What’s the best place to put your space heater? In the corners? Or in the middle of the room?
In this article, we’re going to check different space heater placements and how they affect your heater’s efficiency.
Quick answer: You should place your space heater facing toward the center of the room or the area where people are. The closer you place your heater to people, the higher the perceived heat, but the worse is the area coverage of the infrared radiation. The infrared heater’s radiation should not be blocked by any objects in between. You can safely place your infrared heater on the floor or on the carpet as long as no pets are around.
Let’s have a look at the 3 best infrared heater placements! I’ve even created images of an example room with different space heater placements for you (although I am not the best at it).
So, let’s start!
Where to place an infrared heater in a room?
Infrared heaters radiate the heat. This means that any object or person in the line of radiation of an infrared heater is heated.
Infrared heat is not (immediately) distributed through the air. Therefore, you should place an infrared heater to directly heat the area you want to be heated.
Ideally, you should place your infrared heater in a way that it covers either the largest possible area of your room or directly face the people in it.
Here are the 3 best infrared heater placements (ranked by area coverage). But actually, the placement on rank #3 provides the highest perceived heat!
#1 In a corner facing into the room
The most common infrared heater placement is a corner with the heater rotated so it faces into the room.
This minimizes the space your heater uses up in the room (a corner-placed heater doesn’t bother anyone).
Also, a corner placement maximizes the area covered by the heat radiation, assuming that the heater does not distribute its rays over an angle larger than 90° (the angle of walls in a room’s corner).
Anyways, let’s have a look at how much area a corner infrared heater placement would cover:
As you can see, when an infrared heater is placed in a corner, the infrared radiation covers a large part of the room.
Also, assuming the bottom rectangle is a sofa, we can see that the radiation reaches the people sitting inside the room.
A big advantage of the corner placement is that all people present at the opposite two walls are covered by heat radiation.
#2 At a wall’s center facing into the room
If your corners are already occupied by furniture you have no other choice than to place your infrared heater at the center of a wall and heat from there.
Here’s an image of how that would look like:
As you see, all the radiation reaches the furniture and people in the room from a 90° angle. This is very bad efficiency-wise because you feel the warmest when heat radiation shines at you right from the front (which would be a 0° angle).
I’d say you should only place an infrared heater like this if you have no other choice.
The area coverage of this placement is still very good.
#3 Right in front of people
The most efficient infrared heater placement is immediately in front of people. This maximizes the density of the infrared rays (as they are not dispersed throughout the room) which increases the heat each person feels.
The right-in-front-of-people-placement is far superior to the other placements when you look at the perceived heat only.
However, it impacts the distribution of the heat within the room. A small area is very warm, while a large part of the room remains mostly unheated.
Of course, the heat will reach other parts of the room eventually. But it will take time.
Place your infrared heater right in front of people whenever you need quick and intense heat.
Here’s an image of what the right-in-front-of-people-placement looks like:
As you can see, most of the room remains uncovered by the radiation. But a small area (in this case the sofa) gets all of the heat radiation.
In the example room from the image, I had to move the small table out of the way so that the heater covers the entire sofa.
In real life, you can do that as well.
The purpose of the right-in-front-of-people placement is to get the maximum amount of heat radiation to shine directly at the people in your room.
Now that we looked at different infrared heater placements in your room, let’s have a look at the surfaces, elevation levels, and other fine-grained details:
Can you place an infrared heater on the floor?
The best and safest place to install your infrared heater is the floor of your room. By placing your heater on the floor, the radiation shines directly at you (if no other object is in the way).
Most portable infrared heaters are designed to run standing on the floor.
In the case of an infrared heating panel, you will need an additional stand or a foot to install it on the floor.
Can you place an infrared heater on carpet?
Yes, placing an infrared heater on carpet is perfectly safe! As long as your heater faces away from the floor, there is no risk of fire, since all carpets have an ignition temperature well above what infrared heaters can produce.
Permanent exposure to radiation might discolor a carpet or dry it out and make it brittle.
However, I’d say that is only the case if too much infrared radiation shines toward the carpet.
Almost all infrared heaters are designed to tilt their radiation output slightly upward.
Always place your infrared heater facing away from windows
You can place the infrared heater in front of the window, but make sure to face your heater into the room and never towards of the window.
In general, infrared radiation is not able to penetrate glass. I’ve even verified this in an experiment where I used a laser thermometer to measure my hand’s temperature.
Then, I put my hand behind glass and tried measuring again. And the temperature dropped!
This means that glass blocks infrared radiation.
However, 100% blockage is not possible, as some wavelengths will be able to pass through the glass to a certain degree.
So, even if windows insulate infrared radiation, you should still prefer facing your infrared heater towards a wall (behind you) instead of a window (behind you) if you have the choice.
Properly setting a heater to not radiate heat out of the window directly affects the heating efficiency.
Can you place an infrared heater on furniture?
Yes, you can place an infrared heater on your furniture. But you must consider a few things before putting your space heater on the furniture.
- The surface should be hard and well-mounted, so your infrared heater can’t tip over and break
- Of course, the heater should radiate heat away from the furniture and into the room (not the other way around)
Where NOT to place an infrared heater
I’m going to point out a few places where it’s not suitable to place an infrared heater. Avoid placing your heater in these places and prevent any hazards:
Don’t place it: In a spot accessible to pets
Infrared heaters are commonly used in shelter homes and zoos for keeping pets warm.
But not every infrared heater is safe for your pet. Some infrared heaters become too hot, and your curious pet may harm itself by touching the heater.
( I’ve seen images of cats catching fire from infrared heaters … )
Place it in a spot inaccessible to pets and use the heater for a limited period to prevent injuries.
Don’t place it: Facing towards a wall
If you place your infrared heater facing the wall, it becomes useless, as it will not serve its purpose.
The heater will transfer heat radiation to the wall. Of course, some of the radiation will reflect and radiate into the room. But most of the heat will be wasted.
Don’t place it: Facing toward electronics
Even though placing an infrared heater facing the electronic devices isn’t too dangerous; still, it’s not a good practice.
There is a possibility that your electronic devices may malfunction if they are permanently exposed to heat radiation.
So, don’t face the infrared heater toward electronic devices, such as your TV or a computer.
Likely, nothing will happen. But unnecessarily overheating electronic devices is a bad thing to do since electronics run best at low temperatures.
( That’s why computers have built-in fans and TVs oftentimes have air vents on the back )
The location of your heater is significant because it can help heat your room properly, or it might result in a waste of energy.
The best place to place your infrared heater is in a room facing the people and covering a broad area.
You can place your infrared heater on any hard surface (floor, furniture, or carpeted floor), but place it facing into the room.
You can even build your own infrared heater pedestal so that it covers even more parts of your room.