Pros and Cons of Ceramic vs. Infrared Heater

Josh Miller

Josh is a contributing writer to the site and former HVAC specialist.

Last Updated on June 3, 2021

Technological advancements are transforming the home heating industry, and there’s no need to fire up your home heating system while turning off radiators in unused rooms. You can place a compact heater in the room you’re using and enjoy the warmth and comfort provided by a cost-efficient unit. 

However, you need to determine which heater type is best for your needs. Ceramic and infrared heaters are increasingly popular consumer choices, and both offer significant advantages. There is a wide range of options, and you can find a ceramic or infrared heater that is ideal for warming any room size. 

Before you make your choice, there are several essential considerations.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic vs. Infrared Heater
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Table of Contents

How They Work

Although both heater types provide powerful warming performance, they operate in different ways. It’s crucial to understand how each heater works when choosing which model best meets your needs.

Ceramic heaters

Ceramic heaters are a type of convection heater which works by moving or pulling air over a hot surface and expelling the warmed air into a room. Some ceramic heaters use a fan to blow air into the space, while others have a fanless system. In both cases, the aim is to surround you with warm air.

Infrared heaters

Infrared heaters are also known as radiant heaters. These appliances heat objects or people directly by emitting infrared rays in a straight line. The rays heat whatever surfaces they make contact with when traveling. When the infrared rays hit a surface such as a wall, that area will also radiate heat. 

Ceramic Heater Advantages

The operating method of ceramic heaters means they have several benefits that could make them the most suitable type of heater to meet your requirements.

Efficiency and portability

One of the most significant benefits of purchasing a ceramic heater is the excellent operating efficiency. These heaters use economic ceramic plates and aluminum baffles to conduct electricity and heat. Because these plates are small, most ceramic heaters are compact, making them a great choice if you need a portable appliance. Many consumers enjoy heating their living room in the evenings and carrying their ceramic heater to their bedroom to stay warm during the night.

Heat a large area

When considering the benefits of a ceramic vs. infrared heater, it’s essential to think about the size of the rooms you intend to heat. A ceramic heater warms the air, which then circulates throughout the room. You can even find some hot air traveling into other nearby spaces, so ceramic heaters are suitable for warming large rooms. This feature is ideal if several people are sitting in different areas of the room.

Fast cool down

Ceramic heat plates warm incredibly quickly, but they also have a rapid cool-down time. This feature can be important if you like to know your heater is cold before leaving it unattended. 

Reasonable price

There isn’t a great deal of difference between a ceramic heater’s price and the cost of an infrared heater, but a ceramic model is usually slightly cheaper. If you’re shopping on a budget, you may find buying a ceramic heater is more gentle on your wallet.

Ceramic Heater Disadvantages

Ceramic heaters are a terrific choice for heating your room, but there are one or two disadvantages.

Can be noisy

Most ceramic heaters utilize a fan to blow out warm air. However, these fans can cause some heaters to be noisy. The sound is usually relatively quiet, and you may not notice the noise if you’re watching television. If you’re reading a book or trying to get to sleep, the sound may be more audible, and you might prefer to turn the heater off.

Requires an electrical supply

Ceramic heaters use electricity to generate and distribute warm air. If you have a power cut, you won’t be able to use your heater. These appliances also aren’t ideal if you’re trying to reduce your electricity bill.

Infrared Heater Advantages

If a ceramic heater isn’t for you, you can take advantage of an infrared heater’s many benefits.

Direct heating system

Because infrared heaters warm people and objects rather than the surrounding air, they are an excellent addition to a drafty area. The heat doesn’t escape with the air, which is ideal when you’re working in a drafty garage or if you like to keep the window open when cooking in the kitchen. 

Quiet operation

Infrared heaters do not use a fan for air circulation, so they have a very low operational noise level. You may not even notice the heater is running when you are drifting off to sleep at night. 

Various power sources

One of the main differences between a ceramic vs. infrared heater is the range of power sources. Whereas a ceramic heater requires electricity, you can choose between purchasing an infrared heater that runs on gas or an electric-powered model.  

If you have frequent power-outages or intend to take your infrared heater camping, a gas model makes it easy to provide a consistent power supply.

Easy to maintain

Infrared heaters do not have motors, fans, or filters, so they are easy to maintain. Because they don’t use moving parts, these heaters are unlikely to break down, so you don’t need to pay for potentially expensive repairs. 

Infrared Heater Disadvantages

There are very few disadvantages to consider when purchasing an infrared heater, but there are a couple of points you may want to take into account.

Safety concerns

The heating elements in infrared heaters generally use quartz or other materials that can become extremely hot. You should only buy a model that comes with a cool-to-touch protective housing. Some models come with automatic shut-off features for added safety should the unit tip over onto the ground.

Limited warming ability

Because infrared rays travel in a straight line, they only heat what they touch. This feature means an infrared heater is not the best option if you’re heating a large room.

Which Heater Type is Better?

There’s no right or wrong decision when purchasing either a ceramic or infrared heater. The most suitable choice depends on your lifestyle and requirements. No matter which option you choose, you’ll be getting an efficient and cost-effective heater. 

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