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How does an infrared heater work? We discover secrets

Infrared panels are currently one of the most interesting, alternative  heating solutions for houses, offices and flats. How does an infrared heater work? Is it safe and why is it considered a "clean" source of heat? We invite you to the next part of the article, where we will try to explain the principles of infrared heating. 

Conventional heating

The classic household heating model is based mainly on the combustion of natural gas or coal. As a result of heating water in boilers and tanks, the air coming out of radiators in our apartments is heated. We all know how radiators work. 

Hot air travels from the radiator upwards, under the ceiling it moves towards the opposite wall and flows down the already cooled down to the floor. It then returns to the heater and the process repeats. 


The constantly moving air cloud carries, apart from heat, heated dust and mite particles. Forced circulation causes people suffering from allergies a lot of discomfort. Even healthy people feel worse during the heating season. The dry, dusty air around is responsible for this. 


For this reason, room humidifiers and ordinary water containers hung on radiators are extremely popular in the cold months. Could it be otherwise? 

How does an infrared heater work? 

Infrared panels work by emitting infrared waves that heat objects within their range. The sun's rays act in a very similar way. 


To better illustrate the technique of infrared waves, it will be easiest to use an example from real life. 


Probably each of us knows the pleasant feeling on the skin, when on a frosty, sunny day, the face is exposed to the sun. 

Despite the icy air around us, we feel the warmth flowing from the light. However, it is enough to move away for a moment into the shadow, even a meter nearby, for the biting frost to pinch the skin again. How does it happend?

After all, the temperature of the air cannot vary significantly over the space of a meter.


The secret lies in the specificity of the light waves reaching the object. In this case, human bodies. 


The sun's rays emit light in the range visible and invisible to humans. We can distinguish colors thanks to visible light. The light invisible to the human eye is below the red area. This range of electromagnetic waves is called infrared (from Latin infra - below). Infrared waves emit pleasant, comfortable warmth. 

Advantages of infrared heating 

Infrared heating panels do not heat the air and do not move it in the room. This means that the ambient temperature is lower than that achieved with conventional heating. A person staying in a room heated with a radiant heater feels pleasant body heat and moister air. Thanks to this, comfort for the respiratory system is much higher. In addition, the lack of constant circulation does not raise dust and irritating microorganisms.


The walls in a room heated by infrared panels are warm and dry, even behind furniture. This prevents the formation of fungus and mold. In addition, warm walls are an excellent insulator against the cold from the outside. 


Infrared heating does not require an expensive heating system or a chimney emitting poisonous smoke. All you need is an electrical outlet and pegs to hang the device on the wall or ceiling. 


The costs of electricity needed to operate the radiator are lower than standard convection heating. One heating season is enough for the user to feel it on his own wallet.

Are infrared waves safe for humans? 

A frequent question asked by people interested in infrared heating is the issue of safety related to infrared radiation.


At this point, the division of infrared rays should be briefly explained.


Infrared radiation is divided into bands:

  • near infrared (NIR near infrared)

  • medium infrared (MIR medium infrared)

  • far infrared (FIR far infrared)


Near infrared NIR can actually be harmful to humans. Persons working in the near infrared environment must wear protective clothing that covers the eyes and skin.


Infrared panels operate in a completely different range, because in far infrared FIR. 


For the user, this does not differ from the normal background in which he functions (fridge, washing machine, TV). 

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