Blue Flame vs Infrared Gas Wall Heaters
Vent free gas heaters are available in two different types, Blue Flame or Infrared. Many claims have been made regarding these two types and their respective heating capabilities, functionality, and efficiency. This page is designed to set the record straight with a factual representation of both types.
- Blue Flame and Infrared heaters are both 99.9% efficient.
- Blue Flame and Infrared heaters both use the same amount of gas, and produce the same amount of overall heat.
- Blue Flame and Infrared both have Oxygen Depletion Sensors (ODS).
- Infrared heaters are extremely targeted. If you stand directly in front of an Infrared heater, you will feel the heat immediately. As a result, some people believe that they are more efficient, while this is simply not the case. Infrared heaters radiate heat with infrared rays, just like the sun. Infrared rays travel through the air and are absorbed by objects they come in contact with.
If you are standing outside on a cloudy day and an opening in the clouds occurs, you will suddenly feel warmer. This is not because the air around you became hotter, rather the infrared rays from the sun passed through the air and were absorbed by your skin.
- Blue Flame heaters typically work better in insulated areas, while Infrared heaters may work better in un-insulated areas as they will heat objects before the air.
- Blue Flame heaters may take longer to heat the room as it works to convect the entire area, while Infrared heaters provide instant warmth in the form of directional heat, to objects in its line of sight.
- If you mounted an Infrared heater and a Blue Flame heater side by side, there would be a little more hot air rising from the blue flame heater, and more outward heat from the Infrared heater.
So, how do you choose?
- If you want a heater that you can stand in front of, after coming inside from the cold, choose the infrared. It will feel more like standing in front of a fire.
- Blue Flame heaters have two distinct advantages. First, because they do not project the heat outward as much as Infrared heaters do, you don't need to be as careful with furniture placement (Infrared heaters can fade fabric and cause damage to furniture that is placed too close to the heater). Second, Blue Flame heaters typically have a range of heat output that is controlled by the thermostat while Infrared heaters, if equipped with a thermostat, are either on or off at their full rated output.