Do Infrared Heaters Use a Lot of Electricity?

Infrared heaters have become popular with many homeowners, thanks to their energy efficiency and ability to provide fast, targeted heat. However, one of the main concerns people have when considering an infrared heater is whether or not it uses a lot of electricity. While it's true that all electric heaters will use some energy, the question is whether or not infrared heaters are more or less efficient than other types of heaters on the market.

In this blog post, we'll explore the world of infrared heaters and answer the question: do infrared heaters use a lot of electricity? We'll look at how infrared heaters work, what sets them apart from other heaters, and what factors can impact their energy usage. We'll also provide tips and advice for choosing the most energy-efficient infrared heater for your home so that you can stay warm and comfortable without breaking the bank on your electricity bill.

How Do Infrared Heaters Work? 

Infrared heaters, those ingenious devices that warm us up without warming the air around us, work their magic through a fascinating process called radiant heat transfer. Picture yourself on a sunny day. You feel warm when the sun's rays touch your skin, even though the air around you might not be hot. It is the essence of how infrared heaters operate, harnessing the power of electromagnetic waves to create a cozy and efficient heating experience. 

Emission of Radiant Heat

At the heart of every infrared heater are its heating elements, meticulously designed to emit infrared radiation. When these elements are electrified, they emit invisible waves of energy, much like the heat we receive from the sun. Unlike traditional heaters that warm the air first, infrared heaters bypass this step, emitting rays that travel through the air and directly heat the objects and surfaces they come into contact with.

Warming the Objects

Once the emitted radiation encounters objects, furniture, or people in its path, the energy gets absorbed and transformed into heat. Imagine standing in front of an infrared heater – you'll instantly feel the warmth on your skin. It is because your body, clothes, and other objects around you absorb the radiant heat. The heat doesn't get lost in the air or escape through drafts, making infrared heaters notably efficient at keeping you toasty.

Efficient and Direct

Infrared heaters' efficiency lies in their direct approach. They eliminate the need to continuously heat and circulate the air in a room, as conventional heaters do. This targeted heating means less energy is wasted, and you immediately feel the warmth. Moreover, since the objects in the room retain heat, even if you momentarily step out of the heater's reach, you'll feel warm due to the radiant heat emission.

Energy Efficiency of Infrared Heaters

Direct Heat Transfer

Infrared heaters excel in energy efficiency due to their direct heat transfer mechanism. Because they heat objects directly, the surrounding environment has minimal heat loss. This characteristic makes them particularly effective in spaces with poor insulation.

Zone Heating

One of the key contributors to the energy efficiency of infrared heaters is their ability to facilitate zone heating. Instead of heating an entire building, these heaters allow you to target specific areas that require warmth. It can save energy by avoiding the need to heat unoccupied spaces.

Instant Heat

Unlike conventional heaters that take time to warm up a room, infrared heaters provide instant heat. You can feel the warmth as soon as you turn on the device, reducing the need to run the heater for extended periods.

Thermostat and Timer Features

Many modern infrared heaters are equipped with thermostats and timers. These features allow you to control when and how much the heater operates. You can set the desired temperature and schedule, preventing unnecessary energy consumption.

Comparing Energy Usage: Infrared Heaters vs. Conventional Heating Systems

Unveiling the Efficiency Divide

The battle between energy efficiency and comfort often takes center stage when it comes to keeping cozy during the chilly months. We have the reigning champion in this corner – the conventional heating system. And in the opposite corner, the feisty contender – the infrared heater. Let's enter the ring and witness the electrifying match of energy usage!

Traditional Heaters Enter the Arena

Traditional heating systems, like the ones we've all grown up with, rely on warming the air. But here's where things get dicey: Heating the air requires continuous reheating as it cools down. It's like trying to fill a leaky bucket—a never-ending cycle that can guzzle electricity.

But wait! Infrared heaters sneak in from the sidelines with their unique tactic. Instead of warming the air, they shoot invisible rays that directly warm objects and surfaces. This targeted approach means energy is well-spent on reheating lost warmth. It's like scoring a bullseye every time!

The Speedy Showdown

Conventional heaters take their sweet time. They need to heat the air, and you can only start feeling the warmth. It's like waiting for a pot of water to boil; you're stuck twiddling your thumbs until the magic moment arrives.

Enter the hero

The infrared heater. With a snap of your fingers (well, almost), you're bathed in toasty comfort. No more waiting around for the warmth to hit. It's as if your favorite cozy blanket wrapped itself around you instantly.

Infrared Heaters vs. Conventional Heaters: A Clash of Heating Titans

When it comes to heating our spaces, the age-old battle between infrared and conventional heaters continues to spark intrigue. Imagine stepping into a room and instantly feeling a gentle, soothing warmth envelop you. That's the magic of infrared heaters. We have the conventional heaters, the tried-and-true warriors that have kept us cozy for years. So, how do these two contenders stack against each other in the energy-efficient heating arena?

The Swift Warm Embrace

Picture this scenario: you've just walked into a chilly room, and your body craves warmth like a desert craves rain. Infrared heaters swoop in as the heroes of the moment. With their instantaneous heat delivery, they waste no time in getting you cozy. Their superpower directly targets objects and people, akin to how the sun's rays kiss your skin on a cold morning. Conversely, conventional heaters rely on the time-tested tactic of heating the air, often leading to a delayed warming effect. In contrast, the traditional heater might take time to orchestrate the symphony of warmth, but the infrared heater nails the solo performance instantly.

Energy Efficiency: A Thrilling Showdown

In the quest for energy efficiency, the battlefield shifts to a showdown of colossal proportions. Infrared heaters seize the advantage with their targeted approach like skilled archers hitting the bullseye every time. Directly heating objects and bodies ensures minimal energy wastage on unappreciative air molecules. Conventional heaters, on the other hand, wage a different war. They warm the air, which sounds noble, until you realize that warm air tends to escape, leaving you with a warmer room outside than in. Infrared heaters showcase their mastery by minimizing this heat loss, potentially making your energy bills feel less like a dragon's hoard.

A Symphony of Silence vs. The Roar of Fans

As the comparison unfolds, another aspect comes into play: the acoustics of comfort. Infrared heaters, much like a gentle whisper, operate silently. Their lack of moving parts ensures that the only sound accompanying your warm cocoon is the soft sigh of contentment. On the contrary, conventional heaters, especially those with fans, come with a symphony of whirring blades and rhythmic hums. While this background tune might be music to some ears, those seeking serene tranquility find solace in the unobtrusive operation of infrared heaters.

Infrared Heaters vs. Central Heating Systems: Making the Energy Choice

Directing Heat Where It’s Needed

When pitting infrared heaters against conventional central heating systems, a stark difference emerges in their approach to warming spaces. Central heating systems raise the temperature of an entire building, including unoccupied rooms, often resulting in substantial energy wastage. On the other hand, infrared heaters focus on delivering heat exactly where it's required. This localized heating, known as "zone heating," ensures that energy is used efficiently and allows users to target specific areas for warmth. This precision ensures comfort without the hefty energy bills that central heating might incur.

Instant Gratification vs. Prolonged Heating

Imagine instantly entering a room on a chilly day and being warm. That's the magic of infrared heaters. Unlike central heating systems that take time to raise the temperature of a whole space, infrared heaters provide rapid, direct heat. It can translate to significant energy savings since you only need to run the heater for shorter periods. On the other hand, central heating demands prolonged operation to bring the entire building to a comfortable temperature, often leading to higher energy consumption. The prompt response of infrared heaters keeps you cozy and ensures your energy consumption is kept in check.

Personalized Comfort and Control

Central heating systems are notorious for being somewhat inflexible regarding individual comfort. With infrared heaters, the story changes. Imagine being able to adjust the warmth in specific rooms according to your preferences, all while sparing the rest of the house from unnecessary heating. Infrared heaters offer this level of personalized control, allowing you to create microclimates within your home. Want a toasty bedroom but a cooler kitchen? Infrared heaters grant you the power to do just that. This control also extends to timing – you can set up your heaters to warm your living room before you even step in after a long day. This level of precision and personalization contributes to energy savings by avoiding unnecessary heating of unoccupied spaces, a key feature distinguishing infrared heaters from their central counterparts.

Best Infrared Heaters for Efficient and Cozy Heating

Empire HearthRite 23" Thermostat 15,000 BTU Vent-Free Infrared Heater

Empire HearthRite 23" Thermostat 15,000 BTU Vent-Free Infrared Heater

The Empire HearthRite 23" Thermostat Infrared Heater is a powerful and efficient heating solution that easily brings warmth to your space. With a substantial 15,000 BTU output, this vent-free heater is designed to heat rooms quickly and effectively. Its infrared technology ensures even heat distribution, providing a cozy atmosphere without waiting for prolonged warm-up times.


Efficient Heating: The 15,000 BTU output guarantees rapid and effective heating, keeping your space comfortable in no time.

Vent-Free Design: This heater's vent-free design eliminates external ventilation, making installation and placement more flexible.

Thermostat Control: The integrated thermostat enables precise temperature control, allowing you to maintain the ideal level of warmth.


Gas Source Required: As a natural gas-powered heater, access to a gas source is essential for operation.

Limited Portability: Since it's designed for a fixed location, this heater might not be suitable for those who require portable heating options.

Dimplex DGR Series 25" Outdoor Wall Mounted Natural Gas Infrared Heater

For those seeking an eco-friendly and efficient heating option, the Dimplex DGR Series 25" Natural Gas Infrared Heater is worth considering. Powered by natural gas, this heater emits radiant heat without electricity. Its outdoor wall-mounted design is ideal for patios, decks, or outdoor entertainment areas.


Natural Gas Power: Reduced reliance on electricity for a more sustainable heating solution.

Outdoor Design: Specifically designed for outdoor use, it enhances your outdoor living experience.

Even Heating: Radiant heat provides warmth without creating hot or cold spots.


Natural Gas Connection: Requires access to a natural gas line for operation.

Professional Installation: Gas connections may require professional installation for safety and effectiveness.

Empire HearthRite 16" Manual 10,000 BTU Vent-Free Infrared Heater

Empire HearthRite 16" Manual 10,000 BTU Vent-Free Infrared Heater

The Empire HearthRite 16" Manual Vent-Free Infrared Heater is a compact and efficient option for spot heating. With a 10,000 BTU output, it's suitable for smaller spaces, such as bedrooms or home offices. The manual control knob allows easy adjustments to maintain your desired level of warmth.


Compact Size: Perfect for smaller spaces where focused heating is needed.

User-Friendly: Manual control knob simplifies operation and temperature adjustments.

Vent-Free Convenience: No need for venting, making installation hassle-free.


Limited Coverage: Suited for small areas, so consider its coverage area before purchase.

Manual Control: Lack of thermostat means manually adjusting heat settings.

Empire 12" Manual 1-Heat Setting White 10,000 Btu, Vent-Free Infrared Heater

Empire 12" Manual 1-Heat Setting White 10,000 Btu, Vent-Free Infrared Heater


The Empire 12" Manual Vent-Free Infrared Heater offers a sleek, minimalistic design with efficient heating capabilities. With a single heat setting, it's easy to use and perfect for adding a touch of warmth to smaller spaces. The vent-free feature ensures quick and straightforward installation.


Compact and Stylish: The modern white design blends well with various aesthetics.

Simple Operation: One heat setting makes it user-friendly and uncomplicated.

Vent-Free Installation: No need for vents, saving installation time and costs.


Limited Heat Setting: A single heat setting may not provide customizable warmth.

Smaller Coverage: It is designed for smaller spaces to ensure it suits your heating needs.


Infrared heaters can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional heating methods. While they may use slightly more electricity than other heaters, their energy efficiency and targeted heating capabilities make them popular with many homeowners. Proper usage and maintenance can minimize electricity usage and prolong the heater's lifespan. Ultimately, the cost of operating an infrared heater will depend on individual usage habits and electricity rates in the area. It's always a good idea to research and consult with a professional before making any major decisions regarding home heating.


Can I use an infrared heater in a large living room?

Absolutely! However, consider using multiple heaters strategically placed for even heat distribution for larger spaces.

Are infrared heaters noisy?

No, most infrared heaters operate silently, focusing on generating heat rather than producing noise.

Can I install an infrared heater myself?

Yes, many infrared heaters are designed for easy installation. However you need more clarification, it's always best to consult a professional if unsure.

Where can I purchase quality infrared heaters?

You can find reputable infrared heaters at local home improvement stores, online retailers, and specialized heater dealers.

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