The 2019 Guide to Outdoor Patio Heaters

Posted by Lindsey Slinger, Brittany McCann, & Cherese Monte on 5/20/2019
The 2019 Guide to Outdoor Patio Heaters
Who says that entertaining needs to stay indoors during off season month? Patio heaters are an excellent patio product to own if you are looking to entertain all year round with a large or small crowd while providing style and functionality to your outdoor space. With a variety of styles and sizes, you can be sure to find the right fit for your patio. While commonly used in commercial settings like restaurants and bars, you can use patio heaters in your home or even a small porch or balcony, to entertain a crowd during the spring, fall, and winter. 

Patio heaters are mostly portable and can be moved around on wheels, giving you the option to store while not in use or brought to different areas depending on where you are entertaining. While style is essential, there are two main types of heat source for patio heats on the market today, so be sure to choose which option is best for your home. Patio heaters are easy to assemble on require little to no maintenance except changing out the fuel tanks and storing when not in use. With summer just around the corner, you can start to add weeks onto your outdoor living!

Outdoor Patio Benefits

Extension of Season

Why is it that so many people think summer fun has to end after Labor Day? For us, Patio heaters are a great way to extend your time in the outdoors into the fall and winter. Patios are the best place to entertain, cook, and relax. These heaters allow you to entertain people during the chilly season while still being comfortable. Much like a fireplace, these heaters allow you to sit outside on a night that’s a little colder than you would like and be toasty by the heater.

Safe to operate

Patio heaters are a safe way to heat your outdoor area while being safe for children and animals to be around. Patio heaters do not produce an open flame, making the outside and the base of the heaters cool to touch. The only part of the heater that is typically hot to touch is the dome and the screen that covers the outside of the heat source.  Be sure to check the manual of your patio heater for the heat restrictions; some units are not about to be used in covered areas depending on the height. 

Affordable and Efficient
Patio heaters provide comfort and heat without breaking the bank. Below are some ballpark numbers of how much a patio heater costs to run. These numbers may vary on where you live, peak seasons, and the weather outside.

- Propane patio heaters: $1.50 to $3 per hour
- Natural gas patio heaters: $0.25 to $0.75 per hour
- 240 Volt electric patio heaters (2000 watts to 6000 watts): $0.32 to $2.75 per hour
- 120 volt electric patio heaters (1500 watts): $0.24 to $0.68 per hour

Sleek and Portable Styles

Entertaining outdoors can be made possible during cooler temperatures with tabletop options that are easy to move to where your guests are. Whether you are having coffee on the front port to entertaining a small group on your patio, a portable patio heater will be the perfect addition. Patio heaters are not hooked up to a fuel line which makes them easy to move. Most stand up patio heaters have wheels that make them easily portable and light on the back, that way you can bring the heat to any portion of your yard or deck.  With options like Stainless steel, LED, or Bronze options, outdoor patio heaters can help create a stylish patio or deck area for you and your guests that will create conversation while keeping the temperatures comfortable for late nights.  

How Will You Fuel Your Outdoor Patio Heater?

There are two main types of outdoor patio heaters, electric, and ones that run on a propane tank. Propane gas heaters are the most commonly used because they are the easiest, especially when the gas runs out, they are easy to replace. The standard size propane tank that most heaters require is a 20-pound tank. These can be found at local hardware stores for replacement when needed. These units are used for more than just heating! They have become very popular over the last few years and can be a main attraction or centerpiece, especially for entertaining outdoors during the colder months, or even at night during chilly spring evenings. The other main type of heater that has surfaced recently is electric patio heaters. Infrared heat is the transfer of energy to an object or person with a lower temperature, through electromagnetic radiation. However, do not be concerned; no ultraviolet radiation is used in the process, so this form of transfer is safe.

What style patio heater are you looking for?

Close to all patio heaters’ power is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. You want to be sure to pay attention to the tank size the heater you are looking to purchase requires and how powerful it is. Smaller tanks will be replaced more often whereas larger tanks will last a bit longer. If the area you are trying to warm is smaller, stick to a unit that requires a smaller tank and is lower in BTUs. Propane gas heaters come in different shapes and sizes in regards to height and propane tank size. The body style depends mostly on your particular preference. 

There are umbrella patio heaters, triangle shaped, and cylinder shaped and even square. Some designs, such as the square-shaped heaters, have a built-in base that can double as a table for guests to put their drinks on and other small items. Electric heaters can be found at restaurants, outdoor lounge areas, hotels, etc.  Carbon infrared heat lamps, or electric heaters, are the ideal choice for hanging from the ceiling or even mounting to a wall! These can be used on porches, balconies, garages, workshops, patios, and more.