Cheap outdoor heaters: Price, energy efficiency and specs compared

Anula Wiwatowska
Jun 13, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read
// Bit cold out

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The Australian urge to be outdoors doesn't stop in winter, but a cheap outdoor heater can make braving the elements more pleasant. While affordable indoor heaters have penetrated the market from Kmart, through to Coles, outdoor options are less common.

In this guide we compare affordable outdoor heating options under $100 to help you figure out which one is best for you

Cheap outdoor heaters compared

Cheap outdoor heaters aren't as available as we'd hope, but you can still pick up a bargain at Bunnings, or through the Big W online market.
Brand
Max. Wattage
IP Rating
Price range
Rating
Retailers
Jumbuck 2000W Black Wall Mount Radiant Patio Heater2000WIP23
From
$49
3 out of 5 stars
3
Jumbuck 2000W Black Matte Radiant Patio Heater2000WIP24
From
$89
2.5 out of 5 stars
2.5
Heller Electric Strip Heater Waterproof IP21 Wall Mountable Indoor Heating 1200W1200WIP21
From
$50.35
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Devanti Electric Patio Heater 2000W2000WIP34
From
$79.95
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
Devanti Electric Strip Heater Radiant Heaters 1500W1500WIP34
From
$57.95
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Devanti Electric Strip Heater Radiant Heaters 1500W2000WIP34
From
$65.95
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Heller Electric Strip Heater Waterproof IP21 Wall Mountable Indoor Heating 1200W1200WIP24
From
$45.60
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Lenoxx 2000W 2.1m Adjustable Portable Outdoor Electric Patio Heater/Floor Black2000WIPx4
From
$96.30
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25

Are gas or electric outdoor heaters cheaper to run?

Despite the ever-rising cost of electricity, electric outdoor heaters are still cheaper to run than gas. Gas heaters typically use canisters of LPG which cost around $31.50 for 8.5kg. Those 8.5kg equal out to around 417 Megajoules per cylinder, which brings the equivelant price to around $0.08 per MJ. For comparison, the average kilowatt per hour cost across Australia last financial year was $0.14.

While on paper that makes LPG gas look cheaper, gas heaters use far more MJ than electric heaters do watts. Your average mushroom heater uses around 37.7MJ/h and costs around $2.85 per hour, while a high powered electric heater uses only 2kw/h and costs closer to $0.28 per hour. 

Cheap Bunnings outdoor heaters

Bunnings' cheap outdoor heating range is entirely electric, and sparse overall. There are only two options, and they are ultimately the same heater except one has a stand and costs $40 more and has slightly better water resistance.

The Jumback heater has three settings, ranging from 650W-2000W. If you're ok to wall-mount it then it will only set you back $49, but if you want the adjustable stand then you'll be looking at $89.

The wall mounted option has an IP rating of 23, meaning it should handle light to moderate rain, while the standing heater has an IP24 rating so it is also splash resistant. According to Bunnings the wall mounted Jumbuck is made of steel, but doesn't specify what stell that is exactly, while the standing one is made of "plastic and metal". Once again, Bunnings doesn't go in to detail. Considering that these two have a matte finish, we can assume they are likely made of the less corrossion-resistant Mild Steel.

Bunnings: Jumbuck 2000W Black Wall Mount Radiant Patio Heater
Jumbuck 2000W Black Wall Mount Radiant Patio Heater
3 out of 5 stars
3
RRP
$49
  • pro
    Power source: 650-2000W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 3
Bunnings: Jumbuck 2000W Black Matte Radiant Patio Heater
Jumbuck 2000W Black Matte Radiant Patio Heater
2.5 out of 5 stars
2.5
RRP
$89
  • pro
    Power source: 650-2000W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 3

Cheap Big W outdoor heaters

Just like Bunnings, Big W's outdoor heater selection is purely electric and mostly just variations on the same heaters. There are six options under $100, two are Devanti Strip Heaters, two are Heller Strip Heaters, and the final two are freestanding electric patio heaters.

The Devanti Strip heaters are mostly the same, except the cheaper option has a lower wattage. This does make it cheaper to run (hence the higher star rating), but it also means it won't cover as large of an area.

Water ingress is the only difference between the Heller strip heaters. The cheaper option has the better IP rating at IP24, while the more expensive one has an IP21 rating. Your choice there should be a no brainer. Both of these are stainless steel as well, so they should hold up quite well to the elements.

For the standing options you can pick between a Devanti or a Lenoxx. Both are, once again, very similar. They have the same heat settings, the same water ingress rating, and are both adjustable up to 2.1m. The only difference is that the Lenoxx has a zero dust rating, where the Devanti sits at 3 on the scale.

Heller Electric Strip Heater Waterproof IP21
Heller Electric Strip Heater Waterproof IP21 Wall Mountable Indoor Heating 1200W
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
RRP
$50.35
  • pro
    Power source: 600-1200W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 2
Devanti Electric Patio Heater 2000W
Devanti Electric Patio Heater 2000W
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
RRP
$79.95
  • pro
    Power source: 650-2000W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 3
Devanti Electric Strip Heater Radiant Heaters 1500W
Devanti Electric Strip Heater Radiant Heaters 1500W
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
RRP
$57.95
  • pro
    Power source: 500-1500W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 3
Heller HSH1200 Wall Mount Strip Heater 1200W
Heller Electric Strip Heater Waterproof IP21 Wall Mountable Indoor Heating 1200W
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
RRP
$45.60
  • pro
    Power source: 600-1200W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 2
Lenoxx 2000W 2.1m Adjustable Portable Outdoor Electric Patio Heater
Lenoxx 2000W 2.1m Adjustable Portable Outdoor Electric Patio Heater/Floor Black
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
RRP
$96.30
  • pro
    Power source: 650-2000W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 3
Devanti Electric Strip Heater Radiant Heaters 2000W
Devanti Electric Strip Heater Radiant Heaters 1500W
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
RRP
$65.95
  • pro
    Power source: 650-2000W
  • pro
    Heat settings: 3

IP ratings explained

Ingress Protection, or IP ratings grade how resistant a device is to liquids and dust. For outdoor devices such as heaters, these ratings are particularly important since they can help to determine not only where you can safely position these devices, but also how durable they are. 

IP ratings are made up of the IP prefix, and two numbers. The first number rated from 0-6, demonstrates how resistant the device is to small solid debris like dust. A score of 0 means there is no protection at all, while a score of 6 indicates there is no ingress of dust at all. The second number, scored from 0-9, rates the protection from liquids. At the top end, the device can withstand high-pressure, hot water from different angles, while at its lowest it has no protection at all.

For outdoor heaters you'll want to look for something with high scores across both dust and water ingress if you're looking to put the device in an exposed space. If it is under cover then lower numbers will suffice.

Of course you'll also need to consider the type of heater, and its build in durability. We cover that more in our outdoor heaters guide, but the TLDR is that stainless steel will corrode slower when exposed to the elements. Mild Steel has been making an appearance more and more in heaters (particularly those with matte black finishes), so be warey that it may have a shorter shelf life.

IP ratings

IP Ratings: 1st number - solid foreign objects

0 - No protection
1 - Protected against foreign objects 50mm and larger
2 - Protected against foreign objects 12.5mm and larger
3 - Protected against foreign objects 2.5mm and larger
4 - Protected against foreign objects 1mm and larger
5 - Dust protected
6 - Dust tight

IP Ratings: 2nd number - water

0 - No protection
1 - Vertical falling drops have no harmful effects
2 - Protected against vertically falling drops when device is tilted up to 15 degrees
3 - Protected against water spray at angles up to 60 degrees
4 - Protected against water splashed on the device
5 - Protected against water jets
6 - Protected against powerful water jets
7 - Temporary immersion in water will not cause harmful effects
8 - Protected against prolonged immersion in water
9 - Hot water projection at high pressure has no harmful effects

Does Kmart sell outdoor heaters?

Kmart does not stock any outdoor heaters, and none of the big box retailer's indoor heaters are safe to use outside either.

Does Aldi have outdoor heaters this year?

Despite a handful of winter Special Buys going on sale, Aldi's outdoor heating options are limited. Out of the nine heaters the retailer has announced since May, only one is suitable for outdoor use.

The Digital Alfresco Strip heater is an electric strip heater, rated for use in covered areas outside. With a maximum of 1800W, and a $229 price tag, your dollar won't bring the heat with this device. That being said, it does have degree-level temperature control, and a remote control, so if it is within your budget (and you can still find it) then it is worth taking a look at.

Here are how all of Aldi's 2024 heaters compare:

Heater
Wattage
Heat settings
Remote control
Price
De'Longhi Ceramic Capsule Heater1800W2No
$64.99
De'Longhi Ceramic Tower Heater1500WDegree-level controlYes
$139
Compact Fan Heater2000W2No
$39.99
De’Longhi Panel Heater2000W3No
$149
Digital Alfresco Strip Heater1800WDegree-level temperature controlYes
$229
De'Longhi Vento Oil Column Heater2000W3No
$149
Ceramic Tower Heater2000WDegree-level temperature controlYes
$69.99
Convection Heater with Remote2300WDegree-level temperature controlYes
$59.99
Flame Effect HeaterUnknown2No
$59.99
Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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