Space heaters like ceramic and infrared heaters provide a more affordable and efficient way of heating your home, and they are much better than using gas and oil. However, each heats the space using a different method, and they differ in many other aspects, such as coverage. If you are on the market for a reliable space heater, understanding the difference between them can help ensure you make a more informed choice.
Ceramic vs. Infrared Heater
1. Functionality: Convection vs Radiant
The main difference between ceramic and infrared heaters is how they heat the space. The ceramic heater uses convection heating, which is the more standard heating method that has been in use for centuries. In this method, air is pulled over a hot surface and heated before being blown into the room.
Convection ceramic heater can have fans or be fanless, but the heating process remains the same. The process is all about circulating the air in the room through a heating system to eventually raise the space’s temperature.
On the other hand, infrared heaters are radiant heaters, meaning they will heat the object directly. These heaters send infrared rays in a straight line to heat anything on their path. Whether it is a wall or furniture that is heated, it radiates the heat back into the room and raises the temperature over time.
The infrared heaters do not rely on airflow, and hence they can still deliver the same level of warmth even if you leave the windows open.
2. Coverage: Ceramic Heater Can Cover More Space
When it comes to coverage, the ceramic heaters have the advantage here as they will cover relatively more space. These heaters circulate hot air around the room when heating it, which gives it more coverage.
Better still, the ceramic heaters have fans to ensure the hot air is distributed over even larger areas. However, given that these are often small, portable units, most models’ coverage will typically max out at around 300 square feet.
Infrared heaters do not cover as much space as the ceramic types, given they work by heating specific objects. But, while these units cover small areas, they still provide more than enough warmth.
3. Portability: A Ceramic Heater is Always More Portable
Ceramic heaters are built for portability. These space heaters come in a small and compact design that allows you to carry and use them almost anywhere. Also, they are standalone units that do not require permanent installation, and they often have some casters to make portability even easier.
With infrared heaters, portability is often a big challenge. Despite these heaters having a slim structure, they often require wall or ceiling mounting. Hence, if you want to move them, you have to unbolt them and bolt them again in the other location, which can be hectic.
4. Noise: Super-Quiet Operation Guaranteed with Infrared Heating
One of the most significant advantages of using infrared heaters is that they are super quiet. These are the kind of space heaters you can leave running when going to sleep as you are sure they will not distract you.
What makes infrared heaters super quiet is that their heating method does not require fans to circulate heat in the room. Ceramic heaters mostly rely on fans for heat circulation, meaning that most can be pretty noisy and hence not ideal for bedroom or office use.
5. Maintenance: Infrared Gives you an Easier Time
There are not many moving parts in an infrared heater, meaning it requires minimal maintenance. In most instances, the only thing you might need to do with these heaters is cleaning them to remove any dust that can affect their efficiency.
The presence of more movable parts in a ceramic heater, such as the fan setup, means you will typically end up having to do relatively more maintenance in the long run. But, provided you choose a good model of either heater type, the overall maintenance requirements are often not significant enough to worry about.
6. Cost: Ceramic Heaters Are Always More Cost Effective
The convection technology used on the ceramic heaters has been around much longer, meaning there are more options for this space heater in the market. Hence, they are also more affordable than the infrared ones.
On average, ceramic heaters cost between $15 and $200, but you can still get more advanced models with larger capacity for much more than this. Infrared heaters are more expensive as prices for the more basic ones start at around $50 and go up to $500.
Ceramic and infrared heaters are the most efficient space heaters you can get out there. Both can do a great job heating individual rooms in the house. However, if you want something that covers relatively more space and is more portable and affordable, go for ceramic heaters. But, for those looking for a quiet and low maintenance space heater, infrared heaters are the ideal option.