Electric Vs. Propane Patio Heater: Which one to Choose?
If you are a person that simply loves spending time outdoors and wants the most use out of your home's outdoor space then investing in the right patio heater can be a godsend!
But with so many outdoor heaters available, how do you choose which one is best for your needs? Don't worry; we are here to help! Understanding the good and bad of each type of outdoor heater available can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to buying an outdoor heater for your patio.
Types of Patio Heaters
They are essentially three types of patio heaters: electric, propane, and natural gas. Each type has its own pros and cons. However, the two most common and popular types of patio heaters found in North America are electric and propane-powered patio heaters.
Let's take a further look at why these two types of patio heaters have gained so much popularity in the North American market.
Electric vs Propane Patio Heater
Electric Patio Heater
Electric heaters use powerful lamps, placed behind glass protection, that emit heat and are powered by electricity. Electric heaters offer an efficient, safe, and convenient way of dealing with your outdoor heating problems as long as you have access to an electrical outlet close by.
Depending on the size of the outdoor space you need heating during winter, an electric patio heater might just be adequate for the job. Electric heaters generally have less heating power than propane patio heaters but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
If you only need a small area heated than why not invest in an electric heater? They are a lot more cost-effective to buy and run. They are safer as there is no need for the burning of flammable materials and also no flames to worry about.
Electric patio heaters also tend to be a lot more portable, lightweight, and compact as compared to propane patio heaters. The heater is also easy to use and easy to set up. All you have to do is insert the plug into an electric outlet, set the temperature you want, and let the heater take care of the rest!
Propane Patio Heater
Propane patio heaters, on the other hand, have considerable heating power and can keep an area of up to 20 square feet relatively toasty, even on the coldest of winter days. By burning liquified petroleum gas (LPG) a lot more heat is generated, up to 60,000 BTU and in some cases, even more, which is far greater than the heating output of any electric patio heater.
Propane patio heaters also tend to be heavier and longer than electric heaters. By emitting heat from a height they are able to cover a much larger area and offer a more even heat distribution as compared to electric heaters. This makes them the ideal choice for heating up outdoor spaces such as patios, decks, and more.
With a propane patio heater, you aren't dependent on electricity for power. Simply connect a 20 lb. propane tank to the unit and, using an electronic switch, ignite the burner. In no time, the area around you will begin to feel considerably warmer, making for a cozy and relaxing evening outdoors.
Propane patio heaters also have safety features that prevent them from exploding or catching fire. Safety shut-off features ensure that in case the patio heater is tilted by high winds or by accident, the igniter automatically shuts-off, meaning that there is no chance of your patio or deck catching fire.
Propane-powered patio heaters have also become increasingly affordable, making them suitable not just for commercial use but also for residential purposes. The only down-side to owning a propane-powered patio heater is the need to constantly change propane tanks, especially if you plan on using the heater a lot during winter.
A 20 lb. propane tank will last for about 10 hours of heating before needing to be replaced. This can make constantly using one of these patio heaters not only a hassle but also expensive in the long-run.
Which Is Better - Electric or Propane?
Now that we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of each, it's time to answer the main question: which is best - electric vs propane patio heater?
The answer to this question lies solely on your needs. If you are seeking a heater that can be used both indoors and outdoors, and in most instances used to warm up only a small area, then investing in an electric heater might be the most suitable option.
Since electric heaters do not emit any toxic or polluting emissions, they are safe to use indoors, unlike, propane or natural gas heaters. Electric heaters also don't have a pilot flame system that can be tricky to get used to and almost impossible to pull off on windy and rainy days.
With an electric heater, all you have to do is simply plug it in, turn on the switch, sit back, and bask in glorious warmth.
However, if what you seek is a heater that is able to offer much more powerful heating power, near-instant heat generation, and a beautiful flame to look at, then a propane patio heater is just what you need!