In some climates in the country, it is possible to enjoy your patio year-round. Now, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t get chilly out there, just that you don’t have to contend with snow and wind or rain and the like. The desert southwest of the U.S. is a lot like this – quite a friendly place to be a patio lounge lizard.
At Patio Covers Place we are always looking for ways to spend more time outdoors in the quiet and restful space of a patio. So, it should come as no surprise that when there are ways to make that possible more of the time, we are big supporters. There was a time when portable patio heaters were more reserved for commercial uses. You’d see them at restaurants or outdoor events, but rarely at someone’s home. Well, innovation and costs have made those notions a thing of the past.
Today, there are several different styles of patio heaters that can be used for residential applications. The most popular and easy to use style is the propane patio heater. You’ve seen these at your local home improvement and warehouse stores. They look similar to an old street lamp. They have a base that houses the propane tank and then a neck or post that has a line that runs up to the burner.
You can find a variety of styles for each patio heater. Some come in stainless components, others are more rustic looking. There are even table top patio heaters that are shorter in stature and are meant to sit atop a table or shelf. They can be quite robust in the amount of heat that they produce.
Patio Heaters: Specifications and Cost
Again, there are different sizes available to suit your particular needs regarding heat output for your patio. If you have a large enough patio or deck, you may need to invest in more than one outdoor patio heater. It also depends upon the size of the gathering you are having. You can get away with one patio heater to cover an area of approximately 10-15 feet. Factors such as wind, seating arrangements and outdoor ambient temperature affect these numbers.
Some standard sizes for the height of a floor model are around 90 inches. This equals about 8’ tall, give or take depending upon the model. The burn time can also vary, but for this larger floor resting model, you can expect to get roughly 8-10 hours of heat. This also depends on several factors, not the least of which is the settings you use. These burn at roughly 40,000 BTU, so they produce a lot of heat. They can be quite dangerous if someone were to contact the burner or emitter screen.
For safety reasons, there is an auto-shut off switch on many that cause the flame to extinguish if it is knocked over. If you are hosting parties or entertaining, this is a distinct possibility as people get a bit more ‘loosened up’ you could say. If you are concerned about this specific issue, you may be safer with an electric patio heater. These also have fail-safe components, but no scare with the propane. Also, you will not have to worry about filling the tank. However, there is the issue with mobility as it needs a power source. All in all, a patio heater is a very safe and friendly addition to any patio.
These ‘friends’ will cost you about $150-300 USD for a standard size model that is capable of giving you just the type of heat you are looking for. If you want a more intimate setting, you might consider a patio fireplace. These can be a bit more cozy and allow for a more intimate setting. Keep in mind they will need to be more actively tended to unless you also get a gas one of these. There is no need to freeze out on your patio. Get one of these and not only will you be the envy of the neighborhood, but you’ll have the busiest patio in town.