How do Infrared Heaters Work?

how infrared heaters workUnlike other types of heaters, infrared heats through objects. Other space heaters heat up the air and surrounding space while infrared heat goes through the actual objects and/or people, saving you time and money.

Infrared heat is immediate, so no need to wait for that warming period. Infrared is actually a wavelength, mimicking natural light. Yes, infrared heat is similar to the warmth the sun provides us. We can’t actually see it (it’s invisible to us) and you won’t feel any sort of breeze from it. Instead you will simple feel the warmth through you like you would on a hot summers day (fiy – you may need a cordless drill to install wall or ceiling mounted heaters).

We actually absorb these infrared rays (without the UV damage thankfully!) so the heat will pass through you. Other heating methods heat the air, so you need to heat the whole area constantly to feel that warmth. Ever have the feeling of cold hands even though the rooms hot? Try infrared heating and you’ll notice that doesn’t happen.

Types of Infrared Heaters

There are two main infrared heater types. These both use infrared light but use them in different ways.

Direct Infrared – This type of heater specifically points it’s light in on direction, allowing direct heat to an object or person in that location.

Indirect infrared – There are 3 parts to this one;

  1. Light bulb – This creates the infrared heat
  2. Heat exchanger – A metal conductor made from an good conductive material.
  3. Fan – Pushes the air over the heated conductive metal so it actually warms the air.


Infrared Heater Options

Like any sort of heater an infrared heater needs a power source. Infrared heaters come in various power sources, most commonly;

Propane – These heaters are created for outdoor use. Spaces such as the garage, patios, pool decks all can be heated efficiently with a propane infrared heater. They are also portable as long as you’re able to bring the fuel tank with it! Propane is often chosen for it’s efficient fuel usage and easy portability. There are a ton of great economical options for best garage heaters that use propane fuel sources.

Natural gas – Another great choice for any sort of outdoor use or a garage workshop. The natural gas infrared heater is a less expensive option than propane, so it is able to actually save you a large amount over the span of a winter season.

While both propane and natural gas heat very efficiently, they should be kept to outdoor use or a garage workshop, somewhere that doesn’t need constant heat and has a bit of ventilation. That being said, there is one awesome portable propane garage heater with enough safety features that it is suitable for indoor use without the need for ventilation.

Electric – Electric infrared heaters are great for indoor use – almost any room in the house or even a workshop heater.

They come in a variety or shapes and sizes – from portable to ceiling mounted. Some are wall mounted while others are large rectangular space heaters. These can be used outdoors but are generally less convenient. You’ll also need a spot to plug it in, so you might have to break out those extension chords for that planned winter BBQ.

Does an infrared heater seem right for your space? I suggest you take a look at the best infrared garage heater if you’re looking for any sort of infrared workshop heater.