It is essential to gather information on things that are found in our surroundings especially those that affect us personally in one way or the other which leads us to understanding what infrared heating is and how safe is it. Infrared heaters are fast being adopted as the heating source in homes, offices and other locations because of an impressive list of reasons. However, questions concerning how infrared heaters work and safety tend to arise because they utilize radiation as a form of heat transfer.
What is infrared heating?
Infrared heating is the heat that originates from the infrared region of the electromagnetic radiation with wavelength ranging from 780 nm t0 1mm. According to their wavelength, infrared radiation is classified into different ranges which are the short-wave infrared, medium wave infrared and the far infrared emitter. The sun is a natural emitter of infrared among others that are found in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Most types of infrared heaters fall under the far infrared and they have varying temperature, with short wave infrared heaters having the highest temperatures. When it comes to safety, according to the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), infrared rays that are emitted from the region of 3 to 1000 µm which is also the far wave infrared region do not pose any danger to the human health.
However, there are some misconception about infrared heating, but discussed below are some of those misconceptions, coupled with the advantages and disadvantages of infrared heating.
Popular misconceptions on infrared heating
- Infrared is not the same as Ultraviolet UV radiation: They are both electromagnetic radiations, however, their impact on humans and animals is relatively different. UV radiation is quite harmful to humans while infrared especially the longwave infrared is not harmful to humans. There are other forms of radiation that can be harmful to humans if they are exposed to them for an extended period of time.
- Infrared is not visible: Infrared does not fall under the region of visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum and is thus not visible to the naked human eye. However, we can feel it around us in the form of heat.
Advantages of Infrared Heating
- Instant heating: Infrared heaters warm up their environment immediately. Unlike convectional heating where the heat is transferred in the air or water, infrared heat warms up objects directly. This makes infrared heating quite efficient in heating faster. Also, if you want the temperature to drop relatively fast, infrared heaters got you covered.
- Even distribution of heat: Unlike conventional heating where warm air rises to the ceiling and cooler air are found closer to the ground which in turn leads to inefficient distribution of heat, Infrared heating spreads evenly around the room. To achieve this better it is best to install the infrared heater at a central location in the room, for example the ceiling.
- Eco-friendly: Infrared heating does not adversely affect the environment unlike the burning of fossil fuel as a source of heat. This helps to reduce the amount of carbon emissions that is released into the atmosphere.
- Healthy: Infrared heating is relatively healthier compared to the other sources of indoor heat. The heat helps to improve blood circulation and it also reduces cases of allergic reactions. It reduces the growth of mould which usually thrives on damp walls by keeping the walls dry.
- Cost-effective: It is relatively more cost saving compared to conventional heating setup. It does not consume too much power compared to a convection heater and it delivers heat at an optimal level. Infrared heaters are also durable with impressive lifespan.
- Easy to install: Infrared heaters are easy to setup as they run on primarily on electricity. Also, they do not take up much space as opposed to conventional heating systems.
Disadvantages of infrared heating
There is no major disadvantage of this form of heating other than the need to replace some parts at some point after prolong usage. Also like most heaters, they tend to get hot and they can cause burns when touched.
A lot has been said about radiation, and it has made people skeptical when they hear about it. However, it is essential to note that not all radiation is harmful as a reasonable amount of it is beneficial and important for the survival of life on earth, and infrared heating is beneficial and safe for humans, adults and children alike.