Buyers Guide to the Terrace Heater [Reviews 2019]

Sitting comfortably with friends or family on the terrace on warm evenings is simply part of summer for many people. But what if the days get shorter and the evenings get colder? Fortunately, you don’t have to do without the terrace either, because practical infrared heaters ensure pleasant temperatures outdoors when it’s already too cold to sit outside.

Infrared heaters for the terrace: How does it work?

Terrace radiator
Terrace radiator

Infrared radiators are primarily used to generate heat, which is achieved by using combustible gas or electrical energy. The infrared radiation is mainly known from medicine, but such a device can also be very useful for heating the terrace. Because contrary to a normal radiator not the ambient air, but directly the body, on which the warmth meets, is warmed up. For this reason infrared radiators are suitable outstanding for the use on balconies or terraces.

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Exing Laptop Table Outdoor Folding Tabl Height Angle Adjustable Student Lazy Table with Radiator LED Lamp for Sofa, Bed, Terrace, KitchenBalcony, Garden Etc (Color : C)
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Just like gas-fired radiant heaters, infrared radiant heaters also generate radiant heat, which is used to heat objects in the immediate vicinity. This type of heat is considered to be much more efficient than the regular convection heat emitted by fan heaters or heating elements – not least because it does not affect the climate in the room and does not dry out the air unnecessarily – it does not depend on the type of energy source. With gas-powered infrared radiators, the heat from the gas burner spreads through a perforated sheet metal, while electrically-powered radiators have light sources that generate infrared light. Often infrared emitters are compared with heating mushrooms, however, it concerns thereby a completely different and also more pollution-prone variant than infrared emitters.

Construction and installation of terrace radiators

Most infrared radiators available on the market can be mounted both on the ceiling and on the wall and are therefore equally suitable for terraces and balconies. Models are also available that can be swivelled to the required position. If it is an infrared radiator for ceiling mounting, it is usually controlled via a remote control, while the control unit of wall models is usually located directly on the device. In addition, there are free-standing infrared radiators that can be used flexibly and at different locations – all you need is a power connection.

How to use the infrared radiator safely as a heater for the terrace

When installing the infrared radiator it is – as with other heat sources – very important to keep a certain minimum distance to other objects. Under no circumstances should flammable objects be positioned in the immediate vicinity. You can read how much distance is required in the operating instructions of the respective device.

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AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater, Havana Bronze
  • Durable, powder-coated finish
  • Heat output of 46,000 BTU's
  • Piezo ignition
  • Safety auto shut-off tilt valve
  • Wheel assembly included
The so-called IP protection class also plays a major role in the safe handling of the infrared radiator on the terrace. This is a code with two digits that indicates how much security the device offers and how sensitive it is to water.

Infrared radiator with electricity or gas – which is the better solution?

Infrared radiators that are directly fired with gas are not suitable for use on private terraces for various reasons: On the one hand, they indicate environmentally harmful emissions into the air; on the other hand, they are often much larger than other types of construction. This is why most people opt for electric infrared radiators, such as so-called infrared halogen radiators or infrared quartz radiators. In operation, they are also the less expensive solution in the long term, since gas-powered models always require the replacement of the fuel cartridges.

The prices for infrared radiators vary depending on the model and the heat output. It is therefore advisable to compare different devices before making a purchase and to consult an expert if necessary to find the right model. High-quality infrared emitters for the terrace cost however usually between 200 and 500 euro.

Important tips for selecting the patio heater

There are various criteria that play a decisive role when purchasing an infrared radiator. A first important factor, for example, is the area to be heated. If it is a public facility, such as a restaurant, then gas-powered models are a possibility – for private use, however, for economic reasons it should rather be an electrical device. Here it is just as important that the heating output is selected according to the respective area. Because the purchase of a high-quality infrared radiator is not necessarily cheap, it plays an even more important role to compare different devices with each other. Pay particular attention to technical aspects such as the heat output or the heating radius.

Bestseller No. 1
Outdoor Vertical 2100W Halogen Tube Space Heater | Stainless Steel Garden Terrace Far Infrared Heater | IP54 Waterproof Level | Energy Saving/Power Saving | 2 Heating Settings
  • Environmentally friendly and durable: The heater is made up of stainless steel body + aluminum chassis + plastic adjustment buckle.
  • Wide range of heat coverage: 1-3m effective feeling, 3-5m heat gradually weakened.
  • Energy saving / power saving: 2 heating settings (900W/2100W), 220V ordinary 10A socket available, about 2.1 kWh per hour.

How to calculate the correct heating radius

Radiant heater terrace

As many advantages as an infrared radiator may bring to the terrace, there are still some negative points that need to be considered. When buying such a device, you should be aware that the temperature difference between the heated and unheated area can be very large – so the heating radius should not be too small. It is therefore advisable to choose an infrared radiator that radiates in several directions and has the largest possible heating radius. As a rule of thumb: For an area of 10 to 20 m², the device should have an output of at least 2,000 watts.

Conversely, it does not have to be an oversized infrared radiator that heats a much too large area, because this can be pure waste of energy. If you only have a small terrace, then a compact, powerful radiator will do. If this can still be brought by swivel arms into the correct position and regulated in its heat output, you may look forward also after the end of the summer still to cosy evenings outside.

Terrace radiator Bestseller

Bestseller No. 1
Tidyard Radiator Cover, Patio Heater Covers MDF Additional Shelf Space for Living Room Furniture Decor White 44.1"x7.5"x32.1" MDF
  • Overall dimensions: 44.1 x 7.5 x 32.1 inch (W x D x H)
  • This radiator cover will make a stylish and practical addition to your living room.
  • It is designed to give your radiator a decorative function and some additional shelf space for photo frames, books, ornaments, etc.
  • Made of quality MDF, the radiator cover cabinet is sturdy and durable.
  • The heating cover cabinet has a modern, slatted design that suits any decor.
Bestseller No. 2
American Cooling Solutions Radiator + Cap for Ford New Holland Tractor FITS 9N 2N 8N 8N8005
  • Drop In Replacement Heavy Duty Copper Brass Radiator for New Holland Ford Tractor
  • Fits 9N 2N 8N Models
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Bestseller No. 3
Speedway Motors 6 Volt Electric Radiator Cooling Fan-12 Inch Dia. Push/Pull-10 Blade
  • Ten blades and sealed ball bearings
  • Includes mounting ears (straps not included)
  • Can pull or push
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