Hot yoga infrared heaters can look very similar but looks can be deceiving.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is what the differences are between Heating Green’s infrared heaters and the other heaters that are available online for hot yoga. There are many different kinds of infrared heaters available and instead of comparing each one individually I’ll cover the 5 most common factors that set us apart.
- The materials and element used in the heater. In short, not all infrared heaters are created equal. Some infrared heaters do a much better job at converting electrical energy into infrared energy, while others do a mediocre job and are largely reliant on convection (air warming as it passes over the element), which is similar to installing a baseboard on your wall or ceiling! Here’s a link that shows a thermal image comparing the difference with a common heater available at hardware stores, for example. Heating Green’s infrared heaters for hot yoga use a proprietary aluminum oxide element which is sandwiched between a steel and porcelain plate. There is more contact between the element and the face of the plate, resulting in more transference of electrical energy into infrared heat. Most infrared heaters suspend an element behind the face of the panel instead of manufacturing and embedding it directly inside the face. They often also do not run as many zig zags behind the face, which results in lower radiant output.
- Warranty. Most panels have a warranty ranging from 1-3 years, Heating Green’s panels are warrantied anywhere from 10 years to lifetime. That, plus all of our panels are 100% USA made!
- Consistency of output. The physiological effect of infrared heat is typically only felt when a heater is on. To maintain a specific temperature, the way any infrared heater works is it cycles on and off to maintain that temperature. For example, if your hot yoga room is set to 95 degrees, once the thermostat reaches 95 it turns the heater off, so that it doesn’t keep going to 100! Bearing this in mind, you’d stop feeling the output of a normal infrared heater once it cycles off. Infrared is a light we can’t see, so it’s analogous to turning a light off and having it suddenly be dark.The heater would only turn on again if say the temperature dips to 94 degrees and the thermostat tells the heater to pump out a little more heat (until it hits 95 degrees and cycles off again!). One of the main differences with Heating Green’s heaters for hot yoga is that they have a higher thermal mass; the steel/porcelain face of the heater is a better emitter and retainer of infrared even after it’s cycled off! To use the light analogy, it’s like if you have a glow in the dark object, it retains the light long after the light is turned off.To use a different analogy, it’s like the hearth around a gas fireplace. The stone remains warm even after the fireplace is turned off, because it can hold that heat. The face of Heating Green’s heater remains hotter longer even after it cycles off.So, the output is much more consistent for creating the physiological effect of the infrared that yogis want to feel throughout a class. Here’s a link for example to a thermal image showing one of our heaters after it is shut off for 5 minutes; it’s still hotter than the competing brand that had been continuously operating for 10 minutes! Aside from increased consistency the other benefit is that our Heaters are less expensive to operate.
- Length of time that heaters can be run. Most infrared heaters shouldn’t be run continuously over long periods of time. For example, carbon fiber panels for hot yoga must be turned off for at least 10 minutes every 2 hours. There is no restriction on Heating Green’s infrared panels. They can be run 24/7 without any adverse effect on the panel, and they are designed to last for 30-40 years.
- Radiant output. This can also be called the infrared output (the terms radiant and infrared are synonymous). This is the physiological effect of what you feel when you’re underneath the heaters. Heating Green’s infrared heaters have the highest radiant output among heaters used in hot yoga, which means that you’ll often feel about 5-10 degrees warmer than what the thermostat reads! It also means that they can operate on higher ceilings and still provide the benefits of infrared.
Lastly, I’ll note that there are a few similarities between the vast majority of indoor infrared heaters on the market, ours included:
1. Low EMFs. Virtually all indoor infrared heaters have extremely low EMFs. Just for example, our SolaRay heaters have 3rd party testing of EMF reading at 0.17mG at head height. A hair dryer has over 100mG as a point of reference. For most people, there are devices we use on a daily basis which emit much higher EMFs.
2. Far infrared wavelength. The wavelength of any heater is predominately correlated to the temperature that it reaches. For this reason, most indoor heaters are far infrared and put out a spectrum of wavelengths from 3-15 micron.
3. Efficiency. Believe it or not, all electric resistance heat is over 99% efficient! Efficiency of converting electricity to heat is not a great way to differentiate heaters from each other. For example, a forced air electric system is wildly inefficient because of heat loss in ductwork, not because the electricity converting to heat is inefficient. Our heaters cycle on less because they have higher thermal mass, not because of the efficiency of converting electricity to heat.
Some companies use buzzwords like efficiency or FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) on topics like EMF/wavelength to attempt and differentiate their products, when in reality it’s just creative marketing, to say it nicely 🙂 The evidence speaks for itself and we’re proud to have served over 1,000 commercial yoga studios as well as hundreds of home yoga studios. For more information about our products please feel free to contact us here.
Written by: Jeff Abel, VP of Sales, Heating Green