Are Infrared Heater Really Worth It?

Are Infrared heater really worth it?
I was looking for an efficient way to heat up the living room in my home. The other day, while I was watching TV, I found the idea of using an infrared heater interesting. But I don’t know if they work, has anyone bought one?

Are they really as efficient as they claim? If so which one should I buy? Or what are your experiences using an infrared heater?
It seems that the general consesus is that infrared heaters work, but can anyone who has owned a few recommend me what they think is the beat and why ? Because all I keep getting is that they are good , but I like to know which one I should buy ?
*whoops meant to say best not beat …

Chosen answers

Answer by skyalert
A few years ago I was looking for a heater for a small downstairs bathroom.
I installed a infrared light in the ceiling and put it on a 20 min timer.

Because of the size of the bathroom this is all I need. It instantly takes any chill out and the heat warms your head and shoulders as you enter. It’s a 200W bulb but because the usage is not much it is definitely worth it overall.

Answer by debby d
They work great, been using them for years. Good on fuel cost.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


My sunheat works nice. It was explained to me that they heat from the floor up. Yes it is a 1500 hundred watt heater, but it is thermostat controlled and operates like a furnace. When the room reaches the temperature set on the sunheat the lamps turn off and the fan only runs at 25w. This cycle appears to happen alot and I can see how it uses electricity very efficiently.

Also, unlike other heating methods…infrared doesn’t remove the humidity in its heating process. This is what makes it heat from the floor up. My house is normally dry in the winter time and I’ve noticed my humidity level in my house remain steady. A dry house is very expensive to heat. This helps alot I’m thinking of putting one in my basement. It costs me about 1.12 per day, but my furnace hasn’t kicked on yet this year and I live in Minnesota.

Big differences between sunheat and eden pure and the other plastic models is that Sunheat is crafted with solid wood and has better parts. This is why its a dealer product…very reliable and has 3 year full warranty included with local service here.


Breath on the wind

It depends upon what you are trying to heat and the nature of the space and how you are using it. Infrared heaters are designed to heat primarily by radiation. They “heat people.” This kind of heat loses it’s effectiveness the same way that a light does not seem as bright the further you are from it. Additionally it will only heat surfaces that are exposed to it. In this way it is like a fire where you can get nicely warmed on one side. However, if it is hot enough to begin with the heat that it provides does not have to be contained with walls to be effective.

At the cash registers of the Depot where I live there are infrared heaters overhead. They keep people warm in spite of a large space and open doors, because they are not heating the space. The air can go out and the people who are being heated with this radiant heat are still warm (ish) The heat feels different. It is very good for my old bones. It is just like a fire.

Another great application for a radiant heater (usually heat lamps) is in a cold bathroom. You want to have a fan or a partially open window for ventilation but that would take all the hot air to the outside. A radiant heater still keeps you warm in spite of the air being exhausted to the outside.

Some houses have radiant floors. Because the heat is comfortable and on the floor where it is needed the savings can be as much as 30% over conventional heat distribution.

If you needed to keep a room warm to keep the pipes from freezing you would not want to use this kind of heater without some backup. For that application you would want to use a space heater that heats by convection (and may have a blower to help) or heat tape on the pipes which heats by conduction.

Humidity is an entirely different factor in heating. Air with more relative humidity feels warmer. A more humid room will feel the same when the air temp is several degrees cooler. When cool air is heated the relative humidity (the amount of moisture it can hold) will go down (because warm air holds more water vapor.) As radiant heaters heat solid objects more relative humidity does not drop as it does with space heaters.

If you have a small contained space use a space heater. You need to keep it running to warm up the space. Insulation will make that space heater more efficient. Once the space heats up a thermostat will turn it off.

If you have a space that you can’t insulate easily and you want people to feel warm there, use a radiant heater. They typically don’t have a thermostat except as a safety device. You could burn something in front of the heater. You might want to have a timer installed for permanent applications. You only need to turn it on when people are present.

Radiant heaters can be run on gas or electric. Even a cast iron stove is partially radiant. If a radiant heater says it is going to be using 1500 watts than it will be using the same power that a space heater uses if the label on that also says 1500 watts. A space heater of that size is going to be almost useless in your uninsulated garage but a radiant heater could make you feel comfortable at least for the part of you that is facing the heater.

For your living room you might find it efficient if you are able to keep the general space heating lower (the savings) and use the spot infrared heater when people are present.

Portable Infrared heaters have few moving parts. And I would pick one with the fewest to avoid potential breakdowns. But that is me. That is my best. Other than that I suggest you select the color or manufacturer you are most comfortable with. Look to the sites below to narrow your selection.



Un-vented infrared natural gas heaters are now being legalized in a lot of states. Certain restrictions will apply in most states.

I’d sure be careful with one if you go that route.
They are economical to run and are 97% efficient. They work well

But keep plenty of CO alarms around and please do not sleep with one going.


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