Advantages and Disadvantages of Infrared Heating

Infrared heating—first used in the 1930s—is still actively used as a heating source for people across the world. Supplying heat by electromagnetic radiation, infrared heating has many advantages, as well as a few notable disadvantages.

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Infrared heater on awning.

Variety

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Cylinder shape infrared heater.

Infrared heaters come in various shapes, sizes and types. They also run off of a variety of fuel sources, such as electricity, propane and natural gas. This variety makes infrared heaters very common throughout the world.

Portability

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Portable heater.

Some infrared heaters are small and portable and can be placed within rooms and moved where needed.

Environment

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Electrical plug.

Most infrared heaters consume very little electricity to operate, especially when compared to central air heaters. Those that run on gas don't release any by-product gases into the environment.

No Pumping

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Close up of a heater.

Unlike air-source heat pumps, infrared heaters create very little noise since they don't pump air. They are also more reliable than air-source heat pumps, which are prone to not always working effectively during the winter.

Home Heating

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Electric heater on the floor, heats just one room.

A downside to infrared heating is that they only provide direct radiation to objects within the room that the heater is in, unlike central air heaters, which heat all the rooms in a house equally. This means that infrared heating is not particularly useful for heating entire homes or large buildings.