Choosing Propane Patio Heaters
Propane patio heaters were once viewed as a luxury, but today they are seen as an essential item for those who like to enjoy their patios as much as possible.
Initially these heaters were most often seen at outdoor cafes, or at palatial homes where elegant outdoor festivities took place on the patios. But now they are seen at homes of all types, for special family events, dinner parties, and a variety of outdoor entertainment events that a homeowner might host.
By having a patio heater on hand, it not only facilitates entertaining into the night as the chilly evening temperatures set in, but it also allows you to enjoy your outdoor space longer into the autumn season, in complete comfort.
There are many sizes, designs and styles of patio heaters available today. Although electric heaters are available, you are limited to the range of the cord, and they tend to be less powerful, providing far less heat than propane models.
Freestanding – These stand-alone heaters average 7 to 8 feet in height, with the propane source located at the bottom and the heating element at the top. Each unit will warm a radius of about 5 to 10 feet, perfect for larger patios. For a truly substantial patio or where you have multiple clusters of conversation areas, you may need more than one unit.
Tabletop – Smaller tabletop units must be secured to your patio table for safety. This is typically accomplished through the hole in the middle of the patio table that a patio umbrella would slide into. These smaller units are ideal for a smaller conversation area.
Mounted – These units can be mounted either to a wall or a ceiling, and are perfect for very small areas where floor space is an issue. They are usually infrared style heaters, and most of these units are electrically powered, though some propane units may be available.
As you choose your heater, take into consideration how your patio space is used. Do you mostly just sit out there in the evenings alone with a glass of wine, or do you entertain your family every Saturday? Do you have frequent parties where larger groups of people attend, and do you have multiple seating areas where people will gather?
You also need to have realistic expectations. These heaters generally just take the chill off in cooler evenings or autumn weather. If it’s really cold, they will not provide enough heat to keep your guests interested in braving the cold.
Be safe at all times, not only in your choice of heater and installation, but also in the location chosen. Heat rises, so keep your heater well away from awnings, umbrellas, and other ignitable materials. Don’t leave your heaters unattended, and never let children and pets near the heater. Having a model that includes an automatic shutoff switch in case of tip-over is a good idea.
Propane patio heaters make a great investment in your outdoor space so that you and any guests can feel truly at home in your cozy and welcoming patio and yard.