Patio Heater Reviews: Stay Warm While Outdoors
When colder weather knocks at the door, it doesn't mean that you have to hibernate inside until the sun comes back. The newest batch of outdoor patio heaters that will be reviewed here today are all well equipped to allow you to continue spending quality time outdoors with your friends and family. These patio heaters are created especially for heating up outdoor spaces - patios, decks, around the pool areas, and home or commercial areas that will still be fun to enjoy even though the temperature has cooled down.
The 5 patio heaters that we will be reviewing today have a range of different characteristics, but they share one thing in common - all of these heaters have received praise from reviewers for their quality, reasonable cost, safety features, and more. The size of the area that you want to heat is a determining factor in which patio heater you should buy and a secondary consideration is aesthetics and style. Do you want a workhorse of a heater and don't care what it looks like, or would you prefer an eye-catching designer-styled heater that will be a center of attention?
Summary: Here are my top 5 best patio heaters:
AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater: best overall patio heater for the money.
AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater: most aesthetically pleasing model.
True Commercial Patio Heater with Wheels: highest rated by most consumers.
XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Patio Heater: best outdoor heater for large spaces.
AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GTSS Quartz Glass Tube Patio Heater: best looking outdoor patio heater.
Top Rated Patio Heaters
- Patio heater featuring commercial grade stainless steel construction and heat output of 46,000 BTU's
- Heater features a piezo ignition and safety auto shut-off tilt valve
- Standup patio heater cover protects against rain, snow and other outdoor elements
- Using click-close straps, cover easily snaps around heater to secure the cover on windy days
- 41,000 BTU Propane (LP) 3-Sided Pyramid Heater with 1-PC Quartz Glass tube
- Attractive Mocha Bronze Finish w/Non-rust Aluminum Frame
- Advanced "Rapid-Multi-Spark" Electronic Ignition System
- Extra Thick Single Quartz Glass Tube (most residential models have thin 2-PC Glass)
- 47,000 BTU Average , 48,000 BTU Max
- CE/CSA/ETL Approved
- 8.5ft Overall height
- Feature Push-Button Piezo Ignition operation
AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater
5 out of 5
AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater
4.5 out of 5
True Commercial Patio Heater with Wheels
4.5 out of 5
XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Patio Heater
4.5 out of 5
AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-GTSS Quartz Glass Tube Patio Heater
4 out of 5
TYPES OF PATIO HEATERS
If you're in the market for a patio heater or outdoor space heater, there are several things to consider:
One thing to remember is that any patio heater's effective range will depend entirely on the surrounding temperature. If the temp is mild, it will seem like your patio heater is warming up a very large space. If the temp is frigid, your heater will undoubtedly seem like it's heating a lot smaller area.
Natural gas heaters are an excellent option for those customers that have a connection to a gas line. They're less expensive and simpler to use than propane heaters since you won't need to purchase or swap out tanks on a regular basis. The downside to natural gas heaters is that there's a limitation on where you'll be able to place them in your yard or patio since they'll have to be connected to the gas source.
Propane patio heaters heat the air using convection heat, which is an excellent choice for heating larger spaces and in any situation in which people are moving from one area to another (a good example is if people are moving between your house and your deck).
Electric patio heaters don't need any special fuel, lines, or tanks - all you'll need to do is plug them into your regular home outlets and change a bulb occasionally. They're lighter and more comfortable to carry than propane heaters since they don't need a tank, and they're easier to use than your natural gas heaters because you won't need a special fuel connection. They emit radiant heat almost instantly which warms people and objects that are nearby, but they don't heat the air. They are excellent for heating up enclosed spaces that otherwise might be drafty. Their downside is that they'll increase your electric bill pretty quickly, plus you'll only be able to place them whatever distance a cord or extension cord will allow away from an outlet.
A relatively new entrant to the field of outdoor patio heaters are heaters with glass crystal tubes that allow people to observe the live flame within. This combination provides radiant heat and a propane heater, which is a combination preferred by many users. A downside to this type of outdoor heater is that they are more expensive than other types of patio heaters.
Freestanding patio heaters are convenient because of their mobility and their potential for being able to warm up larger areas. These heaters are the most popular type of heating for commercial use. You've probably come across these heaters if you've sat onside on cooler evenings at a local restaurant or bar. Freestanding heaters traditionally run about 7-8 feet tall, require a decent amount of space, tend to be heavy, and can usually warm up an expanse of 5-9 feet in circumference. Their source of fuel is either near or at the bottom, and its heat emanates from its upper portion. Most freestanding heaters are gas powered. Freestanding radiant or convection propane heaters can generate about 40,000 BTU.
There are two main types of freestanding heaters - pyramid style and tapered. A traditional pyramid heater is usually propane or butane fueled and has a triangular shape which narrows up from a square type base. It generates heat by utilizing a real flame which is enclosed by a cylinder-shaped crystal glass tube. They are easier to turn on and off, generally, have 1-3 metal domes on top, and are a lot lighter than tapered heaters. That being said, many people feel that with the pyramid model, you will be getting good looking flames and less heat for your money.
A tapered patio heater usually consists of a heating element placed on top of a long shaft, a heavy base, and a metallic umbrella cover to top it off. They tend to be slimmer and more streamlined than other heaters. These heaters are usually run by electricity and must be plugged into an outlet.
Both tapered and pyramid patio heaters are heavy and can be difficult to move unless they come equipped with attached wheels. They're on the harder side to assemble. Buyers have reported spending 1-3 hours to get their heater in working order. Their weight also makes users tend not to want to move them frequently, and many heaters find themselves out in the cold all winter. We recommend that a good cover should be purchased to protect your heater from both cold or inclement weather.
Many people choose an electric wall-mounted patio heater if floor space is at a minimum or if their patio area is minimal. Having a heater mounted on the wall is a safe option if there are children around. They're easy to power up because they can be wired directly into the power grid of your home. These units are good for the environment as well since they don't produce any fumes. They also are convenient since you won't have to move all your patio furniture to accommodate gathering around a very large fixture. The best wall mounted heaters may come with remote controls so you'll be able to turn them off and on remotely, and you can also perform any temperature adjustments. A typical wall-mounted electric heater can generate about 1,500 watts.
A downside of this type of patio heater is that it can be difficult to install on some wall types, including brick. You might want to get an expert to do the installation because a certain skill level is required to install them correctly and safely. There also might be restrictions where you live on who is qualified to connect these devices.
An ideal way to heat up smaller spaces is to use tabletop patio heaters. One tabletop unit can create an amount of heat that is perfect for a party of four. Tabletop heaters are portable (even though they can be between 3 and 4 feet tall), more lightweight than other options; they can be placed anywhere that there's an appropriate surface, and they can be very decorative. Tabletop electric heaters typically generate about 1,000 watts, while tabletop propane heaters can produce about 10,000 BTU. Tabletop heaters are the way to go if you only need to heat a small area. They can even be taken on picnics and camping trips if you have a surface to put them on, and they'll take the chill right out of the air at your camp table.
Drawbacks - Because they're smaller than other types of patio heaters they don't put out the same quantity of heat. Another disadvantage is that most of these heaters can typically hold a 1 pound glass bottle, and that means a pretty short run time of 1-2 hours at most.
ARE PATIO HEATER SAFE?
There are safety issues concerned with operating any outdoor patio heaters that must be addressed. Patio heaters should only be used outside in well-ventilated areas and must never be used indoors for any reason. A propane heater used inside a garage or a greenhouse can build up dangerous carbon monoxide quickly in the air, which will have no odor and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. There are some heaters on the market that have an ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) which can sense if there is too much carbon monoxide in the air and will automatically turn off the heater.
Never use patio heaters when there are high winds. Wind can both blow out the flame and also tip the patio heater over, which are both dangerous occurrences. Children should never play unattended near a heater, and they should never be involved in turning a heater on or off.
Gas patio heaters should never be moved when lit, and should never be placed next to any flammable materials, or near any materials or glass that might explode or shatter due to heat. Keep away from any combustible materials near your patio heater's emitter head (this includes wood, plastics, pressed paper, plexiglass, plant fibers, butane lighters, or any liquid or solid material that can ignite). Don't hang anything like towels or clothing either near or on the unit. Make sure people are aware that the unit may have high surface temperatures. When turning off the unit for the night, make sure the burner is out. Never attempt to clean or move the equipment before it is cool. Make sure the gas cylinder is always turned off when the unit is not being used.
Make sure that nothing is obstructing the vents or air holes that might interfere with proper combustion (even spider webs can create a dangerous condition by clogging up air ducts). Store any larger patio heaters in a sheltered location so high winds won't damage them. If the units cannot be moved, owners should take necessary precautions, such as filling the base with either sand or water to increase its sturdiness. Many heaters have a tilt-safety switch which will automatically turn the unit off if it tilts more than a preset degree.
HOW MANY BTU's DO I NEED?
A BTU is a traditional heat unit that defines how much heat is needed to raise a pound of water's temperature by just one degree Fahrenheit. A small tabletop patio heater can generate between 3,000 - 10,000 BTUs, enough to comfortably heat a table that seats 4 persons. A larger gas powered freestanding heater will naturally produce a more significant amount of heat for a bigger area. A patio heater that provides 38,000 BTUs is more than adequate to heat small-medium sized pool decks or patios, while you'll need between 48,000 and 58,000 BTUs if you're heating a larger sized entertainment area or patio.
HOW MUCH SPACE DOES 40,000 BTU's HEAT?
A patio heater that generates 38,000 BTUs is more than adequate to heat small-medium sized pool decks or patios, while you'll need between 48,000 and 58,000 BTUs if you're heating a larger sized entertainment area or patio. A 40,000 BTU patio heater is estimated by manufacturers to be able to heat a radius of 9' 10-25 degrees. Many reviewers disagree, claiming that freestanding heaters will only heat 3-5' in windy, cold weather.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
The patio heaters reviewed here today range in price from $130 to just under $500 for the highest priced model. Customers should usually expect to pay between $130 and $300 for a good outdoor patio heater.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR OUTDOOR HEATER
Use a stainless steel cleaner for removing rain or other water marks. For stubborn stains on brushed stainless steel lightly use a brush or scourer in the same direction as the brushed steel. Never use a scourer if your finish is highly polished. If your heater is powder coated, use clean water and soapy detergent for a light cleaning.
Check each season for loose bolts, etc. and oil any wheel joints. Check any hoses for wear, and order replacement clips and hose if necessary. Check the gas cylinder for rusts or dents and replace if necessary, but don't store it inside. Store your patio heater inside if possible. If the heater can't be moved, you should invest in a full-length heater cover.
After careful consideration of five of the best outdoor patio heaters in the marketplace today, our editor's choice is the AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater. Reviewers loved its inexpensive price, its ease of operation, its aesthetic look, and its quick heating capability.
This patio heater delivers a consistent 46,000 BTUs, it has a Piezo ignition system, a variable heat knob, and several safety features, including an automatic shut-off tilt valve. Reviewers also appreciated its rolling wheels, its powder coated finish, and its all steel construction.