Out Door Heaters - What Is Infrared Heat ?
- Author Sean Madray
- Published February 11, 2012
- Word count 524
Infrared heaters have become more common across many parts of the United States, and have gained popularity from a lot of people who are pleased with the performance of these units.
Infrared (electromagnetic radiant infrared energy) is the transfer of thermal energy via invisible electromagnetic energy waves that can be felt like the warmth from the sun, a downwind fire, or other hot objects. It's a form of radiant heat that is also called "infrared energy". About 80% of the sun's rays actually fall into this spectrum, and this is the part that warms your skin when the sun's rays hit you.
This type of heat is also used industrially, such as molding plastics and drying paint. Commercial applications include warehouse, construction and aviation hangar heating. Consumer or residential uses include patio heaters, portable space heaters, convection ovens, incubator heat lamps and dry saunas.
Infrared heaters offer more localized options for heating areas around homes and businesses. For example an automotive repair shop can use these heaters at each car lift where a mechanic works, rather than attempting to heat the entire shop. These heaters are typically more energy efficient since they do not heat entire rooms, only what is in the room. The same principle applies to heating an outdoor patio.
Various types of heaters include ceramic emitters, metal tubulars, quartz lamps and quartz tubes. Infrared heater filaments can be powered by electricity, propane or natural gas. These types vary in operating temperature, wavelength, durability, efficiency and cost.
These heaters are highly efficient, qualifying them to be considered a green, or environmentally sustainable product. No toxic fumes or harmful emissions are emitted, such as carbon monoxide and carcinogens common to other fuel sources. They do not remove oxygen or moisture from the air, and increases the comfort level by preserving humidity commonly lost with electric heat furnaces, making them excellent for indoor heating and use around livestock. They consume far less energy than forced-air heaters, and work more quickly. Low-temperature infrared space heaters also reduce the risk of accidental home fires.
Also known as radiant heaters, these heaters operate on the principle of radiant heat transfer, which uses electromagnetic waves to gradually increase the temperature of the air. This process results in no heat loss at all, and offers a type of warmth that’s unmatched by heaters using electric coils. Infrared heaters contain a coil filament, often made of tungsten, carbon or iron alloys. The element is often protected by a quartz glass tube filled with inert gas, or embedded in ceramic.
The infrared is a more effective heating system, because it is able to directly access the water molecules in the body, warming them quickly and efficiently. Short-wave infrared heaters reach high temperatures suitable for industrial processes, while long-wave infrared heaters are common in residential uses.
The Portable infrared heaters work by emitting short heat waves. These short waves are able to penetrate objects and people, providing a faster and more efficient heating method. Other forms of space heaters use longer wavelengths, which cannot penetrate directly into objects. These heaters must warm the air, which then warms the people inside the room.
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