Infrared Patio Heater Buying Guide
Overhaul your garden with the far-reaching warmth of an infrared patio heater.
Safe and efficient, infrared overcomes the challenges of heating the outdoors – but with so many types to choose from, there’s a lot to consider. So, whatever the requirements of your outdoor space, our handy buying guide is here to help you choose the ideal heater for your patio.
Inside this guide...
Watch our infrared patio heater buying guide video here >
What are infrared patio heaters?
Infrared patio heaters use the same type of heat emitted by the sun to provide natural, radiant warmth. By travelling in a wave, infrared isn’t affected by the circulation of air – allowing for surfaces, objects, and people to absorb it directly. Supplying lasting yet efficient warmth, patio heaters are an efficient and effective solution when it comes to heating the outdoors. With different levels of heat to choose from, they can be used to offset the cold or provide a subtle accompaniment to mild temperatures with absolutely no pre-heating required.
What are the different types of infrared heat?
Shortwave (near infrared)
For robust, on-demand heat, shortwave heaters are best suited for use in quick bursts. Powered by tungsten bulbs known for their distinct orange glow, the strength of shortwave infrared is protected by wind-disruption making it suitable for installation in less sheltered areas. These heaters lose energy quicker than their counterparts so are less equipped to provide lasting warmth but are ideal for occasional use when instant heat is required.
Mediumwave heaters are the perfect mid-point between the subtle, long-lasting warmth of far infrared, and the instant, deep-feeling warmth of near infrared. Fitted with carbon bulbs, these patio heaters are ideal for use over long hours. Their gentle warmth can be disrupted by gusts of wind, so are best suited to installation in sheltered outdoor spaces.
Longwave (far infrared)
Longwave radiates a particularly soothing form of heat – the same type our bodies naturally absorb and emit. The strongest of the three, it transmits at a higher temperature which allows for emission over a greater distance, working best in sheltered outdoor spaces that can be left running throughout the day.
What are the different types of infrared patio heaters?
Providing a notable orange or amber glow, our range of low glare outdoor heaters use tungsten elements to generate shortwave infrared, delivering instant heat that’s ideal for infrequent use. Many of our low glare heaters use gold reflector technology to reduce the level of light emission, adding a soft ambience to your patio.
Discreet but no less efficient, our range of no glare patio heaters allow for a gentle distribution of heat without that stereotypical orange blaze. Using far infrared technology, these outdoor electric heaters contain ceramic heating elements instead of a bulb to provide subtle warmth – perfect for all-day use.
Infrared patio heaters explained...
What are the running costs of infrared patio heaters?
Calculating the running costs of your infrared patio heater can be tricky depending on a number of factors: the time of year, weather conditions, and the heater’s level of exposure to the elements, but in order to make an estimate you should know:
- Your energy tariff in pence per kilowatt hour
- The wattage of the heater in kilowatts
- The number of hours you expect to run your heating per day
Of course, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Check out this blog for more information on the running costs of infrared heaters.
How efficient are infrared patio heaters?
Converting every watt of energy into usable heat as well as providing direct radiant warmth, none of the power used to create heat is wasted, allowing your patio heaters to work at 100% efficiency. Plus, due to the lasting and stable nature of infrared, you will still feel the benefits long after switch-off, helping to reduce your running costs. When paired with a renewable energy source such as a green energy supplier or wind/solar power, you even have the opportunity to make your infrared heater carbon free – great for your energy bills and the environment, too.
Are infrared patio heaters easy to install?
Lightweight and flexible, our patio heaters can be up and running in minutes with quick fitting and simple plug and go installation. With no mandatory upkeep or the need for storing or sourcing fuel, infrared patio heaters are an incredibly low effort and robust heating solution for the outdoors. We recommend a hardwired installation if you plan on using your heater regularly, as it adds extra protection against the elements – this is a quick and simple job for a professional electrician that won’t leave you out of pocket.
Is infrared heat safe?
The short answer is yes, infrared heat is completely safe. You'd be forgiven for associating this term with ultraviolet waves and wondering how safe it really is. Allow us to put your mind at ease – you’ll find infrared heat used in all facets of everyday life, from incubators for babies, to brooding lamps for roosting chickens. Infrared heat feels comfortable because of how natural it is – our bodies are literally designed to absorb and emit it on a daily basis. You’ll even find it’s good for allergies too since it doesn’t disrupt air movement! Like the soothing warmth you feel when the sun peeps through clouds, infrared patio heaters merely adopt that same kind of heat, minus the harmful UV waves. In fact, it’s at the complete opposite end of the electromagnetic spectrum: it’s low energy, gentle and, like we said, completely safe.
Installation options for infrared patio heaters
Our patio heaters come with all relevant fixtures and fittings included, so wall mounting is a straightforward and efficient option. The adjustable mounting brackets allow for versatility, so you can install your heater at your preferred height for direct heat dispersion.
Ceiling mounting is a great option as its unhindered heat distribution allows for the broadest spread of warmth. Ideal for installation in sheltered areas, this discreet placement allows for extra protection against the elements.
Domestic vs. Commercial: Choosing the right heater for your space
This applies to any outdoor area of personal use, most likely your back garden. An outdoor heater in a domestic setting is more likely to be used infrequently, so shortwave to mediumwave infrared technology would be the most suitable.
The patio in your commercial space could range from a restaurant terrace to pub garden – notably an area of frequent use and high footfall. A commercial setting would best suit medium to far infrared technology, allowing a greater reach and better suited for use over many hours. For our specific recommendations, take a look at this blog.