Radiant Quartz Heaters
Sometimes, heating a whole room is necessary, and sometimes, heating just part of a room wlll make its occupants comfortable. A convection heater, which heats air and blows it around, will heat an entire room, but to heat a target - like someone watching TV - a radiant heater is a better choice. There are many types of radiant heaters, including some that use a heating element made of quartz.
How Quartz Works in Heaters
Quartz is the most common mineral found on earth. Mineralogists call it silica, or silicon dioxide. It has a variety of commercial, industrial, and ornamental applications, such as in glass, in jewelry, and in electronics. When used as a heating element, quartz is turned into a wire and electricity is pushed through it - the same principle as a light bulb. However, differently than a light bulb, quartz radiates mostly in the infrared spectrum, meaning that most of the energy comes out as heat instead of light.
Pros and Cons of a Radiant Quartz Heater
Consumers like radiant quartz heaters because they heat up quickly, and because operate quietly without a fan. Generally, they provide direct, focused heat but are not effective for heating an entire room, although some larger units - up to 1500 watts - are marketed to heat areas up to 10 x 10 feet. Quartz heaters are popular for outdoor applications because the radiant heat is not impacted by wind. Some users say that the heater grill or casing on a quartz heater can become hot, but some manufacturers, such as the Optimus H-5210, make a "cool touch housing." Prices range from an economical $25 to over $600.
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