Profile

Outdoor Patio Heater Buying Guide

    An outdoor heater is a great way to help you transform your patio into a fun space to be even when the weather turns a little cooler. Alfresco dining can be as cosy as you like and a bit of extra warmth will mean you can enjoy sitting outside long after the sun’s gone down. Our guide will help you choose the perfect patio heater and you’ll soon be able to enjoy long evenings under the stars without feeling the chill.

    What types of patio heaters are there?

    • Propane - These versatile heaters are portable and don’t need to be installed by a professional. They’re the simplest to use, but they need to be refilled quite frequently so can work out expensive if you’re using them a great deal.
    • Electric heaters - Electric heaters produce fewer emissions so they’re a good environmentally responsible choice. They do need to be plugged in though, so be sure there’s an outlet nearby. Some may need professional installation
    • Natural gas patio heaters - Another environmentally responsible option, these heaters are connected to the main gas supply. They need to be installed by a professional

    As well as choosing the type of fuel, you can choose to have a freestanding or wall-mounted heater. Standing heaters are one of the best gas patio heaters if you want to heat a large area, with some being able to extend their heat to a 6-foot radius. They’re often portable and are a great choice for larger gardens and gatherings. If you’ve got a smaller space, then a wall-mounted heater is a practical option. They’re a permanent installation and are usually electric.

    What size patio heater do I need?

    The simple answer is that it depends on what size area you’re trying to heat. The specifications given on the heater will usually indicate the area that you can expect to be covered, as well as the BTU (British Thermal Unit) As an example, if you have an area of 10 square feet to heat and you want to get the temperature from 15°C up to 20°C you’ll need a heater with 8000 BTUs. The combination of area and ideal temperature are the key factors in making your decision.

    Other key features to look for when choose the best gas patio heater

    • Tilt switch - This is a safety feature that ensures flame cut out in the event of the heater tipping or falling over. It’s an essential feature if you’ve young children.
    • Flame failure feature - If ignition fails, the gas is automatically cut off
    • Transport and storage - Many of the best gas patio heaters have wheels to make it easy to move your heater and to put it away for safe storage
    • Enhanced efficiency - Features such as aluminium reflectors make for better heat distribution, while a heat focus facility allows you to direct the heat just where it’s needed.

    Whichever heater you choose, careful use and long term maintenance mean you’ll be able to enjoy long nights outdoors in comfort and safety.