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How to Buy a Patio Heater

How to Buy a Patio Heater

You shouldn’t have to forego spending time at your outdoor kitchen island during the colder months simply because it is cold outside. Further, you shouldn’t have to move the party inside once the sun has gone down, and the warm day has turned into a chilly evening.

This is why you need a patio heater for your outdoor kitchen and patio area. Patio heaters come in different shapes, sizes, and fuel types, so it can be difficult to know where to begin. In this guide, we will help you know exactly how to buy a patio heater so that you can enjoy spending time in your outdoor kitchen during all months of the year.

Consider the Style and Size

Depending on the size of your outdoor kitchen and patio area, you may be limited to the size and style of outdoor gas heater you can choose. For this reason, we have put this consideration at the top of the list and have included some of the most common sizes and styles of patio heaters to choose form.

Freestanding Patio Heaters

These patio heaters are not fixed to any object (ceiling, wall, etc.). They are a single patio heater that can be placed virtually in any area. They require no installation, making them completely mobile and versatile. This means you can move the heater wherever the guests are.

Tabletop Patio Heaters

These tabletop fire pits are placed on a surface, such as a tabletop or counter space, and provide a small amount of heat for smaller settings. They give the appearance of a table lamp, which makes these patio heaters double as table lamps.

Wall & Ceiling Mount Heaters

These patio heaters require to be installed to a wall or ceiling, making them fixed to the area in which they are installed. The benefit of wall and ceiling mount heaters is that they take up no tabletop area or floor space. The downside to wall and ceiling mount heaters is that they are permanently fixed and don’t put out a large amount of heat.

Hanging Patio Heaters

These patio heaters act as a hanging light fixture that you would see in a home. They require a ceiling for them to become attached. Depending on the size of the hanging patio heater, they may provide small or large amounts of heat.

Fuel Type

The other factor you need to consider when buying a patio heater is the type of fuel or power it will require. Fuel type will be natural gas or propane; otherwise, the patio heater will be powered by standard household electricity.

Natural Gas Patio Heater

Natural gas patio heaters require natural gas lines in order to install the patio heater, so this may be an added cost you need to consider if you are thinking about a natural gas patio heater. If your outdoor kitchen or patio is already plumbed for natural gas, this will likely be the most sensible choice for you to make as natural gas produces a large output of heat and do not require refilling the way propane heaters require.

Propane Gas Patio Heater

Propane gas patio heaters are portable and easy to install. Typically, propane gas heaters do not require a professional to install, making it easy for you to do-it-yourself. Propane gas is more expensive than natural gas, and you can quickly go through a large amount of propane without even realizing it. A propane gas heater is ideal for those in warmer climates who may not need to run the patio heater for long periods at a time, just during those sporadic chilly nights that are cooler than others. Typically a 20-pound propane cylinder will fuel a propane gas patio heater for about 10 hours, making propane gas patio heaters a costly choice for frequent and prolonged use.

Electric Patio Heater

It doesn’t get much more simple and to-the-point than an electric patio heater. Simply plug-and-go. Electric patio heaters are easy to install and cheaper to operate. Electric patio heaters also have a lower BTU than gas heaters. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which is the measurement of how much heat is required to raise the air temperature by one degree Fahrenheit. Because electric patio heaters have a lower BTU than gas heaters, the heat that is produced is much lighter than the heat produced from a gas heater.

Things to Remember When Buying a Patio Heater

There are two things you should remember when buying a patio heater: the average heating area of the heater and if a warranty is included.

The average heating area should be included in the specifications of the heater, but there may also be factors you should consider, such as the average ambient temperature that the patio heater will be heating. This will have an effect on the overall heating area the patio heater can provide.

The other consideration to remember is if the heater has a warranty. Patio heaters are a piece of equipment like any other appliance in your outdoor kitchen and patio area, so it should work properly as well. If you have any issue with your patio heater, a warranty will allow you to get your patio heater fixed quickly and accurately at little to no charge to you, as long as the repair is covered. 

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