Electric heating has increased in popularity over the years both for residential and public buildings. Although electric heating costs a bit more compared to other forms of heating like propane heating, electric heaters reduce space, they are clean and convenient. Heat is provided by converting electrical currents into heat through electric coils or strips. The heating elements can be incorporated in ceilings, walls, and even under windows.
Electric heating can be defined as the process in which electrical energy is converted into heat energy. Common applications include industrial processes, water/space heating, and others. For these reasons, an electric patio heater (which is categorized under outdoor heaters) is a beautiful heating appliance that generates thermal radiation for outdoor use.
Electric patio heaters are very energy efficient, easy to use and not affected by weather conditions. A major advantage is that they can be used indoor as well as outdoor.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Patio Heaters
Just like any other product, an electric patio heater comes with some benefits and limitations. In fact, before investing in one, it is wise to go through the advantages and disadvantages. That is because it will help you choose a product that will meet your needs and requirements.
Electrical heaters are extremely safe to use compared to other heating options, such as wood burning. That is because they are built with a two-stage safety precaution. First, this device will automatically switch itself off when a person comes too close to it. Secondly, it does not get too hot to cause combustion.
Easy to use
These units are very simple to use, and everything is straightforward. All you have to do is supply it with power and switch on the heater.
Electric heaters are very affordable compared to other forms of heat sources. Due to technology advancements, these units do not use a lot of electricity, which decreases utility bills.
Heats up quickly
Unlike many other forms of heat sources, electric patio heaters heat up quickly, which means you do not have to wait for long to get warm.
They are compact and can be used in any space. Some of them are so small to the point where they are portable. In other words, it is very easy to move them around, unlike other forms of heaters such as propane.
Electric heaters come with an adjustable thermostat, which allows a user to adjust the temperature based on their requirements.
These devices are all-around flexible. In other words, they are not only portable and featured with an adjustable thermostat, but can also be used in different areas based on your requirements.
Unlike other heating sources, electrical patio heaters come with additional features like built-in Bluetooth speakers, elegant designs, and more.
Limited to heating small spaces
Although patio electric heaters can heat space quickly, they are limited in space. In other words, these units can only heat a small area. For this reason, many people tend to install several units or one huge electric heater.
Often, these appliances come with a cord that is too short. Although electric heaters are designed to be inconspicuous, sometimes you will need a longer electrical cord.
Why Should You Have One?
Investing in a patio heater comes with many benefits. Aside from the obvious, providing warmth, these units can offer the perfect ambient. It gives you the ability to pull your outdoor décor together. However, the question is; why should you invest in an electric patio heater over other forms of heating options? Well, below are compelling reasons:
Features, Accessories, and Extra Function
The truth is patio heaters come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. With an electric patio heater, the possibilities are endless. In other words, the models are not the same and for this reason, come with different features. The goal of these features is to make a person’s experience better. Few feature, accessories, and function examples of outdoor electric heaters come with include:
- Built-in Bluetooth speakers or traditional jack speakers
- Wireless or remote control features
- Smartphone access control
- Some are smart-outdoor heaters (with auto temp adjustment)
These are just but a few features found in these units, and as such, you have a wide variety of different heaters to choose from. These are features that are not found in any other form of outdoor heating. It will cost less to run.
If you conduct some research, you will see that no outdoor heater is fully green or eco-friendly. The most environmentally friendly method to stay warm is by wearing a jumper. Nevertheless, if you are looking for an eco-friendly outdoor heater, you should consider an electric one.
Electric units are far greener compared to other options, including natural gas, propane, wood, and more. As you may know, other heating options involve having a flame (gas, propane, wood, coal, etc.), and according to science, anywhere there are flames, there must be exhaust fumes. The fumes produced, such as CO2 are not environmentally friendly.
Research has shown that electric outdoor heaters have a low car born footprint compared to gas and log burners, which are in fashion today. This is why we have seen the government taking action in burning stoves that fail to meet environmental regulation standards. Research shows that coal and wood-burning stoves are accountable for over 1/3 of carbon pollution.
If you are looking for a convenient, easy, and fastest way to heat the objects around the patio with minimum fuss, then an electric heater is the best option. Turning them ON and OFF is very easy and can easily reach the desired temperature. Because these products come in different styles, sizes, and shapes; you have the option to choose one which suits your needs better. In other words, you can either choose to go for models that are placed on the floor, raised, placed on the bench, or even mounted on the wall or ceiling.
Radiant Heating Vs. Conventional Heating
Electric patio heaters use a principle known as radiant heating. This is the most effective and cheapest way to produce heat. Radiant heating is a principle in which heat is transferred directly to an object (or person).
Other patio heating options like gas, wood, propane, etc. use the conventional way of heating. As you may know, conventional heaters must first warn the air around the area in order to deliver heat to the surrounding area.
How To Choose The Best
Choosing the best electric patio heater is another whole new ball-game. Here’s why: for a product to be considered the best, personal preferences must play a role. What does this mean? Well, it means that personal preferences and needs must be a priority. Remember, any product that is best for you may not be the best for others. For this reason, the best must satisfy your needs.
Therefore, for you to get the best electrical patio heater for you, you must take several factors into account and answer a few questions below.
Why do you need it?
Before investing in an electric heater, you have to ask yourself this question. The main aim of the question is not to come up with a list of reasons why you need a heater; but rather to identify the reasons to make an informed decision.
Knowing the reason will help you identify what you need and the best model that will meet your needs. For example, assuming that you need a heater but you do not plan to use it often or plan to use it only a few times a year – then a portable electric patio heater is the best option for you.
What features do you need?
You have to take into consideration the features you need. For example, do you need a standing or hanging electric heater, do you need extra features such as speakers, app-based heat control, and others? Well, everything will depend on how often you plan to use it. All you have to know is that a standing patio electric heater is flexible whereas mounted units do not use storage space.
Do you need an integrated soft start?
Anytime you start or switch ON an electric heater, it will use peak power until a specific temperature is reached. The peak power is responsible for plug blow or circuit breaker tripping. Investing in a model with a built-in soft start will help eliminate these problems. Soft start weakens peak power and hence decreases the chances of blowouts and breaker trips.
How much power can your fuse box handle?
This is another thing you must take into consideration – electric heaters come with different power ratings. Also, every outdoor electric heater suffers from peak power. During this time, the unit will use 2 to 10 times more power when switched ON. Therefore, before investing in one, consider doing a bit of research about this or simply talk to a professional.
What heat range do you need?
All outdoor electric heaters come with a specific heat range, which is measured in square meters. The heat range indicated the maximum range at which the unit can deliver. However, when considering the heat range based on the space you have, it is wise to consider a unit with a higher heat range. For example, assuming that you have a 12m² space and your goal is to have heat within that space. Then, you should consider buying an electrical heater with a higher heat range. Choosing a model with an exact heat range as the area will not be sufficient.
Take into account wind and heat?
Remember, electric patio heaters come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. These units also come with different heating elements. For this reason, to identify if a heater is suitable for your space, it is wise to consider wind and heat direction.
What is the cost?
Price is a huge factor in determining the best product to get. For this reason, it is wise to calculate everything and compare it to what you are willing to spend.
You have enough information to compare specific heater models and choose the best one for your needs. Do not forget to check customer reviews before you buy.
If you realized that an electric unit is not what you need, then take a look at other options, like propane patio heaters.