Outdoor Heater Buying Guide: How To Buy A Patio Heater?

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Patio & Yard


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Whether it’s windy fall or chilly winter, a patio heater goes a long way. It can be a wonderful addition to your front or back yard decor while setting up a warm and cozy ambiance.

While there are different types of patio heaters, finding the perfect one for you could be tricky.

Below you will find a comprehensive guide on choosing the right patio heater for your outdoor space.

So, let’s delve deep into this outdoor patio heater buying guide and find out all the answers.

outdoor patio heater buying guide logo

How To Buy A Patio Heater?

Patio heaters can be a great addition to your outdoor space as they add both aesthetic value and convenience.

You can keep them outside even when the weather is not chilly. These heaters decorate your garden or outdoor space in a very unique way.

When it comes to buying patio heaters, there are a few things you need to know and take into consideration.

Patio heaters are not all built the same. Patios are different in style and also need different types of fuel.

You will also have to keep in mind whether the patio you are choosing is safe for your outdoor setup or not.

Let us look at the different types of patios you should look into before settling on which is the best for you.

Tabletop Patio Heater

Compared to a full-sized patio garden heater, these are incredibly small and portable. They are also cheaper than the other models out there.

Tabletop patio heaters are incredibly practical and convenient for outdoor dining. They are great for restaurants with outdoor seating.

While tabletop patio heaters are very light in weight, they have a weighted base. This feature is for stability to keep it from toppling.

They usually run on gel fuel or propane. Propane is the most popular choice for a tabletop patio heater.

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09/30/2023 08:21 pm GMT

Hanging Patio Heater

Hanging patio heaters are overhead patio heaters that are hung from the ceiling. They are usually installed in places such as front doors or port areas.

As they are set up on the ceiling, they don’t take up much space. They add amazing ambient decoration to the outdoor scenario. It also makes more room for other furniture or people to gather around it.

The best part about hanging patio heaters is that the heat is spread throughout the area.

This keeps everyone around them warm rather than the ones that are close to the patio. By using infrared heat, these patios warm up the area from above. 

The heaters run on electricity. It can also be wall-mounted, and the direction of heat can also be adjusted upwards or downwards.

Standing Patio Heater

A standing patio heater is the most common one used for garden areas. Standing patio heaters are considered very well suited for all kinds of environments because they have a sleek silhouette and an upright profile.

They look great as a decoration and are placed in corners to spread the heat out.

This is the warmest patio you can get, as the heat resembles that of a campfire. This is because standing patio placements are much closer than the others and are bigger in size.

The most common ones run on gas, which makes them cheaper when used in the long run.

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09/30/2023 08:30 pm GMT

The Fire Pit

The patio heater that requires the least amount of setup is the fire pit. They are considered safer than a campfire. This is as the fire pit patio is designed in a way that keeps the flames of the fire contained.

This prevents the fire from escalating everywhere. Being in the center also makes it look really beautiful. The surroundings of containers are usually made of ceramic or wood.

There are also other models which come in the form of a table. This is for you to have the warmth coming from the center while you sit around it with your friends and family. 

You can grill on the fire pit and have a great time with your friends and family while being warm and cozy at the same time.

The only drawback would be that these models are set and can not move around much.

Quartz Tube Patio Heater

These are the most fashionable patio heaters on the market. They are no different than a standing patio.

Quartz tubes are well known for the way they are designed and their appearance. They too run on electricity, but when it comes to heating a huge space, these models are not so efficient. 

Quartz Tube Patio Heaters weigh a lot and are big in size. This is why they are placed around the corners of the room.

Umbrella Mounted Patio Heater

These patio heaters are like those of a hanging patio heater. These do not need to be hung from the ceiling; they are constructed within an umbrella and stand upright when opened.

They also do not take up much space as poles on the umbrella mount set them up. 

This helps people move all around it while getting warmth from it. The heat does not travel a great distance, even using electricity. This design is more of a single-person patio heater.

Mobile Patio Heater

These are the excellent old-fashioned patio heaters from which different models were created.

They come with tiny wheels for moving them about and are usually shaped like balls. You can throw wood into them and burn it to produce heat. 

These reach a wide area when it comes to spreading warmth. Yet, there are no safety switches, and you will have to put the warm fire out the same way you put it on.

Now that you are familiar with the different types of patio heaters, there are some features that you should consider. Let us continue reading to find out more about patio heaters.

Features You Need To Consider For Patio Heaters

Now that you have decided which patio heater to buy for your outdoor environment, there are some key features that you need to consider.

Each patio heater is built differently. These features bring safety and usability. It is necessary for your patio heater to have them to gain the best experience.

Tipover Switch 

While some patio heaters are kept indoors , others remain outside to warm up. There is also a chance that they might collapse, and the heat might fall on someone close to them. This is the reason a patio heater needs a tip-over switch.

The tip-over switch is triggered by the heater when it is tilted past a certain angle. The system then switches off. This stops the warm heat from flowing. When it falls off, the structure will not harm the surrounding people.

Safety Switch

Your patio heater must have a safety switch. In case of a fire outbreak, the safety switch turns the entire system off so that no further flame escapes the patio.

The switch is to disconnect the full reserve so that the flame does not come through anymore, which stops the flame from burning. 

This feature helps prevent a lot of hazardous situations from getting out of hand and gives you complete safety.

Dust and Waterproof

A patio heater is no different than any other electrical appliance. They too need maintenance, and sometimes sealers.

But most of them should come with weather resistance. You should check if your patio heater is both dustproof and waterproof. 

These are crucial as these heaters outside will be prone to dust falling on them. You will also need it to be protected against water as it is an electrical component.

You do not want your patio heater to take damaged if water from rain falls on it.


Different patios have different abilities when put against the weather. Some have to be built tough, while others weigh less.

Those that need to be hung from a ceiling should be tough enough for birds not to build nests inside.

It is always best to go for those made with steel as they are more robust in structure and also heat up.

Power Source

The power source of your patio heater will determine how far heat will be distributed. The more area it will cover, the more efficient it will be in warming up the environment.

The coverage of heat also depends on the kind of weather you’re having as well. You should go for a model that requires less power but covers a wide area for warmth.

You should also keep in mind the weather conditions in your area.

Easy to Use

Your patio heater shouldn’t require extra effort from you to start operating. Look for one that operates by a press of a switch. The switch will make it simple to ignite the machine rather than requiring you to put in the extra effort.

This will save you a lot of time and help keep people warm quickly. You do not want your friends and family to wait around while the weather keeps getting colder.

Adjustable Settings

There are many patio heater models on the market that have adjustable settings. This option lets you adjust your heat distribution.

This is an economical feature as it gives you the power to change the intensity of the warmth. You can adjust it the way you like it, whether it’s too hot or too cold for your friends and family.

Emitter Screens

Large emitter screens help your patio heaters move the heat in the directions that you want. This feature helps you move your heater around.

They’re also models that let you tilt your heater to spread the warmth even upwards and downwards.

Now that you have an idea of what features you should be looking for when buying a patio heater for your outside area, there is also an important component in making it all work.

That is enough power to run the patio heater on, let’s keep reading to learn more about the types of fuel you will need to run them.

Fuel Types For Patio Heaters

There’s no point in getting a patio heater for your outside space if you don’t know how to operate it. Patio heaters either run on electricity or fuel.

The different models out there each run to their specifications. Let’s dig into fuel and better understand the different fuel types that are needed to heat your patio.

Electrical Heaters

This is the technologically advanced patio heater system that we have nowadays. The patio heater requires you to plug into a power source and have electricity turn it on.

Basically, your patio is heated up and warms up the surrounding area using infrared heat waves. 

If there is no electrical circuit to drop power from near your patio heater, you can use extension cables to help plug it in.

While this power source is easy to use there are also safety measures you should take while moving around the wires connecting to the patio heater.

Outdoor Gas Heaters

Regarding gas heaters for your patio, there are two different types for you to choose from. The types are natural gas and propane gas heaters.

When running on natural gas, the heater has to be connected to a gas line. This can be less expensive than electric or propane gas heaters. 

However, you will need a plumber to set up the entire thing, so it does not leak and cause safety issues. These heaters need little maintenance and are very efficient in warming up the surrounding area.

The ones that run on propane gas need to be connected to a gas tank but do not require any additional setup. You can set this up all by yourself without the help of a plumber.

However, propane gas-run patio heaters require more maintenance as you must change the gas tanks to keep them running.

Wood and Charcoal 

This is the old-fashioned way of heating a patio heater. The unique ceiling feature that feeds you heaters that require charcoal or wood to run is that it does not need any kind of maintenance or extra expenses to turn it on.

There is no need to have a gas tank or plug it into any outlets.   You can also place them anywhere you want around your garden. 

The fuel comes from wood or charcoal, which burns to produce heat for the people around it. The distributional heat is very high as it is natural burning.

However, it might not be as eco-friendly as the other models and might require a good cleanup when done with burning after use.

Safety Considerations With Patio Heaters

Now that you have a proper guy to buy patio heaters from, you should still keep a few things in mind even after buying a patio heater. It is important that the heater you’re buying is safe for you and your surroundings. 

Purchase From Proper Vendors

Patio heaters for outside can be quite expensive , but you should also keep in mind that you do not want something that will not last a lifetime. When buying a patio heater for your outdoor space, quality should be a factor. 

You do not want a heater that will need a lot of maintenance and might cause a fire outbreak, damaging its exterior and people around it. It is best to spend more and get the proper patio heater for you.

Placement Of Your Patio Heater

You should not place the heater very close to people or objects that can catch fire when heat is applied.

It’s also important that you place your patio heater in a sheltered environment, or your fire pit can easily be blown out. 

You should also keep in mind that if you are using electrical components to run your patio heater then you need to make sure there isn’t any water leak near the area, or it will not only damage your electrical circuit but your battery heater as well.

Place your patio heaters in corners where they are at a safe distance from you and your family.


Always check if your patio heater is working and that the heat is maintained. If your heater has built-up dust on it, clean it before turning it on again. 

If there’s a need for an expert to come in and fix your battery heater, do not hesitate to get help. Your patio heater must be anticipating heat the way it should.

What Are the Best Outdoor Heating and Cooling Options for a Patio Space?

When it comes to creating a comfortable outdoor patio space, having the right outdoor patio fans options can make all the difference. From stylish ceiling fans to portable misting fans, there are plenty of options to keep your patio cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Final Thoughts on Outdoor Heaters

Patio heaters are great for your outdoor environment since they warm the area and the people around them, ensure you purchase the perfect fit!

They come in various sizes and can be powered by electricity, gas, wood, or charcoal. Some can be hung from the ceiling, while others can be placed in a corner to provide heat. 

Nonetheless, they are great at setting the tone for an outdoor dining or barbeque session. Thanks for stopping by hope we helped you make a more informed choice!