You might not believe this, unless you saw it and felt it!

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Old 04-03-09, 04:38 PM
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You might not believe this, unless you saw it and felt it!

I had to paint a cold basement. It was in the 50's. So, I get this small little square cube-type heater with a 6-7 inch round grill that the heated air can blow out of. Behind the fan inside is a circular coil of real fine element. Nothing fancy. No ceramic, no quartz, no patented special copper, etc.

I set this heater on the floor last night. This morning, to my surprise, the room was 66 degrees! And not only that, the other 3 divided rooms down there were not as cold as what they were yesterday! Yet, you can take the tender back side of your hand and hold it right up to the heater and only feel warm. Yes warm, not hot!

So, I decided to experiment and substitute the cube heater for my pedestal dual quartz tube heater (no blower). The elements are in front of a chrome concave metal to focus the heat. This sucker really cooks. And you can feel the heat as if it is being blown out, yet it is not.

This is the heater I have been using at home this winter, in front of me, in conjunction with leaving my furnace either off or turned way down. You can't get near this thing. It puts out 650F or so heat (infrared reading), and if you hold your hand about a foot infront of it, and leave it there, your skin would start melting off your body!

That being said, I leave that running while the basement room is 66(as said), and go off to do some maintenance jobs before coming back here to paint. I was gone about 2 hours. To my surprise, the temp came down! to 62F. I could not believe it! I was expecting it to be like 72!

I started talking to myself how I am going to have to rethink that claim made by those space heater companies that are taking out full newpaper and insert ads and advertising on tv, that their heater puts out this warm heat, and how a cat can sit on it and not get hot, and it is safe and can't get hot and burn anything. And yet they claim these heaters will warm an entire room from floor to ceiling, with your conventional heat turned down a lot lower.

Based on my experiment today (which turned out the complete opposite of what I thought would happen, BTW), now I think their claim just might be true!

They claim the warm heat does not cook the moisture out of the air - and instead the warm heat rides the moisture in the air where it gets carried everywhere. And not just up, the way heat rises, but gets carried even towards the floor. Maybe so!

So, my pedestal heater is actually a radiant heater. It will actually really fry you from quite some distance away. Yet, from my actual thermometer read, taken in the same spot for both tests, I have proved that the little cube heater with the warm heat is actually best for raisng ambient temperature. Where the radiant pedestal heater is best if you are in a cold room and set the heater in front of you, so you can feel warm to hot.

And just maybe, that super hot radiant heater is indeed frying th moisture in front of the heater, so that the air cannot really get warm and carry it throughout the room.

Very interesting.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 04:51 PM
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a radiant heater does not heat the air in a room. It uses IR radiation to heat an object.

a convection heater heats the air.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
a radiant heater does not heat the air in a room. It uses IR radiation to heat an object.

a convection heater heats the air.
Very succinct, and true, obviously, as confirmed.

It almost seems like it be bs, until one actually witnesses this. To actually feel that super hot radiant heater - and then find out it is not heating the air(all that well), is quite amazing to behold. One's reaction might be: "Where is that radiant heat going? Up to the basement ceiling joists?" -if it isn't warming the air.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 06:32 PM
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it only produces heat when the IR radiation strikes an object. This is very similar to how a microwave works. It does not transmit heat itself but energy that interacts with an object and that interaction is what produces heat.

So, to your question about where does the heat go;

It doesn't go anywhere because there is no heat to go anywhere.

The heat is a direct result of the radiation and your body interacting.

Here is a decent explanation of IR heating:

Basic Information About Infrared Heating
Infrared radiation is electromagnetic radiation which is generated in a hot source (quartz lamp, quartz tube, or metal rod) by vibration and rotation of molecules. The resulting energy is controlled and directed specifically to and on people or objects. This energy is not absorbed by air, and does not create heat until it is absorbed by an opaque object.

The sun is the basic energy source. Energy is projected 93,000,000 miles through space to heat the earth by the infrared process. This infrared energy travels at the speed of light, and converts to heat upon contact with a person, a building, the floor, the ground or any other opaque object. There is, however, no ultraviolet component (suntanning rays) in Electric infrared.

Electric infrared energy travels in straight lines from the heat source. This energy is directed into specific patterns by optically designed reflectors, Infrared, like light, travels outward from the heat source, and diffuses as a function of the square of the distance. Intensity, therefore, would decrease in a proportional manner. So, at 20 from the heat source, intensity of the energy concentration is the intensity developed at 10 distance.

For comfort heating, there must be reasonably even accumulated values of heat throughout the comfort zone. Proper mounting heights of the individual heaters, fixture spacing, reflector beam patterns, and heat source wattage must be specified to generate the proper heating levels at the task area. The amount of heat delivered is also adjusted by input controllers or by thermostats which respond to surrounding temperature levels and provide ON-OFF or PROPORTIONAL inputs.
Oh, and for it to heat the air in a room, it must heat an object first, such as a person or a wall or piece of furniture and then that object emits convective heat which does heat the air.
 
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Old 04-04-09, 01:38 PM
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Hi nap,

But it does make heat, as said right in your very own article -when it stikes you or an opaque object.

With that being said, here is a good one:

Yesterdays test was done in a room of an empty basement. That room is like 12 x 20. Well, I go home yesterday and do a side by side test in my living room, and look at my living room thermometer, that faces the heater. The convection cube heater raised the temp from 58-63 degrees, where it peaked. ( I knew it peaked because the temp got to 63, then came down to 62.7, then back to 63.0, etc.) And I felt miserable! I could feel the air movement (windchill effect) by the blower!

So then I switched to the infrared quartz dual element radiant pedestal heater, with no blower, and me and the couch cooked - which then I'm sure releases heat into the air. My living room is cluttered with furnishings and carpet to absorb the heat from the pedestal heater. I have pointed my infrared thermometer at the couch and carpet and it reads over 100 degrees, several feet away.

Therefore, I will stick with the radiant heater, to fil my needs from when I get home at night, and my place is in the 50's.

But that test in that empty basement room did indeed take me by surprise. As even though you hear about that radiant heat law - it sort of sounds like something somebody made up, since if 650 degrees is emitted and you feel your hand melting like a foot away, it's easy to conclude that that sucker just has to be be warming up the room. It would simply make sense to anyone not actually experienced in, and witnessing for themselves, such a comparative test.
 
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Old 04-04-09, 07:58 PM
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I've found the oil filled radiator electric heaters work well and once the oil is up to temperature they cut off meaning your not constantly using electric.
 
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Old 04-04-09, 08:21 PM
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But it does make heat, as said right in your very own article -when it stikes you or an opaque object.
that's what I said. Radiant heat, not convective heat. Radiant heat does not heat the air.


Yesterdays test was done in a room of an empty basement. That room is like 12 x 20. Well, I go home yesterday and do a side by side test in my living room, and look at my living room thermometer, that faces the heater. The convection cube heater raised the temp from 58-63 degrees, where it peaked. ( I knew it peaked because the temp got to 63, then came down to 62.7, then back to 63.0, etc.) And I felt miserable! I could feel the air movement (windchill effect) by the blower!

So then I switched to the infrared quartz dual element radiant pedestal heater, with no blower, and me and the couch cooked - which then I'm sure releases heat into the air. My living room is cluttered with furnishings and carpet to absorb the heat from the pedestal heater. I have pointed my infrared thermometer at the couch and carpet and it reads over 100 degrees, several feet away.

Therefore, I will stick with the radiant heater, to fil my needs from when I get home at night, and my place is in the 50's.

But that test in that empty basement room did indeed take me by surprise. As even though you hear about that radiant heat law - it sort of sounds like something somebody made up, since if 650 degrees is emitted and you feel your hand melting like a foot away, it's easy to conclude that that sucker just has to be be warming up the room. It would simply make sense to anyone not actually experienced in, and witnessing for themselves, such a comparative test.
like I said, a radiant heater works similar to a microwave oven. A microwave oven causes the object to produce heat my striking it with electromagnetic waves. It does not actually produce heat itself. An IR heater does the same. It is the interaction with the em waves that causes the struck object to be heated. When you open the microwave oven, you do feel heat. That is convective heat from the heated object. By the act of striking your food, the IR energy is converted to convective heat and that heat is then released into the air.

You will experience the same thing on a sunny day. Stand in the sun and then stand in the shade. You will get hotter standing in the sunlight although the ambient temp will be the same (not including any convective heat from something such as a road or the ground). The em that strikes you in form of IR radiation will cause you to get hotter than if you were in the shade. The air temp is the same yet you get hotter due to the IR exposure.

heck, you can feel heat from the sun on a sub-freezing day. The air is still below 32 F but you still feel the heat. That is what you are experiencing with your IR heater.
 
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Old 04-05-09, 05:47 AM
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ecman51,

I find the whole subject of these expensive "infrared" miracle heaters kinda disturbing.

The makers of these products take scientific thermal principles and distort them to make people believe their exaggerated claims.
It is true that infrared heats by absorption but it is still a form of resistance heating.
In many cases it is superior to convection heating for the reasons stated here but the overall efficiency is the same as for all resistance heating.
You get a dollars worth of heat for any resistance heater because the efficiency is always 100%.
Infrared heating is not necessarily better than convection, just different.

Really, the makers of the expensive heaters are really just doing their job of selling stuff, the problem I have is that there is not enough info out there for people to put these devices into perspective.
One comment a manufacturer makes is "a regular heater burns the moisture out of the air".........This is ridiculous.
They could possibly referring to a combustion type furnace that gets its air from the living space, lowering the humidity by removing air from the home, causing dry outside air to replace it........ it doesn't "burn" the moisture!
Another manufacturer promotes infrared but installs four infrared bulbs in a box heating a metal heat exchanger where little or no infrared leaves the box.

There is no denying for $500.00 you get a pretty nice box but for that kinda money I would expect more than a box full of light bulbs.

Unuff ranting
 
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Old 04-05-09, 06:42 AM
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the main benefit of IR heat is, you can utilize a smaller heater because you are heating you and not the entire room. An IR heater is great for a personal use heater because you can turn the main heating source down but utilize the IR heater to heat just you. Think about it as using an electric blanket to keep you warm while you allow the room temp to drop to what would be an uncomfortable level.

as to the heater you spoke about in the link; yes, this is a misuse of the IR heating principles. They are simply converting the IR heat of the lamps in to a convective heat source and heating the air.
 
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Old 04-06-09, 04:34 PM
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greg,

I presume you have seen and perhaps refer to those ads where the Amish make the mantel, and you buy the mantels, and the company throws in the 'miracle heater' for free? I like that one.
 
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