The In’s and Out’s of Outdoor Heating

A patio heater is the key to living and enjoying the outdoors in winter. They’re a source of warmth that can be used in virtually any location, residential and commercial alike. If you’ve ever gone out to dinner or been to a club in any major city, you’ve no doubt seen one of these things work. They are available in many different shapes and sizes and operate through various energy sources, electric, propane, or natural gas. Since there are so many options at your disposal, you’ll want to get a handle on the basics of outdoor patio heaters first, so that you’re better informed to make a smart decision on purchasing the proper model for your home or place of business.

Heater Types

You have plenty to choose from and knowing what’s out there will help you narrow down the selection. There are portable models which tend to be smaller and operate better heating less area, then you have the larger freestanding models, commercial grade heaters, propane powered versions, electrical heaters, and even table-top versions that you can put on any flat surface to warm whoever is seated around it. Think about the space you need to heat and how mobile you want the unit to be. Some of the bigger commercial models come with casters that make them just as easily portable as the much smaller portable versions.

Energy Source Options

Most patio heaters are built to function using one of three different fuel types: electric, propane, and natural gas.  Natural gas is the preferred source for heaters that are meant to remain in one place the whole time. This allows you to hook them up to a natural gas line for constant operational ability. You might consider this an advantage over propane which relies on tanks to be hooked up to the heater. Propane is the most popular source for portable heaters since the tanks afford mobility without relying on a stationary gas line. Then you have the infrared heaters which mostly rely on electricity, though some work with natural gas as well. The benefits of infrared are that they can be better for the environment since they don’t emit any harmful by-products during operation.

But is it Safe?

You bet it is! These patio heaters are designed to be used in the presence of human beings, sometimes in large groups. Whether you plan on having a lot of parties on your home patio or you need a couple for the outdoor dining area of your new eatery, there is a patio heater that can fit the bill and remain perfectly feasible for use around people. Most of them come with useful safety functions that shut the heater down in the event it gets tipped over or reaches a certain temperature. These features are particularly useful if you will be using the heater around children or pets.

Now that we’ve walked through the basic of patio heaters, go check out for reviews on the best tabletop, commercial, gas, electric, and propane patio heaters along with useful tips to help you select the heater that makes the most sense for your patio.

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