Here’s How Effective Patio Heaters REALLY Are

If you are reading this, you probably wonder “Are patio heaters effective”, especially in cold weather? Worry not, we are here to let you know if they work and how they work to provide you with a cosy outdoor environment. 

If you are in a hurry and don’t want to read the whole article, the short answer to the question “Are patio heaters effective?” is that they are pretty effective in making your patio setting cosy, warm, and comfortable, even in winters. 

But, their effectiveness will depend on the type and size of the device, your requirement, and size of your patio space. 

If you can spare a few minutes and want to learn more, read on. 

No homeowner would want to invest their money on an ineffective piece of equipment, so it’s understandable to be a little on the edge while deciding to buy a patio heater. 

However, after reading this article, you will be able to know the answers to your questions and can land on the patio heater that’s suitable for you. 

Let’s first have a look at how patio heaters work

How Patio Heaters Work?

Patio heaters transfer heat via objects, as opposed to blowing heat through air. The fuel they use is either propane gas, natural gas, or electricity. 

Patio heaters mostly come with a specified coverage area, so make sure the BTU rating (the heat output) is enough to heat your patio space. 

Also, make sure you protect your space from strong winds to get the most out of a patio heater. 

What are the Types of Patio Heaters?

There are basically three types of patio heaters, based on the fuel they use. Propane heaters, natural gas heaters, and electric heaters. Infrared heaters provide heat using electromagnetic radiations, but they too use electricity as the primary source.  

Propane heaters are pretty easy to set up as you won’t need to install them. Plus, the propane gas has the most heating capacity out of the three fuels. The only downside of propane heaters is that they are costly. 

Electric heaters use electric energy to heat your surroundings. They are efficient and give off no emissions. Plus, you don’t have to refill them with fuel; just plug them into a socket and they will do the job as long as you want. Their price range is in between the propane and natural gas-powered heaters. 

Natural gas patio heaters are the cheapest in the long run. You will just have to install them at a natural gas output. The initial cost of a natural gas patio heater is higher though, because of the installation. 

Infrared heaters are relatively new in the market, but they are highly efficient, produce more heat than an electric heater, and are safe for outdoors as well as indoor patios. 

What are the Sizes of Patio Heaters?

Patio heaters come in a variety of sizes. You will have to choose the one depending upon your area and how much you want to heat it. The most common one is the freestanding one; it’s the full-size patio heater that you commonly see in patios of restaurants. 

You can also get wall heaters, table-top heaters, or hanging heaters. 

Are Patio Heaters Effective (Propane/Gas)?

If you are looking for a patio heating solution for all the seasons, gas or propane-powered patio heaters would be ideal for you. Propane-powered heaters deliver more power, however, the price of propane heaters is a little high. 

Propane or gas-powered heaters can be easily used in an outdoor setting like a patio. They will keep you and your family cosy and warm even in the winter evenings. 

However, make sure you select the one with the right specification; your patio area shouldn’t be too large for the heater you are buying. Normally, you would know a heater’s coverage area. 

Are Patio Heaters Effective (Electric)?

Electric Patio heaters are a great choice if you are looking to get a comfortable patio setting in the summer season. Electric patio heaters are not that strong, so they won’t be the best option for you if you reside in a colder region or want to to use them in winters.  

That said, electric patio heaters don’t emit any gases, they are more environmentally friendly. Plus, you won’t need to fill up the fuel as they only need a power outlet to work. 

Electric heaters are good if you have an indoor patio; you don’t want to use propane or gas-fired patio heaters since you have an open flame with these, and a spark could lead to other objects catching fire. So, electric heaters are your best bet for an indoor patio. 

Are Patio Heaters Effective (Infrared)?

Infrared patio heaters are relatively new. They deliver heat with extreme efficiency. The infrared technology can be found in the patio heaters that hang from a wall. The heat transfer is similar to the mechanism on the sun. 

Heat is produced by the electromagnetic waves; molecules release energy by oscillating. The benefits of using infrared patio heaters are:

  • They produce heat silently
  • Infrared heaters don’t produce harmful radiations
  • No emissions, so eco-friendly
  • Efficient heating; less energy wastage leads to lower electricity bills
  • No maintenance required

Importantly, if you don’t want to use a gas-powered heater and would prefer an electricity-powered heater, an infrared patio heater would be an ideal option for you. 1

This is because infrared heaters dissipate more energy as compared to the electric heaters. By using an infrared heater, you can have an efficient, zero-emission, and completely safe heating solution for winters.

Are Patio Heaters Safe?

Patio heaters are completely safe if you take care of a few things. For indoor patios, it won’t be a good idea to go with a gas-powered or propane-powered heater. 

Although gas/propane heaters are pretty powerful, using them indoors may pose a fire hazard. So, electric heaters are safest if you have an indoor patio. 

If you have an outdoor patio, you can definitely go for the gas/propane heaters. And, in this case, an electric heater would not give off enough heat to provide you with a cosy environment during winters. 

How Many Patio Heaters Do You Need?

If you have a small to average patio setting, a single patio heater would probably be enough. But, if you have a large space, you might want to get a second one or a heater with larger heat output. The number of heaters required would also depend on the range of temperature you want to achieve in your setting. 

The heating output of a patio heater is measured in BTUs (British thermal units). 1 BTU is the energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water at sea level by one degree. 

Patio heaters come with the BTU rating and the area it should cover. So, you can have an idea whether it would effectively heat your patio or you will have to add a second one. But, normally, a single heater is more than enough for an averaged-sized patio. 

Final Thoughts

While a patio heater is effective in keeping your surroundings comfortable and cosy, understanding how it works and how you can select the right one for your patio is important. 

You don’t want to get a good patio heater only to find out later that it’s not safe for indoor use. You also don’t want to get a good indoor heater to heat your outdoors as it won’t be very effective. 

So, while you are not short of good options, you just need to take into consideration a few things before making a buying decision. 

Therefore, understanding your space, requirements, safety, and the capability of all types of patio heaters let you land on a patio heater that will be effective.