The patio is probably one of the coolest places in the home, with the comfort and fresh air it brings, while affording you enough space to relax in your leisure time, even entertain visitors and have a lot of fun activities. But above all, the patio must be designed and equipped with materials like the best space heater for outdoors, that would bring comfort, especially in cold seasons because when a bunch of clothes and wrapping a blanket just wouldn’t cut cold.
Best Patio heater for wind outside varies in size and types depending on your preference, design or your patio size. There are the portable sized, full sized, table, floor or hanging. Also according to the source of energy, there are the electricity powered and the propane fueled.
The best wall mounted patio heaters are also a subdivision of outdoor heaters based on their positioning at the choice of heating area. In this article, we are going to talk about the different types, and discuss all you need to know before purchasing a patio heater.
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Pyramid heater vs patio heater
When it comes to outdoor heating, there is the option of purchasing a pyramid heater or a patio heater type. Their differences are based on their features and efficiency in heating up your patio.
Pyramid outdoor heaters
They are mostly gas powered, portable, with an extra lantern feature which can be used all year round; during the winter period it serves as an outdoor heater, and on the summertime it doubles as a lantern at nights, ensuring you save a few dollars in the budget.
The pyramid heater is mostly known for its stylish dowering design, being shaped like a pyramid with mostly a 3D flame design on display for pleasure and beauty, creating a magical setting. The unit does an excellent job in heating outdoor spaces and depending on the manufacturer; they are mostly mounted on wheels.
Patio outdoor heaters
This type of outside heater on the other hand mostly takes the shape of an umbrella and applies the radiant technology heating mode for outdoor spaces. It makes use of either natural gas, electricity or propane. This creates flames that are directed against a metal screen, which then radiates heat in a 360-degree manner. The top side of the device is made with an infrared reflective material that is also a poor absorber of heat, therefore minimizing heat loss through conduction.
Due to its design, the patio heater comes out on top when talking about the amount of heat radiated and is a better fit for outdoor space heating, making it one the best outdoor heater type. The pyramid heater is also a very excellent option but should be purchased only when an attraction or beauty is your top priority.
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Are patio heaters worth it?
Before we answer this, have you ever considered what the point is in having a patio? During winter periods, the unbelievable amount of cold in the atmosphere would ensure that having a night out or relaxation period in the patio would be uncomfortable. During summer, these heaters can serve as your mini 3D decorative light to make sure that the outdoor is all lighten up.
Given a way to enjoy your space both in the winter and summer period, wouldn’t you go for it? If you would, then the question is answered, the investment made on patio heaters are worth it in every way.
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Patio outdoor heating options
As pertaining to patio heaters, there are still several options to consider before a final decision is made on the type to purchase. Generally, patio heaters are classified based on two classes, which could be based on the fuel option or based on positioning.
Considering fuel options
patio space heaters make use of either natural gas, electric infrared, or propane type.
Best natural gas patio heater
The usage of natural gas for domestic purposes has soared high of recent to a considerable extent, and the space heater market isn’t exempted. Using natural gas is convenient and offers less stress in heating, especially for houses with gas lines. The major drawback of using this is that the mobility of the heater is limited, due to the design of the gas line. It has to be placed in areas with easy access. The gas hose extension acts as a safety hazard.
Outdoor electric infrared patio heaters
Electric patio heaters makes use of electricity to generate heat and radiate it into the atmosphere. The electric heater is generally less potent as regarding the amount of heat it releases. Therefore it is recommended when needed for a small number of people. An advantage is that it could be used inside or outside of the home and is easy to set up.
Best Propane patio outdoor heater
They are the most common types of heaters out there, making use of propane gas which is portable and can be easily refilled in stores or gas stations. The propane heater is one of the best types, as it releases a good amount of heat, that keep you warm, although it is more expensive to run than the electric and natural gas heats. This is so due to the need to purchase a separate propane tank for every heater you own; propane tanks would also need to be replaced often.
Apart from classification based on fuel option, outdoor heaters are also divided
Based on the positioning
They can positioned differently during operation. It could be a wall-mounted heater, free standing electric heater, or a ceiling mounted heater.
Best Wall mounted patio heater
They are mounted on the wall and best suited for those looking to heat up a specific area, and do not need moving the unit around from time to time. The electric heaters wall mounted, can produce a reasonable amount of heat, covering about 4-5 feet, and its mounting enablement makes it very safe for operation.
Best Freestanding electric patio heater
Heaters that take this type of position is very common and they are pretty convenient to use. All you need to do is just to place it in a comfortable spot, and it would do the rest. Depending on the manufacturer’s design, they don’t take up too much space and are mostly electric type although models with other fuel options are available. They are also called table top patio heater which are the commonest
Best Ceiling Mounted patio heater
Just as the name implies, these heater types are designed to be hung wherever they may be needed, which is why it is also called hanging outdoor electric heaters. They are best in areas where space is not a readily available commodity, and are therefore attached in the desired location, and produces a 360-degree warmth coverage. This type only comes in electric and can serve a not too large amount of individuals (about 6-8) when placed above at 3 feet.
Conclusively, there are many options when it comes to selecting the best patio heater for outdoor heating, but we would be reviewing the freestanding heaters which are either fueled by electricity or natural gas.
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How big of an outdoor area does a patio heater heat?
The size of the outdoor area a patio heater can effectively heat up is dependent on the size, capacity, and design of the heater by the manufacturer. Obviously, the larger the size of the heater, the more the amount of heat it puts out, therefore it is essential to measure the adequate size of your room, and doing proper research on the available models that would suit you. After these, you can now dive into the market to pick a suitable unit.
Patio heaters often show their specification as per area of coverage (in square feet) and their BTUs (British thermal units), and you can make a simple calculation on the number of BTU’s needed to achieve your desired temperature.
For example :
Assuming you want to raise the temperature of a 10 square feet area by 10 degrees, you would need 800 cubic feet (which is equivalent to 10 square feet) multiply by 10 degrees which are 8,000 BTUs.
You should also consider the amount of wind blowing through the area where you intend using your heater, if greater than 15 miles per hour, then you should consider using wind protection. This is advised because such high winds can reduce the heating effect of the patio heater.
Qualities to consider when selecting the best patio heater for wind
- Size of your room
As said earlier, the size of the patio and the area of the room where you want to use it is a significant factor to be considered. Would the device be placed in the front porch, on a table or just on the floor? What’s the size of your patio, depending or whether small, large or medium, you should carry out research to get a device that would serve you properly.
- Source of heat
There are three types of power sources that produce the heat, which is the electric, propane or natural gas. If you have decided to settle for a gas- powered type, then you have to consider the amount of BTU the device can generate. Heaters that generate from 3000- 10,000 BTUs are considered small and would only serve a small amount of patio area, while 38,000BTUs is regarded as being ideal for medium sized rooms and 58,000 BTU for large patios.
You should make your choice depending on the type of design the device comes with, and where you intend placing the device. Being short of space, you should probably go for the wall-mounted type, as they are also safe, do not produce any fumes (making them environmental friendly) and out of the reach of children. When sufficient heat is your top priority, the freestanding patio comes out on top, with caster wheels to be moved around. Freestanding wheels also produce a lot of heat. There is also the hanging type that could double as light, casting a beautiful ambient glow that makes it very beautiful to behold.
- Safety features:
best portable heaters, should possess the most prominent safety ability, which is the ability to automatically shut off the supply if the heater is knocked off. This is called the tip over protection.
look out for space heaters with caster wheels that allow you to wheel them around from one place to another with convenience.
Also Read: Best space heater for medium sized room
Top 5 best space heater for outdoors
1) Firesense 61436 patio pro heater : Best firesense patio heater
Special features: 5 piece heavy gauge reflector, 46,000 BTU, Electronic ignition system
This is a high-quality heater that takes the general patio shape of an umbrella look-alike, without the wideness of course. The whole body is designed with heavy duty stainless steel for durability and longevity of live span. This device takes a bit of time to assemble if you know your way around electrical equipment (you could spend a lot of time if you don’t because the material is not very illustrative) and comes with wheel caster option, for easy transport to several areas in the home.
The device is built with a single stage electronic system that helps it fire up immediately it is turned on, providing a nice amount of heat, and effectively throwing it out as far as 3-5 feet although wind dramatically reduces its impact. This device also adds beauty to the environment it is put in, especially in commercial patios, and has a tip-over safety protection system that ensures the machine ceases to operate immediately anytime it is mistakenly knocked over.
In all, the fire sense heater is one of the top portable heaters out there, putting out about 46,000 BTUs, but if for nothing (although the effectiveness of the heating would woo you) you don’t wish to purchase this device, the lifetime replacement warranty is undoubtedly a good catch. If managed properly, who knows how long you could keep using the heater.
2) AZ patio heaters HLD S01-WCGT : Best Natural gas patio heater
Special Features: 48,000 BTU, wheeled compatible, propane or butane , pilot light and very safe
The device is built with provision for propane canister beneath (about 20-pounds), giving it proper balance and making a tip over difficult when the propane canister is mounted. It also stands 87 inches tall with a bronze heater surface, built and placed on a canister wheel that allows for smooth movement around the patio or living room, depending on where it is needed. The device releases a good amount of heat (about 48,000 BTUs), although it is not as much as the first three, it does a good job.
The device is straightforward to assemble, therefore in about 15 minutes you should be done, and it also has a table, and like most outdoor hearers, it is also built with a tip over protection that ensures safety is always at maximum during operation. Although it looks great, as said earlier, it is not exactly a champion for putting out heat but is fair for a heater of its price, and it is also quiet. It also has a pilot light that serves as an indicator, to know when the device is turned on and functional of off.
The device overall is fair for its price and would do an excellent job in heating small areas, as it can burn up to 10 hours on a single 20lb. The lovely looks also count for something.
Special Feature: 47,000 BTU, Safety shutoff, valve knob, Ignition button and tip over protection
This type of heater takes the same looks as the AZ patio heater, with provision for propane canister beneath, but it is also built with a sturdy base for proper floor balancing, with three anchoring arms to ensure stability further. It is also made with a hammered bronze material that has a pretty smooth feel and adds that extra touch of beauty anywhere it is placed in.
The device puts out a good amount of heat (about 47,000 BTUs). The controls are commercial grade, and the flame guard is double perforated for safety reasons, while it also has the tip over protection function and a single stage piezo ignition startup.
Due to it stretching a good number of inches off the floor (88 precisely) and having a larger heating surface and hood, this heater warms a larger area with more heat than smaller economy models. It should be considered if you are low on budget but still fancy purchasing something worth your while
4) Amazon basic commercial patio heater : Best propane patio heater
Special features: Piezo ignition, 46,000 BTU, safety auto shutoff, and highly durable
Like most patio heater, this is also a tall umbrella shaped type heater that is designed with a beautiful stainless steel and silver polish. The provision was made by the manufacturer for an empty base space that can be quickly filled with substances like sand or water, therefore giving the device a perfect balance on the floor and a good base weight. Embedded in the device, is also a control knob that is used in selecting the heat setting and for turning on and off.
The amazon basic commercial patio heater like the firesense is also designed with a single step ignition system, helping you turn it on by simply twisting the knob. Manufacturers of the heater also eased worries by placing a tip-over protection safety feature that ensures that the device doesn’t keep working when pushed to the floor.
In all the device puts out a lot of heat (about 46000 BUTs), even on the lowest setting, but finds difficulty in staying lit at the slightest appearance of wind. It is effective and has been tested to be effective in temperatures as low as 30-45 degrees, and also very easy to assemble plus less stress in usage.
Special Features: Lightweight, portable, pilot light, extension hose, auto shut off tilt valve
This is a smaller size/ grade of the fire sense brand, it is a small sized and portable outdoor heater that conveniently balances on a solid weight base. The device makes provision for a standard 1lb cylinder (which is not included in the purchase) at the bottom part of the heater. It is built with a one push ignition system that allows for convenience during usage.
The major catch in the firesense 61322 is the oxygen depletion sensor that indicates whenever the oxygen level in the room is very low. This is an advantageous safety feature that could prevent a lot of hazards, especially when the device is used in closed spaces. It can run for approximately 3 hours before the tank runs empty (30 minutes of real flame and a weaker flam from there on), and also possesses the tip –over protection for extra safety wherever it is used.
This device should be used in really small spaces of about (100sqft) due to the low amount of heat it releases, and it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to heat up properly
Final Verdict : Best outdoor patio heaters
The Firesense 61436 patio pro heater comes out on top due to the relatively large area it can cover, but also majorly due to the lifetime part warranty coverage. It also possesses a good safety feature and a secure ignition system.
The Amazon basic commercial patio heater is almost as good as the firesense 61436, even equaling the same amount of heat released, but is edged out by the lifetime warranty offered by firesense.