Buying a Patio Heater With Confidence

Outdoor Patio Heaters can be found on offer at numerous E-commerce stores as well as major brick and mortar stores. The question then becomes where to buy from and more importantly which brand is going to give the best bang for the buck. Another very important consideration is the fuel source that you have available to you at your location.

Price isn’t everything – Test their Outdoor Heater Knowledge

Where to buy from – it is so important to be sure of all of the needs above are dealt with that you should ask questions and run as fast as you can if you are not given specific answers that you can verify. On-line stores generally offer best pricing, but I recommend that you call and speak with their customer service as you do need to ask the questions. If they do not appear to be knowledgeable about the product call another company.

Which Outdoor Patio Heater is Right

Look for outdoor electric and gas heaters that operate on the principal of generating the heat via infra-red rays. The benefit of this that the heat generated does not heat the air but heats the object. The object being, the human body, concrete/tile floor etc. One should also be aware that although gas heaters are sold as infra-red heaters, for them to operate in this manner, they need to be run on their high heat setting.

Which is the correct heater for your needs – outside heaters are available in versions running off liquid propane, natural gas and electricity. From a cost of running perspective, natural gas is generally the most cost effective followed by the other two forms at about an equal cost? For the casual user the cost of running will not be a significant issue due to the generally low hours that the heater is used for on a daily basis. For commercial installations this can very quickly become an issue. Both electric and gas heaters come in formats that are free standing or wall mounted. Where possible a wall mounted heater is the preferred choice due to the fact that you then free up floor space and avoid loose wires or gas feeds to trip on.

Outdoor Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are available predominantly in 120V or 240V format. The power rating of the heater is limited by the voltage. You therefore will not see 120V heaters running at more than 1500W which is equivalent to most ladies hair dryers. These 120V heaters are mostly used where you have one or two chairs closely situated and you would place the heater next to the chair or between them and receive very localized heat. In moving up to 240v electric supply your power options increase substantially with the 6000W heater generally being about the most powerful unit that you will find. At this point it becomes very important that you select the correct heater based on your criteria. You need to look at the height at which you will be able to install the heater, how large an area you want to heat and what your prevailing temperature will be at the time that you want to use the heater. With outdoor electric heaters matching the heater to the installation height is critical. By not being aware of this criterion you will invariably find that you have less heat than what you expected or needed or if the heater is too powerful for the installation height, you will constantly be uncomfortable with a feeling of being overheated or worse yet cooked. It is best practice to install a heater that is slightly more powerful than what you estimated your need to be and then be sure to use a controller that allows you to control the heat output as needed.

Gas Patio Heaters

Gas heaters – come in free standing versions and wall mount and as mentioned, use propane or natural gas as the fuel, otherwise know as, outdoor gas heaters. Free standing heaters have an average output ranging between thirty to fifty thousand BTU. The available brands and models range in price from $199 to $1500. As is the case in most instances in life, you get what you pay for. The low cost versions generally burn at a lower heat than advertised, don’t have parts availability and will need replacing far sooner than the better quality units. Wall mount gas heaters are available in versions that use a low voltage electrical current to ignite the heater from a switch on the wall or via a remote.

Whatever your choice or installation, it is always recommended to purchase from a company that is knowledgeable about their product.