Even as the weather is perfect for day parties and fun in the sun, the nighttime can still hold a chill. But why let the cold ruin your patio fun when there are plenty of reasonably priced heating options to allow the party to continue all night long.
Electric patio heaters have evolved over the years where they are smaller, able to heat at a larger capacity, and more energy-efficient.
To help you out, here is a compiled list of what to look for when buying the best patio heater. You will also learn the pros and cons as well as the best specs to look for when shopping for the best patio heater.
Finding an electric heater that will effectively heat your patio space without breaking the bank isn’t as challenging as you might think, especially if you follow this list.
So, keep an open mind to which option will benefit you and your patio.
What Should You Look For In A Great Electric Patio Heater?
While there are many choices of models and sizes, all of the best electric patio heaters share some similarities. Here’s some items to keep in mind while shopping for a heater.
About BTU’s and Watts
BTUs can be converted into wattage simply by doing a little math. Always divide the BTU by 3.412, and you will get the wattage. For example, if a commercial-sized patio heater says it puts out 46,000 BTUs, it is 13,482 watts.
Understand that the lower the wattage, the lower the heat coverage. In return, the higher the wattage, the larger space the heat should cover. So, when the listing states the wattage, you need to be able to know if that will heat your patio space adequately.
The most straightforward rule of thumb is to drop the last number on the wattage to get your approximate square footage. For example, if the heater is 1,200 watts, it should cover 120 square feet. If the heater you purchase has adjustable settings on the temperatures and starts at 600 watts, that would cover 60 square feet on its lowest setting.
So, back to the BTUs to finish the complete conversion just in case you need to know it; if 46,000 BTUs convert to 13,483 watts, it will cover about 1,348 square feet.
Take note that if your patio space has walls or open space, that can also determine the wattage needed. Again, depending on the patio coverage or lack of coverage, the reason will establish if the space holds heat or if the heat will dissipate quickly.
For example, suppose the patio has four partial walls and screens. In that case, a smaller wattage heater might be acceptable for the area compared to an open space with a cross breeze, which would probably need a higher wattage to keep up with maintaining the warmth.
The Top Electric Patio Heaters Compared
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-238 Carbon Infrared Heater
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Commercial SunWave Tungsten Ultra Quartz Infrared
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Luwior Infrared Patio Heater
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Paraheeter Electric Outdoor Heater
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The Best Electric Heaters For The Patio Reviewed
Now that you know what you are looking for in outdoor heating, it’s time to show you the best of the best when it comes to specific electric patio heaters. After endless research, here is a mini-review of all the top-rated electric heaters on the market today.
Best Overall: Dr. Infrared Heater DR-238 Carbon Infrared Heater
The best overall electric patio heater to make the list is Dr. Infrared Heater. Dr. Infrared Heater has an excellent reputation for all outdoor heaters, but the DR-238 Carbon Infrared Heater is the favorite. It is celling or wall mount capable. The carbon lamp is safe, instant, and intense efficient heat. The remote powers on and off while allowing you to adjust three settings.
Dr. Infrared Heater is waterproof and climate resistant. In addition, it has overheated protection and a timer shut-off. The heater is capable of being set on a tripod, but the tripod is sold separately. This great heater has the best of all heaters wrapped up into one, making this the best option on the market today.
Volts: 120-120V or 240V
Weight: 8 pounds
Heat Capacity: Adjustable 3 power settings, 900W, 1200W, 1500W
Brand: Dr. Infrared Heater
Best 220V Electric Patio Heater: Commercial SunWave Tungsten Ultra Quartz Infrared
If 220v is what you need, and you need to cover 300 square feet with warmth, the SunWave Tungsten Ultra Quartz is top in line. A mounted model heater can hang on any wall or overhang, and the SunWave comes with an adjustable wall mount.
It is waterproofing at its finest, wrapped in extruded aircraft aluminum and stainless steel to inhibit rusting. The SunWave Tungsten uses patented Gold Coated Ultra Quartz and patented parabolic heat reflectors, which sets this heater apart from all the others.
The SunWave Tungsten Ultra comes with a remote to control power on and off and three heat settings. It offers infrared heat along with air heat, giving you two options for the price of one. The SunWave Tungsten Ultra has been tested in all colder climates and has withstood harsh weather and salt air.
It has been approved for indoor and outdoor use, making it one of the best 220v electric patio heaters today.
Weight: 15 pounds
Heat Capacity: 3000 watts
Brand: Muskoka Lifestyle Products
Pro: It is a combination of infrared and fan air.
Con: It is only available in 220-240 volts.
Best Tower Electric Heater With a Timer: Luwior Infrared Patio Heater
Luwior Tower patio heater is an indoor/outdoor infrared heater. The design is a no-tip tower of warmth with a 24-hour timer. Luwior comes with a remote to control power and two heat settings. The heat evenly spreads 120 degrees.
The unit was crafted with triple safety protection to make it safe for children and pets. The no-tip design makes it challenging for the heater to tip easily, but if it does happen to fall over, it has an auto shut off valve as a major safety feature.
The Luwior Tower is waterproof and able to withstand rain and snow. The gold-coated tubes will reflect direct heat onto you while saving 60% energy. The portable tower is excellent if you want the power to move the heater from area to area.
Pro: It can easily be moved to any area in or around the house.
Con: It only covers 150 square feet, which is fine if it’s an intimate-sized patio.
Heat Capacity: 2 heat modes, 750W, and 1500 watts
Best Hard-Wired Electric Patio Heater: Infratech WD-Series
Infratech is a hard-wired, mounted heater that can be installed with Stack Switches to control full or half power. WD-series is safe for indoor and outdoor use, with the most remarkable feature being 90% energy-efficient. It requires minimal clearance for installation and has recessed mounting options. In addition, it is 304 stainless steel to prevent rusting.
The WD-series is quiet when running. There is no need for ventilation with installation. The best part is that it will be a long-lasting addition to your patio.
Pros: It can be flush mounted like any other recess lighting fixture.
Con: Must hire an electrician for installation.
Voltage: 208v to 240v options
Weight: 14.02 pounds
Heat Capacity: 4000 watts
Best Tripod Mounted Electric Patio Heater: Paraheeter Electric Outdoor Heater
The Paraheeter Tripod Mounted heater is the best tripod heater due to its 3-1 design. This heater can be mounted on a wall or ceiling, but it can also free stand on an adjustable tripod stand. The stand is completely adjustable when it comes to height and air direction.
The heater is energy-efficient with infrared technology to heat directly onto you and your guests. The safety features include a metal grill and tip-over protection. That means if the heater falls over, the heater will automatically shut off to prevent any heating tragedies.
The Paraheeter is a stable tripod source of heating for indoor or outdoor patio use and has been listed as having outstanding customer service. The cord is 6ft long, providing a decent distance if needed.
Pro: The sturdy tripod allows heat to be moved from area to area.
Con: Not waterproof.
Weight: 18.86 pounds
Heat Capacity: Adjustable 900-1500 Watts
Electric Patio Heater FAQs
Let’s take a look at some common questions regarding electric patio heaters!
Electric patio heaters are more affordable for home use as opposed to gas or propane heaters. Electric heaters are also more energy-efficient than natural gas or propane because of natural gas emissions alone. Electric heaters will save 90% Co2 from reaching the atmosphere.
Also, electric heaters are less expensive to run over time. As gas prices climb, heating the patio is a considerable expense.
Gas and propane heater models are more expensive for the unit and to run. Although, gas and propane heaters do heat up must faster than electric heaters. Gases burn a richer heat than an electric-produced heat. However, unless it is a commercial space, the benefits might not be able to out way the expense.
Yes. Electric heaters are undoubtedly worth it if you have a frequently used space that requires heat. For example, if you enjoy your patio or deck space and would like to use it as a 3-seasons area, outdoor electric heaters can make that possible.
Infrared heaters are a more centralized heating technology so that the heat won’t emit and blow away from you. Infrared heat systems allow heat to hit you and your guests within a direct radius.
Yes. An electric patio heater will keep you and your guests warm within a space as long as you have the proper wattage to cover the area.
Electric patio heaters are an excellent energy-efficient investment for habitually used outdoor spaces that require extra heat. Picking the right electric heater is a personal decision, but after tons of research and reviews, you can’t go wrong with the best picks that are listed above.
Take an especially good look at the Infratech WD-Series. It is the perfect propane model to create a luxurious feel to an area where you can hard-wire and recess the unit to be a permanent fixture on your patio space. It will be convenient, clean heat to enjoy all year long.
Don’t have the ceiling space for a recessed option, then Luwior Infrared Patio Heater is another great choice if you want a portable tower option. Having the ability to move the tower to needed spaces can be a whole other level of convenience for you and your family. Plus, it’s kid and pet friendly with an auto shut-off if it were to tip.
Either way, adding a portable patio heater to your space will allow you to enjoy this season and many more seasons ahead. A chilly night won’t be able to ruin your fun any longer with a patio heater overhead or by your side.