Radiant Heat Vs. Infrared Heat: The Ultimate Comparison Guide.

Radiant heat and infrared heat are the same things, so neither is better than the other. Radiant heat comes from a source, such as a heating panel or fireplace, and warms objects and people in its direction without heating the air.

Infrared heat is the specific type of heat that is generated by radiant heat sources. This type of heat is absorbed by objects and converted to heat energy. Both types of heat are efficient and effective at warming spaces, and which one to choose depends on individual needs and preferences.

Radiant heat is a good option for heating specific areas or objects, while infrared heat can provide more even heating for larger spaces. Additionally, both types of heat can be used in conjunction with other heating methods for optimal comfort and energy efficiency.

Radiant Heat Vs. Infrared Heat: The Ultimate Comparison Guide.

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Radiant Heat

When it comes to heating a house, radiant heat systems are becoming increasingly popular. They use radiation, in the form of infrared waves, to heat objects and surfaces within a room, rather than heating the air, as forced-air or convection heating systems do.

Radiant heat is nothing new. Ancient romans used it for heating their villas. Today’s systems, however, are far more advanced and user-friendly. In this section, we’ll define radiant heat, explain how it works, and look at the types of systems available.

Definition And Explanation Of How Radiant Heat Works

Radiant heat is a type of heating system that creates warmth through the use of infrared radiation. This radiation is produced by a heat source, such as a boiler or electric heating element, and is directed towards objects and surfaces in the room.

The objects absorb the radiation and become warm, and this heat is then radiated back into the room. The result is a warm, comfortable living space without any cold spots or drafts.

Types Of Radiant Heating Systems (Electric, Hydronic)

There are two main types of radiant heating systems: electric and hydronic. Electric radiant heating systems consist of cables or mats installed beneath the flooring or behind wall panels. When the system is turned on, the cables or mats heat up and emit infrared radiation, which warms up the objects and surfaces in the room.

Hydronic systems, on the other hand, use hot water to heat up metal pipes that are installed underneath the flooring or behind wall panels. The pipes emit infrared radiation, just like electric systems, but they require a boiler to heat the water.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Radiant Heat

Radiant heat has several advantages over other types of heating systems. For one, it creates a consistent, even heat throughout the room, without any cold spots or drafts. Because it uses infrared radiation to heat objects and surfaces, rather than heating the air, it can also be more energy-efficient.

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Additionally, radiant heating systems are quiet, unobtrusive, and can be installed beneath a variety of flooring materials. However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well. Radiant heat can be expensive to install, especially if you’re retrofitting an existing home.

It can also be slow to respond and may take longer to heat up a room than other heating systems.

Energy Efficiency Compared To Other Heating Systems

Radiant heat is generally considered to be more energy-efficient than traditional forced-air or convection heating systems. Because it heats up specific objects and surfaces in the room, rather than the entire volume of air, it can be more targeted and efficient.

Additionally, because it operates at a lower temperature, radiant heating systems can be more efficient overall, resulting in lower energy bills.

Best Applications For Radiant Heat

Radiant heat can be a great option for a variety of applications, including new home construction, additions, and remodels. It works particularly well with tile or wood flooring, but can be installed beneath a variety of other flooring materials as well.

Additionally, because it creates a consistent, even heat, it can be a good choice for homes with high ceilings or large, open living spaces.

Infrared Heat

Radiant Heat Vs. Infrared Heat: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

If you’re in the market for a new heating system, you might have come across two different terms – radiant heat and infrared heat. While the terms might sound similar, there are some fundamental differences between the two. In this guide, we’ll give you a comprehensive look at infrared heat, including its definition, how it works, the different types of heating systems, advantages and disadvantages, energy efficiency compared to other heating systems, and best applications.

Definition And Explanation Of How Infrared Heat Works

Unlike traditional heating systems, infrared heating works by emitting infrared radiation that is absorbed by objects and surfaces in the room, heating them up and, in turn, warming up the surrounding air. Think of it like the sun warming up the earth’s surface.

Types Of Infrared Heating Systems (Black Ceramic, Quartz Tube)

There are two types of infrared radiant heating systems: black ceramic and quartz tube.

Black Ceramic

  • Consists of a ceramic emitter panel coated with a heat-absorbing black layer.
  • Emits a lower temperature infrared heat, making it ideal for smaller spaces or when you want a more subtle heat.
  • Its panel design makes it suitable for ceiling or wall mounted installations.
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Quartz Tube

  • Uses quartz tubes to emit higher temperature infrared heat.
  • Best suited for larger spaces or areas that require more intense heating.
  • Commonly used in outdoor patios, garages, and warehouses.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Infrared Heat

Infrared heating has several advantages and disadvantages that can help you determine if it’s the right heating system for your space.


  • More energy-efficient than traditional heating systems because it heats objects, surfaces, and people directly, reducing heat loss.
  • Quick heat-up time, usually only taking a few minutes to reach the desired temperature.
  • Silent operation without any moving parts.
  • Easy installation and low maintenance costs.


  • Higher upfront costs compared to traditional heating systems.
  • Limited heating coverage as it can only heat up surfaces in its line of sight.
  • Not suitable for rooms with high ceilings.
  • Less effective in rooms with high levels of insulation or drafty spaces.

Energy Efficiency Compared To Other Heating Systems

Infrared heating systems are incredibly energy efficient as they directly heat up objects and surfaces, reducing energy waste. According to research, infrared heating systems can potentially save up to 50% on heating costs compared to other heating systems.

Best Applications For Infrared Heat

Infrared heating is ideal for a variety of applications, including:

  • Home heating, specifically for rooms with high ceilings or poor insulation.
  • Outdoor patios and living spaces.
  • Garages, workshops, and warehouses.
  • Commercial spaces such as restaurants and bars.

Infrared heating is a unique and energy-efficient heating system that provides a comfortable and cosy space for you and your family. It’s essential to consider the application, size, and heating requirements of your space before choosing an infrared heating system to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.

Comparison Of Radiant And Infrared Heat

Radiant Heat Vs. Infrared Heat: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

Looking for an ultimate comparison guide between radiant heat and infrared heat? Here is what you need to know about the comparison of radiant and infrared heat.

Similarities And Differences Between Radiant And Infrared Heat

• both radiant and infrared heat contribute to the warmth of a space, but in different ways.

• radiant heat relies on electromagnetism to transfer heat through radiation, while infrared heat is produced using electromagnetic waves.

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• radiant heat generates heat through an object, whereas infrared heat sources generate heat from themselves.

• both radiant and infrared heat are eco-friendly and energy efficient.

Cost Comparison Between The Two Systems

• radiant heating systems are generally more expensive to install, while infrared heating sources are less expensive.

• in terms of operating costs, radiant heating systems are more affordable to operate over an extended period.

infrared heaters are less expensive to purchase initially, making them a great choice for small spaces.

Comfort Levels Of Radiant Vs. Infrared Heat

• radiant heat warms up an entire room, providing a consistent level of warmth from the floor to the ceiling. It provides warmth from the objects in the room rather than the air.

• infrared heat sources offer direct heat to only the objects and people in their line of sight, providing focused warmth to a designated area.

Maintenance And Installation Requirements Of Each System

• radiant heating systems require a higher level of maintenance due to their intricate configuration, whereas infrared heaters require minimal maintenance.

• radiant heating should be installed by a professional, while infrared heaters are relatively easy to install even for people with no technical expertise.

Safety Considerations For Each System

• radiant heating systems may pose a fire hazard if not correctly installed or maintained.

infrared heaters are generally considered safe to use, but people should be cautious not to touch the heater structure as it can cause burns.

There is no clear winner in the radiant heat vs. infrared heat debate. Both heating sources have their benefits and drawbacks, making it essential to select one that aligns with your specific heating requirements.


Both radiant heat and infrared heat have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Radiant heat is ideal for heating large areas, while infrared heat is best used in small spaces. Both heating systems are energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective, making them excellent options for homeowners looking to save money on their heating bills.

However, choosing the right heating system depends on a variety of factors like your specific heating needs, the size of the space you’re trying to heat, and the type of construction of your home. Consulting with a professional heating contractor can help you make the best decision for your home.

Whether you choose radiant heat or infrared heat, one thing is for sure – you’ll enjoy the many benefits of these high-tech heating systems for years to come.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.