The patio is an excellent extension of your living space. It is a very popular spot during the summer, and most individuals and families enjoy a relaxing or fun-filled evening there. However, it becomes unpopular when the cold weather hits because the low temperature gets quite uncomfortable.
You do not have to give up your patio during the cold seasons. You can still enjoy the same benefits a patio offers as functional space during warmer times of the year. Outdoor patio propane heaters are the answer to this matter.
A heater will allow you to have the entire 12 months or at least three-quarters of your year's worth of indoor comfort in an outdoor living space. You do, however, need to know which one would best suit your needs before you make a decision.
Types of Heaters for Your Home and How They Work
A patio heater warms an area either by burning fuel or electrically heating an element. You differentiate heaters primarily by their different power source options. Although there are some sources built explicitly for particular purposes, the most common fuel options you find on the market include wood, natural gas, electricity, and propane.
Radiant heat is the scientific foundation behind patio heater technology and works in a way similar to how the sun produces heat. Directing materials such as reflectors amplify the source and enable the radiant heat from your patio heater to warm the area. The size of the reflector determines heat concentration.
The radiant heat and reflector technology is unlike that used in indoor space heaters that use fans to transmit heat produced. It is a better-preferred method than blowing warm air into your outdoor spaces from indoors because that air escapes.
It is essential to know how each heating method works so you can pick the one that best suits your needs. Propane heaters, however, are quite convenient. Let's learn more.
Why Outdoor Patio Propane Heaters?
Propane is a popular outdoor heating option and for good reason. It is a versatile, clean-burning energy source according to the Clean Air and Energy Policy Acts.
When it comes to installation, it is the easiest option. It does not require installation or plumbing by a professional. You incur very minimal installation costs if any.
All you need is a propane gas tank. You can buy one or get a refill from convenience and hardware stores. They are readily available at affordable costs.
This type of heater is very easy-to-use.
Propane heaters warm a space up quite fast. They do not take up a lot of space and can, therefore, fit any patio.
Outdoor patio propane heaters are easy to transport. Their mobility means you can set them up or move them anywhere they can stand including indoors. However, it should not be in a very enclosed space.
We can compare the outdoor patio propane heaters to other methods to see their advantage. Wood needs a lot of maintenance as you need to add wood to keep the fire burning constantly. It will require cleaning from time to time.
Lighting a fire depends on the atmosphere and the type of wood or the state it is in during ignition, so that can prove difficult too. It is also dangerous because it can cause fire-related accidents and melt or destroy other items on your patio.
Natural gas heaters are stationary, heat-producing systems hooked up to your gas line. Only experts should deal with their installation, and they need professional plumbing. Once installed, you cannot move them elsewhere.
The electric option works too, but it also needs professional installation due to voltage and wiring issues. It is also immobile because it requires anchorage to an electrical outlet.
Size, Shape, and Weight
Outdoor patio propane heaters come in different sizes. Size influences heating power and is a consideration regarding your space and budget.
The main thing to consider here is the size of your gas tank. Smaller tanks fit smaller spaces and are convenient for less heating requirements. However, they need replacing more often than high capacity tanks, which can get expensive.
Opting for a large tank means that you need a lot of heat. You can use it continuously for long hours. It is a more expensive to buy a higher capacity tank one time, but depending on use, it may not need a refill for a while.
The size and shape of the dispenser or reflector also matter. A larger reflector will transmit heat to a broader area.
Although similar in function, dispensers come in different shapes only for aesthetic purposes. You want to avoid the square-shaped ones because they might diminish the heating capabilities.
A heavy patio heater is sturdy and less susceptible to tilting or falling over. Weight is a significant issue because there may be strong winds outdoors that can topple an outdoor heater.
It also gives some assurance on durable materials and parts. Look for outdoor patio propane heaters with stainless steel exteriors that are easy to clean.
Pick Your Style
Outdoor patio propane heaters come in two main styles.
The top heater is a perfect choice if you want to provide warmth over a small circle. You can pick a design that suits your taste. Some models look like the traditional lamps; others resemble mini floor heaters.
You can also opt for the standalone or freestanding propane heater. It gives off more heat for a larger patio space or outdoor deck. This style is very popular in outdoor restaurant sitting areas and also works well for your home.
Check the Features
A typical propane heater has better features than most other fuel sources. However, some manufacturers may cut corners. The following are some of the features to look out for in outdoor patio propane heaters:
Depending on the type, any decent propane heater has
A Safety Shut-Off
There are two types of safety shut-offs. The manual shut-off is a valve that turns off the fuel supply and extinguishes flames. The automatic is a switch inside the heater that also turns it off if it becomes dangerously hot.
In case the heater tilts or topples over, this safety feature will automatically turn it off.
Safety Certification and Approval
Always check if your heater is CSA or UL-certified to ensure it underwent testing and evaluation, hence meeting standard safety requirements and protocol.
It's best to go for eco-friendly, energy-efficient designs.
This makes your heater safe around pets and children.
A Pilot Light
Each propane heater has this small gas flame to help ignite the burner.
Check the Warranty
Consider the manufacturer and always go for reliable brands. Although installation is straightforward, it is more convenient to buy a fully assembled model, most of which are available on the market.
We've Got You Covered
Are you ready to install an outdoor patio propane heater solution? If so, we'd love to help!