The best way to enjoy your patio in winter is to get a top quality patio heater. It is a pretty great addition to an outdoor setting. You can get one a variety of sizes, color, shape, etc. Along with keeping you nice and warm when you feel like reading a book or having a cup hot cocoa sitting outside in chilly weather, these heaters can help you throw a party in your outdoor living area.
There is absolutely no point in wasting your beautiful outdoor setting by no utilizing it in winter. A patio heater is designed to be durable, can be easily used and is pretty simple to maintain. You can take your outdoor experience to an entirely new level now.
If it is too cold to sit our hang outside on your patio – no worries, with just a single push of a button and you will immediately be engulfed in warmth and comfort. These heaters can drastically change your patio setting. Plus, you can have them installed outside your home.
You can have one for your pool deck area as well. There is no limit to how you can use these brilliantly designed outdoor heaters. Moreover, the heaters can also be used in other seasons as well. The products come in different sizes, and you can also select from numerous designs. Go for a heater that adequately complements your outdoor setting.
These products were once considered novelty items, used at outdoor cafes and small, curbside restaurants. However, a majority of homeowners in the US now use the heaters to keep warm and party in their patio any time of the year.
How Does A Patio Heater Work?
Patio heaters are manufactured to produce a good amount of heat in two different ways. You can select one that burns propane, and you can go for one that burns natural gas. However, you can also opt for electric heaters.
The source of the heat will amplify based on the quality of the components and the materials used to design the product. They are different than space heaters. While space heaters come built-in with a fan, heaters for a patio quickly heat and warm the environment around the using radiant heat.
This type of heat is the same as generated by the sun minus the UV effects. It is important to understand a plethora of objects generates that radiant. Nightvision goggles can detect that radiant heat. You can do a little experiment to check for radiant heat outside your house.
Go to your lawn on a hot evening. Spread your palm just above the ground when the sun is beginning its descent. As the sun is drowning on the horizon, reach a few inches above the ground and hold your palm out. Then flip your palm, pointing towards the sky. Keep flipping your palm for a few seconds, and you will feel the radiant heat coming out from the ground.
Patio heaters mimic this radiant heat – they are designed to generate high volumes of this type of heat. The radiant heat generating products are way better than just blowing hot air outside. You will be wasting all that hot air once because all that air will escape and you will be left freezing. Patio heaters don't do that.
Traditional patio heaters that come in full size or general tabletop heaters designed for patios produce and evenly spread radiant heat in every direction. These products have a good heat range starting from 3 feet to 10 feet and a diameter of about 20 feet, which is impressive.
The best way to take advantage of their heating capabilities is always to place the heater in the center wherever you sit on your patio.
Different Types Of Patio Heaters You Can Opt For
During winter, a lot of people find it difficult to spend some time outside their homes and in their patios – and for good reasons. However, you can don't have to turn winter into the bane of your existence. Just get a quality patio heater, and you can get rid of this cabin fever. In light of this, mentioned below is a handful of the different types of heaters you can buy:
Floor Patio Heaters Or Freestanding Heaters
These products are quite similar to heaters you would normally see at your favorite restaurant or bar. But floor heaters designed for the outdoor living have become stupendously popular throughout the US.
Common freestanding patio heaters are propane or natural gas based. Setting these heaters up isn't difficult, and you can install them just about anywhere outside your house. These products comprise of the following four parts:
The base of the heater helps keep the product from falling no matter what. Plus, the base can also easily double as a storage unit for a tank of propane. These heaters spread radiant heat upwards, increasing the spread and effectiveness of the heat.
All patio heaters come with a BTU rating (British Thermal Unit). If you live in an area that is hit by really harsh winter, we suggest that you go for a product with the highest BTU. The more BTU the product has, the more radiant heat it will generate.
Heaters with gas functionality provide the most BTUs in radiant heat than any other type of patio heater. They come with BTUs measured at 45,000 – some go even higher than this.
Tabletop Heaters For Patio
Tabletop designs are also quite popular and are miniature versions of freestanding patio heaters. They make for aesthetically pleasing centerpieces while you and your guests stand or sit around the heater talking and eating. Some tabletop heaters are designed to look like traditional table lamps for the outdoor living.
These products also come with just about the same components and parts that freestanding heaters do. However, tabletop heaters don’t have a high range of BTU – so they will not generate as much heat as floor patio heaters. Furthermore, these heaters come in electric and gas-powered models.
Wall Mountable Heaters For Patio
You can also go for wall mounted units that can easily be attached to the patio wall, not taking any space on the side or the table. You can enjoy your outdoor living to the fullest. These heaters are manufactured to permanently mount on the wall on your deck, pool area or your patio.
Wall mounted products feature an electric heat source. But they are a bit small in size and do not have a high ranging BTU compared to tabletop heaters.
These products are perfect for small spaces – where it is impossible to take out the space needed to install a freestanding heater or a tabletop heater. Depending on the total size of the mounted wall unit, these heaters have a BTU range of 10,000 to 30,000.
They are an ideal alternative to buying freestanding models, especially if you don’t have the space for one at all. Wall mounted patio heaters are built to produce infrared heat. The product will come with all the necessary components you need to mount it on your wall.
Plus, some models even come with a tilting functionality. After you mount the heater on the wall, you can easily tilt the mouth of the product in any direction for maximum heat and comfort.
Hanging Patio Heater
These are perfect for a more artistic and chic look to your patio. The products hang from the ceiling of your sunroom, deck or patio. They were particularly effective if you don't have enough room to install a freestanding patio heater. However, hanging heaters come with an electric source of heat and have a BTU range of 10,000 to 30,000 – but some products go even higher.
Types Of Fuel Available For Patio Heaters
Depending on the fuel type you prefer there are different styles available.
Propane Heaters For Your Patio
The most common type of fuel used for patio heaters is propane. The fuel comes in easy to handle and portable tanks, which is essentially why propane based heaters make for excellent, versatile products.
You can install the heaters anywhere you want. Plus, you can move the patio heaters from one place to another without worrying about pulling the cord behind you or running out of cord.
Moreover, because propane heaters are highly portable, manufacturers have introduced wheel kits – but you have to purchase the tanks separately. Another great thing about these heaters is the fact they feature a separate storage unit where you install the propane tank. You can save a lot of storage this way, and the tank will not be visible to your guests.
A majority of propane patio heaters require 20lbs propane tanks – but heaters that are small in size, for example, tabletop heaters, require smaller tanks. Once you run out of propane, you will need to buy another tank.
You can also get them refilled, but it is smarter to exchange the empty propane tanks for fuel tanks. You will get a great discount this way, and you will not have to wait around to refill the tanks. Some heaters feature ignition switches and have a multi-spark integration.
The best thing about these propane heaters is the fact they don't require electrical wiring for the ignition switch to function. All you have to do is flick it on or turn it, the ignition system will generate sparks, and the gas will begin to burn and distribute radiant heat.
Electric Heaters For Patio
Electric heaters are a great alternative when you don’t want to keep on buying propane tanks. They are also good when you don't have any way to use natural gas-based patio heaters.
Plus, electric heaters are great if you have power sources in your patio and electrical outlets throughout the house. You just have to plug the wire in, and the machine will start to generate radiant heat.
Wall mountable heaters, freestanding patio heaters and tabletop heaters all come with electrical sources of power. However, you have them mounted or installed very far from the power source. Plus, the cord is not that long, which you may need to sit a bit far away from the patio heater.
Natural Gas Patio Heaters
These heaters are great if you access to a safe source of natural gas. You can fix the heater with the gas line and use it anytime and for as long as you want to because you will not run out of natural gas. But you may have to pay a lot in gas bills.
As for the performance of these heaters, it is important to understand that natural gas patio heaters exceed a BTU range of 45,000 easily, making them very powerful and effective heating machines for outdoor settings.
Nifty Tips For Selecting The Best In Patio Heaters
As spring is at an end, those with any heating system for their outdoor living can say goodbye to having BBQ or casual dinner parties outside because winter is right around the corner. A patio heater is the best way to breathe life in your open-air-parties and get-togethers. In light of this, mentioned below are some excellent tips to implement when shopping for one:
The Size Of The Machine And Its Heating Area And BTU
When it comes to selecting and buying a patio heater for your outdoor living these are the three topmost things to consider – the size, the BTU range and the total heating diameter of the heater.
It is important to buy a product that will adequately and efficiently heat the area you want to heat without any problems. If it is a relatively large area, you may need more than one unit or a single unit that has a BTU range exceeding 30,000 with a 20 feet diameter.
The Type Of Patio Heater
You can select from a variety of patio heater designs. While tabletop patio heaters are 4 feet in height, freestanding heaters come in heights that range from 6 to 9 feet.
You cannot compromise on safety, especially when it comes to propane and natural gas-based heaters. Go for products that come with a prevalent safety mechanism referred to as the ‘anti-tip.'
This feature is simply incredible – the machine is designed to automatically shut off as soon as it tips below a safe angle. Other features include an OPD device and an ODS device (oxygen depletion sensor).
Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when you are out shopping for a quality patio heater to enhance your outdoor living:
- You Expectations Must Be Realistic – Heater designed for patio and other outdoor areas are just meant to keep you warm – don’t expect them to keep you super warm like a sauna. If the weather is super cold, it is better to stay inside and party the next day
- Extend The Durability And Functionality – It is only natural that the hot air produced by the heater will escape into the atmosphere, but you can save plenty of hot air by installing the heater at good distance – better yet; you can use an umbrella to shade the heater
Plus, don’t forget to protect your propane heater from the wind because the breeze will blow the flame off.
The Sizes Available
Patio heaters come in a variety of different sizes. When you talk about freestanding propane heaters, the most common thing to look for is the fact that their BTU range exceeds 45,000. Then you have a smaller version in the form of tabletop heaters.
These are portable, take less space but come with a BTU range of 30,000 and not more. They will help heat the area immediately but don't have a huge diameter.
Mountable and hanging heaters are even smaller, but they are low on the BTU range – the products come in BTU ranges of 3,500.
Is It Safe To Use Patio Heaters?
For effective heating and comfortability, there is nothing better than a patio heater. Plus, if you worry about safe handling and whatnot, you don't need to with this model. These heating products come with a plethora of built-in safety features to protect you as well as your family.
A majority of quality heaters come with automatic shut-off feature as soon as the machine begins to tilt below a certain level.
There are several instructions to be followed right down to the last letter so be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual before doing anything else.
Patio heaters come with a whole range of safety mechanisms and functionalities that help protect you from injury or fire from breaking out. In light of this, mentioned below are some of those features.
Automatic Switch Off
The machine will turn itself off as soon as it begins to get too hot or if it tilts at a dangerous angle.
Tilt-Over and Knocked-Off Protection
In case the propane patio heater is knocked over by the wind or by accident, the machine will automatically shut itself off. The same goes for if the heater tilts at a hazardous level.
Cool Glass Touch
There are high-end, commercial patio heaters that come with a cool touch glass insulation, which keeps the machine nice and cold – safe to the touch. This feature is important if you have small children and pets around.
Propane Vs. Electric Patio Heaters
Electric and propane patio heaters are good for keeping you nice and warm in case you want to spend some time out on your patio enjoying a good book or some hot chocolate. However, you need to know which heating machine to buy. It is important to understand which fuel type will offer you the best advantages.
Electric Heaters For Outdoor Living
Electric heating machines for the patio incorporate the use of infrared and short-wave innovation. Everything in the range of the infrared beam or sensor will heat up immediately with radiant heat – and not only the air around you. You can go for a wall mountable or tabletop electric heater if you are short on space or if you have several electrical outlets.
While these products are a bit cost-effective compared to propane based heaters, you have to understand the product will start to become heavier on the wallets in the long run. You may end up using the heater for hours on end – running up energy costs.
They do consume plenty of energy after all. Plus, you need to be extra careful not to let children or pets lurk around the machine.
Propane Heaters For Outdoor Living
A standard propane canister powers these patio heaters. The propane tank will eventually run out, but you can replace it a new tank at a lower cost. Plus, propane heaters consume a lot less energy compared to electrical heaters.
They also provide a lot more heat with some heaters exceeding 45,000 BTUs. They are easy to install, have a multitude of safety features and you can easily hide the tank inside the storage unit of the patio heater.
Maintaining And Cleaning Your Patio Heater
Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor heater is pretty simple. All you have to do is take a mild detergent, mix some water, soak a cleaning cloth in it, wring the cloth and use it to wipe the surface of the machine. Just be sure not to use abrasive detergents and whatnot. Oven cleaners, for example, can damage the machine.
The best part about a patio heater is the fact it is effortless to maintain – and they do not need an extensive looking after.
So there you go – all the reason you need to invest in the best patio heaters on the market. Make sure you select the very top products available.