Informational Guide

Are Infrared Heaters Safe To Use?

Infrared heaters work by emitting invisible energy, in the form of electromagnetic waves, into your home. Is this harmful?

by Josh M

Infrared Heater Sample

Winter is just around the corner, so it’s time to make sure you’ve got effective heaters in your home. Standard convection heaters work by heating the air around them and spreading that warmth into that area.

Infrared heaters work entirely differently by emitting invisible energy, in the form of electromagnetic waves, into your home. The real question for many people is, are infrared heaters safe?

In this guide, we’ll help explain the benefits of infrared heaters and whether or not you should be using them in your home.

Check out our favorite models of infrared heaters

Cost Effective & Environment Friendly

For a time, people thought infrared heaters were really expensive and would increase your energy bills dramatically. They actually need very little fuel to function and are much more efficient than other modern heaters. This will help to lower your energy bills and makes them more environmentally friendly as it reduces your household’s overall carbon footprint.

No Air Alteration

Standard heaters impact the air around them, which affects the molecules and can make it difficult to breathe. Infrared heaters work differently and actually mirror how the sun emits heat to the earth. This makes the heat feel a lot more natural in your home and on your body.

No Mono-oxide Gas Emission

Infrared heaters use radiation to increase the temperature in your room and therefore don’t produce any carbon monoxide emissions. This makes them one of the most environmentally friendly choices that are starting to be used by businesses worldwide.

No Odor

Infrared heaters don’t produce any smoke or gases as a by-product. This means that, unlike other heaters, there’s no harmful or annoying odor.

Quick Heat Recovery

Infrared heaters provide the heat directly via electromagnetic waves. This means you’ll feel the benefits a lot quicker than with other heaters, which need to first heat the air around them to raise the overall temperature.

Minimal Maintenance

Infrared heaters have a very simple design which has no need for motors or filters. This makes them easy to maintain and removes the need to replace or fix different parts within them.

Is Infrared Heating Safe?

When we hear the word radiation, it raises alarm bells. We all associate radiation with a nuclear reactor, completely forgetting that radiation is actually how the sun heats the planet.

However, we do need to be careful about the use of radiation as if the level is too high, then it can cause our cells to mutate, giving us cancer or other diseases. This unsafe radiation level is described as ionizing radiation, and infrared heaters operate at a level below this making them safe to use.

Manufacturers have to build their infrared heaters to comply with government guidelines so they are safe to use. They’ve actually been tested and designed with the following uses in mind.

For General Health

Our bodies are designed to accept infrared rays, which is why it feels so natural and comforting when we’re near an infrared heater. Infrared heaters are even used in various therapies. They have been proven to detoxify your body, reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, stimulate weight loss, boost your immune system, and relieve pain.

Infrared heaters aren’t just safe; they’re actually beneficial to the human body and can help improve your general health.

View top heaters for large rooms

Inrared Therapy Lamp

To Leave On Overnight

As a general rule, you shouldn’t leave heaters or any sources of heat on overnight because there’s a risk of a fire. Infrared heaters are a bit safer in this regard because of the simple mechanism. They don’t have any fuels or gases connected to the machine, which lowers the risk of any explosions or fires breaking out.

As there’s no flammable source built into the heater, it means they can be left running overnight. More infrared heaters don’t have built-in shut-off systems like other heaters because they don’t need them, but our advice would still be to shut them off if you’re going out.

For Babies & Nurseries

Infrared heaters are designed to be perfect for newborns and babies. None of the external-facing elements of the infrared heater will get hot enough to burn, so if they did manage to lay their hands on it, they shouldn’t be injured.

They also heat the room in a more natural way which is better for your baby’s health and more comforting to them. However, you should make sure you don’t leave the infrared heater too close to the child or a crib because it might get too hot for them.

Also see – best small-sized heaters

For Pets

Infrared heaters are perfectly safe for pets too. They don’t heat up enough that your furry friends could injure themselves, and the method of heating has been shown to help improve the muscle condition and suppleness of pets. They also really enjoy the method of heating as it’s like lounging about in the sun.

Potential Risks of Infrared Heaters When Used Incorrectly

Infrared heaters are safe, but there are still some risks you need to be aware of:

Possible Burns

It’s unlikely that an infrared heater will cause any burns to your skin because of how the heat is emitted. However, if you stare at the heater for too long, it can cause retinal burns, which will damage your eyesight and even lead to cataracts.

Potential Fire Hazard

Your heater itself isn’t a fire hazard, but if you leave flammable materials on or around the infrared heater, then it can cause fires. You should maintain a safe distance around the heater to mitigate any risk of a fire.

Drying Of Skin

Infrared heating will cause your skin to dry out, and, in some cases, this can happen more quickly than sweat can form. This can make your skin feel very dry and lifeless, and prolonged exposure can age you prematurely.

Risk of Developing Headaches

The electromagnetic waves emitted from an infrared heater can cause headaches, but only if the machine is installed incorrectly. If you’ve done everything right, then you shouldn’t feel it, but if you do notice you’re having headaches when it’s switched on, you should get a professional to look over it.

How To Use Infrared Heaters Safely?

Infrared heaters aren’t anywhere near as dangerous as some people think they are, but there are some precautions you should take when using them:

Keep A Safe Distance

Infrared heaters aren’t dangerous to our bodies, but if you’re too close for too long, they can damage your skin. It’s important to keep a distance of at least 1m between you and the heater when using it.

Also consider checking other alternative heaters that can be used in the basement to have a safe distance and heat up your home at the same time.

Limit Exposure

You don’t want to overexpose yourself to infrared heat in the same way you don’t want to be overexposed to the sun. Try not to sit in front of the heater for too long, so you don’t damage your skin or eyes.

Don’t Overuse

You shouldavoid running your heater endlessly as this can damage the device and dry out your home too much. If you’re going out, then you shouldn’t leave this running, or there is a fire risk.

Keep Flammable Objects Away

Infrared heaters give off heat very quickly, and there’s a real risk in leaving flammable objects nearby. Make sure you keep anything flammable far away from the heater, or they could start a blaze.

It’s important that you follow the above and don’t leave the heater unattended, especially if there are children in your home.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Do infrared heaters emit radiation?

Yes, but not on a dangerous level. Infrared heaters emit a level of radiation that heats the room without damaging your cells.

Is infrared heat good for arthritis?

Infrared heat has been proven to help support those with arthritis by alleviating pain and giving relief to your muscles.

How do you use infrared light for healing?

Infrared light penetrates your skin by about 2-7cm allowing it to reach your muscles, nerves, and bones to provide relief. Studies have shown that an infrared heater can have a positive impact on your body, but some health professionals use specialist heaters that run at different wavelengths.

Can you put a thermostat on an infrared heater?

Yes, a programmable thermostat can be used to control the temperature of an infrared heater.

Learn more and compare the difference between an analog and a digital thermostat.

Smart Plug for Infrared Heater


Infrared heaters are safe to use and offer effective heating for your home. You should take some precautions, but if you install and use them correctly, they can be a real asset to your home.

Last Updated on November 19, 2021

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.