For several years, infrared heaters, so in demand today, have turned into a product that is accessible to almost everyone. These devices are manufactured in many countries of Europe, as well as in China and Russia. When buying a heater, of course, I want it to not break and for many years please heat. We will try to find out where and how to choose infrared heaters, based on their structural features. To do this, let us consider in detail how these devices are arranged and how they work, as well as the criteria for their selection.

How to choose infrared heaters

Design features and operating principle of the infrared heater

These devices differ radically from convectors - they do not heat air, but objects in the room, including the floor and walls. In general, an infrared heater can be compared to a room sun - its radiation, like the sun's rays, penetrates the air, absolutely not warming it. But as soon as the beam reaches an object that does not transmit light, it immediately absorbs it, naturally, heating up at the same time.

Infrared waves have a long length - it is they that are perceived by our skin as heat coming from the sun's rays. We feel it, but we will never be able to see it. And these rays warm us, regardless of the winds and drafts - they are not a hindrance to them. In the same way, infrared heaters used in everyday life are not afraid of drafts - because the wavelength of their radiation is similar to the wavelength of the infrared spectrum of the Sun.

Not a single convector can heat a room instantly - because during its operation there is a constant movement of warm air up. That is, first of all, the space in the ceiling area is heated, and we are at the bottom, and while the air masses (warm and cold) mix, a lot of time passes. So you have to freeze all this time, waiting for a comfortable temperature in the room.

Convector operation principle
The movement of air masses during convection.

In the case of infrared heaters, everything is different - we begin to feel the heat from them immediately after turning on the device, but this heat is not felt in the whole room, but locally, that is, only in the place where the radiation occurs.

Heated by IR heater
The principle of heating with an infrared heater.

Inside the device there are no particularly ingenious elements. In the steel case, on which strong powder paint is applied, is a reflector made of aluminum. This reflector has the main structural element - heating. There are 4 varieties of these elements: halogen, carbon, ceramic and tubular (it is called ten).

Also in each infrared heater there is a thermostat for adjusting the temperature and a sensor that turns off the device when overheating. If the device is intended for installation on the floor, it is mandatory to be equipped with a rollover sensor.

Tips for choosing an infrared heater

Execution - ceiling, wall or floor?

So, how to choose infrared heaters for the home and which version will be preferable? It depends on the size of the room and on the conditions of use of the device. To begin with, we will determine whether we need a stationary device, or is it supposed to move the device from room to room.Mobile heaters are smaller and have little power, while stationary heaters are wall, ceiling and baseboards.

In general, the most convenient type of devices are ceiling ir heaters. They won’t take up too much space, and their radiation range is very extensive. There are models mounted in a suspended ceiling - built-in, and there are also those that are attached to the usual ceiling with special brackets - suspended. The distance to the surface of the housing from the ceiling is about 5 centimeters.

IR scattering
The principle of diffusion of rays from an infrared heater placed on the ceiling.

Low-power and not so effective floor-type heaters encounter more obstacles in the way of their radiation than ceiling ones. If you choose from them, it is better to dwell on a model with a carbon or tubular heating element. The ceramic heater does not last so long, so it is not very suitable. A halogen heating element emitting short waves, which can have a negative effect on a person, is completely unacceptable to use, since long-wave radiation is necessary for the normal operation of this device.

Wall mounted heaters should have some distance from the floor surface. If there are kids in the family, then the height of the heater is set so that the children do not reach the working device. If you need to put a heater under the window, choose a model with a plinth design - it fits perfectly into the window opening.

A little about wavelength and heating temperature

The heating elements located inside the IR heaters can have different lengths of emitted waves and different heating temperatures. They are as follows:

Emitters emitting long (ranging from 5.6 to 100 microns) waves. Their working temperature ranges from 100 to 600 degrees, they can be used in homes, and in offices, and in industrial premises, the ceilings of which are not higher than three meters. However, in the apartment there is plenty of a heater with an operating temperature of up to 120 degrees.

Medium waves (with a length of 2.5 to 5.6 microns) emit heating elements that heat more strongly - from 600 to 1000 degrees. In this case, the ceiling in the room should be from 3 to 6 meters. It can be, for example, a private house or an office building.

Short waves (0.74 to 2.5 microns) emit heating elements operating at temperatures from 100 degrees. There is already the required ceiling height - from 6 to 8 meters. Such ceilings can be in the factory or factory floor. In addition, heaters of this type can be used outdoors. At home, we do not recommend using them.

Choose the type of heating element

When deciding which infrared heater to choose, it must be borne in mind that they differ primarily in the shell in which the element emitting the waves is placed. This shell can be made of metal, ceramic or quartz.

Halogen heating element - is a halogen lamp that emits in the infrared range. Inside the lamp is a filament made of tungsten or carbon fiber. When the filament is heated, infrared energy is released and transferred to the lamp tube. All halogen lamps emit a golden light that can irritate the eyes, to combat this, some manufacturers cover the lamp with a special composition. But the main disadvantage of this heating element is that the halogen heating element emits short waves, and they can have a negative effect on humans. Therefore, in our opinion, it is better to abandon IR heaters equipped with such a heating element.

Halogen infrared heater
IR heater with a halogen heating element.

Carbon Heater Element - made in the form of a tube of quartz. Inside, a vacuum is created in it, in which there is a carbon (carbon) spiral.The advantages of this element are its very fast heating, as well as the fact that its efficiency exceeds the efficiency of a heated metal plate. However, there are drawbacks: they last only about two years, and they consume a lot of electricity - from one to two and a half kilowatts. They also glow with a reddish light that irritates the eyes. Also, do not use them for asthmatics and allergy sufferers. In short, this type of heater is suitable only for short-term operation - it is harmful to use them for a long time.

Carbon IR heater
IR heater with carbon heating element.

Ceramic heating element It is perfectly protected, therefore it does not glow during operation. And such an element has served for at least three years, only its price is higher than that of quartz. But it is quite economical, and its range of power consumption is from 50 to 2000 watts. This difference is due to structural features. Despite the fact that such heating elements do not warm up very quickly and cool down, they are often used in medical institutions and in saunas - because they are very durable.

Ceramic infrared heating element
IR ceramic heating element.

Tubular (mycothermal) metal element resembles a ceramic element in design, but costs more. Such heaters work well, they are quite reliable and convenient in everyday life. If you will not be annoyed by a slight crackle at work, then you can opt for a similar device. And it bursts because the coefficients of thermal expansion of the steel spiral and the aluminum casing are different. Nothing wrong with that. Choosing a heater of this type, check what characteristics the heater, emitter, case, foil and insulator have.

Micathermic IR heater
IR heaters with a tubular heating element encased in aluminum.

Questions to ask when buying an infrared heater:

  • When deciding how to choose the right infrared heater, first of all, you should inquire what thickness the anodizing layer has on the plate that emits infrared waves. If it will have a thickness of not less than 25 microns, then safe operation for 20 years is ensured. If this layer is thinner, then after three years you will have to say goodbye to the heater - it will burn. It is a pity that this parameter cannot be checked visually - when buying a device you have to rely only on the honesty of the seller.
  • The material of the heating element also matters. If it is ferrous metal, then where it is wet (for example, in the bathroom or sauna), the heater cannot be used. If stainless steel is used, then it is much better.
  • The thickness of the emitter foil must be at least 120 microns. If the foil is thinner, then, instead of heating the room, the rays will in vain heat the ceiling. It is simple to check the thickness of the foil - press on it with the ballpoint pen. If the foil hesitates or perforates, then it is not very high quality, not thicker than 100 microns. And at 120 microns, the hole cannot be made.

What power is optimal for an IR heater

For 10 square meters of a room, as a rule, 1 kilowatt (1000 W) of power is needed. But it is better to purchase a heater that has a margin of power (especially if other sources of heat are not provided). After all, you have to take into account heat loss through walls, floors and windows. When the heater is used as an addition to the existing heating system, the power is calculated in relation to the conditions of its operation. Here you also need to keep in mind heat loss.

In stores, you can find heaters having a capacity of only 300 watts. They are very convenient to use where you need to quickly and briefly warm up a room, for example, a basement or garage. Such devices will not cause much harm, so they may well work in close proximity to people.

If you need to choose infrared heaters for summer residence, keep in mind that summer houses do not need a high heating temperature - it will be enough to increase the temperature in it by only a few degrees. Therefore, it is quite possible to choose a heater based on the power rating of 60-80 watts per square meter. If it is very cold, these figures will have to be adjusted.

About the isolator

To prevent the heater from heating above 95 degrees, it has an insulator. They come in various types, of which the basalt insulator is considered the best and safest. Especially good if there are no additives in it. After all, these additives can harm human health - when heated, they serve as a source of toxic formaldehyde. The best option is when the heat insulator is allowed to be used in the food industry - this should be noted in the hygienic certificate (the seller must show it).

What should the heater body look like?

The case of the device should be made of material of proper quality - this will allow the heater to serve its owners for a long time. Previously, only steel was the material for its manufacture, but now there are cases made of aluminum. They are more beautiful and look modern, but steel cases, of course, are more reliable. Inspecting the device, look at the inside of the case - it usually does not have paint, which is quite natural. But the presence of rusty traces should alert you. This means that rust will gradually appear on the outside, which is not only ugly, but also shortens the life of the device.

Choose a manufacturer

As a rule, we want to purchase goods of such a brand that has shown itself in the most favorable light. Of course, you can buy goods from Europe, only it will cost a lot. In addition, it must be borne in mind that almost all large firms from Europe have factories in China, where the cheapest labor. Gradually, they begin to take components in the same place. Due to this, there is a loss of quality. Therefore, when choosing a manufacturer, pay attention to the country of manufacture.

Additional options

It will not be superfluous if the heater has:

  • built-in thermostat to maintain a constant temperature;
  • overheat protection sensor;
  • for desktops, a rollover protection sensor is desirable;
  • remote control, ceiling models are usually supplied with them, for others the availability depends on the model.

How to use an infrared heater

The easiest way to care for ceiling mounted devices is to periodically brush off the dust, and that’s all. As for the models of wall and floor type, the main rule is not to cover them from above with anything. Their front panel must be located no less than a meter away from sockets (which must have grounding) and any objects in the room. Where humidity is high, use devices whose protection class is not less than IP24.

Infrared radiation is not harmful to humans. It can be said that it even improves health. It’s just that you should not be in direct rays for a long time - you can get, like in the sun, heat stroke. And one more thing: if you warm the room with a heater with a power of 150 watts per square meter, you can not only weaken the immune system, but also damage the structure of protein molecules. It is best to use appliances with power from 60 to 100 watts per square meter.

Do not buy short-wave heaters - these waves can penetrate the body. Long waves are not dangerous, but such heaters must be strictly regulated in height, since the radiation of these waves is more intense, the smaller the distance to the irradiation area. Be sure to monitor your well-being when using IR heaters. If you feel uneasy, it is better to reduce the radiation power. The rule is this: several infrared heaters with low power are better, safer and more efficient than one, but powerful heater.

Table of technical characteristics and basic criteria for choosing infrared heaters

OptionsValuesRecommendations
Power From 100 to 9000 watts. It is necessary to take based on 1 m2 - 100 watts.
Execution Ceiling Wall mounted;

Outdoor.
It is best used if you intend to constantly heat one room. Ceiling better warms up all places of the room.
It is convenient to quickly warm up any room locally.
Type of heating element 1. Halogen;
2. Quartz;
3. Ceramic;
4. Tubular (mycothermal).
1. Radiates short waves - not recommended.
2. Glow with a tap color irritating the eyes, it is better to choose them for short-term use.

3. Has a short service life, it is better to abandon its use in wall and ceiling models.
4. The best option for long-term use, the only negative is a slight crackle, mainly when heating and cooling.
Rollover sensors Availability varies by model. Floor models are highly desirable.
Overheating sensor Availability varies by model. Availability is mandatory if you plan to leave the device unattended for a long time.
Thermostat Availability varies by model. Better if available - to maintain a constant temperature.
Remote control Ceiling models are mainly supplied with them. Availability will be a good plus.

Video: About infrared heaters


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