Choosing the Right Patio Heater

Summer evenings can be a brilliant time to host outdoor parties and gettogethers. However, as the sun goes down, the chill can begin to bite and sometimes you want to use your patio space at other times of the year. Electric patio heaters are a brilliant way of providing warmth for outdoor spaces during these times, keeping the area comfortable and pleasant even as the night draws in.

However, there are a quite a few options to choose from when selecting an electric patio heater and choosing the right one can ensure you make the most out the heat it produces and the cost of running one.

Think about your patio space

A key point to keep in mind when choosing a patio heater is the space you want if for. Is your patio large or small? Is the space enclosed or open? Do you have tables and other surfaces on or around the patio?

All these factors play an important role in your choice of a patio heater as they dictate the style, fitting and power of the heater needed. To begin with, in large open areas, with few surfaces, it is perhaps best to choose a standalone heater or ‘parasol’ heater. These free standing and tall patio heaters are great for either placing at the centre of your patio or using multiples of them around the perimeter of particularly large space. Using their height and reflective metal interiors, these patio heaters can spread their infrared energy across large areas in equal amounts.

Smaller enclosed spaces can also benefit from these tall heaters; however it is more cost effective to invest in a smaller, less powerful patio heater. If you have surrounding buildings around the patio, wall mounted heaters, positioned high above the patio, make a brilliant alternative to parasol heaters. Similarly, if there are any overhead features going across your patio, you can install hanging heaters above the space, however always make sure these are well above head height.

Finally, the need for adjustability needs to be considered. If you have a large patio space that is of asymmetrical design, you might want a patio heater which is easily adjustable and controlled to keep the entirety of the patio space warm.

How much power do you need?

To prevent wasted energy and expensive running costs, always keep in mind the amount if heat you actually need for your patio space. Is the space large or small? Do you use it often or occasionally? How many people do you regularly have on your patio?

Typically, if you are trying to provide heat for a lot of people over a wide space, then a higher wattage heater is likely to be required, usually between 2000W and 2970W. Conversely, in a smaller space with lots of people, a much smaller energy output is needed, preferably around 1500W. If you use your patio space for only a few individuals then a similar wattage, or an even lower one should suffice.

Remember, electric patio heaters allow for instant infrared production and can be easily turned on and off which means they should always be switched off when not in use to save energy. This is particularly true if you only use a patio heater infrequently and it is a high wattage for either space or occupancy reasons.

The IP (ingress proof) rating is also something that should be taken into account when assessing the need for a highly powered heater or a lower one. IP 24 should usually be enough for most patio spaces and occupants and the use of control systems on some heaters can greatly enhance the efficiency and power conservation of a patio heater whilst still keeping the area warm and comfortable.


If you want to browse our range of outdoor, electric patio heaters, you can click the link below to find the right heater for you:

2 thoughts on “Choosing the Right Patio Heater”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *