Wikipedia defines an infrared heater as a body with a higher temperature which transfers energy to an object with a lower temperature through electromagnetic radiation.
When it comes to heating our homes, infrared heat is only used with small space heaters and isn’t typically used to heat an entire living space. Safety is always a big concern because infrared heating has a hot (sun-like) source that can cause problems if an object is too close. In my opinion, the propane or natural gas systems are the most effective and economical and are the only ones mentioned in this article. The propane and natural gas heaters are un-vented (no flue to remove the burner gases), easy to install (certified Technician), and are typically 99% efficient. These units shouldn’t be installed in bedrooms or bathrooms, and some national and local codes prevent most sizes from being installed in a bedroom or bathroom. The unvented infrared heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) to help prevent the oxygen in the room from becoming too low for your safety. These heaters can be installed in family rooms, living rooms, kitchens, etc. and will provide a safe, economical source of heat.
An excellent four-minute video describing infrared heating – https://youtu.be/CjCUqpWmHEA
A car garage or shop is a good place to use infrared style heating as well, and there are two basic types of infrared heating systems:
Glowing red hot is a good way to describe the high-intensity infrared heater. Keeping this type of heater in a safe place and keeping manufactures recommended distances in mind, they can give you a safe heating source for an individual room. You can feel the heat coming directly from the unit, and if you or something is too close for very long, it can burn or worse yet, cause a fire.
In a garage or a shop, these heaters provide warm, comfortable, safe heat by heating the objects that are in the path of the direction the heater is pointed. Compared to a standard blower-style shop heater that heats the air, the fuel consumption is usually less, and the comfort level is increased with the high-intensity infrared heater. A CPS Comfort Advisor can provide free on-site advice.
Low-intensity infrared is used in garages, shops, and often in commercial warehouses. These heaters hang from the ceiling and produce a warm radiance from piping that is within a unit like is pictured to the left. Comfort Plus Services is trained to install the garage, shop, or commercial warehouse low-intensity infrared heaters.