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Compared to centralized heating, portable heaters are becoming more popular. With the advent of technology, some exceptional heaters are available in the market today.
We have noticed that an increasing number of users opt for portable heaters since they’re more energy and cost-efficient. Instead of heating the entire house, these heaters only service the areas occupied by you at the time.
So, it should come as no surprise that portable heaters are a common inclusion in most modern homes. Now, there is an eternal debate about whether a ceramic heater is better or an infrared one. While both have similar functionalities, there are numerous differences in how they operate.
Since both are doing extremely well in the world of heating, you might be curious about which is best suited for your needs. We have got you covered in that regard and have prepared a comprehensive guide based on a variety of aspects.
Now, let us get into the details without further delay.
What are Ceramic Heaters?
- What are Ceramic Heaters?
- What are Infrared Heaters?
- Factors to Consider Before Choosing
Also known as a convection heater, the ceramic heater has been around for a long time. It is a standard heating mechanism, which works when the plates absorb the heat and then release it into the room. This happens through a hot surface, which is why this space gets heated.
Although ceramic heaters come with or without fans, you’ll see the principle functioning is the same. The air is circulated through the heating system, and the warmth spreads all over the room.
Advantages of Ceramic Heaters
Ceramic heaters usually come in very compact shapes and sizes. As a result, these units can be moved with ease from one part of the house to the other. Apart from the quick and effortless portability, you’ll also notice how these heaters are best suited for households of up to four people.
Increased Heating Spaces
When compared to radiant heaters, you’ll see how ceramic heaters cover larger areas. In fact, if you invest in a ceramic heater with a fan, then you’ll find it even more advantageous. The fan helps to spread the heat throughout the room better.
Heating is Clean
Since this is just a version of electrical heating, ceramic variants don’t need any fuel to operate. So, you don’t have to worry about the emission of harmful fumes. Moreover, there’s no need to clean it regularly either.
The ceramic plates are a standout feature, due to which this heater consumes less energy and heat. It is already extremely efficient, but there are certain things you can do to improve its functioning even more. For instance, ensure that all doors are closed and curtains are drawn so that the heat doesn’t escape.
Firstly, it is energy efficient, which saves money on electricity. Moreover, by opting for a localized heater instead of a centralized one, you can use it only when and where it is needed. This cuts down on a lot of unnecessary expenses as well.
Scope of Improvement
Ceramic heaters have to be handled very carefully. If great care is not taken, then the product is likely to malfunction. Also, users are put at greater risks since there is a chance of fire or electrocution.
What are Infrared Heaters?
Infrared or radiant heaters work on a simple principle – they heat everything directly. Thus, anything in the path of the heater sees a rise in temperature. Even if something as thick as a wall lies in the path, you’ll see a noticeable change in surface heat.
Conventional heaters rely on airflow, which means you should keep windows and doors closed. But, a closed circulation isn’t necessary for infrared variations, which allows you to let fresh air enter the room.
Advantages of Infrared Heaters
Compatible with Various Energy Sources
You’ll find that this heater works with different sources of energy. As a result, it appeals to a wider base of users. Although the electric radiant option is quite popular, the propane or natural gas alternatives have remained favorites among users as well.
Design is Compact
Infrared heaters are intended to service concentrated areas, as opposed to the centralized options. As such, they are sleek and come in stylish designs. Not only does this make them suited for smaller spaces, but these heaters can also spruce up the interiors.
Heating is Clean
These heaters run completely on electricity, so you’ll never find any smoke, fume, or strong odors being emitted. Furthermore, the device runs cleanly, and there is no dust produced due to these heaters. Thus, the option is perfect for users with dust allergies and is also preferred by those who don’t particularly like the small, traditional heaters.
This variant operates on natural gas too, which is usually preferred in big offices, halls, and commercial spaces as well. Obviously, the machines are accordingly devised with numerous ducts. These ducts all have different uses. Since the model is compact, you can also place the heaters at consistent distances, irrespective of whether you’re using it in a lobby or a party room.
When heaters operate, they often tend to produce a degree of noise. This is simply because of the mechanism which makes use of the fan to spread the hot air across the room. In an infrared heater, this problem never arises.
Since the fan isn’t used for heating here, there is no persistent humming sound. Naturally, in a closed interior space, this sound could get troublesome after some time and might even lead to trouble sleeping. Thus, the infrared variant stands out in this regard.
Scope of Improvement
Despite its undeniable efficiency, the infrared heater could do well in terms of safety. Of course, due to the direct heating mechanism employed, these devices become extremely hot to touch. As a result, we wouldn’t recommend it for households with pets or kids, since there is a chance of accidents.
But, luckily, there are variants now, where the cabinets are cool to touch. These are much safer. Furthermore, it is best to buy units that shut off automatically or have a tip-over switch, which ensures safety in emergency situations.
Light Causes Disturbance
While the infrared variant definitely stays ahead when it comes to noise pollution, you’ll see that it emits a glow, which is markedly absent in ceramic options. The yellowish-orange light from the heaters might come across as disturbing to those who prefer it to be pitch black while sleeping.
Warming is Limited
In an infrared heater, the mechanism ensures that everything in a straight line becomes hot. Therefore, you’ll often find that the warming process is limited. In some cases, there isn’t enough power to heat the whole room either.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing
Now that you know all there is to the operations, upsides, and downsides of the two popular heaters, there are certain factors that should influence your choice.
Safety and Health
As a user, your prime concern should always be whether the product is safe for you and if it has adverse effects on health. Now, while we have noted that infrared heaters pose a certain degree of danger to pets and kids, you’ll find that the mechanism makes it safer and healthier overall, as compared to the ceramic version.
Confused about why it is healthier? Well, simply because with ceramic heaters, you have to keep all doors and windows locked, so the circulation of fresh air becomes a problem. With infrared options, opening a window doesn’t hamper the heating process at all.
Light and Noise Pollution
Both heaters come with their own set of problems in this case. While the ceramic heater emits no light, there is a constant humming noise due to the mechanism using fans to blow hot air. At the same time, infrared heaters don’t have any noise but emit yellowish-orange light.
Thus, you have to decide on which downside you’re more willing to live with when you pick the heater.
Size of Living Spaces
The way ceramic heaters work, blowing hot air all over, you’ll see that it does better in heating larger rooms, with doors and windows closed. On the other hand, the infrared heaters can only function in a manner where everything in its straight path gets heated.
Thus, in large rooms where objects and occupants might be scattered about, an infrared heater doesn’t come in handy. In fact, anything outside the path of the heater won’t be able to enjoy its efficient heating at all.
While users prefer both these products, and they’ve managed to capture the market well, you have to know the specific cost benefits. Although ceramic heaters are more money-saving than centralized options, it still is more expensive to operate when compared to infrared variants.
At the end of the day, we’d not recommend either as a primary heating source. That said, you have to know that each option has its own set of pros and cons.
An infrared option saves immensely on the cost of operation and energy consumption. However, its mechanism makes it more suited for small places like your workspace or a garage. There isn’t much benefit in using this option inside large houses.
On the other hand, ceramic heaters have a different kind of edge. The room remains warm even after the heater has been turned off. This is because the heating takes place using air as a medium, which retains heat for some time.
When it comes to the infrared variant, heating happens directly on the surface of objects. Thus, when the heater is turned off, the objects lose heat quickly.
Therefore, the choice really hinges on the area of use and your individual needs. Hopefully, this guide will help you narrow things down.
Do reach out to us if you have any further queries. Till next time!