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Difference Between Gas and Electric Patio Heaters


Electric heaters are first off about ½ the cost up front than gas heaters although in the long run will cost more to use in energy cost. So with that said if it’s a heater used often it could be more cost effective to go with gas but only if you use the heaters often.

Electric heaters in most cases are about ½ the size of gas patio heaters and the clearances to combustibles are much closer. In some cases you can install a electric patio heater within 2” .

So for appearance, electric heaters take up a much smaller foot print and look less obtrusive.

We like the INFRATECH brand of electric heaters. Made in California U.S.A., not only is the company very solid and reliable, but they possess a real soft colored element. Most heaters you find out there have very bright red heating elements that can be very annoying, not the Infratech heaters.

We get a lot of customers that want 115 volt electric heaters that plug directly into a standard wall outlet. These heaters work OK but what you need to remember is the 115 volt heater will only put out 1500 watts and about 5000 btu. What this means is it will only heat so much. Like a very small table or a person in a chair. Not a whole bunch of heat…

In most cases we push the 6000 watt, 20.000 btu 220 volt. With this heater you can regulate the heat and be sure the heater will do the job. The one bad thing is you will need to make sure you have plenty of power in you breaker panel to power this patio heater.

We have a wide verity of switches and controllers for most electric heaters out there and we carry a wide verity of electric outdoor patio heaters on our sites in all shapes and sizes, weather proof and portable heaters as well.


Gas patio heaters come in natural gas and LP, propane. The nice thing about gas heaters is we offer them in a large variety of btu and we have them in all shapes and sizes.

Our “go to” gas heaters are the CALCANA AND SUNPAK gas outdoor heaters. The pros and cons of gas heaters are the gas heaters much larger than electric but use less energy and are less expensive to run if you use these heaters on regular bases. Some times it’s much simpler to run gas lines than electricity.  The cons of gas heaters usually come down to the inability for a customer to be able to meet the required clearances to combustibles.  If there is not enough room for providing these clearances, one would likely be better off using electric heaters.  Every brand has a different set of required clearances.  Please refer to that mfg. Or call us if you need assistance in choosing which heater would be right for you.

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Do you have any questions?

I'm Mike,

I have experience dating back to 1995 installing patio heaters in California and would be happy to answer any of your questions. Right now, we're offering free shipping for any orders over $100 and free consultations.

Give me a call on (760) 779-1352 or send me an email.