Extend the life of your beautifully designed outdoor space with a patio heater. When the temperatures start to drop, an outdoor heating element will help you stay toasty and enjoy the evenings on your patio with friends and family. Use these tips to help you choose a patio heater that works best for your space.
It's easy to find a patio heater that offers a balance of style and function to fit your needs; below are the most common patio heater types:
The three main fuel types for patio heaters are propane, natural gas, and electric. Your decision here really comes down to personal preference. Take a closer look at each one so you can weigh your options.
Aside from the overall style of the heater, you'll also want to consider how much heat it emits. British thermal units (BTUs) refer to the amount of heat that a patio heater produces. You'll see this number often when comparing different models. A higher BTU means a higher heat output, however a larger number isn't necessarily better. If you have a small space it won't take as powerful of a heater to keep it warm. For example, a 7,000 BTU heater is sufficient for a 300-square-foot patio whereas a 2,000-square-foot space would need a 30,000 BTU heater. It all comes down to balancing power with the size of your space.
Related: Still have questions? Let our Patio Heater Buying Guide help!
Make sure you have several feet of clearance on all sides to prevent damage to your home, plants, and any other nearby objects. Additionally, try to maintain two to three feet of clearance above the heater. While patio heaters are safe to use on most surfaces, including stone patios and wooden decks, it's always best to keep an eye on it during use.
If you want to use a patio heater in a sunroom or a three-season room, be sure to select an electric patio heater. Both gas and propane heaters naturally produce carbon monoxide and require proper ventilation, so these two fuel types are best suited for outdoor spaces.
It’s wise to invest in a patio heater cover if you plan to keep it outdoors at all times. While light weather changes are nothing to worry about with patio heaters, harsh and unpredictable winter weather can cause unintended damage. Alternatively, if you have the space, storing your patio heater in a shed or garage will also keep it protected and extend its life.
Patio heaters make it easy to enjoy your outdoor living space in any season. To find the design that's just right for you remember to think about the size of your space, the fuel type you prefer, and where you plan on placing your new heater. Once you've figured out those details, you're already on your way to relax in the cozy comfort of your upgraded outdoor space.
Related: Find even more Outdoor Heating Solutions for your patio.