sums it up:
"Works fine...used in room w/north-east-west exposure and five windows. Now the room is comfortable and my electric bill is LESS than expected. I would recommend for those hard to heat areas in winter."

When was the last time you could say your electric bill was less than expected? If you're looking for something more powerful, the EdenPURE line of heaters are a good choice. Most of their models cost closer to $300 but are designed to heat spaces up to 1000 sf.

Infrared Propane Heaters and Natural Gas Heaters

Propane and gas heaters are great for those areas where power goes out frequently. If you get hit with a midwinter storm, at least you can be warm and cozy because they do not require electricity. These two gasses are also the cleanest burning fossil fuels. Your best option for propane is the Procom Vent-Free Blue Flame Model #ML100TBA. This is great for your home and requires no vent or chimney. There is an oxygen depletion sensor, push-button start, complete automatic shutdown, and a wall mount option. It can be found on Amazon for about $150. You can even go with a smaller Procom model, like the ML100HPH, because they heat so effectively. For a gas heater, try the Desa International GWRN10 Infra-Red. It has two heating levels and a host of safety features. At around $100, it is a good home heating choice.

To ensure that you get the heater that meets your needs, know the size of your room and how good the insulation is. You can then pinpoint products with enough power to supply the right amount of heat. In addition to the models mentioned, Amazon carries a wide range of infrared and other heaters so you can see what all the best-selling heaters are.