Electric Patio Heaters – 3 Key Factors to Consider When Buying One
A typical summer offers plenty of sunshine and hence the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy their outdoor living spaces. Unfortunately, the summer only lasts for a few months a year, so most people only get to enjoy the outdoors for a very limited period each year. However, you can use electric heaters to keep outdoor living spaces such as patios warm especially during the cold seasons. Here is some more information about electric patio heaters.
How Patio Heaters Work
Unlike traditional HVAC units, patio heaters keep the surrounding area warm by producing radiant heat. This form of heating is quite different from space heating where HVAC units blow hot air into a building’s rooms. The problem with space heating is the heated air will eventually escape and leave the room cold. With a patio heater, it will produce radiant heat to keep a specific area warm. Some electric heaters radiate heat in all directions while others radiate heat in a specific direction. When buying an electric heater for your patio, consider the following factors.
Buying an oversize heater is not a good idea and will only lead to higher electricity bills every month. In addition, it will ineffectively radiate heat across your patio. Make sure you read the specifications given by an electric heater manufacturer to determine whether it can generate enough warmth for your patio. According to Fire Science Inc., most electric patio heaters can generate enough heat for an area with radius of about 12 to 20 foot. An electric heater will raise the temperature of this area by 10 to 15 degrees. If your patio is bigger, you may have to buy and install several electric patio heaters.
Buy electric patio heaters that are as energy efficient as possible to ensure that your electricity bill is manageable. These heaters come in 120 or 240-volt designs and the latter will provide more heat. Furthermore, a patio heater can be a single or dual wattage model. The beauty of installing a dual wattage heater is it has both high and low settings (1500 watts for the high setting and 750 for the low setting). The rule of thumb is to go for a heater with programmable controls such as thermostat and timer. This will allow you to control energy use and avoid unnecessary wastage. You could also determine the cost of using a patio heater by calculating its energy consumption. In general, (wattage divided by 1000) × electricity cost per kWh × hours used = cost. Alternatively, you can use online calculators to determine operational cost.
There are many types of electric patio heaters available in the market. Depending on your preference, you can buy a portable, tabletop, or in-ground heater. You should buy a portable heater if you would like to move it from one place to another frequently. A tabletop heater comes in handy when you want to provide warmth over a small space such as an outdoor table. In-ground heaters are more permanent than the two options described above and radiate heat over a wider area. This type of heater is suitable for business people who would like to keep the patios of commercial establishments such as restaurants warm during cold and windy days. If you do not want to clutter your patio space, consider buying a ceiling-mounted heater. It will still provide warmth to people below and the wind will not affect its performance.
Electric patio heaters have many benefits. For example, they allow you to enjoy the great outdoors at night or during the cold autumn and winter months. Nevertheless, you should consider factors such as the size of your patio, type, cost, and energy consumption when buying such this type of heating unit.