Electric Patio Heaters
Electric Patio HeatersThere’s nothing quite as enjoyable as sitting out on your patio on a sunny day, but sadly, our inclement UK weather often means that it can still get chilly even when the skies are clear. Patio heaters are just the ticket for anyone looking to enjoy their outdoor spaces through a greater portion of the year and can make your garden seating areas much more welcoming. These products use effective radiant heat to combat the cold and aren’t affected by the breeze – all of the heat goes straight from the heater, direct to you. Our range includes powerful quartz heaters, ideal for exposed outdoor locations, and discreet ceramic heaters, which are more effective for covered patios and draughty interiors.
This can vary depending on how much of your outdoor space you use regularly. You may only need to heat a small area around a four-seater patio table or you might need effective heating for several benches and a sheltered outdoor cooking space. It’s a good idea to take stock of how you use your exterior spaces and make a note of the total area you need to keep well heated.
Once you know the size of the heated area you require, you can then choose a product with an equivalent output or higher to ensure the space will be adequately warmed. All of our products have a ‘heats up to’ value in m² to help you choose the right product for your project. If you can’t find a product with the exact right heat span – don’t worry. It’s better to round up to the next available size as this will ensure that your patio spaces are kept nice and warm rather than choosing an underpowered product that’s not up to scratch.
Commercial spaces are naturally harder to heat due to their size, and in these instances, it’s often easier and more effective to install multiple heaters to cover a larger area. If you prefer, we can do all of the legwork for you and create a free, bespoke quote to your individual project dimensions, with no obligation to purchase.
Not all patio heaters glow – it depends on what heating elements they use and what type of radiant heat they emit.
Heaters that glow use a more intense form of radiant heat known as near infrared, which is strong enough to counteract the colder temperatures in outdoor environments. Near infrared is much closer to visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum so products that use this type of radiation tend toward having an incandescent quality. Think of a piece of metal being heated until it glows white hot – near infrared heaters work using the exact same principle, producing intense heat and light all at once through a super-heated tungsten filament. The bright light given off by these heaters can be quite harsh on the eyes so most are equipped with gold reflectors to disperse and soften this light to a more pleasant orange glow. Glow reduction can vary from product to product so for the highest level of comfort, it’s advisable to look for ones labelled as ‘ultra-low glare’.
Heaters that produce no light at all use a gentler form of radiation known as far infrared. Far infrared products have no associated glow because this type of radiation is much further away from visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer wavelength of this type of radiation provides a more mellow sensation of warmth and is more comfortable for long-term use throughout the day. However, its effects can be lessened in particularly breezy locations as your body will cool down quicker than the heater can replenish your warmth. No glare heaters use ceramic heating elements and their light-free heating is preferred in applications that need a discreet solution.
Electric outdoor heaters are exceptionally efficient as they convert nearly 100% of the electricity they use into effective heating. So, whenever you decide to use your outdoor heater, you can be sure that none of your energy usage is wasted. Although there is a common misconception that electricals are expensive to run, what many fail to take into account is that alternative heating methods use inefficient heat processes and can also have hidden maintenance costs.
For example, if you were to take a look at a traditional outdoor heating method – such as a gas heater or a chimenea – you would need to take into consideration that these systems rely on the combustion of fuel. When solid fuel or gas is burnt, the percentage of useable heat created will always be considerably lower than an electric system, as part of the energy created will be lost through the waste by-products of combustion.
Add into the equation that some systems will need to be regularly maintained by a professional and it quickly becomes apparent that traditional fuel types are not as economical as they may initially appear. Along with their efficient energy usage, electric outdoor heaters are virtually maintenance free, and will require only the occasional wipe down to ensure they run as smoothly as possible.
Patio heaters for permanent outdoor installation need to have an IP rating that indicates they are suitable for this type of fitting. Ingress Protection ratings are a standard used to show the level of protection offered by a product’s housing against the ingress of solid objects or water. Components within low IP rated products will quickly succumb to the effects of windblown rain and debris so it’s incredibly important to choose the right level of protection as this will assure your heater’s longevity in an outdoor environment.
As a general rule, any permanently installed outdoor heater should have an IP rating of at least IPX4, which means that the entire housing is protected against splashing water. Anything less than this will not provide enough protection. An IPX4 rating is perfectly adequate for most outdoor installations and offer resistance against typical rainfall.
In more rugged outdoor areas where the heater may be exposed to lashing rain or stormy conditions, e.g. on a ship’s deck or on a bare hillside, common sense should prevail and you should choose a product with a higher rating to match.
Patio heaters with lower IP ratings must be installed in fully sheltered areas where there is no risk of exposure to water, or in the case of portable heaters, taken indoors again if it threatens to rain.
Quartz heaters are the most common type of outdoor heater and are easily recognisable from the orange light they produce. The reason they glow is because they produce shortwave infrared – also known as near infrared – which is a more intense form of radiant heat useful for offsetting cooler outdoor temperatures. These heaters use a tungsten filament encased in a halogen-filled quartz tube which is super-heated to over 2000 °C, causing the filament to give off a bright light and vigorous warmth. Specially coated bulbs and reflectors used inside the heater body help to reduce this light and soften it down to a more manageable orange glow. The strong radiant heat given off by these products makes them excellent for short-term use but after a while their heat can start to become uncomfortable.
Ceramic heaters use a length of filament encased beneath a ceramic plate which assists in conducting and projecting their heat more effectively. They use a gentler form of radiant heat known as longwave infrared, or far infrared, which doesn’t require the heating elements to reach the same temperature levels as a quartz heater. The mellow heat provided by far infrared is much more comfortable for long-term use but its effects can take longer to be felt. Their glare-free elements and pleasant heat make them a wonderfully discreet primary heat source for both indoor and outdoor applications.
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