The benefits of infrared heating: health and safety

Infrared heaters have many advantages over conventional heaters. In this article, I will discuss the benefits of infrared heating with a focus on health and safety.

12 benefits of infrared heating:

  • positive effects on skin health due to natural heating
  • healthy sun-like heat without harmful UV light
  • the air is not heated, ensuring more stable humidity
  • prevention of condensation
  • no emission of harmful substances such as particulate matter
  • infrared heaters do not pose a CO hazard
  • no air movement is created. Therefore, the air is cleaner compared to traditional heating systems
  • infrared heating is beneficial for allergy sufferers
  • no emissions of odors
  • infrared heaters do not become hot to the touch
  • they do not pose a fire hazard
  • absolutely silent



1. Positive effects on skin health due to natural heating

Infrared heat is the most comfortable heat for humans since we biologically prefer heat from the sun over other types of heating. In fact, far- infrared (the type of infrared emitted by infrared heaters) has a beneficial effect on human skin. Regular exposure reduces wrinkles and improves skin texture.

A study published in the Yonsei Medical Journal treated people with far-infrared for 15 to 20 minutes every day for 6 months. The results showed improvements in tightness of the skin (reduced wrinkles) between 51 and 75% compared to people who were not treated with infrared. This study also showed an increase in collagen and elastin content of the skin. (source: Yu Hee Lee et al.)

Another study on the exposure of skin to infrared concluded: “Infrared irradiation provides safe and effective long-term stimulation of collagen I and III and elastin, which is beneficial for improving skin laxity and wrinkles.” (source: Yohei Tanaka et al.)


2. Healthy sun-like heat without harmful UV light

Although infrared heaters create radiating warmth just like the heat of the sun, they do not emit harmful UV light. Infrared heaters only emit far-infrared, which is a healthful warming type of radiation. The sun, however, emits many kinds of radiation next to its warming infrared. One of which is harmful UV light. Luckily, infrared heaters do not emit anything else than infrared and are perfectly safe and healthy.


3. The air is not heated, ensuring more stable humidity

Warm air produced by conventional heaters is pleasant but comes with the disadvantages of drying the air. Dry air can lead to discomforts such as a dry throat or dry eyes. Infrared heat does not dry the air but heats objects and people directly. Therefore, you will have fewer or no dry air symptoms when using infrared. Infrared heating and a more constant humidity also prevent condensation on your windows and walls.


4. Prevention of condensation

Infrared heating prevents condensation and dampness. It heats the walls and furniture and prevents moisture condensation on them. Normally, heaters heat up the air, and since the walls and furniture are still relatively cold, moisture can condense onto them. In this way, infrared prevents molds from forming due to lower dampness. When the heated air (which contains water) comes into contact with your relatively cold walls, windows, or furniture, water droplets form on them. This will never happen with infrared heating as the walls and furniture are heated first.


5. No emission of harmful substances

Running an electric infrared heater does not lead to any emissions. Since most infrared heaters run on electricity, they do not burn any fuel for the production of heat. Therefore, no gasses or harmful particles are released due to burning. This means that infrared heaters that run on electricity (which is almost all of them) are very good for indoor air quality compared to fuel-burning heaters.

Some outdoor infrared heaters make use of gas as fuel. Therefore, they produce some emissions. However, since they are only intended for outdoor use, these gasses pose no harm since the emissions are quickly dispersed in the outdoor air.


6. Infrared heaters do not pose a caron monoxide hazard

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that is released when a fuel is not sufficiently burned. All appliances that use fuel are a CO hazard and CO detectors should be installed in your house. However, since infrared heaters do not burn any fuels, they do not emit any CO.

You can read all about carbon monoxide including its negative health effects and prevention methods in my article: Do infrared heaters emit carbon monoxide?


7. No air movement is created. Therefore, the air is cleaner compared to traditional heating systems

Conventional heaters make the air move because they heat the air, causing it to rise. Air movement results in dust, allergens, and other harmful particles being picked up by the airflow and blown around the room.

Infrared heating does not make the air move since the air is not heated. Therefore, switching to infrared heaters can help mitigate indoor air quality problems.

Sitting on window
Indoor air quality is greatly improved by ventilating often

Indoor air quality is a very important health topic that I am passionate about. You can read all about indoor air quality on this website. I encourage you to start here: The complete indoor air quality guide for your home.


8. Infrared heating is beneficial for allergy sufferers

Since infrared heating does not reduce indoor air quality (unlike conventional heaters), allergy sufferers can benefit greatly from switching to infrared heating. Infrared heating results in more constant and comfortable humidity levels, as well as no recirculation of dust and other airborne particles This can reduce symptoms like a sore throat, dry eyes, fatigue, and headaches.


9. No emission of odors

Infrared heaters do not emit any odors. Since no fuel is being burned and no gasses are being released during the running of an infrared heater, no bad smell will occur. Additionally, since infrared heaters do not increase air movement, potentially bad smells coming from for example your garbage bin are not being circulated around the room.


10. Infrared heaters do not become hot to the touch

There a several different types of infrared heaters available. However, none of them do get too hot on the outside. Some heaters, such as a common quartz heater, do have very hot internal elements. However, they come with a protective casing that makes sure you cannot get burned.

Infrared heating panels do not get hotter than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and can safely be touched for about 2 seconds.


11. Infrared heaters do not pose a fire hazard

When installed and used correctly, infrared heaters cannot cause a fire. Most portable infrared heaters come with a protective casing, over-heating protection, and tip-over protection.

Infrared panels do not get hot enough to cause a fire. If something like paper would touch an infrared panel for a period of time, it will not start to burn.

For more in-depth information on the safety aspects of infrared heaters, I recommend reading my article: Infrared heaters safety (fire, radiation, safe practices).


12. Infrared heaters are absolutely silent

There are many types of infrared heaters on the market. Most of them are completely silent. There are no moving parts. The heater simply has an electric current running through it that makes the heater or panel give off infrared.

A few infrared heaters come with a fan. The fan is meant to distribute some of the warm air that builds up inside the protective casing. A fan can make a little noise. Often about 40 decibels. This level of noise is similar to the ambient sound of a quiet library

If you would like to read more about the pros and cons of infrared heating, I recommend reading my article: Infrared heating pros and cons.

It is hard to describe how wonderful it feels to sit in front of an infrared heating panel. I recommend finding it out for yourself. You can find excellent panels starting from just 238 dollars on amazon.com.