A nice outdoor space becomes an extension of your home or business, so why not enjoy it longer? Whether it's a restaurant patio, pool area, or nice backyard, adding a patio heater lets you enjoy your outdoor space long after summer has come and gone. And outdoor patio heaters do more than add warmth; they become an attractive centerpiece and bring ambiance to your space.
There are many types of fuel, various styles, and several other considerations to review before buying residential or commercial outdoor heaters. For quick reference, click on one of the sections below:
Outdoor heaters generally use of these 3 fuel types: Natural gas, propane, or electric. See which one is best for your space:
Natural gas patio heaters are popular because they offer continuous heat with little maintenance. You simply need to attach them to a natural gas line. They're less expensive to operate than propane gas or electric heaters and tend to be more efficient as well. Most natural gas models come with an included gas line that can be quickly hooked up for continuous heat.
The main disadvantages of natural gas heating is you may need a plumber to assist you set up the lines, and once the lines are connected, you can't move them around as easily as propane heaters (which just use tanks inside the units, so they're easier to move).
Most of the models we sell come fully-assembled and can heat areas up to 20 feet in all directions from the standalone heater.
Best-Selling Natural Gas Heater: Lava Heat 2G Natural Gas Heater
Propane gas heaters are commonly used outdoors because they're simple to use and provide instant heat. All that's needed is a gas tank (generally a 1-, 20-, or 40-pound tank), and they're easy to install yourself. Most of our models come fully-assembled, and select models use domes to offer heat in a circle up to 20 feet.
The main disadvantage, particularly for commercial applications, is that you have to replace gas tanks, which can run out at inopportune times. There is also the additional cost and maintenance of replacing these tanks.
Best-Selling Sylvane Propane Heater: Lava Heat Alto Propane Heater
An electric patio heater is a convenient way to quickly add heat to your patio or deck. These heaters typically require a 120-volt outlet and use a heating bulb to produce warmth. Since most use a standard residential outlet, you can plug them in almost anywhere—making electric heaters extremely low maintenance, particularly when compared to propane gas heaters. Another advantage of electric heaters is you can use them in covered and partially-enclosed spaces (you can't use propane heaters in these areas).
The biggest issue with electric outdoor heaters, of course, is that you have to plug them in. Most outdoor spaces don’t have easy access to plugs and users don't want to run long electrical cords outdoors. Also, these models generally don’t have the flame effect that customers appreciate in commercial settings. Propane and natural gas heaters often become a centerpiece and attractive addition to your space thanks to this feature.
Best-Selling Sylvane Electric Heater: Endless Summer New Orleans
Outdoor heaters come in a variety of styles, but these are the most common types:
Most patio heaters use watts or British Thermal Units (BTUs) to measure heating power. Models often list their heating area as a number of feet around the unit. For example, our electric heaters offer up to 1200 watts of power, so they warm up to a 12-foot circle around the heater.
BTUs are the standard measurement of power for many appliances (they're measured as energy used per unit time). You'll usually see them written as BTUs per hour; the higher the number of BTUs, the more the heater gives off.
If you're purchasing a propane gas heater, also look at the gas tank size. Small tanks will need to be replaced more often, and larger heaters tend to hold bigger tanks. Models with 20- or 40-pound tanks last for hours of continuous use.
Portable outdoor heaters have safety features to ensure you're safe from fire and other risks. Keep an eye out for the following features:
Assembly-Type: Most of the outdoor patio heaters we offer come at least partially-assembled. Many models, like our Lava Heat patio heaters, come fully-assembled in one box. You simply have to attach the top/domes for some models. Be sure to look for this feature, because building completely unassembled patio heaters can take a significant amount of time. If you're looking for a model you can immediately remove and start using, find one that comes fully-assembled.
Length of Warranty: If your outdoor heater has a long warranty (some have up to 5-year limited warranties), you can be confident it's built with quality materials and won't suffer from tough environmental conditions.
Lava Heat outdoor heater models use either propane or natural gas as fuel. They're popular in both commercial and residential locations due to their high-quality parts and attractive designs. Most come fully-assembled, so they take just minutes to put together. Electronic controls and large, adjustable flames add to their appeal.
We offer tall, standalone models and tabletop heaters. Available standalone heaters offer up to 60,000 BTUs of heat for large spaces. Our selection of tabletop models from Lava Heat offer similar features but less power for small areas.
Endless Summer/Blue Rhino
Manufactured by American propane gas company Blue Rhino, Endless Summer heaters come in both electric and propane gas models. These affordable heaters vary in style and design, with electric models coming in both tabletop and full size models.
All of their electric heaters can be plugged into a standard residential outlet (110-120-volts), so their popular in residential outdoor spaces and covered porches. Using up to 1,200 watt bulbs, their electric models cover up to 12-feet circles.
Powerful propane heaters are also offered by Endless Summer and are more powerful than their electric heater counterparts. Ideal for balconies, pool decks, and patios, these outdoor heaters warm surrounding areas up to 20-feet in diameter. Many of them use domes at the top to radiate heat farther than other outdoor heaters.
Ideal for outdoor areas, workshops, job sites, and even garages, Heat Storm heaters are a top-choice for industrial heating. Currently we offer one model, the Heat Storm Tradesman. This versatile heater can be mounted on a wall or ceiling, put on a tripod, or in a small "cage" for quick transport to different job sites. It uses infrared heat to directly warm people and objects rather than the air. Its lightweight design, quiet heating, and various uses make it a top choice among construction and other industrial professionals.
Some customers consider fireplaces or fire pits for their outdoor space, but for they're not the best option for many people. While fire pits add ambiance, many outdoor heaters—particularly natural gas and propane heaters—use real, adjustable flames and elegant designs that enhance the outdoors as much as fireplaces. In addition, there are many factors that push customers towards patio heaters instead:
Not sure what's best for you? We can take the guesswork out of decision-making. Contact one of our air treatment specialists at 1-800-934-9194. We want to help make your indoor and outdoor environment healthy and comfortable.