28 January 2016

Why outdoor gas heating costs more to run than outdoor electric heating

Evening drinks on the patio. Barbecues in the back yard — alfresco living is integral to Kiwi life. And there is no reason for cooler temperatures to spoil our fun — Kelray electric infrared heaters will keep everyone warm.

Outdoors heaters are generally fuelled by gas or electricity. So, which is best? Well, there are several differences between the two. In this post, though, we address the issue of cost.

Electricity is cheaper

You may be surprised to learn that an outdoor gas heater can cost as much as $3.50 – $5 per hour to operate. This is around four times the cost of running an electric outdoor heater. Why? Well, it all boils down to how each operates. The truth is that outdoor gas heating isn’t as efficient or precise.

Outdoor gas heaters

Outdoor gas heating works by way of convection. So, outside air is heated when it comes into contact with a hot surface. The warm air is then circulated into the space to be heated. It’s quite “scatter-gun”, and warm air is directed towards areas you might not necessarily want to heat. Also, much of the warm air can get blown away by wind.

Outdoor electric radiant heaters

As already said, electric radiant heaters are more efficient and precise. They work a little like the sun. If you remember your science, you’ll know the sun doesn’t heat the air. Instead, it heats the earth which then heats the air. So, like the sun, infrared heat from electric radiant heaters passes through and is absorbed by people and objects, which then radiates outwards warming those nearby. Unlike an outdoor gas heater’s scatter-gun approach, electric radiant heaters are more laser-like — heat is directed towards an exact location. So, because you’re not trying to heat the whole outside area, just the area required, you save money.

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