Heaters are important devices that help keep us warm in colder months. These impressive gadgets don't just keep us warm, they can be used to provide warmth for a room or an entire house.
Heaters may be essential, but traditional heaters can require a lot of electricity and can lose a lot of heat. They can also lead to heat building up in the ceiling, leading to cold and damp walls.
Infrared heaters are an update from heaters from the past, but switching to them isn't always easy, particularly if you're unsure about how they work and whether they are safe.
If you're wondering if infrared heaters are safe to use, you're in the right place! You'll learn more about infrared heaters in this article, including how they work and whether they are bad for our health.
We've also included some safety tips to consider when using an infrared heater.
Keep reading to learn more about infrared heaters!
How Infrared Heaters Work
In the electromagnetic spectrum, infrared waves are waves next to visible light.
Electric and magnetic fields affect each other to create electromagnetic waves. These waves contain waves that have different wavelengths, producing an electromagnetic spectrum.
Infrared waves are one of the waves on this spectrum. The other waves are gamma, X-ray, UV, radio, and microwaves.
Infrared heaters use different ways to transmit heat. Heat can be transmitted in several ways, including conduction, radiation, and convection.
Heat conduction happens when two items contact each other. Convection happens in gasses and liquids when heat moves through them, such as air.
Radiation happens when heat energy moves without using any other means. This energy will radiate to another item, which stops the surrounding air from heating up.
Infrared heaters transmit heat through all three methods, but they mostly do so through radiation.
This is the most efficient heating method that delivers even heat. In this case, heat energy will be radiated as infrared waves in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Heating from traditional heaters began from the ceiling, but infrared heaters deliver their heat from the ground.
They will transform electrical energy into thermal heat energy. Their construction consists of a burner, reflector, and a long tube that trades heat.
The burner will light a flame that will travel down a tube to a reflector, using a fan to help it do so. This reflector will be made in a way that allows it to direct these radiations straight towards a person.
This heat energy will be taken in by the ground, walls, and other objects in the surrounding area.
These objects will also gradually reradiate this heat energy, allowing heat to evenly distribute throughout the room.
This heat will also avoid the ceiling, so the heat won't escape from the room. This keeps people within the room warm and comfortable during colder months.
Are Infrared Heaters Safe To Use?
Infrared heaters emit thermal radiations, just like sun rays, which keep us toasty in the cold. This may make you doubt their safety, but our skin is already primed for absorbing infrared radiation. Infrared heaters are completely safe for our bodies!
The sun emits all the electromagnetic waves within the EM spectrum. Infrared waves are one of these waves, as the sun emits these in smaller amounts. The moisture in our skin can absorb these radiations so that our body feels warm in the sun.
Many people falsely believe that all EM spectrum waves are harmful, but this isn't the case. The spectrum contains two types of radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing.
Ionizing waves are harmful to our skin, like UV (ultraviolet) rays, but non-ionizing ones, like infrared waves, are perfectly safe for our body.
Infrared waves are found on the left side of the EM spectrum, but UV ones are located on the right side. Waves on the right side are thought to be harmful as they contain lots of energy.
These waves are known to be responsible for health diseases, such as cancer. The waves found on the left side are lower in energy and are less likely to harm humans.
Hopefully, you understand that infrared heaters are safe for humans to use, but you should still consider some safety tips before using them.
Safety Tips To Use When Using Infrared Heaters
Never touch an infrared heater directly. These are hot to the touch and may cause damage seen from other types of heaters. Touching an infrared heater can lead to skin burns.
You can avoid injury by keeping heaters higher up, as this will avoid direct contact as much as possible.
Keep yourself and objects a good distance away from the heater. Prolonged exposure to infrared heaters can lead to damage and burns.
Remove any flammable objects, like clothing, curtains, and power cables, away from the heater.
Always carry out regular checkups on your heater, looking out for leakages and other safety concerns.
A common house fire cause is using damaged power cords. Look after your cables and cords and avoid stretching them too much. Don't plug your heater into a power strip or extension cord, as this could overload the circuit and cause a fire.
Make sure you only use a grounded outlet. Big heaters will need a lot of electricity, particularly if you set them on a high setting. Look at your electric box to ensure the grid isn't overloaded.
Test your smoke alarms before using your heater. Regularly testing your smoke alarms can be a simple step that saves lives.
Can You Leave Infrared Heaters Unattended?
The guidance above can help you keep safe when using your infrared heater. Following the safety tips above will ensure your infrared heater can be switched on for longer periods.
Despite this, it's always a better idea to switch off your heater if you leave the room, as fire hazards are always a possibility.
You can also protect yourself by opting for a model with extra protection features.
These may include an automatic shutoff option, timer, and an adjustable thermostat. These may cost more, but they may save you from worrying about safety issues later.
You can also opt for models that are encased in a 'cool to touch' housing. This is a good idea if you live with young children or pets, but always remember to keep your heater out of reach.
Yes, infrared heaters are safe to use! You may believe that infrared rays are harmful, but unlike ionizing UV rays, infrared rays aren't harmful to humans.
Infrared heaters also have many advantages over older models. They heat rooms evenly, which means there won't be hotspots or cold spots.
They're also safer than traditional heaters, and some models can come with safety automatic shut-off features.
However, do remember that touching any kind of heater can result in injury, so do follow the safety guidelines above when using one.