Ceramic heaters, propane, and kerosene are a few alternatives to infrared heaters that can be used instead. In terms of the similarities and differences that they demonstrate, they may all be compared and contrasted.

The infrared heaters emit rays that other objects absorb, raising the temperature of those objects. They operate differently than other heaters that might be considered for household heating. 

Their greatest distinguishing feature is that infrared space heaters do not employ convection and instead blow air. 

Radiant energy is emitted by the heater in the form of waves, and the heat generated via radiation is independent of the ambient air. This is the best option for office workers who sit in the same location all day. 

Ceramic heaters

Ceramic space heaters are among the most popular designs and are highly energy-efficient heating systems. These space heating units are well-known for saving users money on power expenses, providing effective and efficient heating, and providing greater safety.

Types of ceramic heaters

1. Convective ceramic heaters

The majority of ceramic heaters are convective. Heat is transferred to a ceramic element by passing electricity through aluminum fins. The warm air is dispersed into the room by drawing cold air from the bottom of the heater and passing it through the heated components. The heat is dispersed more quickly with the use of a fan.

The process is repeated as hot air rises, and cool air is pushed downwards into the heater’s intake slot.

2. Ceramic radiant heaters

Electricity is used to heat the ceramic plate in radiant heaters. They don’t have a fan to circulate cool or exhaust hot air. This sort of ceramic heater heats objects immediately in its path. In a cold room, the heat provided by the heater is warmer than the objects. As a result, the items absorb the radiated heat and raise their temperature naturally. 

How do they work?

The essence of ceramic is convection heating, which is a sort of heating. As a result, these models produce warmth focused around an element known as PTC, which stands for positive temperature coefficient and is a sort of ceramic. In terms of how they work and are utilized, they are very similar to metal element models.

PTC is a type of substance classified as a partial conductor of electricity. When a current or electricity is conducted through ceramic, heat is produced. Once the heater’s element has heated up and is producing heat, the heat may be distributed around the room or area you’re seeking to heat.

Depending on the type of space heater, this can be accomplished in one of two ways. Ceramic models may include a fan that circulates heated air via convection. However, instead of a fan, the heater can be a radiant ceramic, in which case the heat is slowly transferred around the room through radiation. 


Ceramic heating systems have numerous advantages and are ideal for use in the home or workplace. The following are some of the advantages of purchasing a ceramic heater. 

  1. Precision heating: Ceramic heating units produce exact spot heating, efficiently supplying warmth. This is especially true for ceramic heating devices that use a fan and are convection-based. It can be pointed in any direction for battling chill and chilly drafts.
  2. Instant heating: Ceramic versions produce instant heat, a significant advantage of this heating method. It warms up quickly due to the ceramic portion, which is a good heat conductor, and when combined with a fan, the heat is delivered to you instantly.
  3. Quick to cool down: When a ceramic design is turned off, the heating stops immediately. This is an excellent safety feature for people who have small children or pets. It also ensures that the heater is not a fire threat.
  4. Easily transportable: Ceramic space heaters are easily transportable due to the small and compact ceramic heating element. When needed, they can be relocated from one room to another. 
  5. Ceramic heaters are frequently the least expensive heater, depending on quality, model, and brand. 


  1. Not ideal for heating huge areas: Ceramic heaters have a maximum heating coverage of 300 square feet. As a result, they aren’t the ideal option for huge spaces.
  2. Take longer to heat a space: Because radiant ceramic heaters don’t have a fan, they can take a long time to warm up a room. Convection heaters, on the other hand, heat a room faster because a fan spreads out the warm air. 
  3. Expensive electricity bills: Because radiant ceramic heaters lack a fan to circulate the hot air, they heat the area slower. As a result, there is a higher need for electrical energy. 

Infrared heaters

Another type of popular heating method is infrared heaters. Regarding infrared space heaters, they’re best renowned for being energy-efficient, quiet, and low-maintenance.

Types of infrared heaters

  1. Electric infrared heaters

Electric infrared portable warmers work by transmitting an electric current via a high-resistance element. They’re used in places where gas heaters aren’t permitted or aren’t safe to use. Compare the best-infrared heater models on our infrared heater reviews page. 

Infrared electric warmers that resemble fireplaces are also available. This gives the room a cozier atmosphere. Check out our electric fireplace reviews to see all options or our wall mount electric fireplace reviews to see only wall-mountable models.

  1. Patio heaters using infrared technology

These heaters provide direct outdoor heating in decks, restaurant patios, and vestibules. Some good recommendations can be found on our best outdoor heaters page.

  1. Propane infrared heaters

The fuel source for an infrared propane heater is liquid propane. These heaters are useful in locations where electricity is unavailable, such as the outdoors. To view what’s available, go to our best propane heaters page. 

  1. Space heaters with infrared technology

This sort of heater is commonly seen in structures with high ceilings. They’re also employed in regions with significant heat loads, such as bays and loading docks. 

How do they work?

The notion of infrared radiation, a spectrum of invisible light to the naked eye, is used to power infrared heating equipment. The effect of infrared radiation on our skin is comparable to that of sunlight.

When the sun’s light reaches us, it is absorbed by our skin and clothes, causing us to heat up. This is because the light that is absorbed produces heat. Similarly, an infrared space heater produces heat by emitting a ray of light with a specified wavelength, and we are warmed when the light is absorbed.

This means that infrared heaters must be placed near the person or people who need to be warmed and face the person or people who need to be warmed. One of the important characteristics is that the light emitted is not visible to us because it is outside of our visual spectrum. Various elements can be used to generate infrared heat, including metal wire elements, heat lamps, ceramic infrared elements, and many others. 


There are numerous advantages to employing infrared heating systems, making them a unique type of heating that caters to a wide range of consumer needs. Some of the advantages of using an infrared heater are listed below. 

  1. Increased safety: Infrared heating devices are safer than other space heaters since they do not heat up as much. They also ensure that the heating element is encased in a metal sheath, which keeps it cold to the touch and prevents burns.
  2. Quiet operation: Because infrared heaters do not require a fan, typically the source of noise in space heaters, they are noted for offering very quiet to silent heating. As a result, infrared space heaters are an excellent choice for a bedroom or workplace setting.
  3. Low upkeep: Because infrared heating devices do not have moving parts, they require very little maintenance. No motors, fans, or filters need to be cleaned or replaced.
  4. They immediately heat objects: Infrared heaters are ideal for use in the house, workshops, and garages. Infrared heaters can efficiently warm up poorly insulated places and lose heat fast when ceramic heaters are employed. Top picks can be found in our garage heater reviews. 
  5. No dry air is produced: Infrared heaters do not use oxygen or the room’s existing air to heat the space. Because these heating systems do not dry up the air, they reduce the need for humidifiers during the winter. 


  1. Infrared heaters only heat the items in the room, not the air. Infrared rays heat objects that are in direct contact with them. As a result, if you are not directly in front of the heating element, you may not get as much heat.
  2. Heat turns off quickly: Although you get fast heat when the unit is turned on, an infrared heater turns off immediately. There is no excess heat radiating from the device.
  3. Some infrared heaters are bulky or large: Because there are so many different types of infrared heaters, they come in all different shapes and sizes. And, unless you obtain a compact electric infrared heater, the item may be difficult to transport. This is particularly true of patio heaters. 

Differences between ceramic and infrared heaters

Ceramic and infrared heaters are nearly identical, yet they have different characteristics. The following are some of the distinctions between ceramic and infrared heaters. 

Heating area

A ceramic space heater has a bigger heating area than an infrared space heater. Ceramic heaters also come with fans, which help to spread the heat more evenly.

A radiant heater, also known as an infrared heater, has a thin design that is ideal for heating a small space. Because it can warm up a given in a short time, a little heating area doesn’t mean it can’t produce a lot of warmth.


Ceramic heaters are lightweight and easy to transport. As a result, moving them from one room to another will be a breeze, which is a great benefit.

While the compact size of a ceramic heater makes it a must-have for any home, infrared heaters do not offer the same convenience. They can only work if they are mounted on the walls or ceiling. That is, rather than heating the entire space; this fulfills the function of target heating. 


Infrared heaters are not suggested for households with children or pets. The reason for this is that the heat from the infrared heater is too hot to bear. Infrared heaters, on the other hand, are better for your health than ceramic heaters.

Regarding safety, ceramic space heaters are a better choice because they come with a helpful technology that stops them from overheating, preventing fires and other harmful situations.

Pollution due to noise

Nobody likes unnecessary noises in their environment, and the noise from a heater is a no-no. While in use, infrared heaters are incredibly quiet. On the other hand, Ceramic heaters emit noise because of the built-in fan that keeps the air warm.


Quartz infrared heaters are more efficient than ceramic heaters when heating a small space. Even though both heaters are the same price, infrared heaters use more electrical energy to convert it to heat.

It will not have a significant impact on your electricity rates, but it is something to consider if you want to save money on energy.

Infrared heaters vs. ceramic heaters

A ceramic heater is a heating element that creates heat using a ceramic known as the PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient). The PTC ceramic is a semiconductor, and the temperature changes when a certain voltage is passed through it.

This means the temperature is a self-regulating variable highly dependent on the applied voltage. Because the ceramic parts are in touch with the aluminum fins, they heat up as the temperature regulates. The air is heated by a fan blowing through the fins. 

Based on the preceding brief summary, it’s worth noting that ceramic heaters and infrared heaters have certain variances and some commonalities. Both of these heating options work based on creating heat using electrical energy.

In contrast to infrared heaters, ceramic heaters target the entire surrounding room. Ceramic heating is a better alternative for keeping the room warm if you’re frequently changing positions or in a larger room with more than one person.

The following are some of the similarities between ceramic and infrared heaters:

  • Both are lightweight and portable
  • Both work on the same principle: electrical energy is converted to thermal energy
  • Because of their significant warming effects, both are utilized for heating and warmth in homes, offices, and meeting places. 

However, while there are some parallels between the infrared and ceramic heaters, there are also noteworthy distinctions. The technique by which they heat their environment is the primary difference between them. Take a look at how infrared heaters operate.  

While ceramic heaters heat the surrounding air and circulate it throughout the space, infrared heaters transfer thermal energy to the things and persons around them, providing warmth. 

Bottom line

Above all, infrared heaters are the most convenient and effective form of heaters due to their capacity to cause the least amount of negative effects on users and their surroundings.