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Learn More About Outdoor Propane Patio Heaters
After installing an outdoor patio heater, chilling in your patio won’t have to end just because the winter started. But which heating system should you pick? Propane, natural gas, or electricity?
Owing to the limited power of electrical heaters, they’re mainly intended for narrow patios. Natural gas models provide good heating, but they require professional installation, which might not be ideal for some people.
Outdoor propane patio heaters are the most popular type because they offer many advantages, which I will get to shortly.
What to Consider When Looking for a Propane Patio Heater?
How can you choose between the dozens of the heaters available on the market? The following factors should narrow down your options.
The first safety perk you should consider is the automatic shut-off. It’s likely that you might accidentally bump the heater and the auto cut-off switch will turn the heater off.
The anti-tilt feature has the same effect by shutting of the gas.
Same deal if the wind blows the flame out, the heater should automatically turn the gas off so there isn’t a risk of explosion.
You need to make sure that the patio heater meets all the relevant safety standards for your country. Using a cheaper, dodgy outdoor propane gas heater is just not worth trying to save money for.
Most of these heaters come with auto ignition which basically means it has an electronic ignition switch to start the gas heater, push the button and away you go.
The heating power of propane patio heaters is measured by British thermal units (BTU).
If your patio is around 150 square feet, you should opt for a heater that gives off at least 5,000 BTUs of heat. If you have a larger patio that hosts sizable crowds, look for something with a rate of 40,000 to 48,000 BTUs.
Portable and easy-to-maneuver heaters will be ideal for residential patios. On the other hand, if you’re buying a patio for your restaurant or business, you might want something more steady to stand against any theft attempts.
Propane outdoor heaters are generally portable and allow you to place wherever you need the heat an area up.
They hook up to a standard propane gas bottle, the same as the ones used for a BBQ so most people would already have one.
Just make sure that you place the heater on a flat and level surface to avoid the heater falling over, especially if you have children or pets around.
Different Types of Propane Patio Heaters
The most common propane patio heaters come with a free-standing design. These models are perfect for large areas because their tall designs can cover broad ranges.
If you have a small patio, you should consider tabletop models. Their smaller builds should be excellent for people concerned about portability.
Fire-pit models also suit small spaces, but they can be way more elegant than their tabletop counterparts.
Our Top Picks
These are some of the units we like for varying reasons. From ease of use to aesthetics and heating power, they all have their good and bad points which are influenced by your budget.
Hampton Bay 48000 BTU stainless steel
With its stainless steel structure, the Hampton Bay NCZH-G-SS has excellent durability. The brushed steel finish will also be great if you want something to suit a luxe patio. And because it only weighs 33 pounds, you can relocate it as much as you want to keep your patio looking fresh.
- Heating power: 48,000 BTUs
- Effective heating range: 200 square feet
- Portable and easy to maneuver
- Quick ignition
- Not good for those who don’t prefer the rustic look of steel
Outland Living 401 Series Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Table
If you’re big on looks, this heater from Outland Living should be the perfect option. Though it’s a little pricey, it can serve as the ideal centerpiece.
It features the most cutting-edge innovative design on our list; it can be thought of as a microcosm of a campfire in the wilderness.
You can also turn off the fire, cover it with the lid that comes with it, and voila! You’ll have a stylish coffee table!
- Heating Power: 35,000 BTUs
- Effective Heating Range: small
- Carefully sealed tank that adds to its safety
- Extremely stylish looks
- Adjustable flame height
- Small heating range
Mr. Heater F242540 Tank-Top Heater
This option lies a bit on the conventional side of the spectrum, which you can quickly tell from its design. That doesn’t detract from its value, though.
This model has some unique features that others don’t have, none the least being it’s looks, not real pretty, but..
It offers a wide range of heating power options: You can set it to give 30,000 to 45,000 BTUs for big crowds, and there is also an energy-saving option of 10,000 BTUs for smaller gatherings.
It also has the upside of omnidirectional heat distribution, meaning that it gives off heat in all directions. On the downside, the heating range is a bit limited.
- Heating power: from 10,000 to 45,000 BTUs
- Effective heating range: small
- Equipped with safety features, such as the automatic shut-off
- Its design allows for high stability and mobility at the same time
- 360-degree heat distribution
- Relatively short range of heating
- Not very pretty but functional
- No warranty
The XtremepowerUS 96054 Heater is one of the tallest options on our list, which is a double-edged feature: The height allows for a broader range of heat distribution, but it also poses a threat to any umbrellas you have in the vicinity.
Though it’s tall, this model is easily movable, thanks to the wheels installed at its base. Compared to its counterparts, this model offers the maximum amount of heat—48,000 BTUs.
- Heating Power: 48,000 BTUs
- Effective Heating Range: 200 square feet
- Good value for money
- Maximum heating power
- Easy to assemble
- Automatic tilt switch for safety
- Its tall build may pose some safety risks
Picking the best option among propane patio heaters is really a matter of your needs. But if I were to recommend one, I’d certainly go for XtremepowerUS 96054 Premium Patio Heater. Not only is it affordable, but it also gives off the highest heating power on the market.