How to Tell if an Infrared Space Heater is Energy Efficient

Infrared space heaters are known for their energy efficiency, as they use radiant heating technology to directly warm objects and people in their path, rather than heating the entire room. To determine if an infrared space heater is truly energy efficient, there are several key factors to consider, including its heating technology, heat output, and energy consumption.

Understand Infrared Heating Technology

Infrared space heaters work by emitting infrared radiation, which is a type of electromagnetic radiation that can be felt as heat. This radiation is absorbed by objects and people in the heater’s path, causing them to warm up. Unlike traditional convection heaters that rely on air currents to distribute heat, infrared heaters do not waste energy heating the air itself.

The efficiency of an infrared space heater is largely determined by its ability to convert electrical energy into infrared radiation. High-quality infrared heaters can convert up to 100% of their input energy into heat, making them incredibly efficient. This is because they do not have any moving parts, such as fans or motors, that can reduce their efficiency over time.

Evaluate Heat Output and Coverage

how to tell if a Infrared Space Heater is energy efficient

When assessing the energy efficiency of an infrared space heater, it’s important to consider its heat output and coverage area. A higher heat output, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour, generally indicates a more powerful and efficient heater.

For example, a 1500-watt infrared space heater with a heat output of 5100 BTUs per hour can efficiently heat a small to medium-sized room. In contrast, a 1500-watt infrared heater with a lower heat output may struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature in the same space.

It’s also important to consider the coverage area of the infrared heater, as this will determine how effectively it can heat the desired space. Infrared heaters with a wider coverage area can provide more efficient zone heating, which only warms the occupied areas of a room rather than the entire space.

Measure Energy Consumption

To determine the energy efficiency of an infrared space heater, you can measure its energy consumption using a Kill-A-Watt meter or a similar device. This will allow you to see how much electricity the heater is using and whether it is meeting your heating needs efficiently.

When measuring energy consumption, look for the following:

Metric Efficient Range
Wattage 1000-1500 watts
Energy Consumption Less than 1.5 kWh per hour
Heat Output 4000-6000 BTUs per hour

If the infrared space heater is consuming more energy than expected or not providing sufficient heat output, it may not be as energy efficient as you’d like.

Consider Additional Features

In addition to the core heating technology and energy consumption, there are several other features that can contribute to the overall energy efficiency of an infrared space heater:

  • Thermostat: Look for a heater with a programmable thermostat, which can help maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature while minimizing energy use.
  • Timer: A built-in timer allows you to schedule the heater to turn on and off at specific times, further optimizing energy usage.
  • Automatic Shut-Off: Safety features like automatic shut-off when the heater tips over or overheats can prevent energy waste.
  • Portability: Portable infrared heaters can be easily moved to the areas that need heating, reducing the need to heat unused spaces.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that the infrared space heater you choose is not only energy efficient but also meets your specific heating needs.


Determining the energy efficiency of an infrared space heater requires a careful evaluation of its heating technology, heat output, energy consumption, and additional features. By understanding these key factors, you can make an informed decision and select an infrared heater that will provide efficient and cost-effective heating for your home or office.

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