Far infrared or near infrared

In:Infrared Heating

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Far infrared or near infrared. What’s the difference?

Infrared heating is often recommended for use in therapy and treatment rooms as it provides direct warmth to the skin, so the air may be warmed by traditional central heating or by infrared heating but in some situations the client might need some extra directed warmth on them as often they are lying down semi naked for some time.

So, what is the difference between near infrared and far infrared?

Near infrared heaters are the type which glow orange, those designed for outdoor use are often rated at 2000 watts, they provide a great deal of heat and can sometimes be overwhelmingly intense and should only be used in very cold environments.

Infrared heaters specifically designed for treatment use are between 100 and 650 watts for a part body lamp but often combine near infrared with a halogen lamp, the heat is targeted to one small area, torso, legs or shoulders to aide muscle warmth and relaxation. The lamp can be positioned just above the body and generates quite intense warmth to that one area only, which must be timed for specific treatments.

Far infrared heaters do not give off any light and the heat generated is far more gentle, it is designed to comfortably warm people and the air in the room. By positioning the heater high on the ceiling it provides an all round warmth and should be able to reach across a large area of the room. One heating panel positioned above a treatment couch will give a pleasant feeling of warmth but should be used in conjunction with another heating source, other heating panels or warm air heating. Far infrared heaters for this type of use are between 600 and 850 watts, the warmth is gentle and all round, it will still penetrate deep into the skin to promote good blood circulation but not at the intensity of a treatment lamp. Far infrared feels pleasant to sit under all day long.

Our bodies are designed to accept and utilise the wavelengths of far infrared, we then emit far infrared wavelengths and warmth ourselves. The warmth from the sun or massaging hands is far infrared warmth.