When you start talking about different kinds of heaters, it is easy to become confused. Between convection heaters and radiant heaters there are so many different types to chose from. It is common for individuals to wrongly assume that infrared and radiant heaters are two different types. However, infrared and radiant heat is fairly similar and these types of heaters are one in the same. Infrared or radiant heating is a type of heat energy that is transferred from an infrared radiant energy source.
In order to understand all the basics surrounding infrared or radiant heat, you should continue reading below:
Infrared or Radiant Heat Sources
Infrared or radiant heat can be produced from a variety of different sources. This means that it is a form of energy that can be given off from a infrared lamp, sunlight , electrical wire or even flame heat. This type of energy is then used by a heater to produce heat within a specified area. Radiant or infrared heaters rely on electromagnetic waves that are not visible by the human eye to create energy that has a warming effect.
Radiant or Infrared Heaters
This type of heater is so unique, because it is a lot different than traditional air heaters. Many people confuse the two terms for being completely different types, but infrared and radiant heaters are the same. Both infrared and radiant heaters work by sending out infrared radiation. The process of infrared radiation is very similar to the way that the sun transfers energy to the earth (info). This means that the energy is not absorbed by the air, but it moves through it instead.
Think of it in the way that you can become warmed by standing in the sun. Even if it is cool outside, you can still feel the warmth of the infrared energy produced by the sun. When you stand in the shade you can’t feel it as strongly, but when in direct sunlight it gives ff a warming effect. This is the same concept as to how a radiant heater works. This means that when infrared waves are produced and hit an object a few of the waves providing heat can be reflected, but most of the heat is absorbed.
How Infrared Energy is Absorbed by Surrounding Objects
The result is instantaneous and you will feel heat right away when sitting in front of a radiant heater. This means that once a radiant or infrared heater is turned to the on position the heat can be absorbed. The objects that become heated then give off their own infrared energy. Only objects that have the ability to absorb energy can be heated. Some materials are more prone to absorb infrared energy than others.
Design of Infrared or Radiant Heaters
Since some materials are more prone to heat faster tan others, the design of an infrared or radiant heater is critical. Color sensitivity has a huge part in the amount of energy that is absorbed. This means that color sensitivity should always be considered ad given importance when an infrared or radiant heating system is being designed.
Is Radiant or Infrared Heat the Right Choice?
When you have decided that an additional heating source is necessary, radiant or infrared heat is always a great option. This type of heater is so effective because it creates warmth right away. You do not have to wait long periods of time for the air in a space to be heated up. The objects and people in front of a radiant or infrared heater can start feeling the warmth right when it is turned on. Most infrared and radiant heaters begin working so quickly to produce heat that they reach their high level of intensity within just five minutes. This is so much faster than regular heaters.
How Do They Compare to Each Other?
It is important to not confuse radiant or infrared heaters in all types. This is because they are not the same in the way the heat is dispersed. Infrared space heaters are often much more expensive to purchase. Radiant heaters are designed to disperse heat using technology that radiates it in one direction mainly. This means that it is not ideal for heating large spaces. This is because the infrared energy will not heat the entire space. Infrared technology infused into a space heater has the ability to heat and entire room, because it does not rely on radiating the heat in one direction only. Infrared and radiant heat can be one in the same, but the way that this type of energy is infused into a heating system can vary. However, it is important to note that this type of heating source is always energy efficient if sued in a space that is small in size.