Are Infrared Heaters Safe to Use? 3 Positive Arguments

A few years back, when infrared heaters broke onto the space heating solution market, most buyers became interested in them due to their undeniable advantages. Here came a heating solution that was energy efficient (almost 83 per cent of the electricity input gets turned into thermal energy). It was also generally affordable, at least when compared to conventional electric heaters. It used comparatively lower amounts of energy, which added the bonus of lower energy bills to the cost issue. Essentially, it looked downright perfect on paper. That’s where consumers started becoming suspicious.

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Since infrared lamps and heaters use radiation to heat up space, some consumers became worried that exposure to this radiation might come with some health risks. After all, just about any device that works on radiation has some cautionary advice listed in the user manual – and the sun, with its UV radiation is a particularly significant cause for worry. So, what do the experts have to say about electric infrared heaters and human safety? What has scientific research uncovered in this respect? Read on to find out, then find some best use guidelines enclosed at the end of this article, which are meant to dispel all your reasons for worry.

Radiation levels are generally low

Research has found that the amount of radiation generated by such devices is low enough to be safe for human usage. However, prolonged exposure to intense heat can cause some damage to the human skin and eyes. The eyes are particularly sensitive to short-wave infrared wavelengths which produce highly intense radiation. These type of infrared lamps are generally used in industrial and commercial environments, which is also why workers exposed to such conditions are usually advised to wear special protective glasses.

Infrared heaters are solid

Another cause for worry is the breakable nature of some components used in the fabrication of infrared heaters. Some models no longer use quartz for their main heating element, precisely for this reason. Quartz can easily shatter to pieces, which then causes the need to replace the heating element – not to mention a mess inside one’s house. If you do decide to opt for such a model, however, make sure that the device generates low levels of pressure, which don’t stand to affect the quartz. Moreover, you should choose a quartz-equipped infrared heater for your home only if it comes with a protective sheath or panel, shielding people from potential shards resulting from the quartz breaking to pieces.

How to make sure you’re absolutely safe

Since infrared lamps are also used in other environments than a personal home (think saunas and tanning salons), there are some general safety tips one should generally follow.

  • If you’re tanning at an infrared lamp, make sure you don’t expose yourself to more than 20-30 minutes of heat. Burns are unlikely, but it’s always best to be safe, rather than sorry.
  • Keep your distance. There is no need to get too up, close, and personal with an infrared heater, since they are able to generate heat at a distance, much like the sun. Make sure there are at least 18 inches of distance between the heater and the closest object or person in the room.
  • Take care of the sensitive: never place infrared heaters or lamps too close to people who are sleeping or to very young children. What’s more, think twice before using such a device if you’ve got particularly irritable skin and eyes, or a condition of the circulatory system.
  • Keep infrared lamps at a safe distance from any and all materials that are likely to catch fire, or to plants that might be damaged from intensive exposure to light and heat.

Erin Emanuel

8 Comments

  1. IT’S A JOKE. WHEN THERE’S MONEY TO BE MADE……..THEY ALWAYS DOWNPLAY THE HEALTH RISK OR EVEN SAY THERE ARE NOT HEALTHRISK. GREED IS WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU, NOT YOUR HEALTH.

    GET YOU A GOOD HOUSECOAT, BLANKET, OR SWEATER AND PLAY IT SAFE…….. DON’T BE THEIR GUINEA PIG AND USE INFARED HEATERS UNTIL THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY PROVEN THEMSELVES.
    AND THAT WILL BE A LONG TIME, IF EVERY, WHEN THAT WILL BE DONE.
    DON’T BE THEIR SUCKER……….. SHOW THEM YOU ARE NOT SOME IGNORANT HICK THAT WILL BELIEVE THERE ARE NO HEALTH RISKS OR SIDE AFFECTS.

  2. Wade probably sells HVAC systems…lol, That is the main problem with finding legitimate opinions and reviews, everyone who sells their product will shoot other new products down as inefficient, hazardous or something, simply because they want you to keep buying their product. Nice language also Wade, calling people “hicks” to get YOUR opinion accepted, really sound like someone who is legitimately concerned right?

    I’m wondering about these types of heaters, I use an oil filled radiant heater and the electric bill takes a hit in the winter, I’m trying to figure out how good they are compared to an oil heater but haven’t really found any answers, when an oil heater kicks off its still putting heat off, but if these would heat quicker and use less power I can see you saving money that way.

    • We have a number of SunHeat units and have been super pleased with them. They are efficient, quiet, attractive, and live up to their claims. The electricity bill is minimally affected even with frequent use. They also do not heat up their outside unit — a cat can safely lounge on the top of the wood heater cabinet. We have been pleased. We also noticed a big difference between the noise level and heat output of our SunHeats and a friend’s Eden Pure. SunHeat won hands down. Although SunHeats are more expensive initially, the last I knew, they are well made and worth every penny. The folks at their plant in NC were quite helpful, too.

  3. In an infrared heaters, you will be getting your heat from infrared ray radiation. The more conventional that you are probably used to, use heated steam, where as an infrared heater does not work this way.

  4. how does an infrared heater work best. If I wanted to heat my upstairs bedrooms, is it best to put in a hallway? Will it warm all three bedrooms? Or is it best used in totally open spaces?

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