Using Propane to Heat Your Outdoor Space
If there’s one thing we’ve learned since early 2020, it’s that we can have fun without being indoors – and propane patio heaters have played a big part in making that fun happen.
Whether they’re in your backyard or in the outdoor serving area of your bar or restaurant, propane patio heaters can take the edge off cooler days and evenings so you and your guests will stay comfortable If temperatures dip.
Patio Heater Shopping Tips
In the market for a propane patio heater but don’t know what to look for? Here are some important variables to consider.
- Power – The most important feature to consider when choosing a patio heater is how much heat it will produce, and how far it will send that heat to your space. The former is measured in Btus; the latter in heating diameter (usually indicated by the manufacturer of your patio heater). Measure your space and make sure the model you choose can cover that area.
- Mounting type – Propane patio heaters can be wall-mounted, tabletop or freestanding. Tabletop heaters stand about four feet high; freestanding heaters range between seven and nine feet high. One way to help decide between a tabletop and a freestanding heater is to consider whether you would prefer to manage a cylinder (freestanding) or a disposable (tabletop) propane canister.
- Safety features – The most popular safeguard built into a patio heater is anti-tip feature, which automatically shuts off the heater if it’s tipped past a certain angle. Make sure the unit you choose includes this feature at minimum. Other safety features to look for include an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and an overfill protection device (OPD).
- Efficiency – Your patio heater’s efficiency is indicated by its AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating. Think of AFUE like MPG for your car – the better the rating, the more energy efficient the appliance is).
- Aesthetics – Many styles of patio heater are available – from modern stainless models to classic brushed copper and enamel painted options. Other style considerations include portable vs. stationary (with our without wheels) and design or shape.