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Patio Heater Buying Guide

Patio Heater Buying Guide

Patio Heaters are perfect for keeping your friends and family warm when the sun sets. They make it possible to enjoy your outdoor space year-round and help ensure the comfort of you and your guests! Choosing the right type of patio heater for your outdoor space will ensure you achieve your maximum warming potential. There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for a patio heater, and we're here to help! From explaining the benefits and advantages of each style to providing free design services, we're here to simplify patio heater shopping. Don't forget to check out our Best of the Best: Patio Heaters to see the best patio heaters on the market!

What Fuel Type Should I Use?

Patio heaters are available in three different fuel types, Propane, Natural Gas and Electric. Each fuel type has its own advantages.

  • Natural Gas Patio Heaters: are a more permanent option and produce the greatest usable output.
    Benefits: They do not require refilling and are cleaner to run than propane.
    Considerations: Make sure you consider the cost to install the heaters if your space is not already plumbed.

  • Propane Patio Heaters: are your most portable option and generally do not need require installation.
    Benefits: Since installation is typically not required, propane patio heaters are the most portable. Propane patio heaters work especially well in cold climates.
    Considerations: Generally, propane is the most costly fuel type and will require refilling of the tank. A full 20 pound cylinder will last for approximately 10 hours of heating time.

  • Electric Patio Heaters: are generally the easiest to install and capable to operate without air flow.
    Benefits: They are cheaper to operate than a propane unit and are less susceptible to wind.
    Considerations: Electric heaters usually have lower BTUs than gas heaters so they're known to produce gentler heat.

Patio Heater Styles

There are four main styles of patio heaters. Wall or Ceiling Mount, Freestanding, Hanging, and Tabletop Heaters.

  • Wall/Ceiling Mount Patio Heaters: are hard mounted to the wall or ceiling.
    Benefits: Their wall or ceiling mount install allows more space in your patio area. Their installation and design easily heats a large area, enabling you to entertain more guests.
    Considerations: They are a more permanent option and require installation, no matter which fuel type you use.
    Recommended:The Bromic Platinum Series and Infratech WD Series both maximize the benefits of wall/ceiling mount patio heaters. Both of them also have a sleek style to help contribute to your patio's aesthetic appeal.

  • Freestanding Patio Heaters are stand-alone units that don't require installation.
    Benefits: They are extremely easy to use and maintain. If you're looking for heat you can take out of the box and use today, then this is your best option.
    Considerations: They will take up extra space on your patio and their heat can be affected by wind.
    Recommended:The Lakeview Outdoor Designs Fleur-de-Lis Infrared Patio Heater provides quality heating at an affordable price. It's got a stylish design and its center table adds extra convenience. The Bromic Tungsten Smart-Heat Patio Heater heats up to 200 square feet, twice the area of other freestanding heaters and its directional standing design is one-of-a-kind.

  • Hanging Patio Heaters hang like a chandelier, normally above a patio table.
    Benefits: They're perfect for a small space since they won't take up any patio space.
    Considerations: They don't provide as much heat as the other styles and will only efficiently heat a small space.
    Recommended:Sunglo Hanging Patio Heaters are luxury hanging patio heaters that can heat up to a 12x12 space, which is extremely impressive for a hanging patio heater. If you're looking for a more affordable option, the Fire Sense Halogen Series a simplistic, stylish option to check out. They only heat about a 5x5 area, but since they're electric they're more energy efficient than gas heaters and aren't affected by the wind.

  • Tabletop Patio Heaters are smaller heaters that give the appearance of an outdoor table lamp.
    Benefits: They're perfect for a small space since they sit atop of tables. Tabletop patio heaters are also ready to start using as soon as you take them out of the box.
    Considerations: They don't provide an extreme amount a heat and will only efficiently heat a small space.
    Recommended: The Endless Summer New Orleans Style Tabletop Electric Heater is very stylish and can heat an area up to a 12 ft. diameter. The AZ Patio Heaters Tabletop Patio Heater has variable control and heats an area up to a 2 1/2 ft diameter.

Things to Consider

There are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing a patio heater including the size of your space, climate in which you live, and level of wind. It can be overwhelming, so let our experts provide you with peace of mind! Call 877-743-2269 and take advantage of our free design services. They will recommend the most suitable patio heater for your space and provide a custom installation design that guarantees the most efficient heat.

Manufacturers often state the average heating area when describing the effectiveness of the heater. This measurement is factored based on relatively low humidity environments, with ambient temperatures between 55-70 degrees, and little to no wind. The greater the wind, the less effective the heaters will be. If constant wind is a factor where installing, you may want to consider putting up a wind break.

Your heater spacing will depend on the level of protection of the area to be heated. Colder temperatures and high wind areas will require more heaters, placed closer together.

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