Buying a Patio Heater With Confidence

Outdoor Patio Heaters can be found on offer at numerous E-commerce stores as well as major brick and mortar stores. The question then becomes where to buy from and more importantly which brand is going to give the best bang for the buck. Another very important consideration is the fuel source that you have available to you at your location.

Price isn’t everything – Test their Outdoor Heater Knowledge

Where to buy from – it is so important to be sure of all of the needs above are dealt with that you should ask questions and run as fast as you can if you are not given specific answers that you can verify. On-line stores generally offer best pricing, but I recommend that you call and speak with their customer service as you do need to ask the questions. If they do not appear to be knowledgeable about the product call another company.

Which Outdoor Patio Heater is Right

Look for outdoor electric and gas heaters that operate on the principal of generating the heat via infra-red rays. The benefit of this that the heat generated does not heat the air but heats the object. The object being, the human body, concrete/tile floor etc. One should also be aware that although gas heaters are sold as infra-red heaters, for them to operate in this manner, they need to be run on their high heat setting.

Which is the correct heater for your needs – outside heaters are available in versions running off liquid propane, natural gas and electricity. From a cost of running perspective, natural gas is generally the most cost effective followed by the other two forms at about an equal cost? For the casual user the cost of running will not be a significant issue due to the generally low hours that the heater is used for on a daily basis. For commercial installations this can very quickly become an issue. Both electric and gas heaters come in formats that are free standing or wall mounted. Where possible a wall mounted heater is the preferred choice due to the fact that you then free up floor space and avoid loose wires or gas feeds to trip on.

Outdoor Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are available predominantly in 120V or 240V format. The power rating of the heater is limited by the voltage. You therefore will not see 120V heaters running at more than 1500W which is equivalent to most ladies hair dryers. These 120V heaters are mostly used where you have one or two chairs closely situated and you would place the heater next to the chair or between them and receive very localized heat. In moving up to 240v electric supply your power options increase substantially with the 6000W heater generally being about the most powerful unit that you will find. At this point it becomes very important that you select the correct heater based on your criteria. You need to look at the height at which you will be able to install the heater, how large an area you want to heat and what your prevailing temperature will be at the time that you want to use the heater. With outdoor electric heaters matching the heater to the installation height is critical. By not being aware of this criterion you will invariably find that you have less heat than what you expected or needed or if the heater is too powerful for the installation height, you will constantly be uncomfortable with a feeling of being overheated or worse yet cooked. It is best practice to install a heater that is slightly more powerful than what you estimated your need to be and then be sure to use a controller that allows you to control the heat output as needed.

Gas Patio Heaters

Gas heaters – come in free standing versions and wall mount and as mentioned, use propane or natural gas as the fuel, otherwise know as, outdoor gas heaters. Free standing heaters have an average output ranging between thirty to fifty thousand BTU. The available brands and models range in price from $199 to $1500. As is the case in most instances in life, you get what you pay for. The low cost versions generally burn at a lower heat than advertised, don’t have parts availability and will need replacing far sooner than the better quality units. Wall mount gas heaters are available in versions that use a low voltage electrical current to ignite the heater from a switch on the wall or via a remote.

Whatever your choice or installation, it is always recommended to purchase from a company that is knowledgeable about their product.

Know About Electric Space Heaters and Their Benefits

Space heating is the best way to get adequate and cost efficient heating. Unlike central heating, it provides heat only for the limited space, conserving the electricity and thus reducing the electricity bill. Space heaters are best suitable for homes or offices with few rooms, in which limited number of people are present.

Many types of space heaters are available in the market today. Based on the type of power source used, they are commonly divided into three types. They are electric heaters, gas heaters and kerosene heaters. Of the three types, electric heaters are most preferred and are considered as most efficient as they have many benefits over the other two types. Here, we will discuss about the types of electric heaters and their benefits. We have also provided some tips on how to handle electric heaters efficiently.

How do they work
Electric heaters (in fact all space heaters) are broadly divided into two types based on the way they transfer the heat. They are Radiative heaters and convective heaters. Here, we will discuss only about the electric space heaters.

Radiative space heaters
They are the most efficient and are famous for their direct heating method. On switching on the radiant heaters, they emit radiations and heat the objects directly without heating the surrounding air. They are instant heat generators. Infrared heaters are popular among them. Quartz bulbs, halogen lamps and metal coils are commonly used as heat generating elements in these heaters. The heat generated by these elements is focused in a particular direction through reflectors.

Convective space heaters
Convectional type of heating involves heating the space by gradually heating the air in the room. This heated air when circulated in the room, results in increase of temperature. These heaters do not provide instant heating, as heating the air needs time. There are different types of convectional heaters like fan forced heater, ceramic heaters, oil filled heaters etc.

Compared to convectional space heater, radiant heaters are more energy efficient as they directly heat the objects, instead of heating the air.

Benefits
Electric ones are very efficient and effective. They provide ample heating in the space, within the minimum usage of equipment. Due to the concentrated heating, not much heat is wasted. Unlike the gas or kerosene based traditional heaters, they don’t carry risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Electrical heaters are environmental friendly as they do not use Propane, Butane, LPG gas or Kerosene. Electric space heaters are very simple to use. They are easy to maintain and most importantly are clean, as they don’t involve burning of any coal or wood. They are portable and are easy to install and operate.

How to use them effectively
Space heaters by themselves are very effective. Right usage of these heaters further enhances their productivity. A fan forced electric space heater with a blower can also improve heat transfer. While purchasing an electric heater, see that you select the one which has got two or three heat regulating options, as this will enable you to adjust the heat to the required temperature easily. Having a thermostat to your electric heater will not only make you adjust the temperature of the room, but also prevents from overheating of the room.

Safety tips
Though electric space heaters are many times safer than the traditional heaters, they have to be handled properly. Improper electric connections, overheating or corrosion may lead to major accidents. Therefore, in order to avoid these incidents, follow the few safety tips given below.

  • In case of using an extension cord, use a heavy duty cord made up of 14 gauge wire or larger.
  • It is advised to buy a portable space heater with a tip-over safety switch, which shuts off the heater automatically, if the unit gets tipped over.
  • The electric heaters have a high risk of fire outbreak. Hence, space heaters with low surface temperatures or the heaters provided with thermal cut out switches should be used.
  • It is better not to operate a defective heater and get it repaired immediately on finding the missing controls.
  • Place the electric heaters away from the moist areas, such as bathrooms, which may lead to shocking hazards due to corrosion of heater.
  • Keep them on a stable surface.
  • Regardless of all the above safety measures, it is compulsory that you install a smoke detector to prevent huge destruction.

Electric space heaters are the best heating options when used properly. They are energy efficient and economical. Considering all their features, electric space heaters stand as a good choice of heat sources.

Aquarium Heaters – Making the Best Choice For Your Fish

Unless you plan to keep only cold water fish, you’ll need to choose an aquarium heater. Fish cannot provide their own body heat. This is often thought of as being “cold blooded,” but this is a misnomer. The temperature of these animals is directly related to the temperature of their environment. The ambient room temperature generally will not provide enough warmth for your fish, so you will need to invest in a proper heater. Maintaining a proper water temperature is an essential step in keeping your fish healthy. Most fish will need to be kept in water that is between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aquarium heaters are available in different types based on how and where they supply the heat. Most heaters have a control which allows you to adjust the heat to the proper temperature and most contain a thermostat which keeps the temperature at an even level. Here is a quick look at your different options.

Submersible and Immersible Heaters

As the name implies, submersible heaters are made to be fully submerged in water. Immersible heaters are mostly submerged, however, the controls must remain above the waterline. Immersible heaters frequently hang from the back or side of the tank. Both submersible and immersible aquarium heaters are effective and relatively inexpensive. Because they are inexpensive, it is easy to keep an extra heater of this type on hand as a back-up in case your primary heater fails. Because at least part of the heater may show in the tank, these can be difficult to camouflage; generally submersible heaters are easier to camouflage than immersible heaters. These heaters may be made from glass, plastic, aluminum or titanium alloy. Some models can create “hot spots,” but in a tank where the water circulates well, this is generally not a problem.

Substrate Heaters

These types of aquarium heaters heat the water from the bottom up. These heaters are installed below the rock, gravel, sand, or other substrate material used in your aquarium. They provide heat that is more uniform than submersible or immersible heaters. Typically they are completely hidden by the substrate material, making them a very attractive choice. If you have an aquarium with live plants, this heater is a good choice as it promotes plant growth. These heaters are also the most popular style in Europe.

The drawback of this type of heater is that it is installed under the substrate. While it is easy to install such a heater when you are initially setting up your tank, if your tank is already established, it will have to be taken down to install or repair such a heater.

Filter Heaters

Filter heaters are one of the newest kinds of heaters available. These heaters consist of heating blocks that are placed inside the filter. This heats the water during the filtration process, providing even heating. These types of heaters are camouflaged inside the filter itself. These types of filters can be expensive and are not as common.

What? Watt!

Once you’ve chosen your heater style, you’ll need to know what wattage will be required to keep your aquarium at the right temperature. Generally, you should multiply the gallons of water your tank will hold by 5 to get the number of watts to purchase. For example, a 20 gallon tank would require a 100 watt heater. If your aquarium is large, you may wish to use more than one heater to provide the necessary wattage. For example, a 50 gallon tank requires 250 watts of heating power. Two 125 watt immersible heaters, one at either end of the tank, would provide the right amount of heating. The other advantage of using more than one heater is that in the event of a heater failure, the temperature in the tank will not plummet as quickly, giving you a little extra time to get another heater installed; when you have a considerable financial investment in fish and animals, this can be important.

Keeping an Eye on the Temperature

An essential part of the heater purchase is a separate thermometer. This will allow you to double-check your water temperature and make any necessary corrections, and to spot a heater thermostat that may be beginning to malfunction. Fluctuations in temperature can cause stress to your fish, undermining their health. Thermometers are available in several styles, from glass thermometers that float in the tank, to digital models that sit outside the tank.

Handling a Heater When Its Hot

If your heater has been on, turn it off and unplug it for a minimum of 15 minutes before you remove it from the aquarium. Otherwise the heater can crack from the change in temperature, or overheat. Even if you will not be removing the aquarium heater, it is a good idea to unplug the heater when you are working in the aquarium, changing the water, for example. Aquarium heaters are electrical appliances and electricity and water DO NOT MIX. Always use proper safety precautions. Make sure that the heater is properly submerged in water when it is in use, whether it is a style designed for complete submersion or only partial immersion; this means keeping an eye on your water level and replenishing the water in the tank as needed.