Buyer's Guide - Electric Patio Heaters

Electric patio heaters are the answer when working with a small space on your patio, a large gas patio heater is a cumbersome addition. Mounting electric patio heaters to the ceiling or overhang of your patio is your best option. Compared to gas heaters, they are much safer because they are out of the way, not affected by wind (no pilot light), and not combustible. Electric patio heaters are great for restaurant patios as well because they are much more effective at heating a large area than their gas counterparts.

Electric radiant patio heaters are great for any backyard or patio. They allow you to extend your summer months from spring to fall without having to worry about cool weather. Any backyard activity during the cooler months will be aided by the warmth of a heater. Conversations can last in to the late hours of the evening, BBQ's are possible in November, and smokers will never have to freeze again with the simple installation of an electric patio heater. With electric patio heaters, all it takes is the flick of a switch and your patio will be ready to enjoy in a few short minutes.

Electric Heaters Are The Efficient Choice

Electric Vs. Gas

Gas and electric patio heaters are the common choices for patio heaters. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but if safety and efficiency are concerns of yours electric is the way to go.

Gas - Advantages

  • Portable.
  • No installation.

Gas - Disadvantages

  • Dangerous and combustible.
  • Can tip over.
  • Expensive to buy and refuel.
  • Tricky pilot lights.
  • Can run out of gas at inopportune times.

Electric - Advantages

  • Safe and out of the way.
  • Very efficient.
  • Can heat large areas.
  • No need to refill gas.
  • Always ready to work.
  • Great for small areas.

Electric - Disadvantages

  • Not portable
  • Requires installation.

As you can see from the list, electric heaters are a much smarter choice for permanent and safe uses. There is no need to worry about kids playing around and knocking them over. Electric patio heaters do require installation, but they are installed out of the way and in the exact spot you want them to be. A gas heater is great if you want the option to take it with you, but for long-term use electric patio heaters are the optimum choice.

What to Look For When Purchasing

Before making your decision on purchasing electric patio heaters there are some requirements to consider. Electric patio heaters cannot be installed less that seven feet from the ground, if your patio has low ceilings consider other options. They need electricity to operate. If you have power already running to your patio this will not be a big deal, but if the area you want to install your heaters is removed from your house, electricity will have to be run to the area.

If the area that you want to install a heater in meets both of these requirements, you are ready to begin shopping. Decide if you want a regulator that allows you to adjust the amount of heat radiated with a light switch knob. Do you want to directly heat a specific area, or the patio as a whole. If you are looking to heat a larger area, using multiple low power electric infrared patio heaters are the best option.

Comments 5 comments

Patio Garden Heaters 7 years ago

Some excellent points to consider when deciding on which fuel source to choose for you patio heating. I do like the electric ones as they produce no Co2 at source. Great Hub!

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HalogenHeater 7 years ago

You can get halogen heaters that work great installed directly under your patio umbrella. The rays point straight down and is a source of direct heat, so it works well in areas like a patio where a standard heater would make no sense to run. I believe amazon sells a few of these models if I remember correctly. Just something to check out if you are looking for something to allow you to be warm at the patio table.

Kathy Shepherd 6 years ago

I'm excited that there are so many options available to heat the patio or outdoor room. It helps extend the usability of this area of the house, which is a good thing in my book.

grex22 profile image

grex22 6 years ago

I found you from a link on, and gotta say -- great content. We've been looking for a patio heater for about 2 months now, and since it's starting to get colder, it's definitely time to make a decision. I think we might go electric, as the kids have respiratory problems and I don't want to risk any issues with emissions.

mani  6 years ago

Alternatives to electric wall heaters

If your energy needs are high or even moderate, consider other non-electrical space heaters. Environmental solutions (pellet stoves, solar energy, geothermal heat pumps, solar passive techniques, etc.) and modern efficient equipment like gas stoves or pellet stoves are better solutions.

In cold climates and in case of medium or large uses, electric wall heaters may also make sense in zone heating strategies. In this case, the electric wall heater is turned on through an occupancy sensor, only when the occupancy sensor.

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