Determine your patio heater coverage area

Understanding your patio heater coverage area

Patio heaters are designed and engineered to support specific coverage area, which is the area that sees changes in temperature when the heaters is in operation. Even the slightest temperature change measured at the ground level is considered when estimating the total coverage area.


What impacts a coverage area?

Several factors can affect the coverage area of the heaters. Certain types of materials and grills distort the radiant waves.

Certain types of surrounding material also absorb and provide convective heat differently. Essentially, this convective energy can be used to heat the surrounding space.

Considerations for coverage area comfort

At Schwank, we look at an array of factors when designing a heater layout for a space:

  • Wind
  • Wind blocks around the space
  • Energy consumption
  • Operating costs
  • Installation costs


How Schwank calculates the average coverage area of our patio heaters

Schwank documentation outlines coverage area based on test data using 63°F as a temperature range

The test data summarized that using a 63°F temperature boundary surrounding the heater determines the area where the heater delivers the most useful heat but also sets standard criteria for comparing different heaters.



In Figure 1, the Effective Coverage Area of a supremeSchwank 2313 model is ~8ft x 8ft. However, if we include all areas affected by temperature, our coverage area would extend to ~12ft x 12ft.

In Figure 2, the unit is tested at a 30-degree angle. Again, the Effective Coverage Area may yield ~7ft (from the unit). However, the actual coverage area would extend to ~12ft.


Schwank patio heater effective coverage area and total coverage areas

When designing to create ideal comfort levels, Schwank Patio Heaters come in different sizes – each with a different heat map that could suit the requirements of the space. Schwank heaters can be mounted at either 0° or 30°. Refer to the visual below for the Effective vs. Total Coverage Area difference.


bistroSchwank Models: 2135 & 2150

With flexible mounting options, the bistroSchwank comes in single and 2-stage models. It’s made with 316 marine-grade stainless steel to resist corrosion and comes in two finish options: stainless steel or black.

Heater coverage diagrams are based on a 10′ mounting height for all heaters.

TCA: Total Coverage Area


supremeSchwank Models: 2312, 2313 & 2352

This single and 2-stage model in black finish and insulated cabinet, allows low clearances to mount closer to structures, and is made with 316 marine-grade stainless steel for premium performance and longevity in harsh environments and coastal regions.

Heater coverage diagrams are based on 10′ mounting height for all heaters.

TCA: Total Coverage Area


Download a PDF version



Watch this explainer video on the benefits of using infrared heat.

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