Cool Evenings Outside, Warmed by Patio Heaters
Spending more leisure time at home is a new and growing trend within the U.S. Eighty percent of homeowners surveyed by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) thought it critical for a home to have a relaxing outdoor room. One of the main features PERC recommends for creating the perfect outdoor room is a patio heater.
Another study conducted by the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA) shows that 56 percent of all grill owners, and 69 percent of gas grill owners, now grill out on a regular basis year round. By using an outdoor patio heater, many of those people could continue to enjoy the entire outdoor experience by eating outside during cold weather.
Safety is key when it comes to home appliances. Patio heaters these days are very safe, and they’re getting better all the time. Many gas heaters come with a piezo electric starter, so there is no need for matches and no pilot light. An additional safety component is an automatic emergency shut off. If a unit with this feature is ever overturned or even hit too hard, it will instantly shut itself off.
Patio heaters are manufactured to run off one of three different fuel types: propane, natural gas, or electricity. Natural gas heaters are used for permanent, stationary heaters. Propane, conveniently available in tanks, allows a heater to be moved about. Infrared heaters are often powered by electricity, though some are run by natural gas.
Patio heaters of varied types and sizes become regularly available. As you look through the various options below, consider your specific needs. Do you want a stationary heater, or a portable one? How much heat do you need considering the people you will entertain? Asking yourself these kinds of questions will guide you to the heater that most appropriately meets the needs of your outdoor space.
Free-standing heaters are larger (about 95 inches tall) and more powerful than table-top heaters. Table-top heaters, though, because they are lighter and smaller, are also much easier to carry around wherever you want to go. Many table-top heaters can radiate heat in an 8 foot diameter or more. For larger groups, you might want to try a free-standing patio heater; many are affordable commercial grade heaters that radiate heat in up to a 20 foot diameter. Alternatively, infrared heaters are often quite versatile; they can be hung on a wall, on a pole, or even possibly overhead.
Stationary heaters are beneficial because they attach to your natural gas lines, and so do not have tanks that need to be replaced or refilled. If you plan to move the location of the heater, though, you will need a portable propane model. Portable heaters can be either free-standing or table-top models.
The heating strength of a patio heater is rated in BTU’s. As an example, a 45,000 BTU heater will produce a 20 foot heat diameter. Free-standing heaters are often more powerful than table-top heaters, and so can be used for larger groups.
Patio heaters are a welcome and useful addition to America’s increasingly outdoor lifestyle. They safely and efficiently turn cold nights into cozy evenings, perfect for you and your family to get together and relax. After all, relaxing is one thing we just do not do enough these days.