Also known as infrared radiant heaters, radiant heaters are one of the two most common types of space heating (the other type is convection heating).
But what is a radiant heater?
Radiant heaters heat the objects they are aimed at, while convection heaters heat the air in the room, thus increasing the total room temperature.
One might think that increasing the total ambient temperature is the best solution to combat winter cold. However, the advantage of radiators is that they do not heat the air directly and therefore do not cause a draught through convection.
If you only want to heat a certain part of the room, radiant heating is more efficient. Just point it at the object you want to heat (you usually are).
These devices use various heating elements, including wire elements, quartz tubes and propane.
- Wire element radiator 2 Wire element radiators are what most people consider to be auxiliary radiators. This is probably the oldest form of this type of heating. A high-resistance wire is wound around a heat-resistant core that is mounted in a metal reflector. The designs are different, but the reflector allows more heat to be dissipated in the direction of the stove. Electricity flowing through a high impedance wire heats it up to 1000 F. If that sounds dangerous, so does it. Today, wire elements are protected by grids to protect the hottest part of the heating element from foreign hands or accidental contact. The grids themselves can still heat up and burn the insensitivity.
- Quartz stoves are slightly safer than metal element stoves because they wrap metal elements in a quartz tube. The tube also acts as an insulator, making the wire element heat up faster, making heating more energy efficient (less electricity is needed to bring the element up to operating temperature).
- Propane heaters burn propane instead of electricity to produce heat. Since this type of heating does not require an electric cable, it is much more portable for use in garages, tents, workshops, cabins, verandas and terraces or in hunting curtains to heat large areas.
The heat from the radiators heats up immediately and you can warm up your hands a minute or two ago. If you want the heat generated in the room to circulate, you must use an additional fan to move the air. Radiators cool down as quickly as they are heated, so they only produce heat as long as the electricity is on.
If you look around, you will often find radiant heaters in department stores during the winter months. They are used because they provide direct heating.
What about energy efficiency?
The power of radiant and convection heaters is measured in watts. But the way this power is used is different. Convection heating directs this energy throughout the room, while radiant heating directs this energy to its destination. Because the heat is conducted to the target, it generally takes less energy to heat you up to a comfortable temperature, provided you do not move around the room.
Heaters convert almost all the electricity used directly into heat. That’s why they’re very effective.
You will not want to use radiators to heat the whole house, especially in a cold climate. They’re not made for that. However, they are the most efficient way to heat small spaces. According to the Maine Central Power Company, the average cost of electric heating is 13 cents per hour. Costs vary depending on the state you are in.
If you are concerned about the environment, you may wonder how your electricity is produced. In the United States, electricity is often generated from gas, oil or coal. And only about 30% of the energy used is used to generate electricity.
Radiation/infrared room heaters are an excellent solution for heating small spaces or for direct heating of objects.
Because they are very hot on the cores, they pose a risk of fire and injury if used carelessly. The owner must use them responsibly.
They are very efficient and give off heat immediately, just like when they are switched off, the heat is almost immediately reduced.
If you are looking for a safer heating solution, especially if there are children or pets around who accidentally clean the grate, or if you are afraid to leave the stove unattended, convectors are the best solution.
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