Infrared heaters differ from other heaters in that they only heat the area directly in front of them as opposed to spreading heat through the vicinity. An infrared heater can be powered by propane, electricity or natural gas. The design, control and maximum output level of infrared heaters can vary.
The heat given off by an infrared heater is absorbed by the skin and clothes and other objects in the path of the heat wave. Oil-filled and fan-forced portable infrared heaters are some of the most popular and safest to use. Some infrared heater models are made to resemble fireplaces and are considered cleaner and safer than traditional fireplaces.
Some of the main advantages of infrared heaters include providing instant heat, operating quietly, not compromising air quality and cost efficiency. Usually, the only maintenance infrared heaters require is for the owner to clean the reflectors.
One of the main disadvantages of using infrared heaters is that they can be unsafe around children and pets since their coils can get hot. The heaters also only put out a limited amount of heat, which could be a problem for a person who moves around a lot while using the heater or if there are several people in the room.