Ceramic Heaters vs. Infrared Heaters

space heater

Rather than using an expensive form of energy like gas or oil to heat your entire home, a more affordable and equally comfortable option is using a space heater to heat specific rooms.

The two popular options, the infrared heater and ceramic heater, both operate on the principle of converting electrical energy into heat, but there are key features that distinguish them from one another. The information below will help you understand these differences and figure out best to way to reduce your heating costs.

Infrared Heaters

The most unique thing about infrared space heaters is that they don't use convection and don't simply blow hot air. Instead, this heater emits radiation in the form of waves. One huge benefit to this is that the heat from the radiation isn't dependent on the air in the room and in front of the unit itself to traverse the distance to your shivering self. So, drafts are not a problem.

This makes infrared heaters great for fast, targeted heating. If you have a small room or office where you'll consistently be in one spot, this could be the way to go. Plus, with no fans or moving internal parts, this option is quiet, efficient, and easy to maintain.

Ceramic Convection Heaters

As the name implies, ceramic convection heaters operate using convection. This means that much like with a quartz heater with its tube, the ceramic unit uses the electricity to heat up a ceramic core at its center. Then a fan that is also powered by the electricity uses convection heating to blow heated air from the vicinity of the core out and into the room.

In direct opposition to the infrared heater, the fact that the heat does travel on the air currents means that this unit won't target just you, but will heat up your entire room. If you're in a space where you'll be moving positions often or in a larger room with multiple people, a convection space heater is the better way to make sure everyone stays warm.

They can also contain thermostats to regulate themselves and will usually heat a room using less energy than the alternative.


While it's undoubtedly less expensive to plug in either of these single units to heat a small space rather than an entire home, the specific energy savings, heating times, and effectiveness will depend on factors unique to your home. These include the prices for electrical utility use in your area and even how well you've sealed leaks, drafts, and other issues in your home that let heat escape.