infrared or Propane patio heaters

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unclescrooge
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infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:55 pm

Wife wants me to get a patio heater so we can use the outdoor patio in fall/winter.

I'm looking at three options:

infrared patio heater
https://shop.firesense.com/products/021 ... 6302174213

Stainless Steel Pyramid Flame Heater
https://shop.firesense.com/products/60523

Stainless Steel Pro Series Patio Heater
https://shop.firesense.com/collections/ ... ucts/61436

I'm leaning towards the infrared heater as I think it will probably be the most efficient, and won't waste a lot of energy heating air on a breezy evening.

But I'm not sure about running electric cables on the patio at night either.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these types of heaters?

Thanks in advance!

neilpilot
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by neilpilot » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:08 pm

I have some experience with a halogen heater, but not the specific model linked.

Ideally, plugged directly into a circuit. If an extension cord is used, limit the length and use a cord rated for ~2000 watts (20 amp). The heater's normal draw is +/- 15amp, so really needs to be plugged into a 20amp circuit without any other significant loads on the circuit during heater use.

Advantages over propane (in my case): In my case, more convenient to use than a propane heater. Less expensive energy consumer. [edit - my electricity cost isunder $0.10/kwh] Can be used indoors in the unlikely event your home HVAC fails.
Last edited by neilpilot on Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davegreen10
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by davegreen10 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:24 pm

The big drawback of the infrared heater is they also generate a lot of visible light. So stargazing with a little heat is definitely out.

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tyrion
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by tyrion » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:29 pm

I would imagine a lot of it depends on your specifics.

How much does electricity cost? For me it's 35 cents / KWH so I'm not interested in heating the outside air with electricity.

Do you have an outlet already installed that can accommodate it?

Both propane models are very common in Southern California on restaurant patios. I haven't seen as many infrared heaters but a few places do have them mounted to some sort of permanent patio cover.

Is this heater going to sit out in the elements when not in use? If so I would get whichever one is easier to move to someplace out of harm's way.

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unclescrooge
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:59 pm

davegreen10 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:24 pm
The big drawback of the infrared heater is they also generate a lot of visible light. So stargazing with a little heat is definitely out.
Usually I can't see any stars, so that's not a drawback.

I don't think the move from sodium vapour to LED street lights is helping either. :annoyed

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unclescrooge
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:08 pm

tyrion wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:29 pm
I would imagine a lot of it depends on your specifics.

How much does electricity cost? For me it's 35 cents / KWH so I'm not interested in heating the outside air with electricity.

Do you have an outlet already installed that can accommodate it?

Both propane models are very common in Southern California on restaurant patios. I haven't seen as many infrared heaters but a few places do have them mounted to some sort of permanent patio cover.

Is this heater going to sit out in the elements when not in use? If so I would get whichever one is easier to move to someplace out of harm's way.
I'm on Time of Use plan with Socal Edison and I pay about $0.32 for electricity in the evenings. The heater I linked to is 1500 watts. Doesn't that mean I'm paying (1,500/1000)*0.32 = $0.48 per hour?
Considering a propane tank costs about $25 and lasts 10 hours, isn't this significantly cheaper?

Also, with infra red technology, you're not actually heading the air, but sold objects within 9ft from the lamp.

I have 2 outlets close by so I wouldn't need an extension cord.

The propane heaters are likely to sit outside. The infrared one can be moved into the garage in summer.
That's a big positive as well.

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unclescrooge
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:10 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:08 pm
I have some experience with a halogen heater, but not the specific model linked.

Ideally, plugged directly into a circuit. If an extension cord is used, limit the length and use a cord rated for ~2000 watts (20 amp). The heater's normal draw is +/- 15amp, so really needs to be plugged into a 20amp circuit without any other significant loads on the circuit during heater use.

Advantages over propane (in my case): In my case, more convenient to use than a propane heater. Less expensive energy consumer. [edit - my electricity cost isunder $0.10/kwh] Can be used indoors in the unlikely event your home HVAC fails.
The model linked to is 1500 watts and 12.5 amps. Website says it can be plugged directly in this regular wall outlet.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:45 pm

The standard 'hat' style propane heaters are much better at warming people than the pyramid style. With the pyramids the heat all just goes up whereas the hat style reflects it back down. The hat style are also cheaper. Costco often has fairly high quality ones for around $150.
Have a plan, stay the course, and simplify, and while you're at it, Ignore the Noise!

RetiredAL
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by RetiredAL » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:42 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:08 pm
tyrion wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:29 pm
I would imagine a lot of it depends on your specifics.

How much does electricity cost? For me it's 35 cents / KWH so I'm not interested in heating the outside air with electricity.

Do you have an outlet already installed that can accommodate it?

Both propane models are very common in Southern California on restaurant patios. I haven't seen as many infrared heaters but a few places do have them mounted to some sort of permanent patio cover.

Is this heater going to sit out in the elements when not in use? If so I would get whichever one is easier to move to someplace out of harm's way.
I'm on Time of Use plan with Socal Edison and I pay about $0.32 for electricity in the evenings. The heater I linked to is 1500 watts. Doesn't that mean I'm paying (1,500/1000)*0.32 = $0.48 per hour?
Considering a propane tank costs about $25 and lasts 10 hours, isn't this significantly cheaper?

Also, with infra red technology, you're not actually heading the air, but sold objects within 9ft from the lamp.

I have 2 outlets close by so I wouldn't need an extension cord.

The propane heaters are likely to sit outside. The infrared one can be moved into the garage in summer.
That's a big positive as well.
Do be aware that 1500W is only 5100 BTU. I have no idea how efficient the Propane heater are, but at 50% of 40,000 BTU, it would still take 4 electrics to have about the same heat output. 4 1500w electric heaters would require 4 separate circuits.

A negative to propane is that it runs out, usually at the most inopportune time, thus you need a 2nd tank handy.

So the first question is how much heat do you really want, a little, a lot, or something in between. As a test, go buy a $35 -$75 parabolic heater from Walmart and try it out. The cheaper units are lower power 800W, so 2 could be run off the same circuit. 2 helps solve the roasting one side, freezing the other side.

Safety notes: 1) A 1500W electric heater needs at least a 14ga power cord. A 12ga would be better. DO NOT USE the typical household extension cord you would use for lights. 2) Although 20amp circuits are the norm, the normal outlet is only rated at 15amp. 1500W = 12.5A

mrb09
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by mrb09 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:01 pm

I have a patio heater similar to the last one, but is a cheaper "garden treasures" brand from Lowes. Same BTUs. We get it in the spring so we could have outside meals with friends while "social distancing". We had two tables on either side of the heater, and it kept us comfortable in 50 degree weather.

No idea about the other heaters.

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unclescrooge
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:06 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:45 pm
The standard 'hat' style propane heaters are much better at warming people than the pyramid style. With the pyramids the heat all just goes up whereas the hat style reflects it back down. The hat style are also cheaper. Costco often has fairly high quality ones for around $150.
👍

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unclescrooge
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Re: infrared or Propane patio heaters

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:09 pm

RetiredAL wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:42 pm

Do be aware that 1500W is only 5100 BTU. I have no idea how efficient the Propane heater are, but at 50% of 40,000 BTU, it would still take 4 electrics to have about the same heat output. 4 1500w electric heaters would require 4 separate circuits.

A negative to propane is that it runs out, usually at the most inopportune time, thus you need a 2nd tank handy.

So the first question is how much heat do you really want, a little, a lot, or something in between. As a test, go buy a $35 -$75 parabolic heater from Walmart and try it out. The cheaper units are lower power 800W, so 2 could be run off the same circuit. 2 helps solve the roasting one side, freezing the other side.

Safety notes: 1) A 1500W electric heater needs at least a 14ga power cord. A 12ga would be better. DO NOT USE the typical household extension cord you would use for lights. 2) Although 20amp circuits are the norm, the normal outlet is only rated at 15amp. 1500W = 12.5A
Great idea!

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