There’s nothing better than enjoying time with a few friends, hosting a barbecue, or even just hanging out on a staycation with your family. These activities might start when the day is warm, but as evening comes and darkens into night, the temperature drops and things start to become downright chilly. There’s no need to break up the festivities, though, not if you’ve had the forethought to invest in a couple of patio heaters.
Patio heaters are essentially large heaters that you can place anywhere you need a bit of extra heat as the temperature drops. They generally use one of three power sources: electricity, propane, or natural gas. The propane and natural gas heaters burn the fuel, using open flames to generate heat.
They come in a variety of styles. The most common are the tall free-standing heaters. These can be either a torch-style or pyramid style. Torch-style patio heaters have the burner element located at the top, while pyramid-style patio heaters burn the propane in a glass tube, which makes for brighter light and a stunning pyrotechnic display.
Electric patio heaters aren’t elegant, but what they lack in form, they more than makeup for in function. These types of heaters are quick to start warming and use infrared radiant heating, rather than convection heating of flame heaters. They aren’t as portable as a propane heater, because they must be plugged into an outlet that can keep up with their power demands.
Lastly, fire pits or fire tables bring primal fun to a gathering while providing a source of warmth and light. It’s like being around a campfire, only with propane as a fuel source nobody has to worry about smoke blowing in their face or going to chop wood. Because it is an open flame, you can also use a fire pit or fire table to make s’mores or cook small portions of food.
As you can see, there are a lot of different features and designs you have to choose from when selecting the patio heater that is right for you. That’s what this guide is for. First, there will be seven of the top-rated heaters that run the gamut of styles with a brief overview and list of key features for each one. Then there will be a short buying guide that will help you ask the correct questions so you can make an informed and smart decision when it comes to getting your own best outdoor patio heater.
- 1 Patio Heater Reviews
- 2 Patio Heater Comparison Chart
- 3 Patio Heater Buying Guide
- 3.1 Section One: The Three Types of Patio Heaters
- 3.2 Open Flame Patio Heaters
- 3.3 Section Two: Asking the Right Questions
- 3.4 Section Three: Awesome Features
- 4 Conclusion
Patio Heater Reviews
- Outland Living Series 401
- Size: 35,000
- Dimensions: L 44" x W 32" x H 23"
- Color: Espresso Brown
- Weight: 96 lbs
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Golden Flame
- Size: 46,000
- Dimensions: 12.1 x 10.3 x 1.5 in
- Color: Rich-Mocha Brown
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- VIVREAL Electric Patio Heater
- Size: N/A
- Dimensions: 23.6 x 7.5 x 3.6 in
- Color: Black
- Weight: 4.1 pounds
- Warranty: 2-year
- AmazonBasics Commercial
- Size: 46,000 BTUs
- Dimensions: 33 x 18 x 89 in
- Color: Havana Bronze
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG
- Size: 40,000 BTU's
- Dimensions: 21.5 x 21 x 38.5 in
- Color: Black
- Weight: 65.2 pounds
- Warranty: 1-year
- Heat Storm Tradesman
- Size: N/A
- Dimensions: 23.25 x 3.44 x 5.5 in
- Color: Black
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Warranty: 1-year
Outland Living Series 401Fire Table
This Outland Living Series 401Fire Table is an open flame fire table. It is powered by a single 20-pound propane tank that is stored underneath the table. The attractive Brown exterior and black tempered glass make it a match for almost any kind of outside decor.
The propane tank is hidden by an easily removable door, which has an attractive stainless steel accent. The flame is controlled by a variable dial which allows you to precisely control the amount of heat and flame that is being produced.
One of the key features that make this such a good patio heater is the ambiance that it adds to any situation. The flame from the single stainless steel burner will reflect off of the included glass ice. Additionally, if you get the accessory kit that includes a wind guard, the flame reflects beautifully off of that as well.
This patio heater is extremely versatile. Not only can it be used as a heat source, and a light source. With the insert, when the heater is not in use, the fire area can be converted into a completely flat table. So if you do not need the heat, then you can always use an additional flat surface to hold things.
Because this patio heater is glass and UV resistant polyethylene, it is extremely easy to clean. As with all units that use an open flame or produce high amounts of heat, you should not use chemicals to clean this heater. Use a soft sponge and warm water to easily clean up most messes; if more help is needed, you can add dishwasher detergent to the water.
If you’re looking to use this fire table to cook, the single burner isn’t very good for that. It will be good for a toasted marshmallow or two, or making a s’more, but not much else.
The glass ice is also extremely easy to clean. Place it in a bucket with hot soapy water, and use a broom handle or other string instrument to gently agitate the ice. Rinse clean and allow it to dry thoroughly before putting back into the patio here.
One of the drawbacks to this table is that it is not easily moved. Another could be that the heat output is not as high as a free-standing or radiant heater.
● Chrome accents
● 15.5 lbs. of Arctic Ice Glass Rocks
● 8mm black tempered glass tabletop
● A stainless steel burner assembly
● Thermal Output of 35,000 BTUs
Golden Flame XL Series Patio Heater
This Golden Flame XL Series Patio Heater has an elegant and subdued look. The ignition assembly is located directly beneath the burner assembly near the top of the unit. This means that you don’t have to fumble with controls that are too loud to be comfortably accessed.
This heater comes standard with a bottom sand reservoir which adds 25 pounds to the base, which enhances the patio heater’s stability and safety, especially during windy conditions. And of course, it has a safety shut-off feature if the unit should tip over.
This unit is easily moved, thanks to the included wheels so you can simply tilt it up and relocate it to wherever you need it. Thanks to the large reflector, this heater provides a heating area of about a 6 ft. radius, depending on weather conditions of course.
This type of free-standing patio heater would be excellent for placement near the exit of a pool would be excellent near a pool exit or located discreetly near a bar.
Because this system is made of stainless steel, cleaning is very easy. Use stainless steel cleaner with a soft cloth to polish areas that are not exposed to combustion. Again, remember not to use harsh chemicals where it can be exposed to extreme heat. The residue from chemicals will emit noxious fumes.
One of the drawbacks to this type of patio heater is the need for added weight in the base for stability. While the propane tank does add some weight, as it empties it will become lighter. The best course of action then is to add the stabilizing sand.
● Thermal Output of 46,000 BTUs
● No pilot light in “Pilotless” Burner System
● “Rapid-Spark” Easy Press, Easy Start Ignition System
● 89” tall
VIVREAL Electric Patio Heater
This is the first infrared radiant heater that is on this list. It has a 1500 watt output and is easily wall-mountable. One of the key advantages of this type of heater is its small size and easy portability. It is extremely light weight and when not wall mounted can be used as a table top patio heater quite easily.
Because of this heater’s small footprint, it is extremely easy to mount and keep out of the way. The included mounting brackets make it especially easy to select a location for this heater that is near a dedicated outlet. If you want to mount this patio heater where you do not have an outlet, it is a fairly simple matter for a licensed electrician to run a dedicated line to your desired location.
This heater has an extremely fast start-up time and starts to produce heat in under a second. Additionally, because it is an electric heater, it produces no fumes or emissions of any sort. This makes it perfect for use in an enclosed space such as a garage or pool changing room.
VIVREAL Electric Patio Heater has an extremely generous warranty program for this radiant pool heater. They offer a 2-year full replacement or refund with 24/7 customer service. The carbon fiber heating element is rated to last at least 7,000 hours. To give you an example of how long that is, you could run it from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following morning every day for about two years before the filament would start to go out.
● 1500 Watt Infrared Heating Element
● IP55 Rating protects from damp and dust
● Able to be used indoors and outdoors
● Quick Startup, begins heating in under a second
AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater
This AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater is Amazon’s entry into the patio heater business. It is similar to other patio heaters of its type, with a large reflector and burner located directly beneath it. It has a steady 46,000 BTU output which gives it a warming radius of 5 to 6 ft., dependent on weather conditions of course.
This unit also has wheels attached to one side making it easy to move and convenient to place wherever you need it. It also has a stability reservoir which you can fill with sand or water to prevent tip over. In case of an accidental tip-over however, the unit does have an automatic safety shut off switch.
This model is available in a variety of finishes, so it is extremely easy for you to select one that will match your chosen decor. And with Amazon’s low price; it’s also easy to get two or three so you don’t have to worry so much about the placement of them.
If there is a drawback, then it is that this unit is not able to be converted to natural gas at this time. However if that should become a desired feature, there is no doubt that Amazon will install that upgrade in future
● Piezo Electric ignition assembly
● Thermal Output of 46,000 BTUs
● Durable Steel Construction with powder coat finish
● Available in a variety of finishes and colors
Hiland HLDSO1 Pyramid Patio Heater
This Hiland HLDSO1 Pyramid Patio Heater has a two-piece Central quartz tube which provides an amazing display when the unit is on. It has a thermal output of 40,000 BTUs, giving it a warming radius of about 5 ft.
The light emitted from this patio heater isn’t very bright, it’s closer to a tiki torch, but having more than one in the area will provide enough elimination for your guests.
This unit does have wheels on one side which means that it is easily moved from one location to another. It has a standard pressure regulator and hose connector that connects to a standard 20 lb propane tank. The propane tank is stored beneath the heater in the base with a single-sided access hatch. The ignition system is similar to a gas grill using a push-button electric igniter.
This pyramid patio heater has an anti-tilt auto shut-off device. It is made of solid steel construction with a hammered bronze finish. This finish ensures that this patio heater will match any decor in your home or on your patio.
Cleaning and maintenance of this patio heater is extremely easy. Use a mild detergent in warm water with a sponge to wipe down the exterior. If the central glass tube should pick up carbon residue, use a gentle bottle brush to clean the interior. Never use steel wool or any abrasives that could scratch the glass, as that will weaken it.
Cleaning out the interior where the propane tank is stored is simple as well. This doesn’t even require soapy water, because no burn residue should ever back into this area. Just use a microfiber cleaning system like Swiffer to remove any cobwebs and dust. If the propane tank storage area does require a more thorough cleaning, remove the propane tank before wiping the interior down.
● 90” tall
● 2-piece Quartz tube provides an elegant open flame display
● 21.5” x 21” base
● Thermal Output of 40,000 BTUs
Heat Storm Tradesman Patio Heater
This infrared radiant heater provides directional heating wherever you need it. Because it is an electric heater, it does not emit carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide like propane or natural gas heaters. This means you can use it in both closed and open areas.
This unit has an IP35 rating which means that it is partially dust resistant but very splash resistant. It has a 1500 watt thermal output which means that you will be able to feel heat approximately 8 feet away.
This unit also has a very fast activation time, which means that it will start to produce heat within 1 to 2 seconds after being activated. It also has an optional roll stand, which means that you can put it on nearly any service without worrying if it will get damaged by an accidental bump.
The heat storm patio heater is also extremely lightweight which makes it a breeze to move wherever you need it.
● 1500 Watt Infrared Heating Element
● IP35 rating protects from indirect water exposure
● Uses a tripod or roll cage mounting system to allow versatility of use
● Emission-free heating system.
Lava Heat Italia 2G Patio Heater
This Lava Heat Italia 2G Patio Heater is made by one of the top manufacturers in the business. It is made of solid steel, aluminum, and stainless steel with a heritage bronze finish which means that it will look amazing with nearly any type of decor.
This heater is 8 ft. tall with a very small footprint. It produces 66000 BTUs that reaches out to about 6 feet and normal weather conditions. It is fueled by a 20 lb. standard propane tank which is stored in the base.
This patio heater has a single piece flame tube that provides an amazing light show when the unit is on. Protective mesh guards attached to the patio heaters frame ensure that small children or guests do not suffer from an accidental contact burn.
● Thermal Output of 66,000 BTUs
● Single piece glass flame tube showcases a stunning display
● 24” x 24” base
● 91” tall
Patio Heater Comparison Chart
|Outland Living Series 401||35,000 BTUs||L 44" x W 32" x H 23"||Espresso Brown||96 lbs|
|Golden Flame||46,000 BTUs||12.1 x 10.3 x 1.5 in||Rich-Mocha Brown||1.5 pounds|
|VIVREAL Electric Patio Heater||N/A||23.6 x 7.5 x 3.6 in||Black||4.1 pounds|
|AmazonBasics Commercial||46,000 BTUs||33 x 18 x 89 in||Havana Bronze||40 pounds|
|Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG||40,000 BTU's||21.5 x 21 x 38.5 in||Black||65.2 pounds|
|Heat Storm Tradesman||N/A||23.25 x 3.44 x 5.5 in||Black||5 pounds|
|Lava Heat Italia||66,000 BTUs||24 x 24 x 91 in||Heritage Bronze||70 pounds|
Patio Heater Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen an overview of the best consumer-oriented patio heaters to get a feel for what’s on the market, it’s time to cover some of the questions you should ask before making a purchase decision. There may be one or two patio heaters that caught your eye but weren’t quite right for some reason. Or you may want to do a bit more legwork before committing to a specific style or model.
That’s what this buying guide is for. So if you want to start fresh and make your own way through the myriad of options for patio heaters, this guide has you covered. With this guide’s help, you’ll be able to make smart and informed decisions not only about your eventual purchase, but also the research you do as you discover the heater that’s right for you.
This guide will cover three basic sections. First, you’ll get a detailed look at the three most common types of patio heaters. There will also be some key safety and maintenance points included in that section. Second, this guide will give you some questions you should be asking to help you narrow the selection. And lastly, an overview of some features that you may not know you wanted, but should be aware of.
Section One: The Three Types of Patio Heaters
At the beginning of this guide, you got a brief overview of the three types of patio heaters: freestanding, infrared, and open flame. This section of the buying guide will go more into depth on them, giving you an idea of not only the benefits of each but also what some of the drawbacks are. You’ll also get a brief overview of the maintenance requirements for each type.
Freestanding Patio Heaters
Freestanding patio heaters are the kind that you see on the decks of restaurants when the weather turns to fall. They generally fall into two types, torch and pyramid; although both use either natural gas or propane as their fuel source. Propane fueled patio heaters are able to be moved easily, while natural gas fueled types require a dedicated natural gas line to be installed.
The first type has the fuel burner at the top underneath a metal umbrella called the reflector. This reflector deflects the heat that would naturally escape upwards and redirects it downward. Propane flows upward to the burner and is lit in an assembly that looks like a gas stove. The flame provides the heat, but because of the enclosure, it remains fairly dim.
The second type of freestanding patio heater has a glass tube that acts as the burner. Propane or natural gas is burned in the tube, which creates a mesmerizing display of dancing flames. As the heater is turned up, the flames rise higher in the pipe. Additionally, because the flame is mostly exposed, this type of patio heater provides a fair bit of illumination, on par with an open fire.
This type of patio heater is also called a pyramid patio heater because the base is square while the body of the heater tapers as it goes up. This design lends stability to the patio heater. It also provides a framework for a protective mesh that surrounds the heater so you don’t accidentally touch the heating column in the center.
Maintenance and Safety Concerns
Maintenance on a free-standing patio heater is very simple. A simple cleaning with warm soapy water will suffice to keep the exterior clear. Never use chemical cleaners on patio heaters. They can leave a residue that when heated will release dangerous or noxious fumes.
For pyramid type patio heaters with a central glass tube, there should not be any carbon residue because of how the combustion system works. In the event that there is, a gentle wash with a soft sponge will remove it. Don’t ever use an abrasive to clean the glass tube as it could score and weaken it, increasing the danger that the class could fracture or shatter during heating. If you ever notice that the system is popping or sputtering, turn the heater off and inspect the gas lines.
Sputtering and popping are indications that the gas hose is partially obstructed. Ensure there are no kinks in it and check it for blockages. One of the most common causes of blockage is an insect or spider; sometimes a spider will even lay an egg sac inside a gas line when the heater hasn’t been used for a long period of time.
If the patio heater uses a propane tank as its fuel source, make sure to inspect the hose and regulator fittings when it over the tank is changed. If it is the first time that the heater has been used for the season, be sure to do a leak check on the hose and regulator fittings.
Checking for leaks on the hose and regulator is very easy and only takes about 5 minutes. Mix one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to 1 quart of water. Stir the mixture until the dishwashing soap is thoroughly dissolved. Use a paintbrush to liberally apply the soapy mixture to the hose and fittings.
The next step is to turn the propane tank on and open the regulator valve. Don’t turn on the propane until this step. If there is a leak, then you don’t want to give the gas a chance to build up. At that point, an accidental spark can cause a disaster.
If there are any leaks in the hose or where it connects with the regulator, then you will see small soap bubbles form. If this happens, immediately close the regulator and remove the propane tank. Replace the entire hose assembly before reusing the patio heater.
When storing for the offseason make sure that these types of patio heaters are stored completely upright. Laying them on their side can weaken them structurally and cause the ignition assembly to become loose and damaged. When taking the unit out of storage, inspect the ignition assembly to be sure that no corrosion or damage has occurred.
These types of heaters, because they rely on the combustion of fuel, should never be used in enclosed areas. A dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide can occur in unventilated areas, leading to headaches, nausea, or fatalities.
When operating these heaters, make sure that there is plenty of clearance overhead, and to the sides, to prevent damage or combustion of flammable materials nearby. In most cases, four feet of overhead clearance and three feet on all sides is sufficient. Additionally, never use a free-standing patio heater as a towel rack or hang anything from them when in operation.
Additionally, when moving a free standing patio burner, make sure to allow the unit at least 45 minutes to cool down before touching it. Use the back of your hand to test if the surface is cool enough to touch if you aren’t sure. And because of the danger of burns, make sure to closely monitor children when they are around any free standing patio heater.
Infrared Patio Heaters
These types of patio heaters are usually smaller in size and are often referred to as tabletop patio heaters. They are usually powered by electricity. They use radiant heat instead of convection heat to warm people which makes them especially good during windy periods.
Radiant heat relies on infrared radiation to warm you as opposed to convection heat which warms the air around you. Because convection heat warms the air if the air moves then so does the heat. However, with infrared radiation as long as you are within line of sight of the heating coils, you are going to feel warm.
These heaters do glow red but they are not a good source of light or ambiance. Because of where you will likely have them positioned up and out of the way you will need to provide an additional light source for your guests to enjoy.
Maintenance and Safety Concerns
When using an infrared radiant heater, one of the primary safety concerns is ensuring that the circuit that you plug it into can handle the load. With most heaters pulling somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 watts, this isn’t something you want to plug into the same circuit as your television, or refrigerator.
Especially, never plug these heaters into an extension cord or a power strip that is not rated to handle the load. They can overheat, melt the power strip or extension cord, and cause an electrical fire. If you’re concerned about whether or not your circuit can handle this type of heater, consult a licensed electrician.
Because these heaters do not burn anything, they are perfect for enclosed areas, such as sunrooms, garages, or basements. Most are wall-mountable which means that you can mount them near the ceiling and angle them down into the room to ensure an even distribution of heat.
Some of these heaters have an IP rating which allows them to withstand splashes of liquid without causing interruption of operation. However, they are still electrical appliances and should never be submerged or sprayed directly with any liquid.
As with any heater, make sure that there is plenty of clearance in front of the heating element to prevent damage or an accidental fire. Watch children and small pets to ensure that they are not too close to the patio heater to avoid any accidental burns.
Open Flame Patio Heaters
Sometimes, you want the comfort of a crackling fire to visit with your friends and family. That is where open flame patio heaters come in. These can be fire pits, fire tables or chimineas. While most use propane or natural gas as a source of fuel, some do use wood or charcoal.
If your open flame patio heater does use wood, make sure that it is well seasoned and dried. Green wood will release extra smoke, and may pop and send sparks flying due to resin or sap that hasn’t had a chance to cure.
The most versatile open flame patio heaters are combined with tables to provide a flat surface where guests can place drinks or food around the perimeter while a crackling fire burns in the center.
These types of patio heaters also allow you to cook food if that’s something that you would like to do. Even the most basic fire pit, or fire table, will allow you to make that time-honored campfire dessert, the s’more.
Maintenance and Safety Concerns
One of the most immediate maintenance concerns for open fire patio heaters depends on your fuel source.
If you have a wood-burning fire pit, then you need to be aware of where the smoke ghost. In most cases, a hood attached to a chimney is the best solution. This avoids a cloud of smoke from being blown into your guests’ face or your neighbor’s yard. Additionally, if your fire pit Burns would, you need to have a place to dispose of the ashes.
Fortunately, these concerns can be alleviated by using a propane tank or having a natural gas line fed to your fire pit. However, for some, the aesthetic of gas burning fire is not the same as that of a wood-burning fire. You will have to decide which is more important to you.
Whichever fuel source you choose, this type of patio heater provides a warm light whose ambiance is perhaps the best of all three kinds of heaters.
It is vitally important that you not add any sort of untreated river rock or stone or glass that has not been specially designed for use in open flames. This type of material can dry and explode inside of an open flame, which is the last thing you want to happen at a family get-together.
Section Two: Asking the Right Questions
What Are You Using It For?
One of the key questions when you are deciding what type of patio heater to get is answering what you plan to use it for. Is it to provide warmth by the pool? Is it to provide a gathering area after BBQs? Maybe you just are looking for something to warm the patio while you work on your car.
Whatever the use, you will have to then decide which form factor is best for you. For example, for a poolside patio heater, a pyramid style or a free-standing porch style will work best. You don’t want a radiant heater because it will be electric, and also the pool water will absorb the heat readily.
You want someone to think about what fuel source you want to use. while propane does allow the most flexibility, you also are responsible for replacing the propane tank and every single one of your patio heater whenever they start to sputter or run out of fuel. natural gas is an excellent option, but unless you are going to run lines everywhere around your patio, your heater is pretty much stuck in one place. an electric infrared heater does give you more flexibility in that you can use an industrial rated extension cord to allow you to move the heater wherever you need it, but you are still tied to an electrical outlet.
Another factor to keep in mind is the climate where you will be using it. If you live in Florida and want a patio heater to stave off the chill as the sun drops, then a free-standing unit with a mild BTU output will serve nicely.
Conversely, if you’re in Wisconsin and want a heater that is going to warm you as you grill in the dead of winter oh, you may need three or four units stationed very closely.
The key here is matching your specific needs with a patio heater that will satisfy those needs. Although it sounds simple, you know that it’s really not. But thankfully, that’s where the rest of this guide is here to help you.
Where Are You Using It?
This question ties in with what you’re using it for obviously. Thinking about the location will also determine what type of fuel source you should use. If you plan on putting them by the pool but don’t plan on moving them at all, it might be worth the time and money to have a natural gas line installed. If you think that you will be moving them frequently because of different types of parties, then you will want to stick with a propane tank fueled heater so that the patio heater can be easily moved.
Some radiant heaters come with optional stands for roll cages that enable you to move them wherever you need to. There are also stands available that enable them to be moved around and provide heat at table-height while keeping your table free.
A key concern is how much heat you’ll need for the area you’re going to be using it. Thermal output is measured in British thermal units or BTUs. 1 BTU is the amount of energy that is required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit at sea level. This is a handy chart that will give you an idea of how many BTUs you should expect to need to heat a specific area.
Square Footage that Requires Heat Recommended BTU output
100 – 150 square feet 5,000
150 – 250 square feet 6,000
250 – 300 square feet 7,000
300 – 350 square feet 8,000
350 – 400 square feet 9,000
400 – 450 square feet 10,000
450 – 550 square feet 12,000
550 – 700 square feet 14,000
700 – 1000 square feet 18,000
1000 – 1200 square feet 21,000
1200 – 1400 square feet 23,000
1400 – 1500 square feet 24,000
1500 – 2000 square feet 30,000
2000 – 2500 square feet 34,000-
Keep in mind that this chart is only a general approximation. numerous factors go into determining the amount of BTUs required to heat a specific area including the weather conditions. If the weather is windy enough, a million BTUs is not going to be enough to heat your patio area because the wind will constantly blow the heat away.
How Often Will You Be Using It?
This question isn’t one that a lot of people think of, but it’s important. For occasional use, an electric heater might be your best option because it can be stored more easily. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, you’ll probably be using your patio heater in an enclosed space, which means that you have to use a zero-emission electric patio heater to avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide. But there’s another side to the question as well.
Once you know how often you’re using your patio heater, you have to ask the other part of the question: where will you put it when it’s not in use?
If you own a large home with a pool house and dedicated storage shed, then the answer is obvious. But if not, then this has to become a serious consideration. Free-standing and open flame patio heaters can be covered during the offseason and left in place. If a free-standing patio heater is going to be stored, it must be stored upright. Additionally, the propane tank must be completely disconnected and stored separately.
Additionally, when storing a free-standing patio heater you have to take care with specific elements. a pyramid style heater should have the central glass tube removed and packed separately to avoid breakage. a torch style patio heater should have the reflector removed to avoid damage. simply loosen the screws holding the reflector to the burner assembly, remove it and store it nearby.
Electric infrared heaters are easier to store because of their smaller size, but they do need to be stored indoors and in relatively dry conditions to avoid corrosion or other damage.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
This is probably one of the hardest questions to ask. Nobody wants to pay too much for a patio heater, and on the other side, you don’t want to pay too little for a patio heater. It might seem like a paradox but it isn’t. Everybody is looking for the best deal and the best way to find out is to decide where you’re willing to make compromises and where you are not.
For example, if aesthetics and looks are more important to you than how warm a unit gets, then a fire pit or fire table is probably the best bet for you. On the other hand, if you don’t care how the heaters look and you just want them to work, radiant heating is an excellent option. And of course, right smack in the middle is the function over form torch style free-standing heaters and the style over substance pyramid patio heaters.
But, heat output vs. Aesthetics is not the only place where you can adjust to save money. Another area is in the manufacturer. A lot of times, you are paying extra simply for the brand name. For example, Lava is a well-known manufacturer of patio heaters and has been in the business for a long time. When you purchase a patio heater made by Lava, you are partially paying for the name. If you are willing to go with an off-brand that has good reviews and solid performance, you can save quite a bit of money. For example, Amazon has its own brand of torch style heaters.
Because it is a house brand, you can save quite a bit of money by purchasing an Amazon heater versus a name-brand porch heater. But, it’s also less of a risk because you have the Amazon name standing behind that product. So you are not going to save as much money as you would by going with a completely unknown manufacturer. Again, this is an area where if you are willing to take risks and make sacrifices you can save quite a lot of money on your patio heater.
One last area that you can save money on is the finish of a product. unfinished stainless steel and steel may not be as attractive as a rubbed bronze coat but, if you aren’t going to have the patio heater front and center it where everybody can see it, is it worth paying extra for the powder-coated bronze look. Sometimes, going with a plain finish as opposed to a premium finish will save you a bundle.
Section Three: Awesome Features
When looking at porch heaters, there are a bunch of features that are considered standard. However, some features go above and beyond and those are the ones that you should know about.
Some porch heaters come with remote controls. Remote controls are awesome in that you don’t have to get up to turn the heat up when the weather starts getting colder. However be aware that some remote controls are infrared, which means that they must be in the line of sight. If you can, look for a remote control that operates on Wi-Fi, which will increase the cost a little bit, but make sure that you aren’t stretching with the remote trying to get a good angle on your porch heater.
Another cool feature that makes a porch heater go above and beyond is when they are environmentally friendly. Admittedly, this will rule out a wood-burning patio heater, but natural gas patio heaters are extremely clean-burning and contribute very little to your carbon footprint.
You might think that an electric heater is even more environmentally friendly because it has zero emissions, but you have to consider how the electricity that powers your heater is generated. In some cases using natural gas is actually better for the environment than using coal-generated electricity. Learn more about the best heating and cooling system on the market in our guide.
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a patio heater. Hopefully, this guide has helped you navigate some of the essential questions you should be asking yourself when you get one. Whether you choose one of the seven from this guide or pick an entirely different model, you have the tools to get the patio heater that is best for you and your lifestyle.