Many people with patios and outdoor space put a lot of time and effort into them to make them look great and be enjoyable. They can have grills, pools, seating and other furniture, entertainment, and more. This makes them a popular place to spend time outside of the house. Unfortunately, it can be hard to enjoy the space all the time. If it is too cold outside, the space will be vacant because nobody likes to be cold!
We have also been enjoying seeing family and friends outdoors during the pandemic. With cold weather approaching, many are looking to stretch the amount of time we can stay outside. This is why many are purchasing outdoor heaters. It allows us to use the well ventilated outdoors and keep socializing.
Fortunately, there’s a way to extend the usability of an outdoor space so that it remains comfortable into the colder parts of the year. From fire pits to chimineas to patio heaters – there are so many options to keep your outdoor living area comfortable for as many months as possible. This article will review the best patio heater options!
Best Propane Patio Heaters 2020
- AZ Patio HLDS01-GTPC Tall Glass Tube Heater
- Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Commercial Patio Heater
- AmazonBasics< Havana Bronze Commercial Patio Heater
- XtremepowerUS 48,000 BTU Premium Floor Standing Propane Outdoor Patio Heater
- Belleze 48,000 BTU Patio Heater with Adjustable Table
In this article we’ll review the patio heater, a great option for heating your outdoor space so that you can enjoy it for longer. You will be presented with your choices for types of heaters, how to operate them safely, and how to find the perfect heater for you. First, we’ll start off with our recommendations for you to look into.
Patio Heater Buying Guide – What to Look For
When looking into patio heaters, there are multiple factors to consider that will guide you to finding the right choice for you. Here are some common things to look for in listings:
- Power – If you’re looking to heat a large amount of space, you want a high number of British Thermal Units, or BTUs. These signify how much heat the model will produce.
- Type – You should choose the type of patio heater that offers what you want in terms of design, fuel options, and power capabilities. Do you want a stylish option for a seating area or do you want to heat an entire patio? Do you care what it looks like or do you plan to mount and hide it?
- Fuel Source – Ensure that the model you choose is capable of using the fuel source you have most readily available or wish to use. Remember, this effects the power and is limited by the type of the heater.
- Portability – If you plan to move your free-standing patio heater around, you want wheels to make it easier. If you plan to install it once and leave it, then the wall-mounted option will be perfect for you.
- Style – Patio heaters come in a variety of styles and colors, specifically free-standing and tabletop versions. You will likely be able to find a model that looks and performs great.
Best Propane Patio Heater Reviews in 2020
Now that you have an understanding of patio heaters and all your options to choose from, here are some of the leading propane models we personally recommend.
The highest priced, but also most beautiful of the options available, this model is a propane free-standing heater capable of 40,000 BTUs. Outfitted with a quartz glass tube for the flame and an anti-tilt mechanism, this model offers luxury for its higher price point.
A bronze model that puts out a higher end 46,000 BTUs at a low range price point. This propane heater comes with wheels for portability and an automatic shutoff valve in case it tips over. Reviewers claim that it is efficient in its propane consumption and great for heating large spaces. The best power per dollar option.
Another model with 46,000 BTU capability, a Piezo ignition system, and an attractive bronze finish. It is priced at the same price point as the Fire Sense and is similar in many ways. Control the amount of heat you put out with its control knob. You can choose to heat an entire patio or just a seating area with propane.
At 48,000 BTU, this model is tied for the strongest in our recommendations. It sits at the upper mid-range of price but comes with features such as wheels, and Piezo ignition system, and a beautiful bronze finish. It is advertised to heat a whopping 15 foot radius, so this is the model for large patios.
Can’t decide between stainless steel and bronze? This option offers the best of both worlds, in addition to 48,000 BTU capability. Because it is one of the larger models, the built in base bladder can be used to help stabilize so it doesn’t tip. As with many of the other models, this heater comes with wheels, an automatic cutoff, and a compartment for the propane tank.
Types of Patio Heaters
A patio heater is a heat source that is placed outdoors – usually in places like a patio – that produces heat when fueled by electricity, propane, or gas. They are commonly used to keep outdoor spaces warm as the weather gets colder so that they can be used longer.
When it comes to patio heaters, there are a few different types of models available. The model you would use would depend mainly on how large the space you are heating is and how warm you want it to be. There is also the decision of if you want it to be discrete or to treat the heater as a design piece. In addition to different model types, there are also multiple fuel sources available for the different models. This makes it easy to find a model that is convenient for you.
Free-Standing Patio Heater
The first and most popular form of patio heater is a free-standing heater. As you likely guessed, these are models that stand on their own. They can be placed anywhere on solid ground in order to cover a sizable area safely and effectively. Some models even come with wheels to make relocation easier.
While they come in electric, natural gas, and propane models, the propane model is the most widely used. There is also commonly a propane tank compartment in the base of the heater to discretely fuel it. They usually include a reflector as well so that you can direct the heat and disperse it outwards rather than it rising unimpeded. Because of their size, free-standing heaters are built with style in mind so you should be able to find a look that suits your style without looking out of place.
Tabletop Patio Heater
If you’re looking to heat a smaller area while still being stylish, a tabletop heater might be for you. These models are generally significantly smaller than their free-standing counterparts. However, these offer a similar aesthetic while still offering options for a fuel source. Tabletop patio heaters are available in natural gas, propane, and electric as well, however most models are electric. This is likely due to their common uses under gazebos and other roofed areas because electricity is safer than burning gas.
Wall Mounted Patio Heaters
The last type of patio heater is for those who want the heat to be felt but not seen. Wall-mounted models are placed out of the way on walls high up so that they can project heat downwards. Because they require a wall or tall area to be mounted on, these models don’t effectively heat large, open areas. However, if you have an outdoor sitting area this would be a great option for you. Many models are able to pivot as well, allowing targeted heat in the form of infrared rays to warms guests quickly. Because they are electric, they also pose a minimal fire risk and are environmentally friendly.
Choosing Your Fuel Source
Now that you’ve discovered the different types of patio heaters available, you likely have a model in mind. If your choice is a free-standing or tabletop model, then you have a choice of fuel types to use. Each type has positives and negatives, and we’ll outline them below.
The most popular fuel source for free-standing patio heaters is propane. Propane comes standardly in 20 pound tanks, which fit in the base of many free-standing heaters. The tanks are both easily portable and widely available, making them perhaps the most convenient fuel source. Their primary benefit, however, is that propane models are capable of producing a higher BTU, or British Thermal Unit. This means that these models are capable of heating more area and doing so more quickly than lower BTU models. They do so because in propane models, the propane is ignited by a spark. The propane burns very hot and relative to the size of the model, a large amount of heat is created and dispersed.
Natural gas is a fuel option that is not as common as its alternatives. But those with the capabilities generally enjoy using it. Using natural gas requires a gas line that can access your free-standing or tabletop patio heater. It operates similarly to propane, however it has the benefit of being “on demand”, meaning it doesn’t need refilling like propane. It also burns at a higher BTU similar to propane and generally much higher than electric. If you can overcome the limitations that make natural gas less popular, it can be a great option for you.
The final fuel option for your patio heater is electricity. Electricity is most common in the smaller models of heater because it is capable of producing less BTUs than its igniting counterparts. However, because electric models give off infrared heat, they are great at warming guests around a table or in an enclosed area. They are also safe for use in screened sitting areas outside because they don’t have a live flame.
Patio Heater Safety Tips
Because many models of patio heater ignite a gas for heat, proper precautions need to be taken to ensure safety. Remember to handle gas heaters with the utmost care, nobody likes burns!
Perhaps most importantly, do not touch any part of the heater that comes in direct contact with heat. This includes grates on wall-mounted models, the reflector on a free-standing or tabletop model, and anything else near the flame.
You should also be sure not to use natural gas or propane heaters indoors or in enclosed areas. These models give off large amounts of heat. They are meant to heat entire patios and yards, so they are heavily overpowered for smaller areas. They also have a live flame which can be a fire hazard with flammable ceilings because the heat still rises after dispersal.
Finally, if using a free-standing patio heater you should look for a model with an automatic shutoff if the heater tips. This ensures that the ground and anything on it around the heater is safe from the fire should it fall over.