Pros and Cons: Conventional versus Infrared Heaters

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Budgeting thermal needs is an important aspect, with significant consequences on one’s overall quality of life. If you’re living on a limited budget (especially applicable to young professionals or those living in rented apartments), you’ve probably gone through many options aimed at lowering your bills. Electricity and heating bills are tricky to balance in the cold season and those who live in homes heated with gas-fueled systems know this best.

In some parts of the world, negotiating heating bills is very much a part of negotiating the entire rental contract – but the simplest way to circumvent such extraneous complications is to find a more creative solution, such as a heater for specific rooms. In case you haven’t yet decided between conventional and infrared heaters, here is our least of arguments for and against both types.


Conventional heaters

Pros: They work swiftly and quickly and manage to warm up the room in a matter of minutes. Aside from quick and accessible heat, some of the lower-end models sell for very accessible prices. They are largely available, in most supermarkets and hardware stores. Given their widespread use, it’s probably going to be easy for you to find someone to borrow you one.

Cons:  Conventional heaters are usually electricity-fueled. This means that, while they will lower your gas bills, they are very likely to drive electric ones through the roof, especially if, for budgeting reasons, you spring for a model that requires high voltage. In terms of energy efficiency, there is also a lot to be said. Anyone who’s ever used such a device has probably noticed that they need to keep close to the heater, in order to actually feel its warmth. If you plan on relying on such a heater to warm up the entire surface of a larger room, you might be best advised to use it locally, in a targeted manner. Conventional electric heaters are rarely powerful enough to efficiently warm up all the air inside a room. They also tend to make the air in the room dry and oxygen-poor.

Infrared heaters

Cons: They may take some time to heat up an entire room and function best when used for long periods of time. This is because they work in a way that’s highly similar to the sun. Have you ever wondered why it’s cooler in the shade, even on considerably sunny days? It’s because the sun heats up the air by dispersing heat through its rays of light. If the light shines on or reflects off of a given surface, that surface will also become warm. The best way to use an infrared heater is to place it in a corner of the room where it stands to ‘cover’ as much air and space as possible – instead of just employing it on a specific surface or constantly keeping it by your side.

Pros: Electric-fueled infrared heaters are possibly the most energy efficient solution for warming up a room. They will keep the room at a constant temperature of your choice and not allow it to escape, making the devices perfect for conservatories, nurseries, patios, and even animal enclosures (for reptiles and tropical birds, for example).

They diffuse the heat throughout the room rather than just warming up the air immediately surrounding them. In terms of pricing, they can sometimes be purchased directly from the manufacturer, which significantly reduces the cost of acquisition. Unlike conventional electric heaters, some models also have all the functions of an air humidifier, which will keep the air in the room properly moist, as well as rich enough in oxygen to benefit your health.

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