infrared heater or fan heater

infrared heater or fan heater

Introduction Radiant and convection heating are two types of popular indoor home heating solutions. Radiant heating is often achieved with infrared heaters while convection heating is often done with fan heaters. Both of these heating options come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences between each type of heater before deciding which is best for you.

What Is Infrared Heating?

Infrared heating, also known as thermal radiation, is a type of radiant heat transfer. Unlike convection heating where heated air is pushed around to transfer heat, infrared heaters warm objects and surfaces by emitting infrared radiation. This radiation is generated by a type of electric heating element called a tungsten filament. The heated filament then emits infrared radiation in all directions, which is absorbed by the surrounding objects and surfaces and then converted into heat.

Benefits of Infrared Heaters

One of the primary benefits of infrared heating is that it is more efficient than other forms of home heating. This is because infrared radiation does not heat the surrounding air, and instead directly warms the objects and surfaces it contacts. This means that infrared heating does not waste energy heating the air, resulting in direct and efficient heat transfer.

Additionally, since infrared heaters directly warm surfaces, they tend to provide a steadier and more even heat than fan heaters and other forms of convection heating. Additionally, this steady and constant heat relief can be achieved without any associated noise that is common with fan heaters.

Finally, the fact that infrared heaters don’t heat the air around them, they do not reduce the humidity levels in your room like some other forms of heating. This can be a great benefit to anyone with allergies or asthma since an increase in humidity can improve their symptoms.

Drawbacks of Infrared Heaters

Despite all of the benefits of infrared heating, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of as well. One major issue is the issue of safety. Infrared heaters use electricity to heat the tungsten filaments and thus can be a potential fire hazard if not used properly. Additionally, these types of heaters can be dangerous to pets and children if not properly monitored, as these individuals can come in contact with the heated filament when unhidden.

Additionally, the fact that these types of heaters directly warm surfaces, the cost of these heaters can be greater than that of other forms of home heating. This is because infrared heaters are likely to require a larger capacity in order to provide the same level of heat as other forms of home heating.

What Is Convection Heating?

Convection heating is a type of home heating that works by pushing heated air around the area in order to warm it up. This is done by a fan or blower that creates sufficient airflow to move the hot air through the room and heat it up. The hot air is then replaced with cool air via air vents, which allows the process to repeat itself. In this way heat is continually generated, without any energy being wasted.

Benefits of Fan Heaters

The main benefit of fan heaters is their relative affordability when compared to certain other forms of home heating. As these heaters only require a fan to generate enough airflow to move hot air around the room, the energy costs associated with running one of these heaters can be relatively low when compared to other forms of heating.

Additionally, fan heaters are useful in that they can provide a space with instant and direct warmth. This means that they are good for quick and efficient heating and cooling of a space as needed.

Drawbacks of Fan Heaters

The main downside of fan heaters is their general inefficiency. This is because the hot air produced by the fan can be easily lost once it is pushed away from the heating element. As a result, heat is lost between the space being heated and the fan heater, making it less efficient than forms of heating like infrared.

Additionally, if using a fan heater on a regular basis, this can increase your energy bills significantly as you will continuously be paying for the energy used to run the fan motor as well as to heat the room.


Both infrared heaters and fan heaters are beneficial forms of home heating that each offer their own advantages and drawbacks. Infrared heating is generally more efficient than convection heating, but might require higher initial costs. Alternatively, fan heaters offer relatively low energy costs, but can consume more energy in the long run. Ultimately, each heating option has its pros and cons and the best type of heating solution will depend on your particular needs.

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