Benefits of Electric Heaters
Electric patio heaters do not produce heat by combustion. Therefore they can be used both outdoors and in enclosed spaces. Electric heaters are available in many sizes. They can be extremely small and portable or even industrial sized to heat large spaces like a warehouse. Many electric patio heaters can be professionally installed. This eliminates the need for annual storage.
While some electric heaters do produce heat instantly some do take 30 - 60 seconds to reach their full heat output. Once fully operational electric patio heaters actually produce heat more efficiently than any other heaters. They convert up to 98% of their energy in to heat.
Cost of Operation
Electric patio heater's fuel costs more than natural gas but less than propane.
An electric patio heater producing the equivalent of 40,000 BTU's will cost approx. $1.32 per hour to operate.
Performance and Heating Range
Electric spot heater power is measured in watts; propane or gas spot heater power is measured in BTUs. The more BTUs or watts, the more effective the spot heater in warming its target.
To achieve a 40,0000 BTU heat output a total of 12,000 Watt's of electric heaters must be used. This should be sufficient to heat a 20' diameter area (314 sq ft). The exact heating range and output will depend on the design of the patio heater and wind conditions. For example, many electric patio heaters are 'spot' heaters. They direct their heat in a specific direction rather than just heating a circular region around them. This allows them to produce less heat, but be more effective with the heat they do produce.
Electric heaters produce radiant heat. This is the same heat the sun produces. Radiant heat warms the people and objects around it not the air in between. The electric patio heaters provide almost instant heat and once fully operationaly they are the most efficient heaters available.
Safe operating Procedures
While there is no open flame with electric patio heaters some safety precautions are still needed. Be sure to keep the recommended clearance to combustibles. Also keep the heaters out of the reach of children as they do get hot.
With any appliance that produces heat, do not operate it without supervision. Shut the heater off if you are leaving your home, even if its only for a 'quick' run to the store.