A Patio Heater Shoppers Buying Guide

Since summer can not last forever, we have decided to bring some of that summer heat back to your patio. The addition of an outside patio heater can provide many benefits to home, hotel, resort or restaurant owners. A stylish patio heater will keep your patio warm while expanding your space, which will create additional uses for your restaurant, hotel, resort or backyard patio.

What you should know about outdoor patio heaters?

Different settings require a different heater configuration. Some outdoor patio heaters will circulate the heat in a circular motion. Sport heaters will focus heat in the direction in which they are pointed. Each type of patio heater also comes in different types of options. Spot heaters may be portable or mounted by brackets. Outdoor Patio heaters are available in a variety of configurations including tabletop, ceiling mount or permanent in-ground mounts.
What type of surrounding are you needing to provide heat for?

Outdoor patio heaters will provide a 20-foot diameter heating area. This heat circulates evenly over that area. Sport heaters provide heat directly to an object without heating the surrounding area. Spot heaters are sometimes mounted above an area or can be placed on the floor. Outdoor patio heaters will accent the d├ęcor of any outdoor restaurant, hotel, resort or backyard patio. Spot heaters can be used indoors as well as outdoors, hover, they tend to have a more industrial look to them. Either heater styles will work very well depending upon your setting. A warehouse type setting is ideal for the use of spot heaters, while patio heaters work best outdoors.

What else do I need to know about patio heaters?

Potable – Portable patio heaters can be moved from place to place and do not have a fixed fuel line that they attach too. These heaters circulate heat in a 20-foot diameter. A compartment is designed to house the fuel tank.

Tabletop – Tabletop heaters are usually compact, portable and inexpensive. They are the perfect option for providing warmth in a small circle. The base also serves as the compartment for the fuel tank.

Ceiling/Wall Mount – Ceiling or Wall mount heaters are the perfect option for when space is limited. Spot heaters often times come in ceiling or wall mount configurations. However gas heaters are also available in a ceiling or wall mount. These types of models are permanent and require a permanent power source such as an electric or gas hookup.

In-ground – In ground heaters are designed to be permanent and provide additional power by circulating heat in a larger radius than typical portable models. These types of heaters usually require permanent power source such as a natural or propane gas line. In-ground heaters are perfect for trendy restaurants, resorts, hotels, shopping centers, or even residential use.

Power Rating – All power ratings are stated in British Thermal Units, otherwise know as BTUs. Like most scales, the higher the BTU rating means the more power or heat this model will provide.

Construction: Most patio heaters are constructed from steel. However, the quality of the steel, weather resistance, etc varies by price. Less expensive models are normally constructed from lower quality components as opposed to more expensive stainless steel models.

Dome: A very important feature not to overlook on any heater is the way the “dome” is constructed. A heater “dome” with a large diameter distributes heat more effectively than smaller domed heaters. The majority of patio heaters are single dome. However, Endless Summer by Blue Rhino, does offer a triple domed commercial patio heater.

Fuel Source: Most patio heaters use propane tanks for their fuel source. Some are designed with a concealed tank while other are directly connected to an outside fuel line. Other models use electricity to power their heat source. Solaira Infrared Heaters as well as Endless Summer heaters offer electrical models for easy hook up.

Ignition: Most models are available with a push button ignition system. The ignition produces sparks, which is then combined with the fuel and results in a constant flame that provides warmth.

Safety Features: Most patio heaters are designed with safety in mind. Many will automatically turn off when tilted. Auto tilt shut off is very important in case the heater falls over and accidentally ignites other objects. Other features include automatic shut-off switches that prevent leaking gas.

Accessories for heaters: The most popular heater accessory is a cover that protects against dust, dirt, insects, etc. Some tabletop models are also available with a clamp so that they can be clamped down onto something.

What is there to know about spot/infrared heaters?

Fuel Source: Most spot heaters are designed to be hard-wired to an electrical source. Sunpak, however, does make a sport heater model that is powered by either natural gas or propane. This model, the Sunpak S25, then uses an electronic ignition switch to power itself on.

Power rating: Power is ratted in wattage while propane or gas sport heaters are measured in (British Thermal Units) BTUs. The higher the wattage or BTU rating is, the more heat it will produce.

Permanent Mount/Portable: A variety of spot heaters are designed to mount either to the wall or ceiling. However, there are portable models available that can be moved from one location to the other.

Heater Uses: Spot heaters can be used in variety of places as well. They work great both indoors and outdoors. Restaurants and bars can benefit from spot heaters by placing them in strategic positions on their outdoor patios. Spot heaters are also great for keeping your garage warm. They can even be used in warehouses or for outdoor stage events. The number of uses for spot heaters is almost limitless.