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What are the costs to operate, a Propane (LP), Natural (NG) or Electric Patio Heater?

We get a lot of our customers asking which fuel is the best and most cost efficient to operate a patio heater.

Below we have put together average costs of heating the approximate same size area with compatible BTU’s (measurement of output heat). For these examples, 40,000 BTU’s will be used for heat output.

Please note that this is just a guideline based on averages and costs may vary within your area.

Propane Gas (LP)
Propane is convenient and mobile and can be used in areas without the need of special plumbing.

·    A 40,000 BTU heater will heat up to a 20’ diameter with 314 sqft.

·    Approximate cost of filling Propane cylinder = $20.00

·    Average use of (1) 20 lb, 5 gal cylinder = 10 hours

·    Cost of Propane per hr = $2.00

Propane has a higher cost to operate, but no cost for hooking up gas or service fees.

Natural Gas (NG)

Natural Gas is cost efficient, yet less mobile and requires the desired area to be plumbed for gas. In some cases this may take a contractor or qualified service technician.

·    A 40,000 BTU heater will heat up to a 20’ diameter with 314 sqft.

·    Constant supply, use when desired. No need to fill gas

·    Cost of Propane per hr = $.24

Natural Gas is the lowest cost to operate and burns clean.  Natural Gas is not always available in all areas and has to be plumbed to the desired location.

Electricity

Electric heating is almost as cost efficient to operate as Natural Gas and is available in all areas. Since there is no open flame, minimum distances to combustibles are lessened making it easier to install in confined areas. Electric Heating can also be used indoors as well as outdoors, since there are no carbon monoxide emissions. However, it takes more heating units to equal the effect of Propane or Natural Gas.

x 3

·    (3) 1500 Watt Heaters equal 40,000 BTU’s and will heat approximately 300 sqft.

·    Constant supply, use when desired. No need to fill gas

Cost of Propane per hr = $.36

Electricity is almost as cost efficient as Natural Gas.  Available in all areas. Cost of running conduit to heater location.