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Does an Infrared Heater Warm A Room Better Than a Fireplace?


When it comes to electric heating, infrared quartz heating elements are going to be inside the most powerful and energy-efficient heating system options you can find. Infrared quartz and infrared heating work very fast compared to some other options that use a traditional radiant-style heat source. Of course, this begs the question? What style of infrared heater will heat a room or a home better: classic electric infrared heaters that produce radiant warmth or an electric fireplace that uses a quartz tube to create heat via convection? While both use infrared quartz in an energy-efficient way, they don’t exactly work the same way and are better suited for different scenarios.

This post is going to show you everything you need to know about different types of infrared heat systems as well as other types of heat generation for your home.

Reading The Following Guide Will Help You Understand These Different Topics:

  • What Are The Different Types of Heaters You Can Get For Your Home? – There are many different ways to heat your home, and many different products that cover this. This section of the guide will help you discover what all of these different options are.
  • How Do Different Infrared Heaters Work To Warm An Area? – Infrared heaters work in a couple of different ways to produce heat. This section will explain those two different ways of heat output and what situational uses each has.
  • What Are Good Brands of Traditional Infrared Heaters? – If you are thinking about getting an infrared heater, here are some different brands to be on the lookout for and what they have to offer.
  • Does An Infrared Heater Warm a Room Better Than an Electric Fireplace? – This section will answer the question of whether standalone infrared heaters or electric fireplaces are the best infrared fireplace heaters when it comes to heating a room.
  • What Are Some of The Downsides of Traditional Infrared Heaters? – There are a few downsides to be aware of when you are using a traditional heater that uses infrared radiation. This section will help you be aware of those downsides before purchasing.
  • What Different Electric Fireplace Types Are Available? – If you are leaning towards an electric fireplace as the method to heat your home, there are several types to choose from. This area of the guide will highlight the most common types so you can figure out what kind is best for you.
  • What Additional Benefits Can People Expect If They Use An Electric Fireplace Over A Traditional Infrared Heater? – Electric fireplaces have tons of upsides compared to other heating methods, this part will list all of those benefits.
  • Is There A Brand of Electric Fireplace That Stands Out On Top? – You don’t want to get a cheap generic brand electric fireplace just because it is on sale with Amazon, Instead of buying the first thing you see on Amazon, check out this section that highlights one of the best electric fireplaces that you can possibly choose for your home.

What Are The Different Types of Heaters You Can Get For Your Home?

There are many different types of ways to heat your home. Here are the most common ways:

  • Central Heating – These are heating vents built into your home, usually as a central heating and air conditioning system that serves both functions. Many of these central heating units are electric. This is convection-style heating.
  • Wood Fireplaces – This is the original way that people used to keep their homes warm. You simply burn wood in an open hearth or an enclosed system and the smoke and other potentially harmful emissions are ventilated through the flue and chimney. This is considered radiant heat.
  • Gas Fireplaces – Gas fireplaces are a slightly cleaner alternative to wood fireplaces. You burn gas, usually, natural gas or propane, to create a flame. This can also produce harmful emissions and have some unnatural flame colors. This is also considered radiant-style heating.
  • Radiant Heaters – These are portable space heater that uses conventional coils instead of an infrared source. Space heaters like these typically don’t produce the amount of heat people need to properly warm homes and are for shorter uses in more limited spaces.
  • Tower Heater – This is a large space heater. It uses infrared radiant-style heat in all directions. They are useful in outdoor areas or a very large room with a lot of square feet to make toasty. Typically you don’t use this style of infrared space heater in normal indoor home settings because of safety concerns like the fact it can easily tip over. Of course, there are safety features like tip-over sensors and overheat protection that will automatically shut off the system if a problem is detected. Unfortunately, not all of these heaters have these features and they should mostly be used for outdoor use.
  • Standalone Convection-Style Infrared Heaters – These are infrared heaters that use convection-style heating to warm an area instead of radiant-style heating. This is a common type of space heater. This makes them a little better at warming an enclosed space than radiant-style which is more directional with a shorter range. Sometimes these can come with caster wheels that can make them easy to move but also a little unsafe. You can also get these wall mounted like a Heat Storm wall mount space heater. The Heat Storm still uses infrared but it is limited to the location where it is installed.
  • Electric Fireplaces – Electric fireplaces are commonly considered one of the best infrared heaters you can get because they use an energy-saving infrared convection-style quartz heater to keep a home or room warm, all with the added atmosphere of simulating the beautiful visuals of a real fireplace. An adjustable thermostat allows you to set your desired temperature. Because a high-end electric fireplace for the bedroom can have a powerful heater inside, you can usually feel warm air coming out of the blower very quickly after turning it on with a convenient remote control or smartphone device that works through Wi-Fi. They are easy to install. After placing it, you plug it into a normal 120-volt outlet, turn it on, and set the thermostat.
  • Ceramic Heater – A ceramic heater is often also referred to as a PTC heater. They will usually cost a little less to run than an infrared system but they usually aren’t as powerful and can be more dangerous.
  • Dual Heating System – Sometimes you can get an infrared system that heats but also has a humidifier built into it. This allows to make up for the dry air that heating systems usually create.

How Do Different Infrared Heaters Work To Warm An Area?

There are typically two types of heat that infrared heaters use to warm an area. These two types of heat generation are:

  • Radiant-Style Heat
  • Convection-Style Heat

Radiant-style heat means that the infrared-heating element directly radiates heat off of it. These types of heaters can be powerful, but they have a shorter range and they are usually very directional in their heat source. Because of this, these are really good options if you need something that is heating an outdoor area even in the colder months of the year.

Convection-style heat means that while the infrared-heating element is still directly radiating heat around it, this is in an enclosed space within the device. For these style heaters cold air is pulled into it, and because it is now in a small space, the infrared-heating element heats that air almost instantly. The now warm air is then gently blown out to circulate into the room. Typically, these heaters will heat a room faster and keep it warm longer using less energy. These types of heaters are better suited for indoor heating and don’t usually do as well in outdoor spaces as radiant-style heaters.

What Are Good Brands of Traditional Infrared Heaters?

If your needs are better suited for these traditional infrared heaters, such as heating an outdoor space, there are several brands you can go with. Heat Storm, Duraflame, and Lasko are all reliable companies.

Of course, what style heater you want will also dictate which brand you end up choosing. Not all brands make all styles of heaters. So, first, decide what type of heater you need for your specific heating situation, and then look at brands that offer those styles of heating devices.

Does An Infrared Heater Warm a Room Better Than an Electric Fireplace?

Because electric fireplaces use convection-style infrared heating and traditional heaters use radiant-style infrared heating, when it comes to heating a room or even your entire house, an electric fireplace will almost always be the best choice that you can go with. Of course, this is going to depend on whether you get a cheap electric fireplace or invest in a high-end one.

That being said, remember that when heating an outdoor area like an outdoor patio, radiant-style heating of traditional infrared heaters will usually do a bit better than an electric fireplace will. Besides, the atmosphere the visuals of an electric fireplace provide is always better suited for indoor areas to make it feel cozier.

What Are Some of The Downsides of Traditional Infrared Heaters?

Traditional infrared heaters have many downsides that they suffer from that make them less than ideal for indoor use. Here are some of those downsides:

  • Directional Heat – With the exception of tower heaters, traditional infrared heaters usually only radiate heat in one direction. You can feel warm right in front of them, but one step behind them and you feel cold again.
  • Short Range – Because traditional infrared heaters use radiant-style heating, the range of the heat is severely limited. You can easily stay warm sitting around them like a fire, but the heat quickly dissipates as you take a few steps away from them. This is one of the reasons that keep them from being a good choice to heat indoor areas.
  • High Energy Usage – Because of the directional heat, the short range, and the fact that they typically work better outdoors where it is even colder, these heaters often use a lot of electric energy and it will be reflected on your bill. Usually, people only use these outdoors for special occasions instead of as a heater that they use all of the time to keep their home warm.
  • Tripping Hazard – Since so many of these heaters are freestanding heaters that are made to be portable, they are a tripping hazard both over the unit itself and the cord. This can lead to personal injury and a damaged heating device.

What Different Electric Fireplace Types Are Available?

If you are considering going with an electric fireplace for your indoor heating needs, here are the different styles that you can choose from:

  • Wall Mantle Electric Fireplace Unit – For an electric fireplace experience that looks the most like a traditional fireplace, you can get a wall mantle electric fireplace unit. These are units that are installed by setting them on the floor, up against a flat wall. Usually, these are placed near the center of a wall for an inviting focal point in the room. When you buy one of these from a company, it will most likely come in a couple of different pieces that you connect yourself to when you install it. This is because even though the actual fireplace unit itself will be the same for a specific brand and model, you can usually choose different types of mantles so you can get one that best matches your current architectural and interior decorating styles. When you receive one of these units, install the mantle where you want it to go, and then install the fireplace inside of the opening of the mantle.
  • Corner Mantle Electric Fireplace Unit – A corner mantle electric fireplace unit works exactly the same way the wall mantle units above, however, these electric fireplaces are designed to perfectly fit into the corner of a room. Corner units may not have as many mantle styles to choose from as the wall units because these are less common. However, these electric fireplace units are great if you want to save some space or have a room layout where a corner electric fireplace would work a lot better.
  • TV Stand Electric Fireplace Unit – Some electric fireplaces are built directly into TV entertainment centers. A TV stand electric fireplace unit allows you to save a lot of space by combining your TV stand, media console, and electric fireplace all into one piece. These fireplaces have a place on top for your TV to sit on. Below is the electric fireplace. There is usually room for additional features like storage space with cabinetry, cubbies, and shelving.
  • Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace UnitWall-mounted electric fireplace units fit the role of people who want a more modern look where a fireplace sits off of the grand and is hanging on the wall. When you purchase one of these units, they will come with a set of special mounting brackets so you can securely mount your fireplace to the sturdy wood studs that are found inside the wall. With these units, it is also possible for you to install them directly into a recess in the drywall. You can mount them partially recessed and this will leave a small lip of the fireplace sticking out for a better sense of depth. However, in some situations, you may even like to completely recess your wall-mounted electric fireplace so that the front of the fireplace sits flush with the wall. How far you can recess your fireplace will depend on how deep your wall is behind the drywall, how thick your fireplace is, and if there’s enough space between two studs so that the width of your fireplace will fit between them.
  • Electric Fireplace Insert Unit – Do you have an existing wood fireplace that you aren’t using and you want to convert it to an electric fireplace? That is easy to do with one of these electric fireplace insert units. You measure the opening of your existing fireplace and then get an electric fireplace unit that fits inside. With one of the insert units, not only do you get all of the benefits that electric fireplaces have over wood fireplaces, but you also get to enjoy the fireplace housing you already have in your home. If you have an existing fireplace it is usually better to get one of these insert units instead of a completely new mantle fireplace set, otherwise, your current fireplace will just be empty and going to waste.
  • Freestanding Electric Fireplace Unit – A freestanding electric fireplace unit is just an aesthetically redesigned portable space heating device. The major issue that these units have is that they don’t usually work as well as a space heating device, and they usually don’t produce very realistic flame effects, if any at all. This is because these devices have very limited space for them to work with. Normally, that space would be taken up by a larger heater inside of it, by a smaller heater has to be used for the fireplace visuals. Likewise, because of the size, the technology to produce flame effects has a strong limitation. If you want an electric fireplace and also need a device that you can quickly move to a room when needed, you are much better off if you simply get a normal style of the electric fireplace like the ones listed above. Then, purchase a quality, standard portable heater for when it is needed.

What Additional Benefits Can People Expect If They Use An Electric Fireplace Over A Traditional Infrared Heater?

Other than being able to do a better job warming a room, electric fireplaces have several benefits you can expect:

  • Cheaper energy costs
  • No hassle operation
  • Control remotely
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Safer to use
  • Real fireplace simulation

Is There A Brand of Electric Fireplace That Stands Out On Top?

If buying an electric fireplace is starting to sound like a promising choice to go with for your home, you can’t go wrong with a MagikFlame electric fireplace. These fireplaces have a few distinct features that make them stand out from all of the electric fireplace competition:

  • 30 different 3D hologram flame effects
  • Ultra-realistic Log Crackle Sounds
  • Powerful 5,200 BTU infrared convection-style heater
Traditional White Electric Fireplace Mantel & Insert with Sound and Heater
Stand-Alone Electric Fireplace Insert with Sound and Heater
Modern White Electric Fireplace Mantel & Insert with Sound and Heater
European Style White Electric Fireplace Mantel & Insert with Sound and Heater
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