How to Find the Best Far Infrared Heaters

Deciding to build your own infrared sauna is a great step toward proactively managing and promoting your own good health. However, careful research is still necessary. There are lots of options when it comes to buying a far infrared heater for your sauna, and not all types are created equal.

To choose the best far infrared heating element, you need to first take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum. All types of light (both visible and invisible) are organized by wavelength on what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. As we move from visible light to longer wavelengths of light, we see infrared radiation.

Not many people know that infrared is actually divided into three different types: near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared. The boundaries between each are a little fuzzy and really depend on the method used to measure wavelength. However, the divisions are there. In regard to saunas, far infrared radiation produces the strongest infrared benefits because its wavelength is the shortest of the three.

Traditional saunas rely on processes of convection and conduction to work. That means that they heat up the air (convection) which in turn heats our skin (conduction) as we sit inside the sauna. But infrared doesn’t rely on hot air at all. Its direct warming action allows infrared rays to directly work on our bodies without going through the medium of hot air. Infrared rays are similar to sunlight (but without the harmful action of UV rays).

This means that infrared sauna heaters can work at a lower surface temperature than traditional sauna heaters. In addition, they are more energy efficient and cheaper to operate. Most far infrared heaters are able to plug into a standard outlet. However, some larger models will require a special dedicated 15 to 20 amp plug, which must be installed by an electrician. So if you are looking to buy heaters for your infrared sauna, make sure of the hardware you will need to operate it before making a decision.

Infrared heaters look quite different from the traditional heating elements we’ve come to expect to see in saunas. They look more like sheets or plates than anything else. They are very thin and flat. Infrared radiation requires a large surface area in order to work effectively, so the bigger the better with infrared sauna heaters. Some heaters comes in the form of incoloy rods instead of plates, but they are not a good choice as their small surface area will compromise their ability to radiate infrared properly.

Most infrared heating elements are constructed with carbon fibers or ceramic materials. Finding tables of emissivity (an object’s ability to produce infrared radiation) is helpful in evaluating the different materials available. Ceramic heaters have the highest emissivity value. Not incidentally, they are the only heaters that are able to emit a truly far infrared radiation, instead of just near or mid infrared radiation. For users who want the best infrared sauna experience, ceramic would be the wisest choice.

Doing your homework is absolutely necessary when choosing a far infrared heater for your sauna. In general, ceramic heaters will be the best, but you always want to inquire about the emissivity of the specific model you are considering buying. Also remember that you want to cover a large surface area with your heaters and know what type of electrical outlet you’ll need for successful operation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, the quality of the heater you purchase will determine the quality of infrared sauna experience you’ll have in the future. So you have the right to make an informed choice!

Portable Infrared Heaters – An Introduction To Infrared Heaters

One of the best, most highly efficient sources of heating is the portable infra-red heaters. These types of heaters can be used for many different situations that require heating. They can be used for such applications as heating commercial and industrial buildings as well as area and spot heating. They have also been used for process heating ovens as well as broiling commercial food.

It has been proven that using such heaters can dramatically lower energy costs for many commercial buildings. One manufacture installed their product into one of there warehouses for a single heating season. Prior to the installation the energy costs were up to $106,000 per year but after the use of the heaters the energy cost dropped to just $27,000 per year. That is a huge savings that cannot be ignored. With statistics like this, portable infra-red heaters practically sell themselves. It shows that the money paid for the heaters will be made back many times over in just the first year of using such heaters.

There are more and more companies as well as people jumping on the band wagon of portable infrared heaters as they realize the many benefits that the heaters can provide. Generally, most people and companies can expect to see a 30 to 50% drop in their fuel consumption with a portable infrared heater then with the typical conventional heating systems.

How Do Portable Infrared Heaters Work

So just how do these wonders of man kind work? An infrared heater is a unit which has a higher temperature then bodies of substance around it. It transfers its energy to things that have lower temperature by electromagnetic radiation. It depends on the temperature of the body that is emitting the energy as to what the wavelength of the infrared radiation will be. It can range from 780 nm to 1nm. Amazingly enough, there does not need to be a medium or contact between the two items for the energy to transfer.

There is a classification of the infrared heaters for the wavelength bands where the emission of energy is concerned. 780 nm to 1400 nm is the range for the short or near infrared. These are named bright, as the emitters actually emit a glare that is visible to people. 1400 nm to 3000 nm is considered medium infrared and dark emitters or far infrared is for everything that is over 3000 nm.

Benefits of Portable Infrared Heaters

There are many benefits to using portable infrared heaters. One of the top reasons is the efficiency of the infrared heaters. Technically the efficiency of these heaters is considered to be 100% as it takes electrical energy and converts nearly 100% of it to heat in the filament. Once the heat is generated, the filament then emits the heat by the infrared radiation to the object to be heated. This is done either by a reflector or it can be done directly to the object. There is a bit of energy that is lost during this process but it doesn’t take away from the performance of the heater.

An infrared heater counts on matching up the ranges of wavelengths with the absorption range of the material or matter that is going to be heated. A good example of this is would be the absorption range for water, which reaches its crest or peak at around 3000 nm. So what exactly does that mean? It means that the carbon infrared heaters (with medium wave emission) are absorbed better with coatings that are water or water based rather than the short wave infrared radiation or NIR. This is also the same for various types of plastics such as polyethylene or even PVC. Both of these plastics have an absorption peak at around 3500 nm. It is important o be sure that you get the right range of infrared for the type of object that you are heating. Some metals will only absorb with the short wave and others with the medium and far infrared. So you need to be sure that you check to make sure you have the right range for your needs. The more you match it up the more efficient your heater will be.

Portable infrared heaters can be used to cure coating as well as to heat plastic prior to shaping or forming it. They can be used to weld plastic and to process glass. You can also use then for browning your food and to cook the food as well. These types of heaters have also been used to keep animals warm in places such as zoos and vet clinics. There are many used for the portable infrared heater. You can make your choice of which one to use.

Infrared Heaters: Science or Hype?

Perhaps you’ve seen one of those too-good-to-be-true advertorials claiming that an infrared heater will “heat your whole house for pennies per day,” and wondered whether or not there was anything to it. While many of the claims you see advertised for infrared heating are just marketing hype, there are real benefits to infrared – with sound science to back them up.

There are two kinds of infrared heaters. Radiant infrared heaters, which you often see on patios or an outdoor events, have exposed elements and work on a line-of-sight basis. The infrared waves they emit make people feel warmer immediately, though the surrounding air may remain frigid.

Indoor infrared heaters – cabinet type heaters such as Edenpure, Sunheat, and SolarFlare – don’t emit much radiant heat, because their heating elements are enclosed in a heat chamber deep within the heater and thus have no line of sight to people or objects. Instead, an indoor infrared heater works on the principle of convection – it heats the air in the room, which makes the occupants feel warmer.

Note: Not all infrared heaters work the same way. For purposes of this article, we’ll be describing the SolarFlare.

So, what makes an infrared heater better than an ordinary space heater you might get at Wal-Mart for $25? That space heater also uses convection, and pulls just as many watts, so it seems that they should perform exactly the same – but the fact is, they don’t.

Here’s why: It’s the temperature to which the air is heated, and the way in which that air is distributed. An ordinary space heater superheats the air, then blasts it into the room at high speed. The high temperature and turbulence cause the stream of hot air to head straight up and stay there. Wherever the occupants of a room may be, you’re unlikely to find anyone on the ceiling – so the people who are supposed to be getting warmer have to wait until the heat works its way down to them.

A SolarFlare infrared heater warms the air slowly and moderately using a dual heat chamber design and six quartz infrared elements. By the time cool air makes its circuitous trip from the fans on the back to the grille on the front, its temperature has been raised by about 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

This air is gently exhaled into the room, causing minimal turbulence and thus reducing the tendency of the warmer air to rise straight up through the cooler air. The effect of this even distribution is clearly shown by the numbers: A room heated with an infrared heater will usually show a floor-to-ceiling temperature disparity of only 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Heated with an ordinary space heater, the temperature differential between floor and ceiling will be much greater.

While an infrared heater will not, on it own, heat your home for any reasonable number of “pennies a day,” it will keep several hundred to a thousand square feet comfortable, which is more than its 5,119 BTU’s are “supposed” to be able to do. This makes it an outstanding source of supplemental heat.

Supplemental heat from a portable device can be used in a couple of different ways to cut your energy bill. First of all, the coverage area of an infrared heater may actually be large enough to heat the parts of your house where you spend the majority of your time while at home. You can then leave the thermostat down on the rest of your house, with an obvious potential for energy savings.

Also, many homes have one or more “cold spots” in the central heating. If such a cold spot is in a frequently-used area, you may find that it’s causing you to run the central heat higher than necessary for the rest of the house. Infrared heaters excel at bringing these dead areas up to par with the rest of the system, enabling you to run the whole thing at a more reasonable temperature.

Infrared heaters aren’t magic. They’re just really good electric space heaters with incredible coverage. Used properly as a part of your overall heating strategy, they have the potential to make a good-sized dent in your energy bill.