Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Sitting on the patio in the evening with family or friends and enjoying the waning day is a luxury that can quickly lead to cold feet in spring and autumn. The solution for this?

A gas heater that also provides warmth on such evenings, so that you can enjoy the space on your own terrace or balcony a little longer. But which gas radiant heater suits my outdoor area? It is difficult to find the right choice between gas mushroom heaters, heating columns, heating pyramids and mobile radiant heaters. Our product comparison therefore looks at various models and the evaluation criteria mentioned below will certainly help you to find the right gas radiant heater for you.




Summary

  • Gas heaters provide heat outdoors by burning propane or butane gas. This gas is usually supplied in commercially available 11 kg cylinders.
  • There are different types of gas radiant heaters, from small, mobile radiant heaters to mushroom heaters over 2 metres in size. This means that there is something to suit every terrace and balcony.
  • Gas radiant heaters are unsuitable for use indoors due to the emission of carbon monoxide. Using a radiant heater in poorly ventilated rooms can be fatal!

The Best Gas Heater: Our Choices

To make your purchase decision easier, we have put together our favourites for you.

Buying and evaluation criteria for gas heaters

In the following, we have compiled the six most important evaluation criteria for gas radiant heaters. With these, you can objectively compare the different models and find the perfect model for you and your needs.

Of course, a mere list won't really get you anywhere. You can find out exactly what the evaluation criteria are in the next section.

Type

There are many different types of gas heaters. Typical for the catering industry, for example, are mushroom heaters that emit their heat in the head of their metal body and noticeably heat the air for 8 to 10 people, especially around the upper part of the body. However, as they are often over 2 metres high, they need a lot of space at the top and suitable storage space. Heating columns, on the other hand, heat the air specifically for smaller groups at seat height and are more space-saving due to their low height.

Thus, when not in use, they can be quickly and easily stowed away in any shed. A compromise are pyramid heaters, which distribute their heat over a wide area but do not quite reach the maximum height of a mushroom heater. Their pyramid shape makes the heating pyramid particularly stable, so they are also suitable for windy conditions. The flame inside also makes the pyramids a (B) hit visually.

Mobile radiant heaters are small and compact. They are often mounted directly on the gas cylinder, and only emit their heat through a small, rectangular surface. In some cases, however, this is quite sufficient.

Type of gas

Most gas heaters burn propane, some models can also burn butane. These gases are usually supplied via 11 kg cylinders, 5 kg cylinders or gas cartridges are required less frequently. If you already operate something with gas, for example a gas barbecue, it is practical if the same gas cylinders also fit your gas heater. You should also think about transporting new cylinders later.

Heat output

The higher the value for the maximum heat output or heating power, the more heat the gas radiant heater can generate. However, this also increases the gas consumption.

Heat regulation

If you sit close to a radiant heater due to lack of space, the heat can become uncomfortable. Some models therefore offer a gradual or flowing regulation of the heat. If you want to save gas, for example, for the sake of the environment, you should not do without heat regulation.

Dimensions

Even within the different types, the dimensions of gas radiant heaters differ greatly. If there is little space available or if you want to use the gas radiant heater under a canopy, you should therefore measure the available space beforehand. For the summer, there should also be enough storage space to be able to store the gas radiant heater safely and protected from the weather when it is not in use.

Weight

Depending on how mobile the gas radiant heater is to be, the weight plays an important role. Mobile radiant heaters usually weigh up to 10 kg, pyramid radiant heaters can weigh up to 30 kg.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about gas radiant heaters answered in detail

Here we have answered the most important questions about gas radiant heaters.

How does a gas radiant heater work?

Gas heaters generate heat by burning propane or butane gas. New models usually have a piezo ignition for lighting, where an electric shock is generated at the push of a button and the resulting spark lights the fire. In models without piezo ignition, the gas must be lit by hand, for example with a match.

Who is a gas radiant heater suitable for?

Gas radiant heaters are suitable for anyone who likes to sit outside in the warm without having to wrap up. Once you have purchased a gas radiant heater, you only need to refill the gas bottle or buy a new one from time to time, so maintenance should not hit your wallet if you use it normally.

What does a gas radiant heater cost?

The price of radiant heaters depends on the type. Mobile radiant heaters cost the least, while pyramid heaters are the most expensive, but also provide the most even heat. The table below gives an overview of the products you can expect in the different price ranges.

Price class Available products
Low-priced (25-80 £) Mostly mobile radiant heaters with few functions, rarely larger radiant heaters, then often with few accessories
Medium-priced (80 - 200 £) Mostly mushroom heaters and heating columns with good performance and safety features
High-priced (from £ 200) Powerful heating pyramids with chic design, wind- and weather-resistant

Already in the medium-price range, you can buy gas radiant heaters in column or mushroom form with good and far-reaching heat output, which are usually sufficient for normal use. For pyramid heaters, you have to pay more.

Can I use a gas radiant heater in well-ventilated indoor areas?

Due to the emission of carbon monoxide, which is toxic to humans, gas heaters are not suitable for indoor use, even if they are well ventilated. The toxic, tasteless and odourless gas can collect in rooms and quickly become life-threatening. In the open air, on the other hand, the gas can escape. Gas heaters should therefore only be used outdoors!

What regulations apply to the use of gas radiant heaters?

The commercial operation of gas radiant heaters is not permitted everywhere; regulations can vary from state to state and municipality to municipality. If you want to use a gas radiant heater for your business, you should therefore research the regulations that apply locally.

Privately, the use of gas radiant heaters outdoors is permitted, but your gas radiant heater must have a gas tip-over protection valve if it is likely to tip over, no matter how small the chances are. The valve prevents the gas from escaping if the cylinder tips over.

If your gas heater does not have this valve, you can easily retrofit it. You also need a pressure reducer and a gas hose. All these safety devices must be replaced no later than 10 years after manufacture.

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Propane cylinders are available in several sizes; 11 kg cylinders fit most gas heaters. When storing them, make sure the place is well ventilated. (Image source: flyerwerk/ Pixabay)

Propane or butane cylinders should be protected from heat and stored in well-ventilated places, preferably outdoors or in a shed. According to the Liquid Gas Ordinance 2002, storing gas cylinders in basements, garages, in or near escape routes and in workrooms is prohibited.

Conclusion

Whether in the beer garden or in your own garden, gas radiant heaters ensure warm summer temperatures in the evening, even in spring or autumn, and enable us to sit outside a little longer. For many people, it is therefore impossible to imagine their own terrace without them.

Thanks to the different types, sizes and prices, there is something for almost every budget, every terrace and every balcony, and your own outdoor area can still be the focal point for relaxed or exuberant evenings in autumn.

(Cover photo: Brisbane Local Marketing/ Unsplash)

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