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Top Tips for Choosing a Patio Heater for Your Next Event

Posted by Andrea Guzzoni on

So you're throwing an outdoor event - that's mighty brave of you! We probably don't need to tell you that keeping your guests warm outdoors will be vital to the success of your event. With British weather being notoriously tumultuous, we suggest you hire a powerful and reliable heater for the occasion. But choosing a heater for your outdoor event can be daunting, and, if you hire the wrong type it can end up costing you. Don't make this mistake and read on to ensure you make the right decision.

Gas vs. Electric 

The most conventional and popular type of heaters - the ones you've probably seen countless times at events - are pyramid gas heaters. Gas heaters heat their surroundings using convection and radiation - as opposed to electric heaters that use only radiation. The best gas heaters are LPG based, and require gas cylinders to run. The biggest downside of gas heaters is their inefficiency and cost. Gas heaters are expensive to run at £1.20 per hour on average; the average running cost of an electric heater is just 15pc of a gas version.They can also take a while to heat up. However, they do often provide very wide-ranging heat, making them a good option for bigger areas. 

Electric heaters, on the other hand, are more eco-friendly and fast-acting, and they also come in a range of styles. Electric heaters can be discreetly mounted out of sight or used with a compatible tripod for portable heating. They are easy to turn on and off, and typically reach the desired temperature quickly.They come in different shapes and sizes and, depending on the model, can either be placed on the floor, on a raised surface such as a table or bench, or even mounted on the wall.Electric heaters are typically radiant heaters which heat objects directly - as opposed to convection heaters which circulate warm air to heat up the surrounding area. 


heat distribution, efficiency and eco-friendliness

Unfortunately, no patio heater is fully green - after all, the most eco-friendly way to stay warm is to layer up and drink tea. But if you are after a patio heater with the lowest amount of wastefulness and damage to the planet, gas heaters are not the way forward. 

The two biggest drawbacks of gas heaters is that, unlike electric heaters, they waste a lot of heat and require sourcing fuel. The flame that gas patio heaters produce heats a space in the same way that a fire does, which means that the majority of heat is transmitted through radiation, whereas the rest of the warmth from the heater is produced by convection. Convection is less efficient because this type of heating warms the air around the heater, meaning that in large spaces such as gardens, the heat escapes quickly.  Electric heaters, on the other hand, don’t create any emissions – making them considerably more environmentally friendly than gas. 


Electric heaters are:

  • Eco-efficient

  • Less wasteful
  • Instantly heated

Gas heaters are:

  • Good for heating larger spaces

  • More expensive to run

  • Less efficient

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