We began shopping around for alternate sources to supplement our home heating this year. We currently have a forced air oil furnace, and with the constantly rising costs of heating oil, this was quickly becoming a necessity.
After exploring various options like wood-burning stoves, electric fireplaces, and pellet stoves, we found a website that sold infrared heaters. After reading some of the benefits of using infrared heat, we purchased a heater to use in our home, and it has worked....well, just ok.
The main benefit we were looking for with infrared heating is the health benefits. Infrared does not dry out the air, and we all in my family seem to be more susceptible to colds and sinus problems when the air gets so dry from running our heat in the winter. We usually have humidifiers running, but only in our bedrooms. I must say that I believe this claim for the heater 100%. I have definitely noticed more humidity in the air since using the heater, and we have much less static electricity in the house.
The unit itself is rather small, and lightweight, at only 27 pounds. We bought the larger unit, which is supposed to heat 1, 000 square feet. This is where we find the heater to fall a bit short of its claims. Perhaps it is because we live in an old home with high ceilings, but we don't feel like the heater makes the room feel all that much warmer. We have found though, that if we run the heater near our thermostat, we can control how much our furnace runs, which essentially was why we bought the heater in the first place, so I guess it is doing its job.
Something else that I really like about the heater is that it doesn't not get hot, so it is safe around my son and my dog; also, since it doesn't use combustible heat, there is no risk of fire, which gives us nice peace of mind. The unit is very quiet; we have our tv in the same room, and don't really notice when the heater is on. It is on casters, making it convenient to roll from room to room as needed. Also, the unit we bought has a remote and a digital thermostat, so you can set the room temperature to the degree. There is even a timer, so you can set the temperature lower at night, and turn up in the morning.
Whether this heater will save us money in the long run is yet to be seen; it does run on electricity, so we need to make sure over the next few months that whatever we save on heating oil does not get eaten up by increased electric bills, so we will keep an eye on that. I think maybe we just had too high of expectations for this small unit, but for now we plan to continue using it to (hopefully!) reduce some of our heating oil consumption.