Those that adore to entertain outdoors, love having a patio heater. Whether or not they are entertaining on their deck, patio around the pool or in the backyard, patio heating elements mean they can get outside earlier in the year and stay outside long in the evening season that their others who live nearby have all gone in. Restaurant owners find they work great on their patios as well. Not only are the customers more comfortable but it means extra sitting for more months of the year.
Deciding where you need heat:
While patio heating elements heat in a circular fashion, electric heating elements loosen up a more focused area. Patio heating elements usually wood heaters run on lp or gas. Electric heating elements are either hardwired or can be connected to a regular outlet. It all depends on where you need your heat. Over the patio table? In an surrounded area? Over a 20-foot radius? You need to understand where you want your heat and then choose a heater that is capable of performing.
What type of heater do i need?
Portable — Portablility may or may not be important to you. If it is, and you are buying a lp heater, you will want it to have wheels attached. If a tabletop heater is what you need, these are much lighter and can be moved easily from table to table. Electric heating elements are usually much lighter, although some of the freestanding ones come with wheels as well.
Tabletop — Tabletop heating elements are smaller and sit in the middle of your table or on a side table. They can be powered by a smaller lp container or by electricl outlet. These heating elements are perfect for those that don’t have much floor or ground space and only need/want heat near sitting areas.
Wall Mounted — Heating elements that are mounted to the wall are powered by electricity, either hardwired or by pushing into a regular household outlet. They may or may not be moved easily, depending on the model. They are also perfect for those without much floor space as the are mounted up and out of the way and throw focused heat where it is needed.
Hanging — These are also electric heating elements and work by hanging from above. They are also great space savers and can be put down closer to the table or sitting area than the usual wall mounted heater.
Things to think about:
Type of Fuel — Lp patio heating elements normally use a 20lb lp container. The smaller ones uses a throw away lp storage container. Lp heating elements are powerful with commercial ones being the most powerful. If you have gas set up, a patio heater that is permanently fixed to your gas line might be what you want. These are the most powerful type of heating elements. The only drawback is that they are not portable.
Electric heating elements that are either connected to the wall or hardwired in can save money on fuel but they aren’t as powerful. If you want heat in a smaller, focused area then these are a great alternative. Infrared electric heating elements are the most efficient of them all because they heat objects rather than the surrounding air. This means that they are not affected by cool breezes or even higher years.
Power — As mentioned, lp and gas heating elements are the most effective. They are rated in BTU’s which will help tell you the amount of heat they will give. The higher the BTU’s the higher heat and heating area. If you are thinking about electric heating elements, then you want to check the wattage, if available.
What are they made of — Quite a few of the patio heating elements available today are made from steel. Some of your more basic heating elements occasionally includes some aluminum as well. You will get what you pay for. You want to make sure it consists of steel or in the very least weather treated steel. These will help extend the life span of your unit. Plastic covers are also a good idea to protect it from the elements when not being used.