How Do Infrared Heaters Really Work & Can They Save You Money On Your Heating Bill?


To answer this, we have to take a look at how infrared heaters work. The best infrared heaters provide heat in a way not unlike the sun, which also gives off “infrared” rays. These rays pass through the air, and instead of creating hot air, infrared rays are absorbed by solid objects in the environment, warming you quite literally from the inside out.

Instead of changing the temperature of the air, infrared rays hit the floor, the walls, your furniture, and you. Most people feel that this natural-like warm is considerably more comfortable than surrounding yourself with warm air, but how is this more efficient than conventional heaters?

Because the best infrared heaters bring warmth to you directly while conventional heaters heat and circulate all the air in your entire home, less fuel is already being used to generate heat and move the air around.

A conventional heater takes in air and puts it out again once it has been warmed up, taking in more air and heating it all to a uniform but higher temperature.

But can switching to infrared heating really cut your fuel use and bills in half? While the best infrared heaters may cut more, many people who switch to infrared heat can cut their bills by about a third.

Of course, this depends on a handful of outside factors, mostly related to the construction of your home. Some building and furniture materials are more insulating, and depending on the type of furniture and construction in your home, objects in it will hold onto more or less heat.

The best infrared heaters use less energy to heat objects rather than hundreds of cubic feet of air, paired with homes that have higher ceilings and more than one floor will ultimately see the greatest savings, as infrared heat is absorbed by objects on even the lowest levels, and not allowing as much heat to rise, which, in conventional air heating systems, usually leaves the lower levels of your home the coldest.

While the initial cost of an infrared heater may be high, it will save you money on your heating bill over the course of it’s life.

This, coupled with the fact that it’s safer for you, your children and pets, than a conventional solid fuel heater and also produces no gasses or fumes, makes switching to an infrared heater a smart, economical move, especially with fuel prices on the rise.

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11 Responses to How Do Infrared Heaters Really Work & Can They Save You Money On Your Heating Bill?

  1. Dale Hinkley says:

    What is the average cost to operate an infrared heater?

    • admin says:

      Good question. This depends on a number of factors, how cold it is, how well your room is insulated and if you have any drafts etc… Take the Lifesmart Amish for instance, it uses 1500 watts of electricity… about the same as a coffee maker or a hair dryer. The average cost to run one of these 1500 watt infrared heaters is about $1 per day… when it’s heating for about eight hours… and the better your insulation is… the lower the cost to run these infrared heaters.

      • james says:

        I love when people compare the watts to something that runs only a few minutes a day such as a hair dryer or coffee maker. Heaters run for more than a few minutes a day at the same wattage. Comparing apples to oranges even though they may use the same wattage.

        • Lin says:

          Your so right!!! It gets me when they say “this heater cost no more to run than your coffee pot”. Right, we don’t run our coffee pot 24/7 and surprisingly alot of people don’t know that electic coffee pots are 1500 watts, so they think, well that won’t cost us much!! Till they get their first electric bill–surprise!!

  2. Bill says:

    Have you reviewed the ATI (Advanced Tech Infrared) heater mfg’d in Dickson City PA. We are thinking of going to infrared heating as we have an all electric home and are electric bills are very high in the winter.

  3. tom says:

    I had a Lifesmart 1000? and guess what it put out heat but only about 1 foot if that ,from the front of it. needless to say it was a well insulated room 245 sq ft. and ran for 2 days at full power and only got to 55 degrees! WTH? at 19 to 20+ degrees outside was I expecting too much? Some guy on YouTube says his Eden Pure 1500 watt can heat his 650 sq,ft HOME (good insulation). got a big fan on them? not this one! I guess that is the Diff between his 400$ Eden Pure and my(Took it back) Lifesmart 95$ heater of the same design. both have 4 quartz elements. Mine was new, BUT a 2011 model ?,1yr warranty ,so if 1yr this is 2013 so it`s out of warranty?

  4. joel says:

    It looks to me like most ‘infrared’ heaters use infrared to heat elements inside the cabinet. Then a fan is used to blow the heated air into the room. I don’t understand how this classifies as infrared heating of the floors, walls, and furniture in the room. Can you explain how infrared is heating a room when you can’t even see the infrared bulbs from outside the cabinet?

  5. richard says:

    undecided for the past 3 years about the purchase of a infrared heater, i finally broke down a bought a lifesmart. i am very pleased with the purchase. i heat my kitchen and family room area with it during the morning and afternoon which is basically where we spend 95% of our time until evening.not using my propane furnace to heat the living room and bedrooms when not in use should save $20 to $40 per month poss. more depending on outside temperture at around 40 degrees.s. il climate. on occasion we shut the heater off as home is well insulated.

  6. Marie says:

    I would like to know which is energy efficient infrared quartz or infrared ceramic. I have electric heat in the whole house. Also which one will not dry out the house

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