From the comfortable glow of an open fire to the rush of warmth we feel after an intense workout, infrared heat is a completely natural process that we all experience every day. Your body is probably emitting and absorbing infrared heat as you read this page! However, when infrared heaters are used to heat our homes and outdoor areas, is this type of warmth still safe and natural? We’ll be explaining the science behind the heat, as well as well as exploring the level of safety infrared heaters have to offer.
What is infrared heat?
Infrared heat is a type of radiation found on the electromagnetic spectrum alongside other types such as radio waves and ultraviolet. Like all types of radiation, infrared travels in a wave directly from the source (e.g., a heater) to any objects in its path (e.g., furniture). As you can see from the illustration below, infrared waves are longer and less intense compared to other types on the spectrum, which is why it works so well as a safe, comfortable heating solution.
How do infrared heaters work?
Infrared heaters supply 100% radiant heat, meaning they don’t rely on the surrounding air to transfer warmth. Instead, they heat objects, people and surfaces directly, making them ideal for draught-prone spaces, like outdoor patio areas and lofty interiors. As infrared heat travels in waves, all the heater needs is a line of sight in order for it to heat something up. Let’s take a look at some of the other main characteristics of infrared heaters:
- Heat travels directly: heats directly from the source to objects in its path, without needing a medium to travel through, which makes for faster heating and less chance of warmth being lost to draughts and wind.
- Comfortable warmth: this type of warmth mimics our natural body heat, making infrared heaters a great choice for those seeking a more familiar style of warmth.
- Powered by electricity: infrared heaters are a highly efficient choice as they use electricity to generate warmth, meaning 100% of energy drawn from the wall is converted into usable heat, so energy isn’t wasted.
Are infrared heaters 100% safe?
Yes! In fact, our bodies are used to absorbing and emitting this type of warmth on a daily basis. Whilst at first glance, terms like ‘radiation’ might sound scary, in this case, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, there are more dangerous types of radiation, such as gamma and UV, but infrared radiation sits on the opposite end of the electromagnetic spectrum, making it completely safe for use. So, you can rest assured that infrared heaters supply a completely natural type of warmth that carries no risk to our health.
Infrared Heating Safety Features
Now that we know that infrared heaters are safe, lets take a look at the different functions some of these heaters offer to ensure they are as risk-free as possible.
Advanced control features are a sure-fire way to guarantee your infrared heaters never overheat. Weekly programming, for example, allows you to schedule your heating in advance, so you can program your heater to switch on and off when needed, without having to manually adjust it each time. This way, you don’t end up leaving your heating on when you’re not at home, so there’s no need to worry about it overheating or having to rush back to switch it off. Better yet, some infrared panels provide smart capabilities such as WiFi compatibility which lets you control your heating remotely. So, if you’re at work and suddenly remember you’ve left the heating on, you can turn it off by a few simple taps on your phone. Such features not only encourage effortless heat management but ensures your infrared heater is always operating in the safest way possible.
Some infrared heaters offer unique protection features, like the Ecostrad Accent IR Infrared Panel. This heater uses heating elements with a patented fire-resistant coating, for extra protection whilst conducting warmth. It minimises the risk of fire from overheating, adding an extra level of protection to your infrared heater.
Designed with in-built overheat protection, many infrared heaters can detect temperatures that exceed the recommended limit and, in turn, switch the heater off automatically. This is yet another intuitive safety feature that controls your infrared heater on your behalf.
Splashproof IP Ratings
Many infrared heaters come with splashproof IP ratings that make them suitable for use in areas commonly exposed to water, such as bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor areas. For example, the Ecostrad Solaglo comes with a weatherproof IP55 rating which means it’s protected against dust ingress and low-pressure jets of water. So, if you’re using the Solaglo to keep your patio warm and cosy, you don’t have to worry too much about a sudden shower. Providing the heater is installed correctly and fitted in a suitable spot, the IP rating safeguards the Solaglo from catching fire due to water exposure, letting you heat your area with complete peace of mind.
Browse our full range of sophisticated infrared heaters
Infrared heating is a safe way of supplying your home or outdoor area with lasting, comfortable warmth. Not only do they often come with a range of safety measures designed to lower the risk of fire or overheating, but they also produce completely natural, radiant heat to a variety of spaces. So, for an effective way to warm your property and outdoor area, try one of our versatile infrared heaters today.