How environmentally sound are electric infrared patio heaters, especially compared with gas patio heaters?
There is of course an environmental cost of using any appliance and when comparing the differences between electric infrared and gas powered heaters, you will find that the differences are considerable.
In environmental terms, a gas powered heater is the most costly.
The energy output of a gas heater will be approximately 13 kW and a high percentage of that energy is being wasted. A gas heater will reflect a certain amount of heat where you want it, but much of the heat will be going straight up into the air, or elsewhere and lost. If it’s a breezy day, then even more heat will be wasted as the air you’ve heated is blown away.
If your heater is electric infrared, you’re not wasting energy heating the air, instead, the heater is producing light (infrared), which warms the surfaces that light strikes, such as your skin. The light from the heater is also properly directed so you’re not wasting energy heating areas that are not occupied.
In terms of cost, the difference between gas and electric heaters is greater still with hourly costs for electric heaters being measured in pence, as opposed to pounds for a gas powered heater.