49 52

What Is A Patio Heater?

A patio heater is similar to a usual indoor heater: it uses electric energy or fuel to emit heat and raise the temperature around. What makes it different is the construction. There are three widespread types of patio heaters:

  1. Floor and freestanding patio heaters consist of the heating unit and the pole. They can be easily set up anywhere and are often used in bars and restaurants.
  2. Tabletop patio heaters often look like table lamps and serve to extend the living space outdoors. Generally, they remind of floor heaters but are more compact.
  3. Wall-mounted patio heaters cover a large space and come with mount brackets. They can tilt up and down so you can point the heater in the right direction.

Aside from it, patio heaters use diverge kinds of fuel:

Electric Heaters

Electricity is the choice for those who don’t want to refill propane tanks and don’t have access to natural gas. Electric patio heaters are simply plugged on – and ready to run. They are available in different versions: tabletop, floor, or wall-mounted. The main downside is that they have a lower heating capacity than their gas-powered analogs, so they should be used for smaller areas.

Natural Gas Patio Heaters

If you have access to natural gas, this type of heaters would be just right. Like gas heaters, they have a high heating capacity and can be used to warm up a large space. In this case, you just need to connect the source of natural gas with the heater, and there’s no threat of running out of fuel. There are two widespread types of natural gas heaters – floor and freestanding models. In fact, natural gas patio heaters are the rarest type of devices: not so many people have gas in their houses.

Propane Heaters

Propane is the most common type of fuel for patio heaters. It’s sold in portable tanks and is the most versatile option since you can place the heater anywhere. Propane heaters usually have wheels for easy portability and are equipped with a propane tank inside (it doesn’t take extra space on your patio). Propane patio heaters have a higher BTU (British Thermal Unit) range than electric analogs and can warm up a larger space.

Critical Patio Heaters Parts & Components

Freestanding patio heaters have the most complex construction. They usually include four parts: pole, base, heat source, and reflector.
The base helps the unit to stay and can also serve as a storage compartment for a propane tank. The pole lifts heat source upward to increase heat coverage. The reflector reduces the loss of heat – it doesn’t let it go upward and makes it go down to the surrounding area.

Compare The Best Patio Heaters

This table will help you to figure out the best variant for your patio.

Item/Characteristics

 

 

Type of construction

Heat output

Heat source

Dimensions

Materials

Fuel tank capacity

Weight

Fire Sense Patio Heater

BUY NOW AMAZON Floor 46,000 BTU Propane 18 x 33 x 89 inches Steel 20 lb 43 pounds

AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater BUY NOW AMAZON Floor 46,000 BTU Propane 33 x 18 x 89 inches Thin steel

14 lb

40 pounds

Golden Flame Patio Heater with Wheels

BUY NOW AMAZON Floor 46,000 BTU Propane 20 x 33 x 89 inches Bronze, steel 20 lb 45.5 pounds

AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater, Quartz Glass Tube

BUY NOW AMAZON Floor

40,000 BTU

Propane

21.5 x 21 x 38.5 inches

Thin steel 20 lb 65.2 pounds

Belleze Premium Outdoor Patio Heater with Wheel

BUY NOW AMAZON Floor 48,000 BTU Propane

32 x 32 x 86.5 inches

Steel 20 lb 41 pounds

Thermo Tiki Outdoor Propane Patio Heater

BUY NOW AMAZON Floor 45,000 BTU Propane

54 x 34.5 x 8 inches

Steel 20 lb 58 pounds

Mr. Heater, Corporation, Degree Tank Top

   BUY NOW AMAZON Floor 45,000 BTU Propane

10.4 x 10.4 x 17.5 inches

Metal + plastic 20 lb 5.5 pounds

XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Propane Outdoor Patio

  BUY NOW AMAZON  Floor 48,000 BTU Propane 29.1 x 18.1 x 18.1 inches Steel 20 lb 20 pounds

Comfort Zone Ceiling Mount Quartz Heater

  BUY NOW AMAZON  Wall-mounted 5,120 BTU Electricity 26.5 x 5.2 x 14.2 inches Metal 6.35 pounds

Outland Living Series Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table

  BUY NOW AMAZON  Floor (table) 35,000 BTU Propane 44 x 32 x 23 inches Alimunim + High Density Polyethylene + steel parts 20 lb

96 pounds

How To Make A Perfect Purchase?

To buy the best outdoor patio heaters, you should mind a few important aspects.

Safety & Regulations For Distance Of Human Activity

First and foremost, you need to make sure your patio heater is safe. Natural gas and propane heaters can emit smell and fume, so they should be placed within some minor distance from human activity. Electric heaters are safer in this relation, but they are afraid of rain and moisture, which poses the risk of short circuit, fires, electric shock, etc.

Regular Weather Conditions

Therefore, if you are going to use a patio heater during bad weather, select natural gas or propane models – they will not spoil because of raindrops and moisture. If you have a dry climate, an electric patio heater will be a better idea.

Durability And Easy Cleaning

Here, the choice depends on what you prioritize. Don’t want to waste time cleaning the heater? Then an electric or gas model would be just right – they require minimal maintenance. Propane heaters should be cleaned from time to time since burning fuel leaves traces of soot. As for durability, propane heaters tend to last longer – their parts don’t degrade because of moisture unlike the construction of electric heaters.

Required Heating Area

You’ve got a small patio or need to heat the space around your table? A tabletop electric heater would be enough. However, if you want to heat a larger area, the best patio heaters are gas-powered or propane ones (wall-mounted and floor models have better coverage).

Ease Of Assembly And Installation

What kind of patio heaters is easy in installation and assembly? Electric heaters are delivered almost fully assembled, so even if you don’t have any technical knowledge, you won’t find it hard to install them. Propane and gas-powered models require a few more assembly steps, but it’s not a complicated process.

How Did We Choose And Test Patio Heaters?

In order to choose the worthiest models, we analyzed:

  • heating area;
  • type of construction and fuel;
  • cost efficiency;
  • durability and warranty;
  • ease of use.

To pick up a few models for testing, we read patio heaters reviews – that helped us to understand the advantages and drawbacks of every device. After that, we installed models on a patio and evaluated their heating capacity and convenience.

Top-10 Patio Heaters

These reviews will provide you with a detailed insight into models’ characteristics to make an informed decision and buy the model you like.

Fire Sense Patio Heater

Fire Sense Patio Heater

Review

Efficient, compact, reliable – all these words describe the model from FireSense. Their propane patio heater has an outstanding 46,000 BTU’s heating capacity and features a Piezo ignition system. Wheels allow for easy transportation while the steel construction makes it durable and long-lasting. The device comes with an assembly manual – it is quite easy to follow. Judging by feedbacks, it’s okay to use the heater in patios with screened windows.

Our opinion

Generally, this is one of the best patio propane heaters from a price/quality point. Out only advice is to be careful when you unpack individual parts – do not damage them.

PROS

  • optimal price;
  • fuel tank capacity ensures 10 hours of flawless work;
  • the heater is available in different colors.

CONS

  • starts rusting quickly;
  • can be easily knocked over by average wind.
AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

Review

This is another propane heater that has a high heating capacity (46,000 BTU). AmazonBasics offers one of the best commercial patio heaters in terms of price and quality. Users love its sturdy construction and ease of use. The unit will look great both in a residential patio and in restaurants. There’s a 2-year Amazon’s warranty, as well.

Our opinion

This is a worthy model for those who live in a dry climate. The metal construction doesn’t seem to be much resistant to rust, so avoid placing it during humid weather. Lowering the pole makes a great difference – it heats better.

PROS

  • optimal price;
  • many colors are available;
  • high heating capacity.

CONS

  • the metal is thin.
Golden Flame Patio Heater with Wheels

Golden Flame Patio Heater with Wheels

Review

Being above top rated outdoor patio heaters, the model from Golden Flame doesn’t seem to be different from the above-mentioned counterparts, but it seems to be sturdier. Its heating capacity is also 46,000 BTU. There is a base that can be filled with sand, and supported tank capacity is 20 lbs, which means it can work for at least 10 hours.

Our opinion

This model seems to be a bit overpriced: you get the same heating capacity for twice as much as similar heaters.

PROS

  • long-lasting, reliable;
  • stable during windy weather;
  • high heating capacity.

CONS

  • too expensive.
AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater, Quartz Glass Tube

AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater, Quartz Glass Tube

Review

Want something that looks pretty and fits your garden design? Consider AZ patio heaters gs-f-pc propane fire pit, antique bronze finish – one of the most stylish heaters on the market. It works with 20 lb propane tanks and has a very sturdy construction: heaters stay on their place during windy weather. It features an electronic igniter and temperature control.

Our opinion

This model may be not enough to heat the entire patio and, most probably, you will need several items. It makes the purchase very costly.

PROS

  • stylish and fits gardens well;
  • accommodates a large 20 lbs fuel tank.

CONS

  • too expensive – the heating capacity doesn’t justify the price;
  • the reflector is too small, and heat dissipates quickly.
Belleze Premium Outdoor Patio Heater with Wheel

Belleze Premium Outdoor Patio Heater with Wheel

Review

This model is definitely among best price patio heaters: for an average cost you get the whole gamut of essential options (heat control, auto shut-off, etc) and a well-thought construction. Belleze Premium is equipped with wheels for better portability, and there’s a weight bladder for better stability. Another outstanding feature is a high heating capacity: 48,000 BTU is more than enough for heating up to 175 square feet.

Our opinion

This heater is a must for large and medium-sized patios. For a low price, you can enjoy high efficiency and exceptional quality.

PROS

  • very high heating capacity;
  • auto turn-off;
  • reliable materials;
  • great price.

CONS

  • the starter breaks quickly.
Thermo Tiki Outdoor Propane Patio Heater

Thermo Tiki Outdoor Propane Patio Heater

Review

Like AZ patio heaters, the models from Thermo Tiki look very stylish and sturdy: it will look good in restaurants, homes, pool parties, weddings, etc. This heater is quite heavy so it won’t be kicked off by the wind. Although its construction looks complicated, it’s not hard to assemble. It accommodates a usual 20 lb fuel tank and reaches the maximum heat output of 42,000-45,000 BTUs. A full propane tank can make it work for 10 hours.

Our opinion

This heater is a bit cheaper than its counterpart from AZ, but it has pretty great characteristics. Most probably, you’ll need several of them.

PROS

  • solid and sturdy construction;
  • high heating capacity;
  • easy to assemble.

CONS

  • a bit more expensive than usual pole-based propane patio heaters.
Mr. Heater, Corporation, Degree Tank Top Heater

Mr. Heater, Corporation, Degree Tank Top Heater

Review

One of the best rated outdoor patio heaters, the portable model from Mr. Heater will be perfect for both home use and camping. The construction is very lightweight, but you can easily take a 20 lb fuel tank with you and enjoy heat during up to 20 hours! The heater is safe for use indoors, so it is also recommended to be used during construction works. Although it is small, it can reach up to 45,000 BTU heating power and heat rooms 600 sq ft and more. To top it off, there’s a shut-off switch, so you shouldn’t be afraid of fires.

Our opinion

A great product for its price!  It should be bought if you want a portable heater.

PROS

  • great heating capacity;
  • compact construction;
  • excellent price/quality ratio.

CONS

  • no reflector included, so heat easily dissipates.
XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Propane Outdoor Patio

XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Propane Outdoor Patio

Review

One of the best rated patio heaters, the solution from XtremepowerUS doesn’t seem to be something out-of-the-box, but it provides decent quality for an exceptional price. It has an outstanding heating coverage – up to 48,000 BTU. That’s enough for people to stay warm on a 200 sq ft patio. Reliable Piezo igniter makes it easy to start the device. Assembly is a no-brainer, and wheels make it mobile. One 20 lb fuel tank is enough for the heater to work for 10 hours. Add to that automatic shut-off and weight bladder, and you get an ideal device for a reasonable price.

Our opinion

Judging by reviews, relatively low price of this heater is totally justified by its great characteristics and reliability.

PROS

  • efficient and reliable;
  • optimal price;
  • great heating capacity.

CONS

  • the device is easily knocked by the wind.
Comfort Zone Ceiling Mount Quartz Heater

Comfort Zone Ceiling Mount Quartz Heater

Review

If you want something non-expensive like home depot patio heaters, consider Comfort Zone quartz wall-mounted heater. This is an electric device, and it doesn’t require maintenance: once you install it on the wall, it’s ready to run. There’s no need to buy fuel or clean it. It is efficient? This heater is enough to warm up a small patio or a garage. It has two heat settings: 750 and 1500 Wt. You can switch the light on and off. The unit can be tilted to control the direction of heat waves.

Our opinion

That’s a non-expensive model, and you get what you pay for. The heater is convenient in use, but it’s weak, and the set of functions is highly limited.

PROS

  • no fuel required;
  • cheap.

CONS

  • not strong enough to warm up a large patio.

Outland Living Series Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table

Review

Such models as Mr Heater patio heaters aren’t stylish enough for you? Want something extraordinary? Then the heater from Outland Living is exactly what you need. In fact, it’s 2-in-1: heater and table. The fuel tank is hidden inside, and flames go outside right through the Arctic Ice decorative glass rock set creating an astonishing atmosphere in your patio. The model has 35,000 BTU heat capacity and is totally smoke-free.

Our opinion

If you are ready to pay for something extraordinary, feel free to order this model. But note that its technical characteristics are inferior to what usual heaters offer.

PROS

  • elegant design;
  • 2-in-1 model – table and heater.

CONS

  • low heating capacity;
  • clear glass and fence are sold separately;
  • expensive.

Quick Facts About Patio Heaters

Natural gas patio heater

  1. The best patio heaters for heat purpose are propane ones: rise temperature for 10-30 degrees and can distribute warmth up to a 20-foot radius area, or 314 square feet.
  2. A propane patio heater with an average output of 12.5 kW produces about 34.9 kg of CO2 before it runs out of fuel. This energy is enough to make 5,200 cups of tea.
  3. The UK government plans to ban the use of propane heaters in restaurants and public places due to the serious environmental impact they produce.
  4. One propane fuel tank costs around $10-20, so one hour of propane heater use is worth $1-2.
  5. Note that outdoor gas heaters should never be used at home because they emit dangerous CO – carbon monoxide.

How To Use Patio Heaters?

It’s not enough just to assemble a patio heater and switch it on – you need to prepare everything properly. According to the best patio heaters consumer reports, it’s critical to choose the right place for the device. Otherwise, it will be either knocked down by wind or will expose danger to surrounding objects. Follow these steps to reap the maximum benefit from your unit:

  1. Select a well-ventilated area on your patio for carbon dioxide and fume to escape freely. That will ensure safety because proper ventilation prevents fires. However, the spot shouldn’t be exposed to high wind.
  2. If you have a propane heater, but a fuel tank beforehand. Start assembling the unit using the manual – it comes with the package. Wall-mounted heaters are installed on a wall near the socket – they need the source of electricity.
  3. Connect gas to your natural gas heater, or put the fuel tank inside the propane heater. Try to switch on the device. Automatic igniters use electricity to ignite the gas flow: some are controlled by On/Off button, some use remote control. If pressing the button doesn’t help, you can try igniting fuel with a match.
  4. While the heater is working, you can control the level of heat. In models with manual ignition, there’s a knob to control the gas flow. Outdoor patio heaters with automatic shut-off will turn the device off if the flame gets uncontrollable.
  5. Do not move heater while it’s operating. If you want to change its position, switch it off first.
  6. If you leave patio, switch the heater off. It will save fuel, and you will feel safer knowing you haven’t left the device unattended.

Don’t forget about proper maintenance. Check the heater for leaks, blockage of ventilation, or damage. Keep the equipment clean. When you don’t use the device, store it in a dry place.

Patio Heaters Safety Rules And Other Tips

There’s the whole gamut of safety rules you should follow.

  • Do not let children operate the heater: it can be dangerous.
  • When you don’t use the heater, keep it covered to prevent the collection of dust and rusting.
  • If you have a malfunctioning heater, repair it before operating again.
  • According to AZ patio heaters reviews, propane heaters should be cleaned at least once a month, if you use the unit regularly.
  • Before cleaning the heater, let it cool down.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is The Required Clearance Around My Patio Heater?

A: If you have a strong heater that produces about 35,000-50,000 BTUs, the required distance from combustible objects (wood, paper, fuels) should be 30 from all sides (reflector and emitter). For weaker heaters, the clearance should be 24 inches from combustible materials. Note that clearance should be from all sides. For people sitting around it should be about 2 feet.

Q: Will A Patio Heater Melt Snow?

A: Yes, the heat emitted by the device will melt the snow around. However, leaving the elements exposed to snow and cold can make the unit deteriorate over time. Burning of propane changes in temperatures below 40 degrees F. Even if the heater will work, it can function inappropriately and produce less heat in cold temperatures.

Q: Are Patio Heaters Safe?

A: All patio heaters are safe while you follow instructions and use them appropriately. And all top rated patio heaters would be dangerous if you violate safety rules. If you keep the distance from inflammable objects, check the device for failures and maintain it, the risks are minimal. See the safety rules and recommendations in the section above.

Q: Can I Leave My Patio Heater Out All Year Round?

A: Even the most expensive heaters are prone to wearing and deterioration. If you have a humid climate, rain, and snow, leaving the heater outside is a big mistake. Its metal parts can start rusting and spoiling. To protect the heater and prolong its life, you should buy a cover. It will prevent dusting and rusting, and keep bugs at the bay. However, you should note that a cover that catches the wind can act like a sail, so the heater may be knocked down. If possible, move your heater to an area secured against wind and precipitations.

Q: How Long Do Patio Heaters Last?

A: A propane patio heater can work flawlessly within 10 hours using a full 20 lb fuel tank. As for the overall service life, it differs from model to model. When used appropriately and stored safely, patio heaters can serve for years – there’s almost nothing to break.
If you want to buy reliable and long-lasting patio heaters Home Depot or Lowes should be your primary choice. These stores offer models with an optimal price/quality ratio. You can also find great variants online.

Q: What Are The Precautions When Using A Patio Heater?

A: Basic safety guides are given in the section above. Summarizing the rules, we should mention:

  • do not leave the unit unattended while it’s operating;
  • never use propane and gas heaters indoors;
  • do not let children use your heater;
  • it’s not recommended to use a heater during very windy weather (at least, the power of flames should be reduced);
  • do not operate the heater if there’s any leak, damage, or malfunction. Repair it first.

Conclusion & Our Recommendations

An outdoor patio heater is the best way to add up to your living space. This device is simply irreplaceable during cool climate and can be used all year round for you to enjoy warm time spent with your friends and family.
Which patio heater to choose? Those who have money to spare should opt for AZ Patio Heaters gs-f-pc propane fire pit: it looks good and functions properly having the whole range of required settings. Besides, it features sturdy construction and won’t be knocked down by the wind.
As for cheaper variants, all decent models with an average heating capacity of 40,000 BTU cost around $120. If you want maximum quality for this money, consider either XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Propane Outdoor Patio or AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater. These models have the best cost/quality ratio. According to user reviews, they are long-lasting and efficient enough.
If none of the above-mentioned variants seems to satisfy you, search for alternatives in supermarkets and home depots near you. For example, if you are looking for more wall-mounted and portable patio heaters Lowes offers a myriad of great models.

Was this article helpful?

YES NO

Reviews

Send answer

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz

DMCA.com Protection Status