The principle of operation and the device of an infrared heater
One of the effective sources of additional heating are infrared heaters. The principle of their work is based on infrared rays, which provide a quick and high-quality increase in temperature in any part of your apartment.
Scheme of action
Today, more and more people prefer infrared heaters. They differ from the usual electric convectors in that they do not heat the air in the room itself, but solid surfaces (floors, walls) and objects, and they, in turn, pour heat into the surrounding space. So the whole room warms up imperceptibly.
Infrared wavelengths are long, which means they are freely absorbed even in a heavily ventilated and cold room. Heating itself occurs quickly, immediately after turning on the device. This speed is due to the fact that the flow of infrared rays will be directed to a specific area This is where the heating will take place. That is, being in one part of the room and setting the direction of the convector in that direction, you will immediately feel warmth with your whole body, while the whole room has not yet been heated properly. This is another important advantage of an infrared heater over other types of devices for the same purpose. So, in order to “get hot”, oil radiators and convectors need at least half an hour.
To understand how this electrical appliance works, and what is the basic principle of operation, you need to have an idea about its components. The body is usually made of steel, and the surface is powder coated. Inside it has an aluminum reflector to which a heating element is attached. So the infrared heater is like on a heating lamp or panel, inside which a beam of infrared rays is collected. They act regardless of the direction of the air and the speed of movement of warm and cold air masses.
The principle of operation of an infrared heater is similar to the effect of the sun on the atmosphere. The sun’s rays also penetrate the surface, which in turn absorbs heat.
Classification of infrared heaters
Devices can be classified according to several criteria:
- wavelength of radiation;
- power source.
Let’s take a closer look at each criterion.
Types of heaters depending on the wavelength of radiation
The physical principles underlying this type of heaters are such that the thermal radiation at the output can be different in wavelength, the device also differs greatly in the possible temperature regime. There are the following types of heaters: short-wave, medium- and long-wave.
- Shortwave devices radiate heat with a wavelength of 0.74 μm-2.5 μm. The operating temperature of such devices is from 100 degrees and more. For efficient operation, such a heater must be installed in a room with a ceiling height of at least 7 m. They are usually used at production sites or outdoors.
- Medium wave heaters operate at a wavelength of 2.5-5.6 microns. They work at high temperatures: 600-1000 degrees Celsius. Ceilings of 3-6 meters are needed here. This type of heaters is installed in private homes and offices, workshops and office buildings.
- Long wave heaters have a working range of 5.6-100 microns. The temperature can vary between 100-600 degrees. Most often, these devices are located in residential premises and offices with a ceiling height of up to 3 m. A device with a maximum temperature of 100-150 degrees is suitable for an apartment.
Types of heaters by format
Heaters are considered here depending on the type of their installation. There are: ceiling, floor and wall. Ceiling heaters are convenient in production: in workshops, at maintenance stations and in industrial garages, in greenhouses. Wall and floor have a wide scope. They are also used for offices and houses, in outdoor gazebos.
See also: how to choose an infrared floor heater.
Types of heaters depending on the energy source
Depending on what energy the device converts into heat, there are:
- gas heaters;
- electric IR heaters.
See also: how to choose a gas heater in a tent.
Gas infrared heater
Types of heating elements
When buying an infrared heater, you need to pay attention not only to the type of the heating element itself, but also what material its shell is made of. It can be made of metal, ceramic or quartz. Heating elements can also be of several types.
Halogen heating element
This heating element is made in the form of a halogen lamp emitting at an infrared wavelength. A tungsten or carbon fiber filament is installed in the core of the lamp. When current passes through the filament, it heats up and radiates energy in the infrared range. The energy is transferred to the tube of the lamp.
The specificity of lamps of this format lies in the fact that their radiation, firstly, is not comfortable for the human eye. Manufacturers try to neutralize this effect by applying protective paint to the lamp. Secondly, the radiation of such a short wavelength is harmful to humans. Therefore, a heater with such a heating element is not recommended for purchase.
This heating element is a quartz tube sealed on both sides. Inside it is a core (spiral) made of carbon, a vacuum is created around it.
This NE also has its own specifics.
- quick access to operating temperature;
- high efficiency.
- service life no more than 2 years;
- red light radiation, which has a negative effect on asthmatics and allergy sufferers.
Carbon heaters are used as a standby option for infrequent and short-term work.
The principle of operation of this heating element is the same as that of carbon. The difference is that its tube has a ceramic coating. Ceramics removes harmful glow and increases the total service life up to 3 years. A ceramic heating element is more expensive than a carbon one, but over time, due to the nuances of the design, the difference in price is compensated.
Ceramic heaters are quite inertial. They have found the widest application in hospitals and saunas.
The heating element is a plate with an insulating layer of mica in a metal case. It gives very comfortable warmth. Heaters of this type are reliable and safe, they serve for a long time. It is the best choice for home.
In the process of operation, this type of infrared heater emits a slight crackle associated with uneven thermal expansion of the aluminum case and the steel spiral.
When buying a heater with a tubular element, it is necessary to pay attention to the quality of the housing, the condition of the heating element, the insulating element and the emitter.
See also: what is better, a mikathermal heater or a convector?
Film infrared heaters
This format is often used not independently, but as element of the «warm floor» system. As a separate device, they are a panel that can be hung on the wall. Due to the electrical safety of the appliances, they can be used for bathrooms.
See also: picture-heater for the house.
Which model is better to choose
To decide which device is right for you, you should carefully study its characteristics, capabilities and control system. It all depends on the area of \u200b\u200bthe heated room, the operating conditions and the goals that you are going to achieve. For example, where exactly will the device be placed, will it have to be moved to another room or installed permanently?
So, portable heaters are smaller in size, but at the same time they are able to heat a much smaller area than their stationary counterparts.
There are wall, ceiling and plinth infrared heaters.
The most convenient solution, especially for owners of small apartments, will be ceiling option heater placement. It does not require a lot of space, it is mounted directly into a false ceiling or attached to a regular ceiling using brackets.
The heater can also be installed on the floor. floor standing electrical appliances are less efficient than ceiling appliances, because the radiation flux will not be directed directly, and heating will become more difficult.
It is best if there is a carbon heating element inside such a device — it is much more reliable and safer than, for example, ceramic.
The carbon heating element is a tube made of quartz. Inside it is a vacuum space with a carbon spiral. When a heater with a carbon tube is used, a characteristic reddish glow occurs, which is not very pleasing to the eyes. The ceramic element is of lower quality, but it does not glow during operation. And halogen can even have a negative effect on the human body due to too short emitted waves.
Recommendations when buying an IR heater
Before you decide on the choice of device, ask how thick the anodizing layer is on the plate that generates the infrared beam. This parameter determines the longevity of the instrument. With a thickness of at least 25 microns, the heater is considered reliable. If the layer is thinner, then most likely your purchase will not last long — such devices fail in 2-3 years.
Be sure to check the type of heating element. Avoid halogen heaters, which, like lamps, emit a golden glow and can adversely affect health.
Think about what kind of room you need to heat with this unit. Heaters vary greatly in power. 1000 W is enough for a room of 10 square meters, but it is better to take a heater with a margin. After all, a lot of heat is absorbed by walls, horizontal surfaces, windows, ceilings.
Mobile infrared heaters sometimes have a power of 300-500 watts. They are designed for you to use them in different rooms. If you periodically work in a garage, basement, small office that is not fully heated, then such a portable type of heater will be an effective solution to the problem.