Propane vs. Electric Patio Heaters

Both electric patio heaters and propane patio heaters will let you use your patio, deck or garden long into cool summer nights, and extend your outdoor living season up to the first frost. Each type of patio heater has advantages and disadvantages, which are outlined below.

Electric Patio Heaters

These heating units use infrared, short-wave technology. Everything in its direct beam receives heat, not just the air in front. Choose a tabletop lamp-shaped heater, floor units which direct heat upward, or wall-mounted units that radiate heat downward. You can install an electric patio heater permanently beside or above a door.

While they have a competitive initial cost, an electric patio heater will add to your electrical costs when you would normally reduce energy consumption. Keep electric IR heaters out of the reach of children.

Propane Patio Heaters

Fueled by inexpensive propane in a standard canister, a propane heater costs less to operate than an electric heater with the same BTU rating. You can move your column-style propane patio heater easily on its wheels to wherever its warmth is needed. Ensure that your column-style and table-based propane heaters rest on a stable, level surface to prevent tipping that will cause damage and possible injury.