Cost Guide For Running Infrared Heaters (Not What You Think)

When it comes to keeping you and your family warm when your central heating system just is not cutting it, purchasing space heaters might be your first go-to option.

There are many types of space heaters out there, but you may like infrared heaters. But how much do they cost to run?

Infrared heaters use less energy than other types of space heaters. They use 100 percent of the heat they generate, resulting in virtually no heat transfer loss to zone heat at a low cost.

Unlike most secondary heating devices, infrared heaters do not heat the air but instead emit infrared radiation that only warms the surfaces that the radiation reaches. The mechanics are close to how sunlight warms objects, so being heated by an infrared space heater has a natural feel.

As we continue with this article, we at Heaterspace will answer many of your questions. Along with this, we will be discussing the pros and cons of infrared heaters, the general cost of the heaters themselves, and how they work.

Other topics will be on how much you can expect to pay for running these heaters, along with some examples of some highly rated infrared heaters you can buy right now.

Are Portable Infrared Heaters Expensive To Run?

Asking if infrared heaters are relatively expensive will entirely depend on a few things. Firstly let us look at the standard for most space heaters. Most heaters operate with 2 or 3 settings, but the highest setting will likely be 1500 watts.

This is the typical maximum power output for space heaters, which is no exception for infrared heaters. However, there are a few options you can look for that will help you save on electricity when it comes to using infrared heaters to heat your home. 

Get A Heater With Multiple Settings (ECO Mode)

Getting an infrared heater with the aforementioned multiple settings will save you on electricity, provided you do not only use the highest 1500 watt setting.

That being said, another thing to look for on your infrared heater of choice is an ECO mode. What this mode will do is accurately gauge its surroundings to get an accurate temperature.

Suppose that temperature is over a predetermined setting. In that case, the device will shut off its heating elements until the sensors see that the room’s average temperature is below a certain point in which it will turn back on.

This saves you money in pretty much an obvious way, Not using electricity all of the time.

Three Determining Factors Of Saving Energy

So above anything else, the amount of energy an infrared space heater, or any space heater for that matter, saves depends primarily on three things:

  1. How you use it.
  2. How often you use it.
  3. How the manufacturers made the space heater.
Saving Money

How Much Does It Cost To Use An Infrared Space Heater?

If you think your power costs too much for convenience, energy savings would be a top priority. Space heaters are an ideal alternative to centralized heating as long as they are used at the appropriate times and in the proper rooms for you and your neighbors.

When determining how much your space heaters will cost to operate, you can use this simple formula to determine how much it will take. The majority of electric and gas utilities would bill between 0.15 cents and 0.33 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Kilowatts are the broader unit of measurement for watts. One kilowatt equals 1000 watts. However, most space heaters operate at 600, 900, or 1500 watts, translating to 0.75 to 1.5 kilowatts. 

Assume the heater is 1500 watts or 1.5 kilowatts, and you use it at least 10 hours a day. 1.5 is obtained by dividing 1500 by 1000. Then add 1.5 by 10 to get 15 kilowatt-hours per hour. So that heater would cost anywhere from $2.25 to $4.95 to run every hour.

If you run multiple heaters, you can multiply or add the total cost by repeating the same steps with each heater. Using 1 or 2 space heaters to keep your family warm is usually less expensive than running your centralized heater all day.

How Do Infrared Space Heaters Work?

Infrared space heaters work vastly differently than all of the other heaters on the market. Instead of heating the air directly, they convert electricity into infrared radiation, spread out over the entire area facing the heater.

This radiation is not harmful, mind you, but it is by far not strong enough to harm you in any way. Infrared is a form of electromagnetic radiation.

The heat feels similar to the winter sun’s warmth on your skin and the heat of a coal burner. It is even the same kind of heat as your own body emits. It is the most basic form of healing known to humankind.

Infrared heat transfer is the direct transfer of heat from the heater to the source (you and the environment surrounding you) without heating the air in between.

This is the same heat we experience from a sun-heated area, and this is the wavelength most easily consumed by the body. It is healthy and natural; the only dangerous thing is UV light from the sun, not infrared.

Pros & Cons

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Infrared Space Heaters

Down below, we have created a chart to help you better understand the pros and cons of infrared space heaters.

1. They are generally cheap to run and are the most affordable to run most of the time. 1. You cannot actively regulate the temperature. It is usually either on or off, with just two or three power settings. This can make it difficult if you’re looking for the ideal room temperature.
2. Infrared heaters generally use fewer watts and don’t need to work extra hard if space is draughty. Since there are no moving parts, they are also super low maintenance.2. When on full power, these things get extremely hot. Be cautious whether you have children or curious dogs. A perfect solution is to hang them on the wall, where they are out of sight of curious hands or paws.
3. Infrared heaters are silent. Other than the noise from starting the heater up, you will not hear anything from these types of heaters. This especially makes them perfect for bedrooms and office areas.3. Your body may suffer water loss.
4. The heat lasts a long time because infrared heaters heat you and the other objects in the room. Opening a door and letting in a cool breeze will not lose all of that heat the heater worked so hard for in the first place.4. Infrared heaters only provide targeted heating.
5. Infrared heaters are fast and gentle. When you turn them on, you instantly feel the sun, but it doesn’t get too hot because the materials, not the air, are warm.
6. Offers heat without any of the risks associated with other types of heaters.
7. There are no moving parts, no fuel lines, and no open fires. Particularly with modern safety features such as tip-over security and auto shut-off.

How To Use Infrared Space Heaters Safely?

This is a general guide for not only infrared space heaters but for all space heaters in general. 

1. Make Sure You Have The Right Heater

When purchasing a space heater for your house, make sure you have the right heater for the job, such as a small electric or infrared heater for small rooms or a powerful electric or permanent gas-burning heater for large rooms.

2. Automatic Shut-off Button

Another thing to look for in a space heater is an intelligent sensor that can immediately switch off the device if it is tipped over or begins to overheat.

3. Make Sure It Has Certifications

When you choose the right heater for your needs, make sure the CPSC hasn’t recalled it. Look for one of the three marks mentioned below: the ETL label from Intertek, the UL mark from Underwriters Laboratories, or the CSA International endorsement.

Use your best judgment when setting up your space heater; if something seems wrong, don’t use it; return it if applicable and get a new one.

4. Place It On A Firm Surface

A few considerations must be made when installing a space heater. Allow enough space for the heater, position it on a firm flat surface, and keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as curtains, chairs, or bedding.

5. Do Not Put The Heater On Furniture Or Cover It Up

Avoid putting the heater on top of the furniture or covering it with something, which would raise the chance of a burn. Often, avoid placing it near heavy traffic places in the space you choose to heat up, such as doors or hallways, to avoid tipping the heater over while passing by.

6. Plug It Directly Into The Outlet

When plugging in the heaters, make sure they are plugged directly into the outlet; using an extension cord or power box may cause overheating and fires. Even before plugging in your space heater, make sure the cable is not in a place where it can be stepped on or tripped over, nor should it be dragged under any rugs or furniture.

7. Keep Liquids Away

Keep all liquids away from your space heater to avoid getting damp while operating it because it will shock you while also placing the heater itself at risk of shorting out and sparking a burn.

8. Check The Plugs

Check whether the plug, cable, wall socket or space heater faceplate is hot when using the space heater. If it is, unplug it and stop using it right away.

A hot cord is the most harmful of the bunch because it indicates that the cable is broken or unreliable and could ignite and trigger fire at any time while in operation.

9. Only Use It To Heat The Room

Space heaters should only be used for heating; you should not use them to steam the bed, cook or thaw food, dry clothing, or thaw out frozen pipes. Just use heaters for brief periods as needed; DO NOT USE THEM 24 HOURS A DAY.

Space heaters should not be used in an unattended environment or in a child’s room where they might tip it over or break it.

Are Infrared Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight?

Infrared heaters are generally safe to leave on overnight. They are not finicky, and any new heater worth its cost comes with safety shut-off switches if it overheats or tips over. However, you can exercise caution if you leave one on while sleeping or out.

It would be best if you used any timer functions to switch off the heat automatically after a certain amount of time. This is useful if you like the space to be a little colder when you sleep.

Second, make sure the heater is not covered, particularly by something explosive, and is in good working order. Examine the heater for any disruption or fraying of the power cord in particular.

Do Infrared Heaters Cause Cancer?

Cancer is not caused by infrared radiation. While infrared heat functions similarly to solar heat, it lacks the ultraviolet portion that the sun does. This means no tan, no sunburn, and, most importantly, no cancer. Aside from heaters’ usual hazards, such as getting too close to contact, infrared heat is risk-free.

Infrared Heater

What Are Some Highly Rated And Safe Infrared Space Heaters?

This section will be talking about a few of the highest-rated infrared heaters on the market right now. They will range in price, but they all will function the same way and come with the typical overheat protection, tip-over protection, and auto shut-off timers.

1. CCC Comfort Zone Radiant Quartz Tower

The CCC Comfort Zone Radiant Quartz Tower from Comfort Zone is first on the list of infrared space heaters. At $42.99, this model is one of the most affordable on the list.

This practical radiant heater efficiently and thoroughly warms people and objects in its path. When activated, the dual quartz tubes automatically switch on and emit a warm light.

A stay-cool molded handle, metal housing, a tip-over switch, and an overheat security mechanism are among the additional safety features. Like most others on this list, this heater has the same safety features to ensure your comfort during the night.

This model’s other valuable features include a top-mounted control center with knobs that enable you to rapidly and effortlessly adjust the thermostat to switch between high and low levels. With this heater’s fan-assisted heat, your room will be warm in no time.

2. Taotronics Space Heater

The Taotronics Space Heater comes next which costs about $60, which is not that bad compared to the other items on the list.

This space heater’s inbuilt ceramic heating elements warm up softly to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in 3 seconds, rapidly warming up comparatively narrow spaces such as a bedroom or smaller living room and doing it with less noise, making it suitable for indoor usage.

This model also has typical safety features such as overheat protection, an auto-shutoff switch that activates if the device is tipped or knocked over, and a heat retardant-protected contact casing.

For those times when you fail to turn off the radiator, the Taotronics space heater has a 7-hour timer and a 12-hour auto-shutoff timer.

This 18-inch-tall heater can be mounted anywhere in your home or office and moved between rooms using the hidden handle; monitor the heat and oscillation settings remotely from your bed or sofa.

3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR-978

This Dr. Infrared Heater DR-978 is somewhat more costly than the other heaters on the list, costing slightly more than $85 for this particular model. The Dr. has a one-of-a-kind hybrid dual heating system with a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) and infrared radiation, resulting in a much higher heat generation.

The Dr. includes all of the typical safety features listed in this post. Included are helpful features such as tip-over safety, overheat protection, and an auto-off timer when the appliance is left running for more than 12 hours.

Dr. Infrared is also UL and cUL approved, ensuring that the safety features protect you and your family.

The thermostat controls the radiator and cycles it on and off to keep the temperature fixed between 50 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, three settings are available: High, Low, and ECO. Overall, it is an outstanding option for a heater for your home. Not to mention quite fashionable!

4. AirChoice Portable Infrared Heater

The AirChoice Portable Infrared Heater is about $60. However, the expense comes with a slew of benefits. Air Choice’s energy-efficient space heater has three power settings: 1500 watts, 700 watts, and ECO.

The 1500W infrared heater will heat up in 3 seconds. In smaller areas, such as offices, 750 watts in low mode is adequate. Notably, ECO mode can be activated and deactivated cyclically to conserve heat.

This energy-efficient indoor heater comes with remote control and a 12-hour on/off timer, making it easy to use for all of your needs. Also, an LED display screen allows you to monitor the state of this heater’s activity from a distance.

These features enable users to monitor the portable heater in their home when sitting on the couch watching TV, without getting up to manage the portable space heater.

With a temperature range of 59-95°F and a 1°F temperature change per button, you can easily set the temperature you want. This home electric heater will then turn on and off to maintain the temperature you set.

This home heater is fitted with safety features. Since this infrared heater is compact and light, it can tip over more efficiently with this in mind.

Final Thoughts

Infrared heaters are among the most popular, and for a good reason. They can save you on electricity depending on the model you buy, how you use it, and how often. Hopefully, this article has answered all of your pertinent questions and helped you determine if infrared heaters are the best for you and your family.

Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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