One of the most efficient and effective methods of heating is the process by which the sun heats the earth. The sun produces high intensity infrared rays which heat objects on the planet as they come in contact with them.
While breezes and wind may help carry the warmth, that typically comes from the heat being emitted by the objects, not the infrared rays being produced by the sun. In order to mimic this heating method, manufacturers refined the infrared technology in order to create radiant heaters.
Ranging from small, portable units, to large permanent fixtures, he different types of infrared radiant heaters provide all the benefits of the sun on a warm day, even in the middle of winter.
What Are The Benefits Of An Infrared Radiant Heater?
One of the primary benefits of using an infrared radiant heater is the almost immediate results you can achieve once the device is powered on. Typical convection heaters work by heating the air in the room, gradually pulling cooler air in and releasing it at an increased temperature.
While this method is effective, it can be extremely time consuming, particularly in larger rooms.
Infrared heaters, on the other hand, work by heating the objects in front of them, not the air. Because of this, as soon as the heater is turned on, its heating effects can be felt, typically reaching maximum efficiency in a matter of minutes.
Portable radiant heaters also offer the advantage of being able to be used outdoors. With a typical convection heater, the slightest breeze can cause the warm air being produced by the unit to be dissipated, greatly reducing the effectiveness of the device.
A portable radiant heater, on the other hand, is not affected by wind movement, as the infrared rays being emitted from it cannot be manipulated away from their intended target. Because of this, radiant heaters are much more versatile than convection heaters for a range of outdoor applications.
Finally, radiant heaters, if used properly, are much more cost effective than traditional convection heaters. Since they take less time to be effective, the amount of time they need to be run is decreased.
Portable heaters can also be moved from room to room with ease, particularly since they don’t require time to warm up when being placed into a new room.
Radiant heaters do have their disadvantages as well. They are designed to heat objects within their line of sight. This means that a person sitting to the side of an electric radiant heater will not feel the benefits of the unit the same way the person sitting directly in front of it will.
Their heating pattern is very directed and, therefore, somewhat restricted. They tend to work best in somewhat open floor plans which eliminate or reduce the number of items that may reside in the heater’s line of sight in front of the person desiring the full effect of the unit.
Electric radiant heaters also tend to work best in smaller areas and within close proximity. The larger a room is or the further away from the heater you are, the less benefit you will feel from the heat source.
Since convection heaters rely on air movement, they are typically not affected by obstacles that may block their paths. Their ability to heat the air, as opposed to simply the objects in a room, makes them less affected by the layout of the room itself and allows the benefits of their heat to reach objects to the side of the unit and behind the unit, as long as there is sufficient airflow in those areas.
Where Are Radiant Heaters Most Often Used?
Some of the most obvious uses for radiant heaters are in outdoor environments. They are commonly found in large warehouses, loading docks, and sporting arenas where heat is needed more for the people directly in front of or below the heater, regardless of wind movement in the area.
These types of radiant heaters often resemble large rectangular overhead light fixtures which are suspended from the ceiling.
Radiant heaters are also used by event planners for outdoor events such as weddings, parties, or catered occasions. These can come in the form of large tower heaters, sometimes resembling metal umbrella like devices, designed for providing heat to gatherings of people around them.
They can also be found in small table top models, ideal for outdoor dining events when placed at individual tables.
For residential use, radiant heating technology can be used for portable devices, able to be used indoors or outdoors and moved from room to room as needed.
They can also be found built into the walls and floors of the home itself. Ideal for wood and ceramic floors, radiant technology allows a home to be heated in a much more efficient manner, focusing the energy on the surface areas a homeowner would come into contact with the most.
When used in this manner, the radiant heaters will also heat the room itself to some degree, much like the objects heated by the sun will effect the temperature of the surrounding area.