FAQs About Electric Patio Heaters

electric patio heater

FAQs About Electric Patio Heaters

Electric patio heaters are extremely effective outdoor heating appliances because unlike gas patio heaters, they use radiant heat to directly warm the people and objects surrounding them. Electric patio heaters provide instant heat and require very little warm up time.

Read our list of frequently asked questions about electric patio heaters and discover all of the ways that portable electric heaters can transform your outdoor area into a welcoming and comfortable oasis that you can enjoy year round!


Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Outdoor Heaters

How does an electric patio heater work?

What are the benefits of electric outdoor heaters?

How do I figure out how many watts I will need my electric patio heater to produce?

How much do portable electric heaters cost to operate?

Do portable electric heaters require clearances to combustible materials?

What types of portable electric heaters are there?

Are portable electric heaters safe to use?

Do electric outdoor heaters have to be installed by a certified electrician?

Will my electric patio heater emit any light?

Do electric outdoor heaters require any special venting or gas line installations?

Can I use my electric patio heater indoors?

Can I use an extension cord with my electric patio heater?

How should electric outdoor heaters be cleaned?


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Portable Electric Heaters

Question: How does an electric patio heater work?

  • Answer: An electric patio heater uses radiant heat, like the sun, to warm people and objects as opposed to other types of patio heaters like outdoor gas heaters that warm the air around them.

Question: What are the benefits of electric outdoor heaters?

  • Answer: Electric outdoor heaters are over 90 percent efficient and they are easy to operate and maintain. Electric outdoor heaters are also economical and they do not have any valves, ignition components, moving parts or burners that will need to be repaired. Electric outdoor heaters produce no sound, odors or toxic emissions and there are many decorative options to choose from.

Question: How do I figure out how many watts I will need my electric patio heater to produce?

  • Answer: To figure out how many watts you will need your electric patio heater to produce take the cubic feet of area that you will be heating and multiply it by the desired temperature rise. This will give you an idea of how many watts you will need your electric patio heater to produce.

Question: How much do portable electric heaters cost to operate?

  • Answer: Portable electric heaters are directional and there is no heat loss during operation. There is also no upfront fuel cost. Based on the required (3) 4000 Watt (4KWh) for 40,000 BTUs, the average cost to operate portable electric heaters is around $1.316 per hour.

Question: Do portable electric heaters require clearances to combustible materials?

  • Answer: Some infrared electric patio heaters will require clearances to combustible materials so check your electric patio heaters owner's manual to be sure about clearances. Also to make sure that your electric patio heater is installed correctly be sure to follow all electrical code standards.

Question: What types of portable electric heaters are there?

  • Answer: Portable electric heaters are available in a variety of styles including portable and table top, free-standing, hanging, and wall and ceiling mount models.

Question: Are portable electric heaters safe to use?

  • Answer: Yes. Portable electric heaters do not produce any odors or toxic emissions and since they are controlled by your home's power supply so there is no risk of them becoming fire hazards. When installed and used as recommended portable electric heaters are low-risk products.

Question: Do electric outdoor heaters have to be installed by a certified electrician?

  • Answer: Generally electric outdoor heaters can just be plugged into a standard socket and they are ready for use however, a certified electrician may be recommended to install some commercial, industrial heaters and controllers. Consult your owner's manual to be sure.

Question: Will my electric patio heater emit any light?

  • Answer: Yes. While electric patio heaters do not emit a lot of light, they do produce a subtle ambient glow for a gentle illumination.

Question: Do electric outdoor heaters require any special venting or gas line installations?

  • Answer: No. Electric outdoor heaters do not consume oxygen to operate so they don't need to be hooked up to a gas line and they do not produce any carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide that require extensive venting systems.

Question: Can I use my electric patio heater indoors?

  • Answer: Check your owner's manual to see if your electric patio heater is designed for both indoor and outdoor use or if it is designed for outdoor use only.

Question: Can I use an extension cord with my electric patio heater?

  • Answer: Yes. If you have to use an extension cord make sure that the extension cord is a 3 prong cord and it is a no. 14 AWG minimum size rated not less than 2000 Watts and is the shortest cord length that you can use. Never use a 16 gauge extension cord and never connect two or more extension cords together to operate your electric patio heater.

Question: How should electric outdoor heaters be cleaned?

  • Answer: Electric outdoor heaters should not be disassembled for cleaning. Be sure the heater is in the OFF position. Unplug the electric patio heater before cleaning, and wait for it to cool. Use a soft, dry cloth to clean only the external surfaces of portable electric heaters.