If you are trying to figure out a way to save money on your heat bill this upcoming winter then you are not alone. More than likely your research has led you to infrared heat at one time or another. Infrared heaters have become all the rage the last couple of years and there are a lot of manufacturers putting them out there.
What is infrared heat?
Infrared heat works like the sun. It heats objects. For example, if you’re standing in the shade on a cool, sunny day you might feel a little chill, but as soon as you step into the sunshine you feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Some clever person took that principle and put it inside a compact little heater. Brilliant!
The Best Infrared Heater
As I said before, there are a number of infrared heaters on the market. Since the science behind the heater is pretty basic what it boils down to in distinguishing one from the other is quality of parts and features offered. In my opinion, the comfort furnace, manufactured by the Living Well Company, is the best infrared heater out there. The manufacturer has gone above and beyond to give the consumer everything they could ask for in a supplemental heat source by adding just a few features that set them apart from the other brands.
• 4 quartz infrared elements surrounded by stainless steel diffusion coils that extend their life expectancy from 5,000 to 20,000 hours
• 3 year manufacturer’s warranty with an additional protection plan that gives the customer free lifetime replacement of elements (protection is available for purchase)
• Digital thermostat
• Delay start function
• Digital remote that performs all functions of the heater
• Filter-electrostatic filter that is expected to last the life of the machine.
• Fan-super quiet scroll cage fan
• Coverage-800-1000 square feet.
When buying an infrared heater the most important thing to consider is the heating element. In order to produce the infrared light that makes these types of heaters more efficient than a regular space heater they have to have a quartz infrared element. The number of elements used differs from brand to brand, but the standard element only lasts about 5,000 hours and then they have to be replaced. Replacing the elements usually requires the customer to ship the heater back to the manufacturer and wait an average of 3-4 weeks for it to be repaired.
This is where the Comfort Furnace begins to rise to the top of the list. It only uses four quartz elements, which are surrounded by stainless steel diffusion coils that draw the heat away from the element, extending its life to 20,000 hours. When the time comes to replace the elements the customer need only call the company and the parts will be shipped to their home. The design of the heater is so simple that the customer can change the elements themselves. That means you will only be without the use of your heater for as long as it takes to receive the elements and install them. I opened mine up just to see what I would have to be dealing with and it didn’t look like anything too complicated. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver.
While I’m on the subject of replacing parts I think now would be a good time to discuss the warranty. The Comfort Furnace comes with a three-year factory warranty with an additional protection plan available for purchase. Most of the other infrared heaters I looked at only offer a one-year warranty so the extra two years you get with the Comfort Furnace offers the customer a little extra piece of mind. If you want to take that piece of mind one step further then definitely spend the money to purchase the protection plan. It gives you an additional two years on the factory warranty and lifetime replacement of heating elements, including free shipping on them, for as long as you have your heater. Regardless of which heater you go with the elements will eventually have to be replaced. It is a fact. I love that the folks at the Living Well Company just put it out there and offer you a solution.
Another great feature of the Comfort Furnace is the digital thermostat. Instead of the usual low, medium, high setting you’ll find on other brands the digital thermostat on the comfort furnace allows you to set your heater to a specific temperature just like you would your regular furnace. Also, like your regular furnace the heater will cycle on and off as it reaches temperature, which means it won’t be constantly running like a traditional space heater. I kept mine at 72 degrees and turned my gas furnace down to 62 degrees. I stayed warm all winter and my gas bill was about half of what it usually is because I didn’t have to use it very often and my electric bill didn’t go up that much.
My favorite feature on the Comfort Furnace is definitely the delay start function. This function gives me the ability to save even more money because I can turn the machine off when I leave for work and have it come on an hour before I get home. I usually turn my furnace way down when I leave for work, which means I come home to a pretty chilly house. Being able to set my heater to come on before I get home means I walk into a warm living area rather than have to wait for my furnace to warm up the whole house.
Overall, I think the comfort furnace is the top of the line infrared heater out there. It kept me warm all winter long without having to spend a bunch of money. It also came in very handy at the end of the cold season when it was too warm to have my furnace on, but I needed a little something to take the chill out of the house at night. After using mine for a couple of months I recommended it to a friend who has a large tri-level home and she loved hers, too.