5,200 BTU heater warms up to 1,000 square feet. Patent-pending 3D flame effect with adjustable color, brightness, speed. Infrared quartz heat helps maintain natural humidity. Overheat protection. Adjustable digital thermostat. Durable, attractive. Remote control. Light, easy to move from room to room. Puts off a lot of heat but doesn't get hot to the touch.
Remote does not allow you to change heat settings. The controls are on/off only.
Has a remote, or you can control it through their WiFi-enabled app. Can use it as a standing heater or mount it to the wall. 1,500 watts. Ships with feet, mounting hardware, and a level.
Some reports of this heater arriving broken or missing parts.
Efficiently transfers heat using dual infrared quartz and PTC heating. Auto, low, and high settings. Tip-over protection and overheat protection. 12-hour automatic shut-off timer. IR Remote Control. Range of 50 to 86 degrees. Caster wheels. Lifetime filter. Cool to the touch. Attractive.
Unit itself does not get hot to the touch, but the metal grate at the front does.
Features three power modes, including an eco mode to save on electricity. Has a programmable thermostat and a timer. Strong build. Ships with a full-featured remote.
Not as powerful as other heaters. Loud beep when pushing buttons cannot be disabled.
Heats up to 600 square feet with Auto Overheat Cut-Off Protection. Temperature range 45 to 95°F. Comes with thermostat control. 5,600 watts. Heats up chilly garage to comfortable temperature quickly.
Only uses a 220V plug, not a standard outlet.
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Conventional space heaters take a while to warm up, and they can be noisy and temperamental. Infrared heaters, on the other hand, work almost immediately because they heat the objects and the people inside the room instead of just the air itself. This makes them more efficient and also much quieter than traditional space heaters.
That doesn’t mean that all infrared heaters are better than all traditional space heaters, however. The value of a good infrared heater largely comes down to the quality of the workmanship, the features, and the price.
Here’s a detailed guide to walk you through the important considerations when choosing an infrared heater.
Infrared heater coils become very hot, and this can be dangerous, especially in households with small children and pets who may not know to stay away from the heater. Fortunately, some newer infrared heaters are built within a cool-touch casing that doesn’t transfer heat. Many also include an auto shutoff feature that activates after a certain amount of time and a tip-over switch that automatically shuts off the heater if it falls over. If you plan to use your infrared heater often, it’s worth investing in a quality unit with these safety features.
If you plan to use your infrared heater indoors, you’ll want an electric heater. There are also propane and natural gas infrared heaters; these are not ideal for indoor use. However, they may be the more economical choice if you plan to use the heater on a patio or in a well-ventilated garage.
You can get a sense of how powerful an infrared heater is by checking its wattage. Infrared heaters range from about 300 watts on the low end to about 1,500 watts on the high end, with a higher number indicating a more powerful heater. It may be tempting to purchase a really powerful unit, but in addition to the higher price tag, you must also account for the higher electric bill that will accompany it. If you’re concerned about operational costs, stick with a unit that is just powerful enough for your needs and no more.
A little powerhouse
The Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater features a 12-hour timer and adjustable temperature controls. Though it has a blower fan, the unit is surprisingly quiet and can cover a large area. At just 24 pounds, this unit is lightweight, and the caster wheels make it easily portable. The heater stays cool to the touch and it has overheat protection, so it automatically shuts off if it becomes too warm.
Some infrared heaters have an adjustable thermostat so you can decide precisely how warm you want the room to be. The heater automatically detects when the room has fallen below your target temperature and starts up accordingly. When it reaches your preferred temperature, it shuts off again.
Wheels are especially important if you’re purchasing a larger infrared heater because they make it easier to move the heater. Swiveling wheels usually work the best because they can quickly move in any direction.
Some infrared heaters double as air purifiers. They remove dust, bacteria, and other debris from the air and return clean air to the room. A multifunctional heater is a great choice if you are also considering an air purifier, but take note that there may be additional maintenance requirements for these units in order to keep the air purifier working properly.
A few infrared heaters also claim to function as humidifiers, though these do not always work as well as some customers had hoped. If humidification is important to you, do your research on infrared heater/humidifier combos to verify that the model you’re interested in can do the job. Otherwise, you may want to purchase a separate humidifier.
Infrared heaters are costly, so the majority of them include warranties. If a product breaks down within the first few months or years of ownership, the company may pay to repair or replace it at no cost to you. Most units offer a one-year warranty; the best will have a two-year warranty or longer.
Infrared heaters are largely directional, so they may not evenly disperse heat throughout a room.
Unlike conventional space heaters, infrared heaters don’t dry out the air.
Some infrared heaters come with a remote control. If you want to be able to adjust the heater without having to get up and walk to it, you may like this feature.
Infrared heaters can cost as little as $40 for a small, portable unit and as much as $200 (or more) for a high-end model that covers a large room. Cost varies depending on heat output and other features. For a simple model with no bells and whistles, you could probably get by spending less than $100.
On the other hand, if you want a top-of-the-line infrared heater that doubles as an air purifier and humidifier, you should expect to pay at least $150. A dependable mid-range model will run between about $100 and $150. These may not have all of the extras that high-end models do, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one with an adjustable thermostat, solid safety features, and a warranty.
Don’t plug your infrared heater into an extension cord. This is a fire hazard. Instead, plug the unit directly into an outlet.
Some larger infrared heaters may overload standard 15-amp circuits. Read the owner’s manual to see if your heater has any specific power requirements.
Clear the area around your infrared heater so the heat disperses evenly throughout the space. Keep items a fair distance from the heater, too — this applies to flammable items in particular. The heat generated by an infrared heater could cause these items to combust.
There were some great infrared heaters that caught our eye during research, although they didn’t quite make our top five. One of these is the LifeSmart 6 Element Infrared Heater with Remote. This sleek unit has three heat settings, a built-in 12-hour timer, and a remote so you can adjust the heater from a distance. It’s a solid budget pick, especially when you consider how powerful the unit is. It also has an eco setting if you’re concerned about electricity consumption.
For those who don’t want to worry about their electric bill, the Dyna-Glo 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Infrared Wall Heater might be a better fit. This heater is an excellent choice for a garage or outdoor space, and it can serve as a nice backup if you lose power. It has a built-in oxygen depletion sensor so it will automatically shut off if it senses carbon monoxide building up in the room.
Q. Can I plug an infrared heater into a power strip?
A. No. Infrared heaters should never be plugged into power strips or extension cords. Instead, plug yours directly into a grounded outlet. Check your owner’s manual for details on specific power requirements for your heater.
Q. What kind of maintenance does my infrared heater require?
A. Infrared heaters don’t require a lot of maintenance, but if yours doubles as an air purifier, you may need to periodically change or wash the filters in order to keep the purifier functioning at an optimal level. See your owner’s manual for more details.
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