How to Select the Best Infrared Heater for your home!

Easy Guide to Selecting the Best Infrared Heater for your Home!

You will find a lot of helpful information on this page including Recommendations with Side-by-Side Comparisons.

In the early fall of 2011 I began looking for a solution to a somewhat unique heating issue in my home.

I have four exotic pet birds that are indigenous to the Amazon rain forest and cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

Although the Atlanta, GA area is warm to hot in the Summer, it can get pretty darn cold in the winter.

I house my birds in my large family room located on the lower floor of my split-level house. The entire downstairs area is approximately 750 sq. ft. and has 12 foot vaulted ceilings.

Split-level houses are notoriously difficult to maintain an even temperature on both the upper and lower levels. Typically, the thermostat for the central heating system is located in the upper level.

What happens is the heat being blown in to the lower level rises to the ceiling, and then migrates up the open stair well and to the hall and upper level where it satisfies the thermostat setting.   This arrangement leaves it comfortable upstairs and chilly down stairs.

I tried using a common resistance space heater. It did an OK job of keeping the space around my bird’s cages warm but did little to heat the rest of the downstairs area.
Common Electric Resistance Space Heater
It depleted the moisture in the air, drying out the materials in the room as well as my sinuses.  Mostly, it just ran up my heating bill!

I had heard about the virtues of Infrared Heat – how it was a soft moist heat that didn’t dry out the room.

I had read articles about how energy-efficient Infrared Heaters are and how the will save you money on your heating bills. One article stated that infrared heaters produce an “even heat” maintaining the same temperature wall to wall and ceiling to floor. It sounded almost too good to be true!

I Extensively Researched Infrared Heaters!

After considerable research about infrared heaters, trying to separate fact from fiction, I decided an Infrared Heater may be the answer to my heating problems.

After reading hundreds of product reviews I zeroed in on what I thought would be the best infrared heater for my money and heating needs.

…”What I Discovered Amazed Me!”

I placed my order with Amazon and when my new infrared heater arrived I read the owner’s manual and plugged it in.

I turned it on using the IR Remote Control and set the temperature to 68 deg. F. I cranked my central furnace thermostat down to 65 deg.   As I recall it was about 40 degrees outdoors.

After about 20 minutes the entire family room felt comfortably warm. There were no cold spots like there was with just the central furnace or when using the old resistance heater.

When I stepped into the adjoining kitchen and dining area I couldn’t detect any temperature difference. The adjoining foyer was also approximately the same temperature as the middle of the family room.

My shock came when I went upstairs and discovered the temperature in the first bedroom (approx. 135 sq. ft.) was nice and warm as was the main bathroom.  So far the central furnace had not been running – just my new infrared heater.

This revelation totally amazed me! How could this be?? Most of us understand that heat rises,so I was expecting that familiar temperature differential, while hoping for something better.

But what my digital thermometers seemed to be telling me was, that what I was taught in science 101 didn’t hold true when it applied to infrared heating.  My new quartz infrared space heater seemed to be defying the fundamental laws of thermodynamics.

Sure enough, my new infrared heater I was maintaining an even temperature on both the upper and lower levels of my house. Problem solved!

What I really wasn’t expecting was how much difference the infrared heat felt on my body.  It was a soft warmth, kind of like being wrapped in a blanket.  And I didn’t feel the dryness associated with my central furnace or the old resistance heater.

My new Infrared Heater Saves  Me Money!

I carefully monitored my total heating costs (combination of my gas heating bill for my central furnace and my electric bill for my infrared heater) for 4 winter months.  I compared them with the 2 previous winters.

I researched Weather Underground to determine recorded outdoor temperature ranges during those 2 previous winters.  The numbers showed that I saved 36% off my total heating cost by using my infrared heater for zone heating.

What Should I look for when Shopping for the Best Infrared Heater for my Home?

My research revealed that a lot of so-called Infrared Heaters are really no more than common resistance heaters housed in a fancy cabinet. They will produce heat but it won’t be the very desirable infrared heat and they will probably run your heating cost sky high instead of saving you money.

Here are the points I recommend that you consider when shopping for the Best Infrared Heater.

    • DO NOT make your decision based on which one has the prettiest cabinet! Boo!
    • Look for reliable Reviews by people such as myself who have actual experience with infrared heaters.
    • Read Customer Reviews with a grain of salt. The vast majority are from customers who have only had their new infrared heater for a few days to a month. Most never read the Owner’s Manual and don’t operate them correctly. Many have totally unrealistic expectations when they make their purchase.
    • Look for an Infrared Heater model that is at least 3 years old and has a proven track record with a reputable company.
    • Most Infrared Heaters are rated at 1500 Watts. That should produce from 5000 btu’s up to 5500 btu’s. That’s enough heat output to heat UP TO 1000 square feet. Keep in mind a $150 infrared heater is not going to replace your central furnace. It is for ZONE HEATING or SUPPLEMENTAL HEATING and when used as recommended an infrared heater will heat your home.
    • Look for an Infrared Heater with a 3 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty or longer!
    • Keep it simple! The more bells and whistles the more likely there will be some problem. Two heat settings, Low and High plus an Economy or Auto Setting are all you need. An IR Wireless Remote is a must-have as far as I am concerned. Casters are important for mobility and keeping the heater up off your floor.
    • Make certain the heater model has Tip-Over Shut-Off and Overheat Shut-off protection.  Make sure it has been tested and bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory such as Intertek, Underwriters Laboratory, and Canadian Standards Assn.

Underwriters Laboratory Intertekor Canadian Standards Association labels
I currently own three infrared heaters. They have significantly improved my environment and save me money. Instead of dreading the heating season I now look forward to it.

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