This article is dedicated to providing the best source of information, services, and products for all types of patio heaters.
After spending time, effort and hard-earned cash in creating your dream garden or patio, it would seem silly not to be able to enjoy it at all times throughout the year from spring to winter.
One way of achieving this is by investing in one of the many different types of patio heaters that are currently on the market, to provide some warmth throughout colder times whether it be on a summers evening to take the chill from the air or a lovely winters day providing a warmth to feel comfortable in sitting out.
Patio Heater Expert will hopefully provide you with enough information in making the right choice of patio heater for your outdoor area from the various different types available within the garden furniture market today.
It will also ensure you are considering the key areas, for example, the size of the area that you need to heat, the sort of temperatures that you will be encountering and the number of people that you envisage will need heating.
All these points will need to be considered to ensure the right choice is made. Patio Heater Expert will also hopefully help you understand other important areas to consider like patio heater energy output, energy type, and safety issues, all of which will add to the outdoor experience in your garden or on your patio.
It has been scientifically proven that a local outdoor area (i.e. garden or patio) is the best place to unwind, as it is literally on your doorstep, cost no or little money (maybe the odd bottle of wine or a few beers..!!) and does not require any detailed planning or effort to use.
This is why we at Outdoorchecker believe that an investment in the right type of patio heater can actually make a difference in your lifestyle, providing great opportunities for socializing, whether it be with a loved one or with a group of friends or family.
Having the option to provide heat outdoors when the day or night is cold or has gone cooler prolongs the feel-good factor of the outdoor life and is a great commodity to have.
So where do we start?
Please read on to find all the advice you need……..
Patio Heater Types
What are the different types of patio heater available?
Patio heaters come in three main types, and these types are based on the type of fuel that they use. I’ll be discussing each of these types of fuels that can be used. You’ll want to carefully consider what type of heater to use on your patio or under your porch awning so that you don’t waste your money on the wrong type.
Gas Patio Heaters
The first type I’d like to discuss is gas heaters. You can use either propane or natural gas. If you want to use your heater to heat a large portion of your patio or porch, a gas heater is probably going to be your best option. You can heat a larger area with less cost with gas so this is definitely going to be attractive to you if your patio is very large. If you get a pretty good-sized heater you can expect to be able to cover 15-20 feet. Any gas heater that is worth buying will also come with standard safety measures.
Traditional Gas Patio Heater:
Traditional Tall Standing Patio HeaterThe traditional gas patio heater is what we commonly see in a garden center which is generally a tall upright heater that has a widened bottom that normally houses and conceals a propane gas bottle. These types of heaters are generally the same shape looking a bit like a lamp post with a flat bottom and come in a variety of different colors and styles, for example, an old fashioned style that looks like an old lamp post from the 19th century. There are also more modern patio heater themes with chrome patio heaters and bronze patio heaters which look great in a modern garden or patio. The only difference between these types of patio heaters apart from the style is the heat output which can vary depending on size and price with current propane prices.
Table Gas Patio Heaters:
Table Patio HeaterThe table gas patio heater is a perfect choice for a small outdoor dining area or where height clearance is tight and can be also used for camping and if necessary under an awning. This type of patio heater as the name suggests will simply sit on your Rattan
Outdoor Garden Furniture and keep the area cozy and warm. They are a shortened version of the traditional patio heater and like their taller cousins come in a range of styles and themes. The heat output on a table patio heater is more commonly less than a taller traditional taller model but depending on the price you are willing to pay is more than capable of matching it.
Electric Patio Heaters
The second type of fuel is electricity. Electricity is easily available and you don’t have to go to a store to buy it like you would gas or wood. This makes it a better option if you plan on using your patio heater very frequently.
If you need to heat a large area though use a gas heater instead as you will need a very large electric heater to put out a lot of heat. You can have problems because your standard outlet is not meant to handle such electrical strain. If you need a small heater for just one or two people though, this would be a perfect option, especially if you want to use it often without having to make trips to the store.
Traditional Electric Patio Heaters:
Electric Patio HeaterTraditional electric patio heaters look like their gas counterparts but rather than use a Propane gas bottle to generate its energy, it uses electricity with halogen elements. These heaters provide heat similar to the way the sun’s heat distribution works, where things are heated up rather than just the air in between. Electric patio heaters provide the best efficiency levels of anything on the market today making it the economist’s choice and combined with zero carbon emissions also makes it the environmentalist’s choice too.
Wall Mounted Electric Patio Heaters:
Wall Mounted Patio HeaterThese types of patio heaters have all the benefits of the traditional patio heaters mentioned above with their efficiency levels and environmentally friendly emissions but have the added advantage of being wall-mounted rather than free-standing. Therefore you don’t need to find space to stand the heater or take up room on a table a piece of the wall will do nicely.
These types of heaters are more often being used commercially at the moment in pubs and restaurants rather than vertical radiators but they are now creeping into the domestic market as they are space-saving and with the appropriate garden lighting ideal for smaller gardens and patios.
Wood Patio Heaters
Finally, let’s take a look at wood heaters. These are very easy to understand and are very simple. They usually look like a table with a sunken in section in the middle. This pit will be covered so that the flames don’t burn people.
Wood patio heaters can add a significant amount of beauty if you are going for a nostalgic look. Wood is fairly cheap and can be had without too much difficulty. If you live near a wooded area you might even be able to get it for free. If this is not the case however, you might want to use an electrical heater for more convenience.
Winter Patio Enclosures
Custom solid patio covers in vinyl or aluminum will be the best choice for winter patio enclosures that require sealing and insulation. You’re going to want to know about Alumawood for a solid roof that looks like wood, or Elitewood or even Alumalattice which can be custom designed to be semi-solid or close and open by a push of a button.
Custom solid patio covers should be designed with some features in mind, so that later your patio winter enclosures do not become a maintenance nightmare. So, make sure you get a contractor who uses strong, long-lasting and low maintenance aluminum or vinyl.
Check that the kits you may decide to buy have sturdy beam construction and have the versatility of being colored or textured with a wood grain finish so your patio winter enclosures don’t stand out as being too different from the house.
Patio Heaters Q and A
Q. How much heat do patio heaters produce?
A. The latest patio heaters produce around 40,000 BTU/h of power which is enough to heat a small house. Don’t think more is better, larger heat capacities requires a wider reflector to reflect it downwards or the heat is lost in the air.
Q. How much gas do patio heaters use?
A. Most of the modern patio heaters today have high energy burners with pilot control which lets you decide the temperature of the heat. Normally at full power, modern patio heaters will use just under 1kg of LPG per hour. Older models burn a great deal more. The best way to use patio heaters is to warm up the surroundings and then reduce the heat control to the level which is most comfortable. Under average use, a gas LPG cylinder will normally last between 3-5 weeks depending on the weather.
Q. Are electric patio heaters cheaper to run?
A. A standard 2KW electric patio heater will run at about 10p per KW per hour. Gas (LPG) patio heaters running at a maximum heat of 13KW cost around 8p per KW. This cost is obviously reduced when the heater is turned down a notch.
Q. Are the patio heaters I see in bars the same as my own?
A. NO. The patio heaters that you see in bars with nice landscape lighting are generally more robust and are with higher-grade components and are manufactured and engineered for heavy usage. These types of patio heaters are generally more expensive and do not come in a range of styles like the home use patio heaters.
Q. Can patio heaters be left outside all the time?
A. During the spring and summer months, patio heaters can be left outside all the time but during the winter months it would be best practice to purchase some patio covers for use to prevent weathering. Most patio heaters are pretty durable depending on what it is made from as stainless steel patio heaters are generally more durable than powder coated patio heaters.
What do I need to consider before buying a Patio Heater?
There are several significant considerations should be made before buying a patio heater which I have detailed below:
The patio or garden environment you are trying to heat could immediately play a factor in your decision. Is there enough height to have a free-standing patio heater? Do you have a wall where a wall-mounted heater would go?
Is there an electricity supply if you are thinking of buying an electric patio heater? Are there any restrictions i.e. a porch awning or an outdoor kitchen (check your Outdoor Kitchens Guide) etc. Taking your environment into consideration could narrow your searching time quite considerably.
Patio Heaters come in many different shapes and sizes and can have varying levels of heat output. The required heat output depends on the size of the area you are trying to heat. If you are unsure what range would suit and maybe how strong 12.5Kw of heat actually feels like, there is always the option of asking a salesman to turn on the heater so you can get a better idea.
It would be a waste of money to buy a patio heater with a 6-foot radial heat capacity if it is for a 25-foot wide patio. It would also be helpful if you find out how the heat travels as there are some patio heaters (mostly the gas type) which heat the air and can be affected by wind, whereas some of the newer electric patio heaters heat objects and people and are unaffected by wind.
Most outdoor patio heaters come with an automatic shut off device that will instantly cut the heat to your heater to prevent I overheating. They also can come with tilt shut off devices that cut off the heat source if the heater is tipped up or blown over ensuring that the surroundings will not catch fire.
These, together with the usual heat adjustment buttons are the most common safety precautions items found within most types of patio heaters. It is always best practice to ask about the available safety features before purchasing as this area is an important one often influences people’s decisions on whether or not to buy the heater.
The traditional full standing gas patio heaters seem to be on the whole slightly less expensive than the freestanding electric patio heaters although prices can range depending on the heat output and style. You seem to pay a little more for the style and design of a propane heater compared to the electric version, which seem a bit more basic looking.
The wall-mounted electric patio heater tends to cost less as they are much smaller and don’t require a base like a standing patio heater, but the price can easily vary depending on the heat output requirement. A table gas patio heater which is the most common table heater is more commonly the cheapest type on the market due to its size.
It must be said that the cheapest or dearest heater available or the heater that has the greatest heat output or the largest number of safety features doesn’t always make it the best. Make sure that you consider all of the other factors mentioned when choosing your patio heater.