Electric Infrared Heaters

Infrared light and Infrared technology have probably been a part of science studies at school. They may have been alien then, but today we see and hear about products with infrared technology, many of them in everyday life. But frankly, none of us may have applied the little knowledge we have about it to really understand light spectrums and wavelengths.

We know, of course, that infrared light is beyond the spectrum of light elements that we can see but the heat generated by the light is what we can feel. Take the example of sunlight; when we are directly under the sun the sun’s rays that emit light also emit heat which is absorbed by our skin and the clothing we wear unlike in the shade when the sun’s rays cannot reach you directly.

An infrared heater is scientifically described as the ‘body with a higher temperature that uses electromagnetic radiation to transfer energy to another body with low temperature. There is no medium or contact mode needed for the transfer of energy; infrared heaters can be functional in a vacuum.

Classification

Classification of infrared heaters is done by the wavelengths they emit.

  • Near infrared (NIR) or short wave – operate at temperatures above 1800°C
  • Medium infrared or Carbon infrared ( CIR ) – operate at temperatures around 1000°C
  • Far infrared (FIR) – typically in the low temperature ranges, use low watt ceramic plates for emission

Kinds

Infrared heaters are of several kinds – while some direct infrared light into a space or room to create heat when it reaches an object and some other infrared heaters emit heat on a 3-part action – infrared light bulbs, good metal conductor like copper for a heat exchanger and a fan to blow air on the exchanger to create heat.

There are also variations in the material used for construction of infrared heaters and in the fuel source – ceramic is the most common material while fuel can be electricity, natural gas or propane.

The important thing to note about it is that they all have certain specifications and can be used only in specific situations.

Electric infrared heaters

Tungsten wire is the commonly used filament material for electric infrared heaters; the wire is coiled so that it provides more surface area. Other alternatives for tungsten wire in low-temperature heat conduction are aluminium, carbon, chromium or alloys of iron. Carbon filaments spread heat much more quickly than other filaments but production is a fickle process.

Advantages

· Better looks, more efficiency

· Easier to operate and maintain; no repairs of ignition components, burners or valves as compared to gas heaters

· Produce no odours, sound or toxic emissions

· Offer better mounting and installation options

· Economical and cost saving