Are you looking to buy a patio heater?
Winter is here and people are looking to shake off the winter blues and escape to their outdoor entertaining areas. While these cold days and nights can extend our outdoor living hours, many of these same households will be looking at buying a patio heater or multiple heaters to cover larger areas.
These days there is such a wide variety of outdoor patio heaters to choose from than in years gone by. All are considered "infrared”. This means, just like the sun, the heater sends a comfortable (infrared) heat source to the area in proximity.
These heaters can generally be categorised to include:
- Ceiling mounted gas fired high intensity infrared heaters
- Ceiling mounted gas fired infrared tube heaters
- “Umbrella style" which are portable, post mounted LPG heaters
- Fixed LP or Nat. gas "umbrella style" heaters
- Overhead/Post mounted electric infrared heaters
Did you know overhead electric infrared heaters are gaining rapid growth in the patio heating industry?
Primarily, the electric infrared heater offers the convenience of simply plugging the heater into an electrical outlet. This means no running gas lines or filling propane tanks. Hence, the installation cost can be much less than a gas-fired heater. Secondly, the purchase price can be as little as $299 for a quality electric infrared heater. Thirdly, these heaters do not operate via a fuel source, meaning electric heaters do not emit harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Overall, a much safer option for your family and loved ones.
Electric infrared heaters are ideal for heating small areas like a hot tub, table or entryway. A few brands offer a convenient floor stand with their heaters, making the heater completely portable so you can relocate the heat/heater virtually anywhere it’s required - all you need is an electrical outlet nearby. These products are great for thawing out after being out in the cold, freeze control, keeping your pet warm, heat in the garage while you work, and so many more!
Do electric infrared heaters generate as much heat as gas infrared heaters?
Electric infrared heaters normally emit 1500 watts of heat energy (equivalent to 5,120 BTU’s). Which is about 4 to 7 times less BTU’s than many of the bigger gas infrared patio heaters. However, electric infrared heaters are smaller and can focus the heat more directly. In other words, they emit a smaller, more focussed flow of heat, generated by a highly reflective parabolic reflector.
Sometimes you may need to use more than a single electric heater to cover a larger area. If you need to heat a larger area, keep in mind a 1500 watt heater will draw about 13 amps of power. Therefore, only one heater can operate on a 20 amp circuit. More heaters equate to a higher amp draw and more circuit capacity is required. For multiple heaters, it is best to use 208V or 240V heater and have them professionally wired. High voltage heaters will draw fewer amps and cost less to operate. Higher output 3000 watt electric heaters are also available.
Important: If you are searching for an electric infrared heater, be sure to do your research. Better units can "throw" dramatically more usable heat energy to the target area than some cheaper ones. Also, choose a brand which offers the best warranty and bulb life for your needs and please ensure you select a heater which has been approved for outdoor use. Some have a 1-year warranty and 5000 hour bulb life. Better units have a 2 year warranty and a 9000 hour bulb life. Some are approved for outdoor use and some are not. Some have built-in thermostats or remote controls while others do not.
Fun fact: electrical infrared heaters are also excellent for use in bathrooms (keeping you snuggly and warm), laundry rooms (to help dry clothes), sunrooms, lofts, cabins, bedrooms, offices, and much more. Electric infrared heaters have also been shown to offer health benefits since infrared radiation stimulates blood circulation. Somewhat similar to how saunas can operate. Think of sitting in the sunshine, but without the harmful rays of the sun. How nice is that?!