Spending time outside with your family and friends has always been a warm weather seasonal event. Once the chilly air starts to arrive, parties are taken indoors. There’s no longer a need to end the party just because the temperature drops a little. All you need is a patio heater. These types of heaters have been around for years, used by bars, restaurants, and workplaces. They help keep outdoor spaces a little more comfortable even if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate.
Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for a Patio Heater
Patio heaters will only cover a certain amount of space. Their specifications are given in square feet of coverage and their BTUs. You will need to know how big of an area you want to warm and how many degrees to raise the temperature. The size of the heater you need will depend on these specifications.
Have reasonable expectations; you are not trying to warm the world. Patio heaters are meant to take the chill out of cool weather, not turn it into a day at the beach. Being that hot air rises, you are going to lose some heat into the atmosphere. If you place your patio heater safely underneath an umbrella or some other overhang, it will help retain the heat.
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Types of Fuel the Heaters Use
Propane heaters are the most common and easy to find. You don’t usually have to have them professionally installed. You buy them, put them together if need be, attach the gas tank, and turn it on.
Natural gas outdoor heaters are usually the cheapest to use but require professional installation. They get hooked up to your home’s gas line if you have one. They end up costing a lot more upfront than the other types of outdoor heaters.
Electric outdoor heaters are a very convenient option. Electric outdoor heaters don’t require any type of installation and merely need to be plugged in unless you get a wall-mounted model. The biggest disadvantage is, needing to keep your electric heater close to an electrical outlet. These also tend to be the most expensive to use and are much slower to warm up.
Types of Patio Heaters
Standing Patio Heater
Standing heaters are seven to eight foot tall typically. Often portable, with a fuel tank located at the bottom. Great for an outdoor get-together, these heaters can provide warmth in a 15 to 20-foot diameter. There are many models that will fall under the $100 benchmark.
Mounted Patio Heater
Just as the name says, these are mounted to the wall and are not portable. They are permanent fixtures on a patio, deck, or wall. Usually, these are electric, which means no odors, chemicals or fumes. Wall-mounted units are for smaller spaces when there isn’t enough room for a tabletop or freestanding model. There might be more of an initial cost associated with these if they have to be hooked into your current electrical system.
Hanging Patio Heater
Very similar to the mounted patio heater, hanging heaters are hung from the ceiling of a patio or deck. They are used in small spaces and don’t take up any room on the walls, floors, or table tops. These are usually run on electricity and are usually permanent, but not always, installed. If the cord that comes with it is not long enough to reach an outlet, make sure you use a heavy duty extension cord, rated for that kind of power usage.
Table Top Patio Heater
Tabletop heaters are perfect for small parties or dinners. They are extremely portable. These have a small propane tank that attaches to them for a power source. Typically lasting only a couple of hours before needing to be refilled.
Everybody loves to be outdoors at one time or another. Don’t let the threat of a chill in the air stop you from enjoying the sunset or seeing the stars. Patio heaters are an investment, and you should do some homework before purchasing one to make sure it will do what you need it to do. It is always a good idea to keep pets and children away from patio heaters, looking for those that have anti-tilt technology will also go a long way in having peace of mind as well as warmth.