A Guide To The Best Patio Heaters
A garden patio heater provides heat and is usually used outdoors but some can be used indoors as well. Although patio heaters tends to be used more during the evening of a summer’s month, it doesn’t need to be limited to a summer’s month as it can be used all year round, if you fancy relaxing outside on a dry winter’s month and you got heating, why not? When deciding on what’s the best patio heater for your garden, consider the types of patio heaters first.
Despite being great for keeping you warm, you won’t be able to grill your food on one like you would on an outdoor chiminea! Yes, a chiminea is very efficient as it can do both, however, the style is not everyone’s cuppa tea. Most people opt for the classic charcoal barbecue grill to cook their food on and we don’t blame them.
Many people like to put an outdoor patio heater inside a pop up gazebo, but having a flame or electric element inside a gazebo can be a potential fire hazard. Gas patio heaters will be safer to use inside a gazebo, but please ensure the gazebo is well ventilated. Always double check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure.
Gas vs Electric Outdoor Heater
Patio heaters are either operated by gas or electric, our table above will show the best gas and best electric patio heaters. Below we’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages of each one so you can decide what one is more suitable for your garden.
Gas patio heater advantages:
Gas patio heater disadvantages:
- Not restricted to where you can place it.
- Generally covers a wider heated area.
- Great for heating up enclosed areas such as patios or outdoor bar areas.
- The radiant heat offers the same pleasant sensation as sitting in the sun.
- Can be used to heat garden gazebos.
Electric patio heater advantages:
- More expensive to run.
- Can only be used outdoors.
- Only comes in one type which is free standing.
Electric patio heater disadvantages:
- Cheaper to run.
- Comes in several different types such as: Wall mounted, ceiling mounted or free standing.
- Operates silently.
- The heat is unaffected by wind, unlike gas patio heaters.
- Relatively lightweight.
- Some can be used indoors as well.
- Must be near a mains socket, so limited to where you can place it.
- The heat is generally concentrated in one area so the area covered is not as wide as what a gas patio heater would cover.
How To Choose The Best Patio Heater
When you’re deciding which is the best outdoor heater to buy, understanding the features and functions may help you narrow down your selection. Below we’ve listed the features you should consider:
Type – The two main types are gas and electric, we’ve listed the pros and cons of each one above.
Height – Some free standing patio heaters will have an adjustable height which is very useful as you can lower the height if you’re sitting on a chair to bring the heat closer or make it higher if you’re standing.
Heated area – This is the size of the area the patio heater will provide heat to. Some don’t specify so only use it as a rough guideline.
Indoor or outdoor – Most people will buy a patio heater for outdoor use, but some electric patio heaters can also be used indoors which can be useful in situations where your home heating system has failed.
Gas patio heaters are purely for outdoor use only as it would be dangerous to use indoors.
The height can be adjusted on some heaters
Transport wheels – Having wheels makes it easier to transport the outdoor heater around, some can be quite heavy so would be quite awkward to carry if it doesn’t have transport wheels.
Auto cut off tilt switch – A safety feature where the flame will cut out if the gas patio heater tips over.
Ignite failure safety – If the flame failed to ignite then the gas is cut off for safety.
Cable length – Only electric patio heaters will plug into the mains, if the cable length is not long enough you may need an extension lead.
Weight – If the outdoor heater doesn’t weigh much then a strong gust of wind can potentially blow it over. Take extra caution if you’re using a lightweight outdoor heater in windy conditions, you can use slabs or other objects to ensure it doesn’t blow over.
Transport wheels makes it easier to maneuver
Types of Patio Heaters:
Free standing patio heaters
Probably the most common, as the name suggests it conveniently stands up on its without the need for anything to help stabilise it. The height can be extended on some models, but most are at a fixed height which is usually high enough that most people wouldn’t bump their head on the top.
Free standing patio heater are typically made of 4 parts: Base, pole, heat source and reflector. The reflector is designed to prevent loss of heat upwards and instead reflects the heat back down to the surrounding area.
Tabletop patio heaters
Similar to a free standing patio heater but instead much smaller and it rests on top of a table or equivalent. Tabletop patio heaters does come in gas or electricity types.
Wall mounted patio heaters
Wall mounted patio heaters can be mounted to a wall or something sturdy, for your convenience they usually come with the screws and mount brackets required.
These tend to be lightweight and is ideal if you lack space, it is only operated by electricity and the heated area tends to be significantly less than what a free standing patio heater would cover.
Useful Related Products:
Bosmere C745 premium patio heater cover
- Made from tough PVC backed polyester.
- Double sewn seams for extra strength.
- Protects against bird lime, sap and garden dirt.
- Protects against elements such as: Wind, rain, sun and frost.