How Much Electricity Does A Patio Heater Use?

As the colder nights start to draw in you might find yourself getting a little colder whilst spending time on your patio.

An excellent solution for this is an electric patio heater, but when purchasing a patio heater there a quite a few factors to take into account.

How much electricity does a patio heater use? The average patio heater requires 2000 watts or 2 kilowatts (KW) of power, this costs on average $0.49 per hour on full power.

Read on to find out more fascinating facts about electric heaters and what other options are available to you when deciding on the best way for you to heat up your patio.

electric infrared heater on a black background

How Much Does It Cost To Run A 2000 Watt Heater for 24 Hours

Electric patio heaters are one of the most economic and safest ways of heating an outside area, they are also very portable and require very little set up.

To run a 2000 Watt (2KW) heater for 24 hours you would do the sum of cost/hour x 24, so in this case, $0.49 x 24 = $11.76.

Although it might be tempting to use your electric heater for 24 hours, it would be inadvisable as continued uninterrupted use would destroy the heater elements quite quickly.

There are electric heater models that designed to be used indoors, or that can be left on overnight, but it would still be advisable to avoid 24-hour continuous use.

Will a 2kw heater be enough to heat my patio?

When heating a patio there is a number of things to take into account these are the actual temperature of the surroundings, if there is a breeze, time of day, and shelter. 

The 2kw patio heater is generally adequate for heating a patio area on a chilly evening but if you are planning on using a heater in a more adverse condition, you might want to think about another type of patio heater.

Heating patios in the winter will require more energy which usually means more patio heaters.

What others types of patio heaters are available?

When deciding on purchasing a patio heater you will be happy to know that there is a patio heater for every scenario.

There’s often debate between electric and gas patio heaters, but it ultimately comes down to which type is best for your own needs.

If you have a patio that has a power socket then we would suggest trying an electric patio heater, but if you don’t have power accessible there are other options.

Gas patio heater

A gas patio heater uses gas cylinders or cartridges that can be purchased, hired, and refilled at most gas stations.

The gas that is used is either butane or propane and burns at an incredible heat, the flame can often be seen when using this type of heater and can give a nice atmosphere.

Gas patio heaters do produce carbon monoxide and should never be used indoors or in areas that have poor ventilation.

Wood burner/Fire pit

Another option to use when there is no power is a wood burner or fire pit, these are not the most efficient way of heating an area but the fuel cost can be reduced to a minimum when using one of these.

By using deadwood from your local forest or wooded area and burning household rubbish like newspaper and other recyclable material this option is favorable.

Unfortunately, due to the very nature of these, the outer casing can become extremely hot and there will be flames, so a fire pit and wood burner never be left unattended.

Best Way to heat a patio| Whats better gas or electric heaters?

What plug-in heaters are the cheapest to run?

When it comes to electric heaters or space heaters there are 5 choices available for you to decide on, these are;

  1. Oil Filled – this type of heater uses a radiator style casing that is filled with oil. Once plugged in the elements start to warm the oil and eventually start to radiate heat. An oil filled heater costs approximately $0.13/hr.
  1. Fan Heater – developed to push heat out from a warm element, the fan circulates the air around the area that you require heating. A fan heater costs approximately $0.17/hr.
  1. Convector – A convector heater takes in cold air and heats it up and ultimately heats up the air in a room, because of this a convector heater would not be a good idea to try and heat up an outside area. This type of heater costs approximately $0.17/hr.
  1. Halogen – This type of heater is the typical type of heater that you will see on a patio or an outdoor area, especially ones. They produce heat through their halogen lamps and heat the air using short airwaves. A Halogen heater costs approximately $0.10/hr.
  1. Radiant Bar – Quite old technology, the radiant bar heater uses a wire coil that heats up when electricity is passed through it, the bigger the bar the higher the temperature. The bar will glow and produce intense heat. This type of heater costs approximately $0.17/hr.

What’s better gas or electric patio heater?

Both gas and electric heaters have positives and negatives when coming to a decision on what is best for you. Both have their pros and cons and their own safety precautions to take.

A gas heater has the ability to be extremely portable as it doesn’t need to be plugged into a mains supply. They also provide a comforting glow that not only illuminates an area but also gives a nice aesthetic.

But, gas heaters can be quite cumbersome and heavy, they require regular maintenance and produce carbon monoxide and other environmental pollutants.

They also emit a smell and, when used excessively, require regular gas refills that can become quite expensive.

An electric heater is a great option of a heater as they cost very little to run and dont pose any major safety issues. They can be very lightweight and dont require much setting up, it’s literally a flick of a switch.

Electric heaters should never be used in wet conditions, never be left outside, and should always be stored somewhere dry.

Once an electric heater breaks it is generally at this point you should get rid of it and purchase a new one.

Heating element of a infra-red heating unit


In past years an electric heater was regarded as an expensive piece of equipment to use and was often frowned upon.

But with time and better technology, electric heaters are a lot more efficient and are actually a preferred means of heating and are thought of as a safer greener option.