- Size – Patio heaters come in table top, wall mounted, and full-sized freestanding versions ensuring that there is one that can be placed in most outdoor spaces regardless of the square footage of the space. Calculating the amount of space you want to dedicate to the unit itself will help narrow down your choices.
- Heat output – Perhaps one of the most important factors when choosing a patio heater is calculating the amount of space you’re going to want to warm. It would be unfortunate to purchase an insufficient unit and have no choice but to buy another unit or to find you've overspent on a unit you just don’t need.
- Fuel type – You can purchase heaters that operate using liquid propane, natural gas, or electricity. When choosing which type is best for you consider the cost of running the unit with each type of fuel and the placement of the unit.
- Location – Are you planning on using the heater near an awning or tent or in an open outdoor area; close to a building with natural gas or electrical hook-ups or further into the yard? These factors will easily eliminate some patio heaters from the running.
- Finish – Available in a variety of finishes such as copper, stainless steel, painted, and powder coat; there is a look to fit in any décor. Not all finishes are created equal so it is wise to consider how they will wear over time.
- Style – Whether you are looking for a piece that will blend into its surroundings or something that provides more visual appeal – there are certainly a variety of options available to pick from. Perhaps you want the look of a lamp sitting on a table, a streamlined stick type design, a traditionally styled unit, or something in between – whatever your style it’s likely out there for you.
- Features – Many units are available with extra features you may want to consider when making your decision. Look for features such as a remote, push start button, weighted base, anti-tilt switch, added wheels for portability, or a table top attached to gather around. If any of these are important to you, you’ll want to make sure they’re on the unit you’re considering.
- Accessories – Consider the possibility of available accessories for the heater you choose. One of the most common add-ons is a cover (usually sold separately and often generic) for added protection.
Patio Heater Resource
Full Size (or tall) patio heaters are the most common type of patio heater you’re going to see. They are a great, universal type of patio heater and fit well in most outdoor spaces. They come in a variety of styles and finishes to coordinate with any décor. While they are going to vary from model to model, generally they measure around 87” to 111” tall and produce a heat output of about 34,000 to 41,000 BTU’s which approximately covers a 10 to 20 foot diameter.
Table Top patio heaters are great for smaller outer spaces or areas in which you only wish to heat the main seating area. They can easily blend into any décor, some even look similar to a table lamp making them almost unnoticeable. They are usually 35” to 45” tall, produce a heat output of about 10,000 to 12,000 BTU’s and cover a range of about 4 to 12 feet in diameter.
Wall Mounted patio heaters mount to the side of your house and warm your outside space equivalent to a traditional patio heater. They vary greatly in heat output depending on what you’re looking for, producing somewhere between 2500 and 34,000 BTU’s.
Sunmaster Table Top Patio Heaters are perfect for smaller outdoor patio spaces or for families with younger children who want to keep their patio heater out of easy reach of little hands. Their built in safety features ensure maximum safety; including a weighted base and anti-tilt switch that automatically shuts off the heater if it is knocked over.
Measuring a modest 35” high and weighing in at just 19 pounds, a table top patio heater makes an excellent center piece on an outdoor table. However, don’t be fooled by its petite size, the patio heater emits heat up to a 3 foot radius and produces up to 12,000 btu’s of heat. Using just a one pound propane tank hidden under the base of the unit, it remains very lightweight and easy to transport (depending on your fuel source).
Propane patio heaters are the most portable variety of heater. While electric patio heaters require an electrical outlet and natural gas heaters require a line to be run to them, propane patio heaters require only a propane tank. This allows them to be placed just about anywhere and even transported around depending on where they are needed. They work much like a propane grill In that they use a propane tank which is usually stored right underneath.
Typically lamp post in style and available in a range of finishes including stainless steel, copper, and bronze, they are constructed of a base which usually holds a propane tank, a post attached to the patio heater head which houses the emitter screen, and reflector and gas components.
Please note that as with a gas grill, propane patio heaters should only be used in wide open outdoor space and have proper ventilation.
Generally, patio heaters function similarly by providing a ring of heat to the outdoor area in which it is placed. They are available in many finishes, fuel types, sizes and designs but what sets them apart the most is the fuel type that powers them. While there are significant differences between these fuel types that must be considered before making a decision, remember that you will get comparable warmth from each type.
As with any product, natural gas patio heaters have pros and cons and these positives and negatives are something to consider when deciding what type of fuel you want to use in your space. For instance, natural gas patio heaters do not require a propane tank to operate allowing parties to continue for extended periods of time without having to refill your propane tank. Due to not needing a tank they usually have a sleeker, streamlined design. However, since they are hooked up to a gas line they lack the convenience of portability. They should be hooked up by a professional and must remain in the same location once placed or they require further adjustment by a professional. Also, natural gas patio heaters typically require a higher initial investment since they cost slightly more and require hiring a professional for installation. However, they are considered the least expensive type of patio heater to run. In addition, having these heaters permanently attached to a gas line makes them safer with less risk of tipping over.
Regardless of the fuel type you choose to power your patio heater, there will be pros and cons. What’s most important is what will work best for the space you’ll be spending those cool nights enjoying the outdoors by your warm patio heater.
Linger outside just a little longer and enjoy a few more of the cool summer nights and refreshing fall evenings you’ve been longing for by adding the cozy warmth of a patio heater.
If you are on the market for a natural gas patio heater, the Sunmaster Natural Gas Patio Heater is the best out there. Sure to keep you nice and toasty when the weather cools off, this patio heater emits heat up to a 15’ to 20’ radius and produces up to 41,000 BTU’s. Complete with an easy-lite push button start system, the patio heater ignites quickly and easily with the push of a button. Measuring 87” tall and weighing in at 41lbs, it also includes side mounted wheels for easy mobility.
Fully constructed of stainless steel, this patio heater will stand the test of time. Generally, natural gas patio heaters are considered more secure since they are tethered by a gas line; however, as an added safety feature the Sunmaster Natural Gas Patio Heater features a weighted base to prevent it from being accidentally knocked over. To ensure maximum safety, it is also complete with an anti-tilt switch, which means in the event that it is knocked over it will automatically shut off.