Infrared Electric Heaters - How To Choose And Buy Them

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Infrared Electric Heaters - How To Choose And Buy Them
Infrared Electric Heaters - How To Choose And Buy Them

Video: Infrared Electric Heaters - How To Choose And Buy Them

Video: Infrared Electric Heaters - How To Choose And Buy Them
Video: How To Choose A Space Heater | Lowe's Buying Guides with Bret 2023, May
  • The device and principle of operation of infrared electric heaters
  • Tube and film infrared heaters
  • Comparative review of three models of enclosed IR heaters
  • How to choose an infrared heater
  • Infrared heater operation
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them

By far the best heater for planet Earth was, is and remains the Sun. However, its rays warm the planet unevenly - if in the summer-spring season the intensity of the sun's rays is high in the northern hemisphere, then in the autumn-winter season the southern hemisphere is closer to our star. However, there is one way to return the heat of the Sun to the house - an infrared electric heater, which radiates heat with little or no light. Surprisingly, only this device is able to warm us not only inside the house, but also outside it - in the yard, regardless of the amount of snow and the intensity of the wind. We will investigate the device and the principle of operation of IR heaters, compare the characteristics of several models to choose the most suitable one - the solution to the problem of heating a house is in our hands.

The device and principle of operation of infrared electric heaters

If convector heaters heat the air, infrared heaters heat objects and walls. Radiation from infrared heaters acts in the same way as solar energy - it passes through the air without heating it, and is absorbed by opaque objects, i.e. no drafts will interfere with infrared rays. The long-wavelength radiation of household infrared heaters corresponds to the infrared waves generated by the sun - they are invisible to the eyes and are perceived by our skin as streams of heat.

As a result of convection, warm air tends upward, collecting in the room near the ceiling, respectively, it will have to be heated long enough so that the temperature at floor level becomes comfortable for households. And if convector heaters take time to warm up the air to the extent that people can feel it, then the warmth of infrared rays is felt as soon as the infrared heater is turned on.

Despite the slightly frightening name, the infrared heater has a simple structure - a steel case, painted with powder paint, inside which there is an aluminum reflector (reflector), on top of which a heating element is installed. The "heart" of an IR heater is a heating element - it can be ceramic, tubular (ten) or carbon.

A ceramic heating element consists of a resistive conductor enclosed in a ceramic plate. Nichrome with a maximum heating temperature of up to 1000 ° С and fechral (an alloy of iron, chromium and aluminum - FeCrAl), heating up to 800 ° С are used as a conductor with ohmic resistance. The ceramic plate is composed of silicon carbide, lanthanum chromite or molybdenum disilicide, does not conduct electric current and does not interfere with infrared radiation. On average, the service life of ceramic heating elements is about 4 years.

A low-temperature tubular heating element (heating temperature not higher than 300 ° C) in its "natural" form is not used in IR heaters - it is built into an anodized aluminum profile. The result is a wide and long plate (several such plates are usually installed in one heater), emitting infrared rays throughout its entire surface during operation. The service life of the heating elements is about 7 years.

Little is known about the carbon heating element, developed just a few years ago, so let's take a closer look at its features. So, this heating element is a sealed quartz tube, from which air is evacuated, with a spiral-shaped thread of carbon (carbon) placed inside. It will be pertinent to note here that the widespread phrase "hydrocarbon fiber", which is often used when describing the device of infrared heaters with a carbon heating element, is absolutely wrong - no "carbon fiber" exists.

Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them

A distinctive feature of a carbon filament is its high strength (2.5 GPa) and heat resistance (3000 ° C), and the latter value is twice that of steel. Compared to nichrome (thermal conductivity 13.3 W / (m • K)) used in the heating elements described above, the carbon element has several times higher thermal conductivity (70 W / (m • K)), i.e. its operation requires less energy consumption. However, the contact of a carbon filament heated to a temperature above 350 ° C with oxygen in the air causes it to oxidize, and therefore it is placed in a vacuum tube in a carbon heating element. By virtue of their characteristics and subject to quality performance, carbon heating elements have an unlimited service life.

Depending on the maximum operating temperature of the heating element and on the length of the infrared waves emitted, infrared heaters are classified into:

  • low-temperature and long-wave, with heating from 100 to 600 ° C and wavelength from 5.6 to 100 microns. Designed for residential, office and technical premises with a ceiling height of no more than 3 meters. As a rule, heating elements with a heating temperature of up to 120 ° C are enough to heat rooms in a house;
  • medium temperature and medium wave, heating in the range from 600 to 1000 ° С, wavelength - from 2.5 to 5.6 microns. They are used in rooms with ceilings from 3 to 6 meters, for example, high-ceilinged rooms in private houses, various public buildings;
  • high-temperature and short-wave, with a heating temperature of more than 1000 ° C and a wavelength of 0.74 to 2.5 microns. Designed for rooms with a ceiling height of 6 to 8 meters, i.e. for heating factories, also used for outdoor heating.

Household body infrared heaters can be stationary and mobile - the models of the first type are designed for permanent installation on the floor (including the baseboard installation option), walls, ceilings, models of the second type can be repeatedly moved around the rooms, they are smaller and less powerful … Suspended and ceiling infrared heaters are installed on the ceiling - the former are built into the false ceiling, the latter are suspended at a distance of 50 mm from the ceiling surface using special fasteners. Wall-mounted appliances are installed at a certain distance from the floor (its value depends on the presence of small children in the house, the younger they are, the higher the heater is installed), baseboard models are most conveniently placed under window openings, so they can reliably block the flow of cold air into the room from streets.

Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them

Like air convection heaters, infrared heaters are equipped with a thermostat, an automatic overheating shutdown sensor and, in the case of floor-standing models, a rollover shutdown sensor.

Tube and film infrared heaters

In addition to the described types of heating elements, halogen lamps are used as emitters of infrared rays, in a glass bulb of which a tungsten filament is placed in an inert gas, usually a mixture of nitrogen and argon. IR lamps are used as a stand-alone infrared emitter, being installed in an E27 ceramic lamp holder. The filament temperature of infrared lamps is from 2200 to 2500 ° C, the infrared wavelength is from 0.76 to 1.5 microns, i.e. they are classified as high temperature and shortwave infrared emitters. IR lamps are available with power from 150 to 250 W.

Two types of infrared lamps are produced - IKZ and IKZK. IKZ (infrared mirror) lamps are externally similar to conventional halogen lamps, often used to illuminate office and residential premises in spot-lights. The difference is that the light they generate is more in the infrared than in the visible spectrum.

Lamps IKZK (infrared mirror red) emit more infrared rays than their analogue IKZ - their bulb is made of dark red glass, due to which these lamps glow very weakly, and emit infrared rays quite intensely.

Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them

IR lamps are widely used in poultry and livestock farming, at woodworking enterprises - their price is low (on average, IKZ lamps - 50 rubles, IKZK - 90 rubles), but they will not last long, no more than a year. Such lamps can be used in office and residential premises, for example, by installing several pieces in long corridors or at the entrances to buildings, as protection against icing of steps during the cold season. Indoors with a normal ceiling height (up to 3 m), infrared lamps with a frosted glass bulb scattering infrared rays should be used - the short-wave infrared radiation generated by the lamps is quite hard and people cannot be constantly under it.

Film IR heaters are interesting already because they do not have a case - carbon paste is applied to the polymer film with a layer of 1 micron, on top of which thin carbon threads are glued, copper foil contacts are connected to them, on both sides the film with heating elements is laminated with special polyester, possessing high fire-fighting and electrical insulating characteristics. The average heating temperature of a film infrared heater is 45 ° С (minimum - 30 ° С, maximum - 110 ° С), during operation it emits long-wave infrared rays (from 5 to 20 microns). Film thickness - 0.4 mm, heater power - 500 W.

Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them

Film infrared heaters are designed for installation in residential and office premises as a "warm floor" - under the finishing floor covering, such as parquet, laminate, carpet, linoleum. Installation under a ceramic or stone coating is allowed, however, only specialists can do this work. The cost of infrared film for installing a warm floor is about 1100 rubles. per m 2.

In addition to the film coating for installation under the finishing of the floor, decorative film heaters with various images on the front side are produced, intended for installation on walls. Their area, as a rule, is not large - about 0.6 m 2, the average price is 850 rubles. for one device.

The IR film heater comes with an adjustable thermostat and a power cord. The service life of such heaters is over 20 years, provided that they are of good quality and are used periodically (the film coating may be damaged during long-term storage).

Comparative review of three models of enclosed IR heaters

Let's study the characteristics of three popular models of ceiling infrared heaters of the Ecoline, Rio and Ballu brands with a capacity of 1000 watts.

specifications ICO-10 RIO-10 Ballu BIH-1.0 power supply and power consumption voltage, V 220-230 220-230 220-230 frequency Hz 50 50 50 consumed current, A 4.6 4.6 4.5 maximum power, W 1000 1000 1000 control room thermostat no (additional option) no (additional option) no (additional option) General characteristics type of shell horizontal monoblock horizontal monoblock horizontal monoblock body material metal metal metal primary colors white white white heating element type low-temperature heating element low-temperature heating element low-temperature heating element type of instalation ceiling ceiling ceiling moisture protection not determined not determined IP 20 electrical protection class not determined not determined I mounting kit there is there is there is for space heating, m 2 20 - in the off-season 10 - in winter 20 - in the off-season 10 - in winter 20 - in the off-season 12 - in winter suspension height, m more than 2.5 more than 2.5 more than 1.8 size WxHxL, cm 16x4x100 14x7x110 15x45x163 Weight, kg 4.7 4.1 5.2 brand owner Ecoline LLC, Russia Riolend LLC, Russia Ballu Industrial Group, China country of origin Russia Russia Russia warranty, years five 3 3 estimated service life, years 7 7 8 average cost, rub. 3200 3600 2900
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them


Let's analyze the tabular information in order to determine the most profitable purchase among the three considered models:

  • the models "Ecoline" and "Rio" differ from each other in shape lines - the first is kept in strictly straight lines, the second has an oval shape. The layout of the Ballu model is something in between - the main lines of its body are straight, the end sides are semi-oval;
  • most of the technical characteristics of all three models considered are almost identical, all of them are equipped with a low-temperature tubular heating element placed in an aluminum case, all three lack a thermostat in the package, which will have to be purchased separately (its average cost is 950 rubles);
  • It should be noted that technical data sheets for products of the Ecoline and Rio brands contain very little, in my opinion, technical information, in contrast to the information set forth in the data sheet of the considered model of the Ballu heater;
  • the length of the Ballu BIH-1.0 infrared heater exceeds the length of the other two models by one third, which allows to increase the heating zone;
  • The warranty period declared by the manufacturers of the described models of IR heaters cannot in this case serve as a significant reason for choosing, since the service life of a tubular heating element - the main element of an IR heater - is determined precisely at 7-8 years. Accordingly, each manufacturer can safely call any warranty period, the main thing is that it is less than the average life of the heating element;
  • the average price for a Ballu infrared heater is lower than the other two models reviewed.
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them


Conclusion: Considering a more complete presentation of the technical information in the data sheet, the greater length of the body and the heating element, as well as the lower cost with equal characteristics with the other two considered models, the Ballu BIH-1.0 infrared heater model is recognized according to the results of the review as the best acquisition, in comparison with the two other models.

Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them
Infrared electric heaters - how to choose and buy them

Ballu BIH-1.0

How to choose an infrared heater

Among baseboard, floor, wall and ceiling models of IR heaters, ceiling devices are most suitable for heating a house, since their radiation operates in a wider range. To cover the "dead zones", where the rays generated by the ceiling heater do not penetrate, you should use wall and floor appliances or IKZ lamps with a matte coating of the bulb. The main criteria for choosing ceiling infrared heaters are given in this article.

According to the heating area, the models of ceiling infrared heaters can be divided into several types, depending on their power:

  • 400 W appliances are intended for heating rooms with an area of no more than 4 m 2 - entrance hall, bathrooms (provided the heater is waterproof to at least IP 24), storerooms, toilets, etc.;
  • IR heaters with a power of 500 W are usually available in the form of a cassette and are designed for installation in a suspended ceiling of the Armstrong type, i.e. used for zoned heating in offices and homes;
  • 600 W models are intended for heating areas not exceeding 12 m 2 in the off-season and 6 m 2 in the winter season;
  • a power of 1000 W allows an infrared heater to warm 15-20 m 2 in autumn and spring, in winter - about 10 m 2;
  • heaters with a power of 1300 W must be installed no lower than 2.7 m above the floor level, because the radiation generated by them is strong enough and, at a lower installation height, can cause heat stroke in a person located under them. In the off-season, such heaters will warm 26 m 2, in the cold - 13-14 m 2.

Industrial infrared heaters, whose power is in the range from 2000 W to 4000 W, cannot be used in residential buildings - they are designed for significant ceiling heights.

Floor-standing infrared heaters are less efficient than ceiling-mounted because there are more opaque obstacles in the path of the radiation they generate. When choosing a floor-standing model, you should pay attention to the type of electric heater - the heating element and the carbon element are most suitable, the ceramic element is least of all (due to the shorter service life) and the halogen element is absolutely not suitable, because generates short waves, and in household infrared heaters, only long-wave radiation is permissible.

It should be noted that the cost of floor-standing and wall-mounted devices may be the same, and if equipped with a carbon element, and exceed the cost of more powerful ceiling infrared heaters - devices with a 700 W heating element cost about 3,000 rubles, with a 900 W carbon element - about 3800 rubles … However, most floor-standing and wall-mounted models are equipped with a thermostat, overheating and rollover sensors, while these are additional options for ceiling models.

Infrared heater operation

Ceiling models are the least demanding - it is only necessary to periodically remove dust from their external surfaces.

Floor and wall appliances must not be covered with anything during their operation, the minimum distance from the front panel of the device to any object, including the power outlet, must be at least one meter. It is advisable to connect the device to a grounded outlet. Before using the device in rooms with high air humidity, make sure that its moisture protection class is equal to or exceeds IP24 (the moisture protection class is indicated in the technical passport of the heater).

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