Are you looking for an alternative way to heat your home? If so, infrared heating is an option that you may want to consider. These days, infrared space heaters are seeing increased usage in homes across the country as people realize their efficiency compared to traditional methods of heating.
You might be wondering how exactly an infrared heater works. Heat, as you may have learned in one of your science classes, is transferred in one of three ways, either through conduction, convection, or radiation.
- Conduction – Conduction refers to heat transfer that takes place when two surfaces come in direct contact with each other, such as when the skin on your hand touches a hot stove. Conduction is known as a direct form of heat transfer: heat moves between two objects without going through an intermediary.
- Convection – Heat transfer can also take place indirectly in a process known as convection, where objects either gain or lose heat through the circulation of air. Traditional heaters work in this manner.
- Radiation – Radiation, the last method of heat transfer, occurs when heat energy moves between objects in the form of electromagnetic waves. Like conduction, it is a direct form of heat transfer. You can see a prime example of radiation at work every time you cook something in a microwave oven.
Like microwaves, infrared waves are another kind of electromagnetic radiation, nestled in between microwaves and visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum. And as you might be able to guess, they form the underlying mechanism through which an infrared space heater is able to warm up your room on a freezing winter night. Despite their intense, sophisticated sounding name, infrared waves are actually a relatively low-energy form of electromagnetic radiation, weaker than visible light. For the purpose of heating a home, this is a good thing as we are only trying to raise the temperature by a few dozen degrees at most, not a few hundred or a few thousand.
Because of the way they work, infrared heaters have several advantages over traditional heaters.
- First, since infrared heaters rely on radiation as the method of heat transfer, they do not raise the temperature of your home simply by warming the air in the room. Instead, they emit infrared radiation that warms objects directly, which eliminates the need to turn the heater on in advance and prevents the air from drying.
- Also, infrared waves will radiate all throughout the room, allowing heat to be distributed more widely than it would be by a traditional heater.
- Furthermore, infrared heaters work silently, without the need for any kind of fire. Compared to something like a wood burning heater, not only does an infrared heater allow for a quieter, more peaceful home environment, it also creates less pollution and requires lower energy consumption.
As you can see, infrared heaters are a great option for heating your home. While a little more expensive than traditional heaters, they are actually more cost-effective in the long run due to their superior efficiency.