How to Choose the Right Patio Heater

If you want to make use of your backyard patio during the colder months of the year, patio heaters are an essential addition to your outdoor living space. Heaters ensure that backyard gatherings amongst family and friends are warm and cozy, even during the coldest times of the year!

Patio heaters come in a variety of designs and sizes, some even with wheels for easy mobility. To help you find the ideal heater for your home needs, we’ve created this guide detailing all types available on the market today.


Things to Consider When Buying a Patio Heater

There are many things to consider before deciding to purchase a patio heater. Heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the needs of different owners and it’s important to think about how you plan to maximize the benefit of bringing a patio heater home. Some factors to consider are:

  • What is the primary use for the patio heater (i.e. entertainment area, dining area, etc.)?
  • How much space do you have available?
  • What type of fuel does the patio heater run on?
  • Is portability important?
  • What is your budget?


Heating Range

The first step to picking the ideal patio heater for your outdoor space is figuring out how many BTUs you need. To determine how many BTUs you need, simply multiply the square footage of your area by 20.

For example, if you have a 400 square foot patio, then you will need a heater that can generate up to 8,000 BTU’s to comfortably warm up your patio.


Safety Features

Patio heaters are a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but safety should be your top priority. A tilt switch and an automatic gas valve shutoff are two essential safety features to look for when buying a patio heater.

For maximum safety when using a patio heater in your outdoor space, keep an up-to-date fire extinguisher nearby for easy use and overall peace of mind.


Types of Patio Heaters

There are many types of patio heaters available on the market, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Thinking about what you expect out of a patio heater is important in choosing the right type of patio heater for your outdoor space.


Electric Patio Heaters

Electric patio heaters are becoming increasingly popular for those looking for a more energy-efficient patio heater option. 

These patio heaters are powered by electricity and generate heat without burning any fuel, so they can be an economical choice in the long run. Electric patio heaters use radiant infrared technology to warm objects around them, rather than heating up the air. By doing so, these heaters are known to keep objects like furniture warm for your guests. 

Most electric patio heaters are wall-mounted or freestanding models that use a single power cord. Some models may even feature adjustable settings with multiple operating positions so you can achieve the best temperature for your patio. 

When selecting an electric patio heater, it’s important to also consider factors such as wattage, size and design. Higher wattages will produce more powerful heating effects, while smaller sizes may be better suited for less spacious areas. Additionally, some electric patio heaters also have additional features like LED lights or Bluetooth connectivity to provide ambient lighting or allow you to control your heater remotely from an app on your smartphone.

The one thing to note here is that not all homes can have electric heaters since they need 240 volts to work. Therefore, if your house panel can’t handle 240 volts, then you might need to look into other options.

Overall, electric patio heaters provide a reliable source of warmth without sacrificing energy, efficiency or style. When choosing an electric patio heater, make sure to consider factors such as wattage, size and design.


Liquid Propane Patio Heaters

Patio heaters that use liquid propane as a fuel source are a great choice for anyone looking for an economical, mobile and efficient patio heater option. Liquid propane patio heaters often come with a number of features like adjustable settings and wheels for easy mobility. 

Liquid propane patio heaters are powered by liquid propane and generate heat without burning any fuel, making them a more environmentally-friendly option than some other patio heater types. When selecting a liquid propane patio heater, it’s important to consider factors such as wattage, size and design to ensure you select the best model for your needs.


Natural Gas Patio Heaters

Natural gas patio heaters are becoming an increasingly popular option for many homeowners. These patio heaters use natural gas to generate heat, and are generally more energy-efficient than electric patio heaters. 

Natural gas patio heaters are great for larger outdoor areas as they provide powerful, widespread heating without burning any fuel. Most natural gas patio heaters come with adjustable settings that allow you to control the temperature of your patio area. Some models may even feature additional features such as LED lights or Bluetooth connectivity for added convenience and ease of use. 

Natural gas patio heaters typically come in either wall-mounted or freestanding models. Wall-mounted patio heaters can be great for smaller outdoor spaces as they take up less space and require minimal installation effort. However, if you have a larger area or want more control over your patio’s temperature, then you may want to choose a freestanding model which offers more flexibility in terms of placement and coverage. 

It is also important to ensure you select a natural gas patio heater with a sufficient BTU rating in order to adequately heat your desired area. The higher the BTU rating of the patio heater, the more powerful its heating capabilities will be.

One thing to note about gas heaters that they might not be safe to install if there isn’t enough clearance from ground to soffit. If this is the case for you, it might be a better idea to look into other options.

Overall, natural gas patio heaters provide an efficient and economical way to keep family and friends warm while enjoying the outdoors during colder months – just make sure to consider factors such as BTU rating, size and design before choosing one! 


Patio Heater Comparison


Fuel Type Electric Liquid Propane Natural Gas
Design Tower-style, Table-top Freestanding, Wall-mounted Freestanding, Wall-mounted
Cost Low/Medium Medium Medium
Maintenance/Upkeep Minimal Periodic Regular
Safety Can’t be installed if the house panel can’t handle 240 volts None Can’t be installed if there isn’t enough clearance between ground and soffit


Patio Heater Cost & Maintenance

The cost of patio heaters vary by type and size. Generally, electric patio heaters are the most economical option however, factoring in the performance and safety, liquid propane patio heaters and natural gas patio heaters are very cost-efficient.

When it comes to maintenance, electric patio heaters require minimal upkeep as they do not produce any emissions or fumes that need to be monitored. However, these types of patio heaters should still be regularly cleaned in order to ensure optimal performance. Liquid propane patio heaters will require occasional tank refills and periodic maintenance checks in order to make sure the unit is functioning properly. Natural gas patio heaters will also require regular maintenance checks but may require additional work such as installation of a new regulator if necessary.

No matter which type of patio heater you go with, it is important to always use caution during use to avoid danger such as the use of a heater that is much hotter than it needs to be. Additionally, keep your patio heater away from combustible materials such as furniture or fabrics and never leave it unattended while in operation. 

It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care and usage in order to maintain the optimal performance and lifetime of your patio heater.

Want to buy a new patio heater?

No matter your budget or yard size, we have heaters to keep your patio nice and warm. Provide us with some details and one of our specialists will help you find the perfect patio heater today!

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