Best Infrared Heaters

Holmes Quartz Tower Heater
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Summary

A real infrared heater, unlike most of the competition out there. Meaning it gives out more than 50% of the heat as infrared saving you substantial amount of money on electric bills. It's reliable and sturdy

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How can I heat my house cheaper and faster while helping the environment? There is a simple answer to our age-old problem, infrared heaters. Infrared heaters can heat you instantly while saving you money in the process by wasting less electricity compared to an electric heater. We tested 35 infrared heaters in the market, we reviewed our winners from last year, After hundred’s hours of research and testing and comparing the stats to our best infrared of 2016 we decided that our winner for 2017 is Holmes Quartz Tower Heater, the Best Infrared heater for small rooms and large rooms.  They are great for office space heating as well.  For garage and for the patio you should go with a better and more expensive option Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy.

Table of Contents


Best infrared Heater for small rooms and office spaces

Holmes Quartz Tower Heater

The company is owned by Sunbeam, an industry giant with 120 of history. Holmes Group was purchased by Sunbeam in 2005. They make the best infrared heaters on the market. It’s not a few year old company like the most of the competition out there. Holmes Quartz Tower Heater will instantly heat you and your loved ones upon turning on the heater.

It’s a real infrared heater, unlike most of the competition out there. Meaning it gives out more than 50% of the heat as infrared. You won’t waste money heating the air inside the room, you will only heat object on the direct line of sight. It’s reliable and sturdy, it does have a fan to keep the components cold. It has roll-over and over-heat protection, meaning if someone trips over the heater, it will turn off. It has a 2 heat setting for 750 and 1500 watts.

During our testing 750 watt setting was more than enough to heat an object on the far corner of a small sized room, 6 feet away from the heater. The 1500 Watts setting was good enough to heat an object 10 feet away from the heater. It does include a fan but, this is not convention heater, meaning it won’t use the fan to push the air into the room. It is not designed to be used in bedrooms. Product dimensions are  14 x 10 x 24.6 inches, It easy to carry around, only weights 8 pounds. It comes with a 6 feet cord.

You have to purchase a heavy duty extension cord if you plan on using it with an extension. This is also the best budget infrared heater option out there. We advise you to purchase and Lux Win 100 smart thermostat if you are going to use the heater when you are not there.

It does include a fan but, this is not convention heater, meaning it won’t use the fan to push the air into the room. It is not designed to be used in bedrooms while you sleep. Product dimensions are  14 x 10 x 24.6 inches, It easy to carry around, only weights 8 pounds. It comes with a 6 feet cord. You have to purchase a heavy duty extension cord if you plan on using it with an extension. This is also the best budget infrared heater option out there. We advise you to purchase and Lux Win 100 smart thermostat if you are going to use the heater when you are not in your home.

According to customers on Amazon radiant heat does not dry eyes or skin. The convenient elongated shape fits next to a chair in small rooms or cubicles. This makes the Holmes Quartz Tower Heater best-infrared heater for small rooms and office spaces. The only negative we can tell you about this heater it makes a small noise because it has a fan in it. But it makes same amount of sound compare to other infrared heaters.

Who is our Expert

ralphkinney

HVAC Expert Ralph Kinney

Hi, my name is Ralph Kinney. I have worked with Heating systems for over 40 years, as a residential HVAC professional from 1976 to 1989 in Santa Monica California and as a US government contractor from 1989 to 2011. I worked on all sizes of residential and commercial repair and replacement jobs, and I have been a freelance writer and contributor about HVAC installation and repair costs for the last 5 years.

My company repaired and serviced most the furnace brands. To name a few: Bryant, Amana, Goodman, Coleman, Trane, American Standard, Rheem, Day & Night, Lennox, Heil, Carrier, Ruud, Daiken and much more. You will gain from my experience since I have been studying the heating industry for most of life at the highest level. I have sold and replaced thousands Heating systems in my lifetime. You will be guided be someone who has tested and analyzed the industry brands for the last 20 years. My reviews, marketing essays, history pieces, and industry analysis research about HVAC related products have been helping consumers around the world to lower their energy bill.

How we tested

We used two different houses for testing, a new 3,500 square feet house with wooden storm windows with high insulation and a 2,400 square feet 60-year-old house with average insulation.

11 different brands and 35 infrared heaters were tested during our trials. We used  P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor to measure the electricity consumption. To measure the temperature produced by the heaters we used Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer. 

We tested if these are really infrared heaters by testing the amount of heat produced instantly vs long term. Most of the “infrared” marketed heaters turned out to be just convection electric heaters with false advertising.

We used a free smartphone app to measure the decibels of the heaters called Sound Meter.

Energy consumption measured by using the Department of Energy Test procedures published on energy.gov in April 2012 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 10, Appendix N to Subpart B of Part 430, established under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

What is an infrared heater or radiant heater?

 

An infrared heater is a heating device that transfers most of the heat in infrared form. It uses infrared light to transfer more than 50% of heat from heat source to a colder object in the line of sight. According to Wikipedia “An infrared heater or heat lamp is a body with a higher temperature which transfers energy to a body with a lower temperature through electromagnetic radiation.” This information is not correct because according to this definition all the object on earth is infrared heaters.

What does the word infrared mean?

Many of us remember the word “infrared” from high school or college years. The word Infra means “below” so the word infrared mean below red.

Let’s talk about the science behind infrared heaters quickly. Infrared heaters also called radiant heater or heat lamps are nothing new. The sun is an infrared heater, for example, more than half the energy from Sun comes to Earth as infrared.

Light is much more than what we can see with our eyes. Our brain can only understand visible colors, from red to violet, also called visible spectrum. We cannot see colors below the red and above the violet color. But there is more to Light than just the visible colors. We call invisible colors below red infrared. Even though it’s sometimes invisible to our eyes, it still has energy in it, that’s why it gives out heat. Red light has the highest degree of temperature change.

How does an infrared heater work?

There are many different types of infrared heaters, but each works on the same principle, by using infrared light to transfer energy in form of heat. An electric infrared heater, heats an element, for example, tungsten, which gives out an infrared light when it’s hot. The infrared light then travels from the heat source to anything in the line of sight. When the light hits the surface of the objects in line of sight, it warms them up. Just like the way the sun heats our skin.

How does an infrared heater bulb conduct heat?

Heat lamps are commonly used in bathrooms to dry the bathroom after a shower, restaurants to keep the food warm or animal husbandry to keep the animals warm. Because it’s a very cheap alternative to keep things warm.

Infrared heater bulb is an incandescent light bulb, just like the ones we used a decade ago. It’s usually covered with a red film to minimize the energy loss in the form of light. It emits infrared light to transfer heat from the heated wire (most commonly tungsten) to objects in line of sight.

Can infrared heaters heat a small house?

 

The simple answer is yes; you can heat a house using infrared heaters. People have been using infrared panels to heat their homes for decades.

Portable Infrared heaters is a cheaper alternative if you only have to heat one room in the house. They are also a great choice if you want one room warmer than the other ones.

What are different types of infrared heaters?

 

Infrared Heater types categorized by heat source

Heat Lamp Infrared Heater

They are the most common types of infrared heaters you will encounter in everyday life, they are typically used in a commercial application by numerous industries because of the cost effectiveness, for example, restaurants, rental apartment buildings, animal husbandry, automotive industry etc. Are heat lamps infrared? Yes, heat lamps are infrared.

 

Far-infrared Heater

They are most commonly used in space heaters in the world. Far-infrared heaters are usually rectangular shaped large ceramic panels like the picture below. They are very low temperature, so the infrared lights don’t heat the particles in the air when they travel. These Heaters are great for people with respiratory problems and allergies.

Quartz Infrared Heater

Quartz heaters, also known as halogen infrared heaters, use quartz instead of glass for lamps, hence the name quartz heaters.

The element quartz, also called silicon dioxide, is a common mineral with the crystal structure. It’s used in all kinds electronics from cell phones to televisions, watches, clocks etc. It heats resistant and very strong compared to other options.

Quartz lamps last much longer than regular lamps under high pressure.

So how does quartz infrared heater emit heat? By heating the quartz, crystal emits infrared light to heat objects in line of sight. Usually, an electric resistant element used (for example tungsten) used in the lamp.

They are commonly used in portable heaters.

Ceramic infrared heater

Ceramics generally can withstand very high temperatures. When you don’t need a light source along with your heater, ceramic is a great choice as an infrared light source. Since it can absorb the heat and at a very high ratio (%). They typically have an electric resistant wire inside to transfer the energy to ceramic.

Industrial uses are Thermoforming heaters, packaging paint curing, printing, and drying.

They are most commonly used in outdoor heaters and infrared saunas.

Infrared Tube Heater

Radiant tube gas-fired heaters used for industrial and commercial building space heating burn natural gas or propane to heat a steel emitter tube. Gas passing through a control valve flows through a cup burner or a venturi. The combustion product gasses heat the emitter tube. As the tube heats, radiant energy from the tube strikes floors and other objects in the area, warming them

What are the benefits of infrared heaters?

 

1-Reduced Energy Consumption

 

Are Infrared heaters more energy efficient?

 

Independent studies by United States Army and Utility companies have confirmed fuel savings of 20% to 50% when compared to a warm air system in large areas with inefficient isolation. According to EPA Radiant heaters are more efficient compared to other portable heaters if you are using the room for a few hours. You will only be heating the person instead of the air inside the room. But they are no more efficient than Heat Pumps for example.

 

All electric heaters are exactly 100% efficient. All the electric energy that goes into them comes out as heat. The differences are about noise, heat distribution pattern, reliability, and safety, but all electric resistance heaters have the same efficiency.

 

Depending on the cost of electricity where you live an infrared heater might be cheaper. Compared convection heaters, heaters that heat the air and that uses a fan, radiant heater are more efficient if you stay in the line of sight of the heater. They are also more efficient if you need to heat the room very fast and stay for a short amount of time since you are not wasting energy heating the air before you heat yourself.

 

Will you save by supplementing central heating with an in-space heater?

 

The energy efficiency of in-space heaters is more a function of their ability to deliver heating when and where it is needed, rather than merely the conversion efficiency of fuel to heat (AFUE). Energy savings from in-space heaters are derived from only heating the rooms you occupy regularly and allowing you to lower your thermostat. If your central heating system is an electric furnace, it is almost certain you will save money by using infrared heaters. However, if you have a large family and need more than three in space heaters operating at one time, a central heating system may be as cost effective as using space heaters.

How much does it cost to run a 1500-watt infrared heater?

 

According to United States Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity is 12.75 Cents per Kilowatt-hour in the United States (Data from Feb 2017). You can check your current electric bill or EPI website for the cost of electricity in your state at the moment.

The formula is very simple. Price per Kilowatt-hour Times Kilowatt energy consumption of the device. You can borrow portable energy meters from public libraries.

The cost comes to 12.75 X 1.5 = 19.125 cents per hour. So if you run your heater Non- stop for 24 hours it will cost 4.59 dollars a day. If you run it for a whole month, it will cost 137 dollars a month. But you will never run these infrared heaters 24/7, they are not meant for that. You should never keep one on when you are sleeping or in your bedroom. You should not sit in front an infrared heater longer than 8 hours a day for a month due to health concerns. It’s not good for your skin, just like it’s not healthy to standing under direct sunlight 8 hours a day for a month.

 

2-Increased Comfort Levels

 

Infrared heating allows the source of the heat to begin at the floor zone, not the ceiling, oftentimes allowing the thermostat to be set five degrees’ Fahrenheit lower than with a hot air system. Especially for outdoors and rooms with bad isolation, radiant heaters will heat you better.

 

3-Quicker recovery

Infrared energy provides a quick and effective solution to areas subject to periodic high air changes, in other words, Infrared Heaters Work Instantly.

 

 

4-Flexibility

 

Infrared heaters can be located where heat is needed most rather than wasting energy by heating unoccupied areas. They are versatile heating method effective for a wide variety of hard to heat applications. They’ve proven successful in areas of high air infiltration buildings with high ceilings or where spot heating is preferred

 

 

5-Indoor air quality

 

Infrared heaters do not rely on air currents to transfer heat, hence the circulation of dust and debris is minimized. Since it does not heat the air directly, it will create

What is the difference between radiant and infrared heater?

There is no difference between a radiant and infrared heater. An infrared heater is a radiant heater. Radiant means sending out light, infrared is the type of light a radiant heater emits. For example, a Heat lamp at a restaurant to keep the food warm is an infrared heater, because it’s radiant. An oil heater, on the other hand, is not an infrared or radiant heater because it’s not transferring more than 50% of the heat in light form.

What is a Btu?

One Btu is the heat created by burning a single match. Heating capacity in British thermal units per hour (i.e., the amount of energy needed to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit).

How much Btu needed to heat a medium sized room?

A 1500 W Electric Heater will put out the same 5119.5 BTUs. Most portable electric heaters, such as electric quartz heater, generate up to 5,000 Btu per hour, because it’s the maximum allowed by industry safety standards. This is enough heat to warm mid-sized rooms.

How to find a quite fan by using Noise Rating called “sones”?

When you purchase a space heater with a Fan, you should check out the noise rating of the fan, because they can be noisy or very quiet. You should try to find one with a noise rating of 1.5 sones or less. Anything over 4 sones is too loud. Ideally, you should purchase an infrared heater without a fan.

Infrared heater Safety Usage Tips

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using your portable electric heater.
  • DO NOT leave operating heater unattended and always unplug heater when not in use.
  • DO NOT use your heater with a power strip or extension cord. Overheating of a power strip or extension cord could result in a fire.
  • String out cords on top of area rugs or carpeting. Placing anything, including furniture, on top of the cord may damage it.

  • Keep combustible materials, such as furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes and curtains at least three feet from the front of the heater and away from the sides and rear. DO NOT block heater’s air intake or exhaust source.
  • Keep flammable materials away from the heater.
  • Unless the heater is designed for outdoor use or in bathrooms, DO NOT use in damp or wet areas. Parts in the heater may be damaged by moisture.
  • Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug does not fit snugly into the outlet or if the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. Check with a qualified electrician to replace the outlet.

  • Unplug the heater when not in use by pulling the plug straight out from the outlet. Inspect the heater’s cord periodically. DO NOT use a heater with a damaged cord.
  • DO NOT plug any other electrical device into the same outlet as your heater. This could result in overheating.
  • Heaters should be kept away from children and not be placed in a child’s room without supervision.
  • Place heater on a level, flat surface. Only use the heater on table tops when specified by the manufacturer. DO NOT place your heater on furniture. It could fall, be dislodging or breaking parts in the heater.

Myths and Lies about infrared Heaters.

Most of the so-called “infrared heaters” out there are fake. They are simply electric heaters with quartz tubes inside, heating the air as the air goes by. The whole point of infrared heaters is to heat the object in the line of sight, instead, these fake infrared heaters heat the air inside the room. From a scientific point of view, an infrared heater has to put out most of the heat in infrared form to the consumer. This is why an infrared heater can save you in heating costs up to 30% according to government testing.

If you have been paying close attention to the infrared market like we do, you will see that infrared heater companies have a very short lifespan. Most of the highest rated infrared heaters out there are very new to the market. Because this is a marketing scam, that has been going on since the 1920s as far as we can research from newspaper ads from the era.

Infrared heating is a very old technology, they are trying to make you believe that they can magically produce more BTU from the same amount of electricity. This is simply impossible due to the First Law of Thermodynamics.  The total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another but can be neither created nor destroyed.

Marketing an electric heater as an infrared heater is a lie, you can not save money and save the planet by using an electric heater to heat your home and loved ones.

Worst infrared Heaters

The whole infrared heater market is filled with these deceptive marketing practices. For example, the Dr Infrared brand claims to be an infrared heater but when you look at one you can see that there is no infrared heat source heating the object in the line of sight. Furthermore, when you open one up, you can see that there is a fan that circulates the air between the quartz tubes inside the heater, heating the air as it passes by. There is absolutely no instant heating or cost savings when you are using these box infrared heaters.

Convection Heater pretending to be infrared Heater in Action

So we gonna do this and name these brands as the worst infrared heaters: Dr Infrared, Edenpure, Duraflame, Lifesmart, Greenpeak, Homegear and any other Amish Box type of infrared heater is not a real infrared heater. These are all scams, stay away from them unless you want to buy an expensive electric heater, which is the most expensive way to heat your house.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing an infrared heater for a small room or office cubicle is a great way to save money on heating. Lowering your electric consumption will save you money and help you conserve the environment around you.

Resources

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a

Kenney, W.L., 1998. Physiological Responses to the Thermal Environment,
Encyclopaedia of occupational health and safety, Volume II, Ch42. Geneva:
International Labour Organisation

Incropera, F.P., and DeWitt, D.P., 1996. Introduction to Heat Transfer, 3rd ed. USA: John Wiley and Sons.

The Engineering Toolbox. Met Metabolic Rate [online] Available at <http:// www.engineeringtoolbox.com/met-metabolic-rate-d_733.html> [Accessed Date 02 February 2012]

International Standards Office, 2005. ISO 7730. Ergonomics of the thermal
environment – Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort
using calculation of the PMV and PPD indices and local thermal comfort criteria. Geneva: ISO.

Dimplex. Electric Heating Products [pdf] Available at <http:// dimplexheating.com/cms-staging/publications/Commercial_Catalogue_2011.pdf> [Accessed date 04 December 2011]

Sunjoy, 2006. Medicinal Effects of Far-Infrared Rays [online] Available at <http://www.sunjoy.co.kr/eng/product/far-infrared-heating.html> [Accessed Date 15 January 2012]

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