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Building a covered porch and likely to install an array of 6000 watt infratech infrared heaters. According to the web these should throw off roughly 80,000 btu equivalence for the units I have selected for an 18x20 covered porch. Hoping they can extend the comfortable cigar smoking season. 
 

wondering of anyone here has had them installed/thoughts on use/recommendations. 
 

Not a ton of viable options for the application but if these are dogs may not want to make the investment. 
 

Anyone have these?

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Nice! I'm not familiar with that particular one. I use a single 1500W infrared heater, but I have to sit right in front of it. It was 35F-40F outside earlier today and I had to toggle it between high and medium as leaving it on high was too high.

Are the units you are looking at electric or natural gas? I've seen single infrared gas units with that much BTU output (or more), don't know how that would work out cost-wise with cost of gas vs electric but it could be a factor if you are going to be using something like 3x6kw or 4x6kw electric heaters, for 18kw or 24kw total depending on local utility rates.

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I'm mulling a similar decision.  I've read electric/infrared heats surrounding objects, not just the air, unlike natural gas/propane.  I'm curious to hear from folks who have the infrared, and whether it's sufficient.

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My experience is that the wind still affects them, just not directly. The heat will still make it to the objects being heated if there is wind, which is good, but then the wind will cool down those objects faster as well, so you still want to block as much wind as possible.

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@Bijan this is an electric heater. https://www.infratech-usa.com/products/cd-series/
I spoke with the manufacturer tech support and plan on using the dual element unit with toggle switch so each unit can operate on 50% or 100% capacity. They have options which would allow a smart system online w unlimited variability. Given the use, it’s not worth the extra $2-3k for me for the cool factor. In reality if I need a heater, I need it to crank. 
 

I will have roller blinds on one of the open sides, so I will be able to control some of the wind. 

 

I should add the electric wiring is impressive. Each of the individual units will have a 240v 40A breaker to ensure no supply issues

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17 minutes ago, Rhinoww said:

@Bijan this is an electric heater. https://www.infratech-usa.com/products/cd-series/
I spoke with the manufacturer tech support and plan on using the dual element unit with toggle switch so each unit can operate on 50% or 100% capacity. They have options which would allow a smart system online w unlimited variability. Given the use, it’s not worth the extra $2-3k for me for the cool factor. In reality if I need a heater, I need it to crank. 
 

I will have roller blinds on one of the open sides, so I will be able to control some of the wind. 

I recommend the variable adjustment if it doesn't break the bank. If it's toasty when cold it'll be cooking at full blast when less cold but frosty at 50%. You'll be toggling it all the time at some temperatures, so unless that is really easy to automate or program (some sort of timer or thermostat) then the fine tuning between 50% and 100% will really be helpful.

Edit: you don't need it to be smart, etc. Just have it on a dimmer switch like they show on their website. Hopefully that can be done for less than 2k.

 

15 minutes ago, Rhinoww said:

I should add the electric wiring is impressive. Each of the individual units will have a 240v 40A breaker to ensure no supply issues

Nice! I have 100A service at my house so multiple 40A circuits would be a massive upgrade to my panel. Might be able to fit one in if I split it with my 40A electric car charger which I managed to squeeze in.

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Be sure to have a professional that knows what they are doing install them. When I worked property claims between 2015 and 2017 I had 2 house fires with similar type heaters inproperly installed. You'll also want a fairly decent fan to circulate the warm air to the floor since hot air rises. 

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4 minutes ago, Fosgate said:

Be sure to have a professional that knows what they are doing install them. When I worked property claims between 2015 and 2017 I had 2 house fires with similar type heaters inproperly installed. You'll also want a fairly decent fan to circulate the warm air to the floor since hot air rises. 

These are electric infrared heaters so as long as they're not too close to anything and properly wired the fire risk should be low.

Similarly the air circulation won't be as much of an issue as long as the infrared rays are well spread out.

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@Rhinoww we are looking at building a covered porch next year. I’d be interested to hear what you are doing, whether you got it designed, size, estimated cost and all that if you are willing to share by private message.

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These aren't cheap but are the best. What a awesome setup that will be!

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2 hours ago, Tstew75 said:

These aren't cheap but are the best. What a awesome setup that will be!

You know, with what we spend on cigars we should have a place to enjoy them. Looking forward to the weather turning warm enough for demo and cement work. 

 

3 hours ago, Bijan said:

 

Edit: you don't need it to be smart, etc. Just have it on a dimmer switch like they show on their website. Hopefully that can be done for less than 2k.

Unfortunately the dimmer, actually a pulse tool, can only handle up to the 3000w single element units. Given the space and being installed at 10 feet, I need the dual element units to have the effect that I want, which is enough heat to take the edge off when it’s around freezing. I think the issue is that the dimmers just don’t have the capacity for the amps. 
 

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6 minutes ago, Rhinoww said:

Unfortunately the dimmer, actually a pulse tool, can only handle up to the 3000w single element units. Given the space and being installed at 10 feet, I need the dual element units to have the effect that I want, which is enough heat to take the edge off when it’s around freezing. I think the issue is that the dimmers just don’t have the capacity for the amps. 
 

I see, so you'd need the solid state control package (with multiple zones) for variable output.

https://www.infratech-usa.com/products/controls/solid-state/

Just looking online looks like the 4-zone is about $1k.

Edit: Oops, might have looked up the wrong part number...

Edit 2: Needs a sub-panel which is another $2k...

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Like everything else it adds up. Then four wifi enabled 120 dimmer switches. More to break as well. This stuff will be outside so I’m all about KISS here. 
But it’s also the genesis for my post to see if there is any real world experience. Lost of commercial application photos on the website, but outdoor restaurants have a different cost benefit analysis than me smoking cigars and watch sports w my buddies. 

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It really depends on if you're flexible with where you sit/stand while smoking. If you don't mind moving closer to or further from the heaters as needed, then you wouldn't really need the variable output. If your seating position is fixed (due to TV or fixed seating), fiddling with the heat is more desirable. Considering the variable output solution would double your electrical hardware costs (or more), it's a pretty tough sell. Might want to consider designing so that it's an easy upgrade if you do find you want it later on.

Edit: My experience is with a 1500W unit, on a stand (so movable), and with my chair also being movable, and I still often wish I had variable heat output when it's warmer out.

 

@Rhinoww what kind of temperatures do you get where you are at? Are the heaters going to be aimed at the same area or is each heater covering its own area?

 

I ran some numbers and the math doesn't look promising. I just measured the distance between my heater and me. It's about 2 feet to my chest and probably just over 1 foot to my hands. Infrared heat goes down with the square of the distance (since the rays spread out over area), so at 10ft vs 2 ft you'd be 25 times weaker. So to get the equivalent of my 1,500w heater you'd need 37,500 watts. Or in BTU if mine is 5,000 BTU you'd need 125,000 BTU (one of the larger gas units). With my hands it's even worse math. My hands are 1ft away so that's 100 times weaker at 10ft vs 1ft. You'd need 150,000W or 500,000 BTU. That math is rough because it might not be exactly as the square.

If it went down linearly with distance you'd be looking at 9000W, and 30,000 BTU for chest, and 15,000W and 50,000 BTU for hands. So figure something between those two sets of numbers.

And keep in mind my heater by itself is not enough on its own below freezing for me, even up so close.

This all assumes you're using the heaters in parallel to warm your larger area. If all 3 or 4 heaters are pointed at the exact same spot then you get closer to the numbers I'd estimate you'd need, and even that won't help if you get really frigid temperatures.

Also heating will depend on the absorption of the materials. My hands are closer but absorb less heat than my jacket which is black in color.

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I considered these when I was doing my outdoor area. Then I considered the cost in electricity, as opposed to bottled gas, and the amount of time I'd be using them. Worked out that my portable gas patio heaters came out cheaper (initial purchase cost and then ongoing running costs). Would have been nice to go down this route, but since my area is quite large, I'd be adjusting the heaters constantly to direct them correctly.

Then again, it doesn't really get cold here in Aus, so what the fudge do I know? ?

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9 minutes ago, Fuzz said:

I considered these when I was doing my outdoor area. Then I considered the cost in electricity, as opposed to bottled gas, and the amount of time I'd be using them. Worked out that my portable gas patio heaters came out cheaper (initial purchase cost and then ongoing running costs). Would have been nice to go down this route, but since my area is quite large, I'd be adjusting the heaters constantly to direct them correctly.

Then again, it doesn't really get cold here in Aus, so what the fudge do I know? ?

It all depends on how often you run the heater. I'm running mine 1 or 2 hours a day, so the annoyance of changing the gas bottle or canister figured in. I'm also on the low end of Watts/BTU, so $0.20 an hour at night or in the evening or on weekends and $0.40 an hour during the day on weekdays isn't terrible in my case vs the additional headaches of getting piped natural gas, something I'd maybe start to consider if I were going to have 10x the heat output or more.

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 @Rhinoww - I’ve used infrared units in my wood shop for years (1500w units), and love them. As long as you can orient (aka aim) them towards a comfortable seating area, you’re toasty golden. The industry “cracked the code” on infrared heaters years ago, so as long as the warranty is reasonable-to-good, you’re set. 

My personal preference is electric infrared because it’s completely silent, and electricity is relatively cheap in the PNW.

Pull the trigger, and post pics of the project when you’re done!

- El Wheeze

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1 minute ago, BTWheezy said:

I’ve used infrared units in my wood shop for years (1500w units), and love them.

Indoors vs outdoors has the benefit that you'll heat the room over time, and at a minimum you'll benefit from the fact that there's no wind to cool things down.

2 minutes ago, BTWheezy said:

My personal preference is electric infrared because it’s completely silent, and electricity is relatively cheap in the PNW.

Of course if you guys are in the PNW and temperatures are reasonable (generally above freezing) it should be ok outdoors.

From my own experience I'd say below freezing you'd need a lot of Watts to stay comfortable outside, especially without sitting right in front of the heater.

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@BTWheezy will keep you posted but unfortunately my effort here is in planning and check writing - although I suggested that we order too much ipe flooring. I am planning on making  a few things for around the porch, starting w a box for the Kamado accessories. But that won’t be until after the project is done. 

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1 hour ago, BTWheezy said:

 @Rhinoww - I’ve used infrared units in my wood shop for years (1500w units), and love them. As long as you can orient (aka aim) them towards a comfortable seating area, you’re toasty golden. The industry “cracked the code” on infrared heaters years ago, so as long as the warranty is reasonable-to-good, you’re set. 

My personal preference is electric infrared because it’s completely silent, and electricity is relatively cheap in the PNW.

Pull the trigger, and post pics of the project when you’re done!

- El Wheeze

Where in the NW are you? I'm in PDX

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20 hours ago, Tstew75 said:

Where in the NW are you? I'm in PDX

Greater Seattle area...north end of Lake Washington. ??

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80,000 BTU should work excellently.  I've found the "infrared" advantage great in theory but only marginally better in practice.

My last two installations were a 40,000 BTU overhead gas (plumbed in) unit with no overhead canopy and roof, and a 75,000 BTU overhead unit, also plumbed in and also with no overhead roof to reflect the heat.  Both were from Calcana and designed for the weather.  Most electrical units can't take straight on rain so you have to make sure and keep your canopy in good shape.

The 40,000 BTU unit worked fine for a sheltered backyard in San Francisco.  It was 12' up in the air which was not ideal, but worked well in all but the windiest situations.  This unit heated about 200 SF of patio comfortably, but was almost always running on the high setting to do that.

The 75,000 BTU version is for a completely exposed deck that gets very little in the way of gusty breeze and it also sits at 9 feet, so closer to the cigar smokers lounging on the deck :cigar: It works like a charm for 200-300SF and we don't have to run it on high all the time.

Our weather in the Bay Area is going to be similar to yours so I think 80,000 BTU is going to be very cozy, particularly if you've got it distributed through several units and they all have a reflective canopy/roof behind them.  I went with plumbed in gas for the lower running costs but then you have to install the gas lines as well as the electrical lines (for remote control and combustion fans).

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22 hours ago, PapaDisco said:

80,000 BTU should work excellently.  I've found the "infrared" advantage great in theory but only marginally better in practice.

My last two installations were a 40,000 BTU overhead gas (plumbed in) unit with no overhead canopy and roof, and a 75,000 BTU overhead unit, also plumbed in and also with no overhead roof to reflect the heat.  Both were from Calcana and designed for the weather.  Most electrical units can't take straight on rain so you have to make sure and keep your canopy in good shape.

The 40,000 BTU unit worked fine for a sheltered backyard in San Francisco.  It was 12' up in the air which was not ideal, but worked well in all but the windiest situations.  This unit heated about 200 SF of patio comfortably, but was almost always running on the high setting to do that.

The 75,000 BTU version is for a completely exposed deck that gets very little in the way of gusty breeze and it also sits at 9 feet, so closer to the cigar smokers lounging on the deck :cigar: It works like a charm for 200-300SF and we don't have to run it on high all the time.

Our weather in the Bay Area is going to be similar to yours so I think 80,000 BTU is going to be very cozy, particularly if you've got it distributed through several units and they all have a reflective canopy/roof behind them.  I went with plumbed in gas for the lower running costs but then you have to install the gas lines as well as the electrical lines (for remote control and combustion fans).

Thanks. Gas is not much of an option for us due to ventilation issues and clearances. I was also challenged to find gas that was variable levels of heat. The infratech is 60 inches long so a broader spread in theory. They claim 90% efficiency. Hope so, but again, given what we spend on cigars the costs to run for two hours even w all four units at full strength shouldn’t be too brutal. We will see

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20 hours ago, Rhinoww said:

Thanks. Gas is not much of an option for us due to ventilation issues and clearances. I was also challenged to find gas that was variable levels of heat. The infratech is 60 inches long so a broader spread in theory. They claim 90% efficiency. Hope so, but again, given what we spend on cigars the costs to run for two hours even w all four units at full strength shouldn’t be too brutal. We will see

And if you can go with a heating unit that requires some sort of out-of-the-weather cover, like a canopy to keep the rain off, they are much cheaper to buy initially.  My Calcana units are meant to hang outside in all kinds of weather and that makes their design expensive.

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25 minutes ago, PapaDisco said:

And if you can go with a heating unit that requires some sort of out-of-the-weather cover, like a canopy to keep the rain off, they are much cheaper to buy initially.  My Calcana units are meant to hang outside in all kinds of weather and that makes their design expensive.

Interestingly the infratech are designed for full outdoor exposure. They, like most of these heaters, are relatively simple design.These  are supposed to be good for 5,000 hours of use. 
Time will tell I guess 

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