Anyone ever used a patio heater as a car defroster?

Found 26th Dec 2014
For the past 10 years I have had a couple of tube heaters attached to a metal sheet which I put in the wifes car overnight when its going to freeze. The heat output is sufficient to keep the frost at bay and when she gets up for work at stupid o clock she can get straight in and drive. It works brilliantly. Recently some oik helped himself to my setup (My own fault - left it on the porch).

Just in the process of looking for heaters to build a replacement, and I had the idea of putting an electric patio heater (wall mounted) on a timer set to come on 30 mins - an hour before she leaves. Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of this being done? Likely to work?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

39 Comments

Burnt out shell - no insurance.

Dumb and Dummer 3

Original Poster

Haha. I wasnt thinking of putting it 2ft away! There is no way it would damage the car - I was thinking of mounting it kinda floodlight height above the front window. The reach on these things is only about 5m. I was more concerned if there would be enough energy to actually melt the ice....

(If you need convincing, on a hot day the energy from the sun can be around 1kw/m2 - very loose figure - many many factors. These lamps are 2kw output, and I am expecting one to cover the entire car - around 6m2 min, meaning the max potential energy hit would be about 0.3kw / m2. Its not going to catch fire...)

Original Poster

Absolutely (thats what i use on my car next to it, but i get up at a more normal hour). However she works shifts and a) has no desire to spend 10 mins scraping in the freezing cold at 3am, and b) no desire to wake the rest of the street scraping and running the engine.

The tube heaters worked very well, and have done for 10 years. Bearing in mind they are very cheap to run, they probably cost less tham most people spend on deicer. I just thought this might be a more elegant solution.

Why not simply invest in a sheet of cardboard. stick it under the wipers the night before and remove it in the morning.

Original Poster

fonzie2107

Why not simply invest in a sheet of cardboard. stick it under the wipers … Why not simply invest in a sheet of cardboard. stick it under the wipers the night before and remove it in the morning.


Because her car is posh and has windows at the sides and rear too...

what about one of the covers that cover the whole car so she would just need to remove it and jump in.

Can't you just make tube heaters mk 2 if you know they work

Please post photos of the finished item and the burnt out shell once youve done it

Original Poster

Tube heaters mk 2 is on the cards. Just wondered if the patio heater idea would work as I could hook it up to a lightwave rf switch - meaning she could set the on she as she set her alarm. (Her leaving time changes every day - works in the airlines so depends what flight...).

Having the heater on the wall would negate the need to put the tube unit in the car too, so has the added plus of not having to close the door on the mains wire which is probably the most dangerous element of either setup.

Think i might buy one and try it one morning when the cars are frozen - when i can monitor etc....

Just tell her to pour warm water on the thing. And before you say 'oh no, she'll crack her windscreen', she won't. I've been doing it for 20 years and the whole street have copied me too. Not a cracked screen between us.

Original Poster

Again, no problems with warm water personally. The point here is she just wants to walk out of the door, get in the car and drive. Enough deicing if the plane to do once she gets to work...

If the patio heater is on the wall then surely it will only defrost the one side of the car

Because ice scrapers and de-icer are too mainstream?

If her car is posh all of her windows should be heated, i can walk out my door switch my range rover on flick a switch and in 20 seconds windows are clear and ready to go, I certainly wouldnt be messing around putting things that could cause a fire near your posh car

Original Poster

Car is on the drive head on so going the heat will be enough to do at least the font and sides. Although technically that was my original question - had anyone tried it & does it work. Happy to be the first to lead the revolution.... :-)

Original Poster

Ok bigben. Not /that/ posh. :-)

When your wife is having her morning poo, why don't you get your lazy self out of bed and de-ice the windows?

Original Poster

I appreciate the sentiment transit. Alas I also run my own company, look after our 2 kids / school run etc. No real desire to leap out of bed at 4am to scrape. a windscreen. I'm a strict 7am - 11pm chap. Although i do insist on spending the last hour sat down. Cheers for the lazy comment though. Must try harder :-)

Hire a little mexican guy called dave to come de-ice your car in a morning all ready for when she needs to leave.

Just get a cheap electric fan heater, stick it on one of the seats and run an extension lead into your house from it. tell your wife to turn it on 20 mins or so before she has to leave, then she will have a defrosted car ready and waiting, and as an additional side effect the car will be nice and warm too.

Original Poster

Like the Mexican idea. Trialled the fan heater - way too dangerous imo. Concentrated heat and high wattage inside the Car. Very effective, but see the first comments... :-)

If you are that " posh " why not just buy a house with a garage ?

Original Poster

Wtf? Who ever parks a car in a garage? Garages are for stuff. Man stuff. And for building crazy projects. Like car heaters. You don't have a garage do you...?

The fan heater might be a bit dangerous if left on all night, I just run an extension to it the night before but only actually power it up 20 mins or so before I leave the house.

pebrey

Wtf? Who ever parks a car in a garage? Garages are for stuff. Man stuff. … Wtf? Who ever parks a car in a garage? Garages are for stuff. Man stuff. And for building crazy projects. Like car heaters. You don't have a garage do you...?



I do, but I use it for " man stuff " like you, but then my other half doesn't start work at ridiculous, middle of the night starting times.(_;)

Original Poster

Haha. Yeah. Her work could definitely be classed as inconvenient....

If the car is a diesel you could fit a 'nightheater' as fitted to trucks. It will keep the inside of the car nice and toasty all night long. They are not cheap but you should be able to get a good one second hand. They are also fitted to some vans as an extra or they used to be.

A car port or a divorce would be my preferred options.(_;)

Banned

Comment

pebrey

I appreciate the sentiment transit. Alas I also run my own company, look … I appreciate the sentiment transit. Alas I also run my own company, look after our 2 kids / school run etc. No real desire to leap out of bed at 4am to scrape. a windscreen. I'm a strict 7am - 11pm chap. Although i do insist on spending the last hour sat down. Cheers for the lazy comment though. Must try harder :-)



Lol

You would make a nice addition to the Misc crowd.

Inactive

A car port or a divorce would be my preferred options.(_;)



I agree, carport. I have a garage which is filled with gods knows what, but carport works perfectly for car...

Original Poster

The greenhouse heater was exactly what i had - again worked perfectly until some oik helped himself to it....

How about heated blanket inside car ?

Original Poster

I like the heated blanket idea, especially as i could leave it in as a pseudo heated seat. alas I dont think it would give off enough heat - they seems to be rated at ~60w for a single up to ~120w for a king. The tubular heaters were 120w x 2 and just coped on a really cold day.

I have hired an ir heater today to test the theory. Have to say i am.not hopefull - turned it.on for a trial.run and anything past 1m away.I can feel no heat, even though its supposed to be good for up to 9m2. Ill try it on the frost in the morning and post pics of my burnt out wreck...

Original Poster

Ok. trialled it tonight with a 1.3kw heater hired from Eros hire. Placed it approx 1ft from the front of the car, pointing at the windscreen. Only a thin layer of ice as I started at 6.

Just over an hour later I stood the fire brigade down as the windscreen was still covered in the same thin layer of ice.

So there you go. Answered my own question.... (also ordered New tube heaters tonight :-) ).

Any inventors about, sounds like a dragons den idea.

buy her an oyster card...problem solved

Original Poster

fweddy

buy her an oyster card...problem solved


You deal in hot Oyster cards? :-)
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