What Is An Infrared Electric Fireplace?

In Electric Fireplaces by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Electric fireplaces don’t have a real flame and so need another way to produce heat.

One of the ways an electric fireplace can produce heat is through using a form of heater known as an infrared heater, so what is an infrared electric fireplace?

An infrared electric fireplace is an electric fireplace that utilizes infrared heating technology to provide heat. Infrared heaters can typically provide more instantaneous heat and heat larger areas compared to conventional fan forced heaters.

We’ve explained below what an infrared electric fireplace is in more detail below, as well as what the differences are between an infrared electric fireplace and a conventional fireplace and which one is better.

What Is An Infrared Electric Fireplace?

Electric fireplaces don’t produce flames and heat using a real fire. Instead, the flames are created either through using a TV-like screen or through a combination of lights and rotating mirrors to imitate the look of flickering flames.

Electric fireplaces don’t have a real flame and so the heat must be generated through another means.

As electric fireplaces run on electricity, an electrical heater must be used to provide heat to a room. These types of electrical heaters can include:

  • Infrared heater
  • Ceramic heater
  • Fan forced heater

Many electric fireplaces (like ours) use the more conventional fan forced heating method to generate heat. In a fan forced electric fireplace, air is sucked in and passes over a heating element before being blown back out into the room.

Underneath Electric Fireplace
A fan heater underneath our electric fireplace stove

Electric fireplaces may also use infrared heating technology to generate heat instead of using a fan forced heating system.

Infrared heaters use a quartz bulb to generate the heat. As the name suggests, an infrared electric fireplace gives out heat in the form of infrared light.

An example of an infrared electric fireplace stove with the infrared heater located at the top

Fan forced electric fireplaces are typically able to heat areas of a home up to 400sqft, while you’ll be able to find that infrared electric fireplaces are generally able to heat rooms up to 1000sqft in area.

Furthermore, you’ll typically be able to feel the heat from an infrared electric fireplace more quickly than from a conventional fan forced electric fireplace.

This is because the heat is radiated out into the room, rather than the air itself being warmed up as it passes through a heating element as found in a fan forced electric fireplace heater.

Although you can feel the heat much more quickly with infrared heaters, a downside of using infrared electric fireplaces is that the heat disappears as quickly as you can feel it. Heat from an infrared electric fireplace won’t stick around for as long as a fan forced heater because the air itself hasn’t been warmed up.

Benefits Of Infrared Electric Fireplaces

The benefits of having an electric fireplace with infrared heating include:

  • Infrared heaters can typically heat a larger area.
  • No fan noise.
  • Almost instantaneous heat.

Disadvantages Of Infrared Electric Fireplaces

Although there are many upsides of having an infrared electric fireplace there are also a few downsides:

  • Infrared heaters can typically be found in more expensive models of electric fireplace.
  • Once an infrared electric fireplace is switched off, the heat doesn’t stay around for as long as it would with a fan forced electric fireplace.

What Is The Difference Between An Electric Fireplace And An Infrared Fireplace?

An electric fireplace is a type of fireplace that produces heat from electricity.

The main difference between an electric fireplace and an infrared fireplace is that conventional electric fireplaces use fan forced heating elements for heating while infrared electric fireplaces use infrared technology for heating.

It can be common to see electric fireplaces producing heat through the use of a conventional fan system forcing air over a heating element to provide heat to a room.

It’s a simple concept used by many space heaters and is a cheap and effective way to heat a small room.

Our electric fireplace stove uses this conventional fan forced heating system.

Electric Fireplace Heater
The inside of an fan electric fireplace heater

It works by pulling in air and forcing it out the front of the fireplace through a heating element. The longer the fireplace is on the warmer the air within the room becomes.

Electric fireplaces that utilize this fan heating system can typically only heat areas up to 400sqft. It also takes a while for a room to heat up (we tested how long it takes here), but the warmth can be retained within the room for a short while after the fireplace is turned off.

Instead of a fan forced heater some electric fireplaces use an infrared heater to generate heat.

An infrared electric fireplace emits infrared light that you can feel the warmth of on your body. There’s no fan in an infrared electric fireplace and so it can have a quieter operation compared to fan forced electric fireplaces.

The benefit of infrared heating is that you can feel the warmth much more quickly because the air within the room doesn’t need to be heated up. On the downside the warmth from the room can be lost more quickly when turned off compared to when using fan forced electric fireplaces.

Infrared heaters can also typically heat a larger area of up to 1000sqft.

These added benefits of infrared heating means that infrared electric fireplaces can be more expensive to buy compared to conventional fan electric fireplaces.

Infrared Or Electric Fireplace – Which Is Better?

Infrared electric fireplaces can be a better form of heating compared to fan forced electric fireplaces, as they are able to provide heat more quickly as well as being able to heat a larger area.

Infrared electric fireplaces use infrared technology to provide heat to a room, while other types of electric fireplace more commonly use a conventional fan forced heating system utilizing a heating element and blower to provide heat.

Infrared electric fireplaces are able to heat a larger area and can provide heat more quickly compared to fan forced electric fireplaces, but on the downside aren’t able to retain as much residual heat within the room when turned off.

Electric fireplaces with infrared heaters are typically more expensive compared to electric fireplaces that have fan forced heaters.

Therefore, if you’re looking to get the best heater with your electric fireplace, want to be able to heat an area of your home that is up to 1000sqft and don’t mind going for one of the higher priced fireplaces, look to buy an infrared electric fireplace.

If you only need to be able to heat a smaller room of up to 400sqft, don’t mind the extra fan noise, can wait a short while longer to feel the heat and don’t want to spend too much, look to get an electric fireplace that uses a conventional fan forced heating system.

Infrared Electric Fireplace Buying Guides

Best Electric Fireplace TV Stands

Best Built-in Electric Fireplaces

Best Electric Fireplace Inserts

Best Electric Fireplace Heaters

Best Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces

Best Electric Fireplace Mantels

Best Electric Fireplace Stoves

Best Electric Fireplace Log Sets

Best Small Electric Fireplaces

Best Corner Electric Fireplaces

Further Reading

How To Use An Electric Fireplace

How Electric Fireplaces Work

Electric Fireplace Common Problems And Solutions

Do Electric Fireplaces Have Light Bulbs?

Are Electric Fireplaces Safe?

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