It’s so refreshing to be outdoors, even if it’s just the backyard, or the front patio. But if it’s too chilly, it can really put a dampener on things. And so, it may be worth investing in a patio heater.
But with all this talk about the environment, and carbon footprints, and climate change, you’ll be looking for a patio heater that isn’t going to harm the environment.
So let’s first examine which is better for the environment, gas or electric heaters. (All infrared patio heaters are heated by electricity.) The truth is that gas outdoor heaters are far worse for the environment than their electric counterparts such as infrared heaters. They leave a much bigger carbon footprint.
The average gas patio heater emits approximately 3,399 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year, whereas an equivalent electric heater on the other hand will only emit about 500 kilograms of carbon dioxide, which is merely a fraction of what’s emitted by a typical gas heater. Less than 15 percent of it, in fact.
Other Benefits of Electric Infrared Heaters
Electric infrared heaters are clean, silent, emit no smelly fumes, and as we will look at more closely very shortly, they are also cheaper to run.
Key Specs to Look For in Patio Heaters If You’re Concerned About the Environment
The key to ensuring that your new patio heater is as environmentally friendly as possible is by getting one that’s as energy efficient as possible. The more energy efficient the heater is, the less energy is being needlessly wasted, and the better it is for the environment.
You should also look for infrared heaters with a parabolic reflector, as found in electric quartz infrared heaters, because this magnifies the heat and focuses it exactly where it’s needed.
Top Recommended Infrared Patio Heaters If You’re Concerned About the Environment
If we could only recommend one infrared heat that we know is better for the environment than most others, it would have to be the Briza Infrared Patio Heater.
This is because it has a 93 % heat emitting efficiency, which is very high indeed, and saves a lot of energy while still managing to keep your patio comfortably warm.
You can either mount it to a ceiling or wall, or rest it on the accompanying stand. It’s built for the outdoors, with a good water resistance rating of IP55, and is able to withstand dust, rain, and even snow.
And it has some great safety features too. There’s an automatic shut off if the heater is tipped over on the stand, and would you believe, animals and children can actually touch the surface of the heater without having to worry about getting burned or injured.
Point to Note 1 – Only Use When Necessary
But be sure to remember, no patio heater, however energy efficient it can be, is not environmentally neutral. They still consume energy, even if it is electricity rather than propane or natural gas.
So, to that end, we strongly recommend that you limit the environmental impact of your patio heater by using it only when it’s needed.
Point to Note 2 – Be Mindful Where the Heater is Positioned
And secondly, you should only point the heat where it is needed. In order to preserve both energy and heat, you should have the heat directed only in the necessary areas, and not have areas being heated up where no-one will feel the benefit of the heater. That would be just needless waste.
So, to that end you could look for an infrared patio heater that hangs overhead above a table, so that everyone gathered around can feel the benefit more or less equally.
Or you could have an infrared patio heater that sits on a stand, that way you can reposition the heater as required in accordance with how people move around on the patio.
Or, a third option would be to have your infrared patio heater mounted on a wall. That way if you have a sheltered area of patio, right next to the building, most of the heat emitted from the heater is contained in this sheltered area.
Are infrared patio heaters expensive to run?
There are several costs to consider when in the market for an outdoor patio heater. First off, as we have already covered, is the potential cost to the environment. Then there’s the initial financial cost of the heater itself. And finally, there’s the financial cost of actually running the heater.
Of course, with the latter, the cost of running the heater will be strongly influenced by the tariff you are on with your energy providers.
And it’s hard to compare gas and electric heaters for running costs because it’s hard to match up equivalent heaters on each side, because gas ones are rated in terms of BTUs while electric heaters are rated in terms of watts.
So, let’s look at the average costs. It turns out that the average cost to run a typical 40,000 BTU patio heater is 48 cents per hour. And the average cost for a 4,000-watt electric patio heater is 60 cents per hour…
However, you should also take into account that gas heaters can take some considerable time to heat up, whereas in stark contrast, an infrared heater will provide heat instantly from the moment it is switched on.
So, to sum up, it appears that on the whole infrared patio heaters aren’t quite as cheap to run as we might have hoped compared to their gas powered counterparts, but there’s only 12 cents per hour difference, and there’s no warm up time to worry about.
And moreover, if you stick with the tips that we provided you with earlier, such as only switching the heater on when you need it, and being mindful to only direct the heat where most needed, you will save on the energy costs involved in running the heater.
In short, we would argue that despite the slightly extra cost of running an infrared patio heater, it is worth it because they are so much better for the environment than their gas powered equivalents.