Infrared heat waves are long electromagnetic waves located very near the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum which can give off a large amount of heat that is easily absorbed by many surfaces when directed using a reflective shield.
Produced by a natural gas flame, the infrared waves in radiant heaters give off radiant heat which is then absorbed by objects and surfaces without needing a medium or air molecules for transportation. Therefore, infrared heat can penetrate materials and gases more easily than typical convection heaters, and more efficiently than UV lamps which require light waves to effectively heat an object. Gas heaters use the heat energy from a gas flame and convert it into infrared electromagnetic radiation through filaments, tubes, or ceramic heat exchangers combined with a series of reflectors to direct the resulting heat.
The heating element is contained within a radiating tube typically made from glass, ceramic or metal. Due to this, gas heaters are sometimes referred to as tube heaters. Some radiant gas heaters may combine fans and air movement to redistribute heated air molecules and spread heat around a room faster, and other models may include a temperature detector, cooling options to allow for cryogenic use, weatherproof capabilities such as corrosion resistance materials etc.
Unlike other methods of heating, infrared light causes an immediate source of heat and removes the existence of a lag between turning the heater on and feeling its effects. It is especially useful in processes such as outdoor heating due to its ability to heat objects and surfaces rather than simply air molecules. Due to their high level of energy efficiency, infrared heaters are considered a “green” or environmentally sustainable method of creating heat. Using radiant gas heating in the place of regular forced air heaters in heating, drying and curing applications has a large number of benefits, both environmentally and economically.
Common uses for radiant gas heating include: room or space heaters, industrial uses such as plastic welding, curing, and drying of coatings or in glass processing. Further advantages to using infrared heaters include: the overall heat of the element being lower in infrared heaters results in a decreased risk of fire or burning. Furthermore, as infrared heaters do not rely on air molecules to transport heat and instead actually heat the object, or the air, heating patterns are more uniform throughout the space being heated, again using less energy and saving money.