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An infrared heater is a useful heating appliance in colder countries, especially during the winter months. Thanks to its ability to emit electromagnetic radiation that heats the surrounding objects and people to provide comfort and coziness. Unfortunately, like any other device, these devices encounter some common infrared heater problems. For instance, the heater may stop working, fail to turn on, or even release cold air.
If that ever happens with your IR heater, the first step is to understand the cause of the problem, and then look for a suitable solution. Interestingly, you can fix some of these problems yourself, but others will need a professional approach.
Whichever the case, read on as I take you through the most common problems with infrared heaters and how to troubleshoot them. In addition, I’ll show you how to reset an infrared heater.
Let’s get into it!
Common Infrared Heater Problems
The infrared Heater Keeps shutting off
If your infrared heater keeps shutting off, check if the control switch or thermostat is working properly and whether the unit is receiving sufficient air. In case of blocked airflow, remove all obstructions to the heater like drapes, plants, and furniture to ensure air circulation. However, if this doesn’t resolve the problem, try replacing the faulty control switch or thermostat.
The infrared heater will not turn on
Various factors may be preventing your electric infrared heater from turning on. First, check if the heater is plugged in, since the issue may be caused by the power source. Secondly, check if the power is damaged and whether the socket is working properly. You can achieve this by plugging another electrical appliance that is working into the socket.
If the socket is working and the cord isn’t damaged, check if the infrared heater thermostat is set too low. Lastly, if the problem is still not resolved, check if the fuse box or circuit breaker is working.
For propane or natural gas infrared heaters, they will not turn on if the gas tanks are empty or if the valve is closed. Also, check if the gas tanks have any leaks by spraying them with soapy water and inspecting for bubbles. If you hear the gas coming through the heater, fix the leaks before you try to turn it on.
However, if this doesn’t fix the problem, disconnect the tubes and blow air through. This will clear them if they’re clogged, thus allowing them to function properly.
My Infrared heater is overheating
In most cases, an infrared heater overheats or produces unbearable heat when the IR heater thermostat shuts off. Although most inbuilt IR heater thermostats are an auto safety feature from the manufacturer, you can prevent this problem by setting it to maximum heat. Wait for the surrounding area to reach a comfortable temperature, then slowly reduce the temperature until the IR heater shuts off.
However, if you’re using a one-touch electronic thermostat, set it to a specific temperature. Moreover, this will give you a much more accurate temperature as opposed to the analog versions.
All in all, it’s good to buy an infrared heater with an inbuilt thermostat since it helps to prevent overheating. More importantly, avoid powering your IR heater through an extension cord as it can cause a fire hazard.
The heater turns on but doesn’t work
In some instances, the infrared heater may turn on, but fail to work. For instance, all its power systems and connection may be in perfect working condition, but the heat will still not work.
To troubleshoot this problem, clean the grill of the heater to get rid of dust and debris that might have accumulated there over time. Here, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the rear and front grills. Next, change the heater’s filters, if you’re getting adequate heat or airflow from the heater.
The heater produces a burning smell
It’s normal for new infrared heaters to produce a burning smell when you turn them on for the first time. So, if you’re heater is new, you should not be concerned if it produces this smell.
However, if it’s not new, the smell is coming from a dirty heating element. Dirt elements can cause the filament to burn out, which can be dangerous. To avoid this problem, regularly vacuum your infrared heat to remove any dirt and dust buildup. Make sure you switch off the heater before you do any cleaning.
Tripped circuit breaker
Your infrared heater may be tripping the circuit breaker for various reasons. One, if you plug in the heater in an outlet with too many appliances, the circuit will be overloaded, thus tripping the breaker. You can fix this problem by setting the circuit breaker or reducing the appliances connected to that circuit. Secondly, the heater may trip the circuit breaker because of a blown fuse. If that’s the case, replace the fuse to solve the problem. However, if the circuit breaker keeps tripping after replacing the fuse, check the other appliances connected to that circuit.
Damaged power cord
Most power cords for infrared heaters have a rubber housing that protects the smaller cables inside. Unfortunately, bad practices like keeping the cable pressed against the wall or tangled can damage it. As a result, the cord will be broken, affecting its ability to supply power to the heater. Also, it can lead to other problems like causing the infrared heater to overheat or short circuit.
Once you detect that a damaged power cord may be the source of your infrared heater problem, stop using it immediately and look for a suitable solution. For instance, you can use a different cord, provided it meets the same amperage and voltage as the damaged one. Alternatively, look for a replacement cable designed for your IR heater’s model and make!
How to Reset Infrared Heater
Modern infrared heaters feature an inbuilt safety protection system that automatically turns off the unit if it overheats. Nonetheless, some parts of the heater may still get excessively hot during use, causing the machine to overheat.
If that ever happens with your machine, switch off its main switch right away. Next, remove any objects one or near the heater as they may block it, causing it to overheat. However, once you’ve done that, don’t start the heater yet since you need to reset it first!
Luckily, learning how to reset an infrared heater is a relatively simple process that can be done using the steps listed below;
- Unplug the infrared heater from the wall outlet
- Wait for about 5 – 10 minutes for the heater to cool down
- Next, plug its power cord back into the electrical outlet
- Now, switch on the heater.
Hopefully, by following these simple steps, the unit will start operating as usual. But if it doesn’t, proceed to do a master reset.
Don’t worry though! Performing a master reset is as easy as the normal reset. First, switch off the heater again and unplug its cord from the power outlet. Next, press and hold down the main power switch as you plug it back into the wall outlet. Continue holding down the switch button for about 5 seconds after plugging it back in. The heater should start functioning as expected once you release the power button.
As you can see, learning how to reset an infrared heater is a relatively simple process. Also, if you’re experiencing any problem with your heater, you can troubleshoot using the steps I’ve listed above and find an ideal solution to fix. However, if the heater still doesn’t work properly or some faulty parts need replacement, look for a qualified professional near you to fix the problem!