Infrared heater or convector — which is better?


In the mar­ket of heat­ing equip­ment, you can eas­i­ly find a lot of devices for space heat­ing. Due to their diver­si­ty, mak­ing the right choice can some­times be quite prob­lem­at­ic. In order to pur­chase the most suit­able heat­ing device, it is rec­om­mend­ed to con­duct a com­par­a­tive analy­sis of them. It will be nec­es­sary to care­ful­ly find out their strengths and weak­ness­es, tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics, etc. As an exam­ple, let’s fig­ure out what is more effi­cient for heat­ing a room — a con­vec­tor or an infrared heater. Con­sid­er their advan­tages, dis­ad­van­tages and oper­at­ing con­di­tions.


The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of con­vec­tors is that the air flow pass­es through a radi­a­tor, which has a large area, warms up and trans­fers heat to the room, thus heat­ing it.

Air moves through a pipe with a small cross sec­tion, which is equipped with a heat­ing ele­ment or some oth­er heat­ing ele­ment. The ener­gy source for con­vec­tors is most often gas or elec­tric­i­ty.

Atten­tion: A gas con­vec­tive heater is not only effi­cient, but also the abil­i­ty not to depend on cen­tral heat­ing sys­tems.

These heat­ing devices allow you to save a lot, because the process of their oper­a­tion will cost much less than their elec­tri­cal coun­ter­parts. But when using a gas con­vec­tor, you will have to make a hole in the wall to let the com­bus­tion prod­ucts out. And this is by no means suit­able for every­one.
In addi­tion, all work relat­ed to gas always involves a cer­tain risk and should not be car­ried out inde­pen­dent­ly. To do this, con­tact a spe­cial ser­vice that pro­vides such ser­vices. But despite some dif­fi­cul­ties dur­ing instal­la­tion, gas con­vec­tors are great for heat­ing a coun­try or pri­vate house. In addi­tion, its oper­a­tion will be much cheap­er than, for exam­ple, heat­ing with a sol­id fuel boil­er.

Anoth­er impor­tant advan­tage of a gas con­vec­tor is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of instal­la­tion in any place suit­able for this. Thanks to its pres­ence, it is pos­si­ble to heat the room with high qual­i­ty in the short­est pos­si­ble time.

If for some rea­son it is not pos­si­ble to install a gas con­vec­tor, its elec­tri­cal coun­ter­part is mount­ed. Some mod­els of this type of con­vec­tors can be installed not only on the wall, but also on the floor. In terms of their per­for­mance, they are not much infe­ri­or to their gas “broth­ers”.

Elec­tric con­vec­tors have a fair­ly sim­ple design. Its main parts are the body and the heat­ing ele­ment. There are holes in the low­er part of the hous­ing for draw­ing cold air into the device. After the air has warmed up, it leaves the room from the top of this device.

The heat­ing ele­ment is locat­ed at the bot­tom of the elec­tric con­vec­tor. Such an arrange­ment gives it the abil­i­ty to effec­tive­ly heat the air locat­ed between the walls of the case. After that, the air cur­rents rise and enter the room. Usu­al­ly the out­lets are at some angle.

Most often, con­vec­tors used to heat pri­vate and coun­try hous­es are equipped with a closed cir­cuit through which the coolant cir­cu­lates. Due to the pres­ence of radi­a­tors, it is pos­si­ble to col­lect all the ener­gy received and trans­fer it to the space, thus heat­ing the room.

The shape of the con­vec­tors is designed so that the air flow is able to pass through the slots in the met­al sur­face at max­i­mum speed. Quite often, con­vec­tors are equipped with radi­a­tors. Their pres­ence can sig­nif­i­cant­ly speed up the heat­ing process.

Advantages of convectors and features of their work

Con­vec­tors have numer­ous advan­tages that make the demand for these devices con­sis­tent­ly high. Among the advan­tages of con­vec­tor heat­ing are:

  • ease of instal­la­tion;
  • high effi­cien­cy;
  • the abil­i­ty to quick­ly heat even a cold room;
  • afford­able cost;
  • long ser­vice life.

Atten­tion: The main advan­tage and at the same time the dis­ad­van­tage of con­vec­tors is that they increase the tem­per­a­ture through­out the room.

This is of course good, because warm air will quick­ly spread through­out the room. But at the same time, if there is a draft, heat­ing with a con­vec­tor will not bring the desired result, since cold air will enter the room.

Heat­ing with a con­vec­tor, ide­al for heat­ing small rooms with good insu­la­tion. This allows you to achieve fast and high-qual­i­ty heat­ing. In addi­tion, one of their advan­tages is that they heat rather than burn the air. Also, their body does not heat up dur­ing oper­a­tion, which means that they can be safe­ly installed in chil­dren’s rooms and bed­rooms.

Infrared heaters

IR heaters are used for space heat­ing. They are active­ly used not only in res­i­den­tial build­ings, but also in var­i­ous indus­tri­al facil­i­ties. Infrared heaters are char­ac­ter­ized by effi­cien­cy, fast space heat­ing speed and the abil­i­ty to work in con­junc­tion with oth­er heat­ing devices. There are the fol­low­ing types of infrared heaters:

  • lamp;
  • mica;
  • gas.

Lamp infrared heaters, in turn, are divid­ed into car­bon, quartz and halo­gen, which prac­ti­cal­ly do not dif­fer from each oth­er in appear­ance and con­sist of a reflec­tor and an irra­di­at­ing lamp. In addi­tion, the heaters include a con­trol pan­el.

Lamp infrared heaters

The source of radi­a­tion in this type of IR heater is a lamp. It prac­ti­cal­ly does not warm the air, but trans­fers all the heat to objects. They are of two types: ceil­ing and floor. With their help, you can warm the room in the short­est pos­si­ble time.

Lamp heaters are equipped with a spi­ral, which is in a gaseous inert atmos­phere or in a vac­u­um. Heat is radi­at­ed by the lamp as an elec­tric cur­rent pass­es through the coil. To direct the heat in the right direc­tion, this device is equipped with a reflec­tor. Because of this, heat is felt only direct­ly in front of the heater. Behind him, it’s almost invis­i­ble.

Atten­tion: The main advan­tage of these heat­ing devices is the abil­i­ty to direct radi­a­tion to the desired area.

The lamp heater can be mount­ed on a wall or ceil­ing, installed on the floor. The only draw­back of this device is a frag­ile lamp, which, even from a weak push, can fail. At the same time, the lamp-type IR heater is com­pact and light­weight.

Mica IR Heaters

Infrared mica heaters look a lot like oil heaters. Their main sim­i­lar­i­ty is the pres­ence of pow­er­ful plates. In terms of heat­ing effi­cien­cy, they are not infe­ri­or to their lamp coun­ter­parts.

Due to the pres­ence of a steel grid that sur­rounds the heat­ing plate, it is impos­si­ble to get burned by acci­den­tal­ly touch­ing the hot sur­face of the device. In addi­tion, since the mica coat­ing is inert, it does not oxi­dize the air even when it is very hot. Mica, per­fect­ly insu­lates heat, but at the same time, trans­mits radi­a­tion well.

The heat­ing plate heats up to a tem­per­a­ture of 450 degrees and even­ly trans­fers heat. Mica mod­els of IR heaters are rarely equipped with reflec­tors. After all, the plate area is large enough and the reflec­tor would cov­er the entire reflec­tor, inter­fer­ing with the nor­mal oper­a­tion of this device.

Mica infrared heaters are supe­ri­or in effi­cien­cy to oil heat­ing devices. They make it pos­si­ble to quick­ly and effi­cient­ly warm the room even in severe frosts.

Gas infrared heaters

Infrared gas heaters are one of the most eco­nom­i­cal types of cli­mate con­trol equip­ment. Ini­tial­ly, they were devel­oped for heat­ing coun­try and coun­try hous­es, but grad­u­al­ly they began to be used for heat­ing almost any domes­tic and indus­tri­al premis­es. They allow not only to achieve sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings, but also high-qual­i­ty heat­ing. The heat dis­si­pa­tion and per­for­mance of this type of device is excel­lent.

Atten­tion: Heat­ing with gas infrared heaters occurs due to the heat­ing of the met­al sur­face to the tem­per­a­ture at which heat trans­fer begins to occur.


They are capa­ble of run­ning on nat­ur­al or liq­ue­fied gas. Gas infrared heaters are small in size and weight. Thanks to this, they can be eas­i­ly trans­port­ed or rearranged from one place to anoth­er.

What is better to choose

You need to decide which heater — a con­vec­tor or an infrared heater — will be the most suit­able for you after care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of all their advan­tages, dis­ad­van­tages and oper­at­ing con­di­tions.

There are a lot of advan­tages of infrared heaters and con­vec­tors. But they also have some dis­ad­van­tages, which should also be paid atten­tion to. When com­par­ing mod­ern heaters, it should be not­ed that they are not only able to effec­tive­ly heat the room, but also quite safe. In par­tic­u­lar, many mod­els have a tip­ping and over­heat­ing sen­sor.

Infrared heaters are supe­ri­or to con­vec­tors in terms of greater vari­ety in terms of place­ment. At the same time, some mod­els of con­vec­tors can even be mount­ed on the floor. In addi­tion, due to the thought­ful design, they can fit more har­mo­nious­ly into the design of the room.

The con­vec­tor will be indis­pens­able for heat­ing small, well-insu­lat­ed rooms in which there are no drafts. This heat­ing device allows you to quick­ly heat up the entire room well.

If you need to warm a spe­cif­ic area, since there is no need to heat the entire room, then it is bet­ter to use an infrared heater for this pur­pose. In addi­tion, it allows you to save a lot dur­ing oper­a­tion.

Infrared heaters and var­i­ous con­vec­tors can be used as main or addi­tion­al heat­ing devices. Before using them, you should deter­mine in advance the con­di­tions of use. This will allow you to make the right choice and achieve high-qual­i­ty heat­ing of the room even in severe frosts. Con­vec­tors and infrared heaters over the years of use have ful­ly proven their effec­tive­ness.


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