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While air conditioners are a summer thing, patio heaters are practically appropriate year-round. Yes, while patio heaters are likely to get the most use in the winter, nighttime in spring and summer brings cooler temperatures and cool breezes. The market for patio heaters is large and impractical, so we reached out to Joseph Bodanian, Director of HVAC Training at UEI College, the leader in producing high-level HVAC technologies for more than four decades, to help us demystify the world of patio heaters. From the different types of patio heaters to the best ones to buy, here’s everything you should know about patio heaters.
How to choose a patio heater
Everything matters when thinking about your outdoor space: Do you have a concrete or wood patio? Is there a canopy or some kind of top? Is it closed or open? What do you do with the space when it’s not cold? You also have to decide which fuel is best for you. These are the most common fuel sources for patio heaters, along with the pros and cons of each.
liquid propane patio heater: This is always the cheapest option for patio heaters, and you can find the fuel source practically anywhere. They help patio heaters be both powerful and mobile, but dragging around a 20-pound tank can get old very quickly, not to mention the hassle of connecting and disconnecting the tank. Also make sure there is proper ventilation.
natural gas patio heaterNatural gas-fueled patio heaters bring some more consistent heat, but are more expensive than liquid propane. It’s important to have a professional install a natural gas patio heater for safety reasons, and once it’s set up, it’s stuck pretty much for life.
electric patio heater: An electric patio heater is great for small spaces, and can be found in just about any size. These types of patio heaters are the easiest to use at the cost of taking some time to heat up. Additionally, you must be close to an electrical outlet for it to function.
wood pellet patio heaterWood pellets have the lowest environmental impact compared to other fuel sources, and wood pellet patio heaters are highly efficient. Wood pellet fuel heaters are extremely durable and designed to withstand the harshest climates. However, obtaining wood pellets is a pain, and owning and maintaining a wood pellet heater can be a lot of work.
How we tested
We have compiled a list of over 50 patio fireplaces, which the market has considered the best of the best. From the list, we recalled a number of patio heaters we deemed worthy of testing, and for the rest, we supplied product manuals for each unit, running them through rigorous analysis. After much trial and error, these 50+ patio heaters have been whittled down to the top 15.
Best Patio Heaters for 2022
Best all-round patio heater
Front Gate Commercial Patio Heater
Best Spliurg Patio Heater
Sunfire Radiant Heater 150
Best economical patio heater
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-238
Best natural gas patio heater
AZ patio heaters tall glass tube heater
Best propane patio heater
Bromic Smart Heating Heater BH0510001 Tungsten Smart Portable Heat
Best radiant electric patio heater
Promic BH0320007 Platinum Smart Heating Heater
Best Wood Pellet Patio Heater
Lil’ Timber Patio Heater
Best small patio heater
314 Offer Portable Infrared Electric Patio Heater
Best portable patio heater
the master. Heater Big Buddy
Best patio tabletop heater
Fire sense tabletop patio fireplace
Best patio heater with table top
EnerG + outdoor bistro style heating table
The best pyramid patio heater
Lava Capri A-Line Patio Heater
Best weather resistant patio heater
Elite big timber
Best discreet patio heater
Promic BH0820001 Eclipse Smart Heat
Best Designer Patio Heater
Galanter and Jones Helios Metriou
Best outdoor furniture brands for patio, porch or backyard
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