Patio Heater Reviews

We put together this patio heater review article with the sole intention of guiding you as you search for an outdoor heater that will keep you warm during those chilly late fall and winter evenings.

It’s true...

Most of us use our patios ONLY during the summer.

The use of outdoor spaces to relax and entertain should not be limited to the summer months.

So, what should you consider when buying a patio heater?

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Area to be covered: the size of your yard or patio should definitely be a factor to consider as you search for your heater. If you spend most of your time around a table, an electric table top would work well for you. If you are looking to save patio space you would avoid a self standing heater and instead go to a mountable one.

Cost: these heaters will cost you anything from $50-1000 depending on the manufacturer, the amount of  heat released, is it commercial or for home use, quality of material used and many more.

Power: Every heater will have its heat felt in a certain radius. Heat is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The more the BTUs the more heat your heater will put out. Even as you consider this, some manufacturers can be misleading and I advise that you read the reviews from those who have bought to get to the truth.

Typical weather in your area: If you live in a very windy for instance, you probably should not consider a floor standing heater. If you live in an area that rains a lot, a fire pit will not work for you.

Safety: this should be at the top really. Most outdoor heaters are built for exactly that, outdoor. If you have an enclosed patio, do not use gas or wood heaters because of carbon monoxide build up. Do not use your outdoor heater indoors. Look for heaters with automatic tip over shut off feature, automatic overheat shut off feature.

Best Patio Heaters: Our Top 7 Reviews

Amazon Basics Commercial Patio Heater, stainless steel- Best outdoor patio heater

If you are looking to heat up a large outdoor space fast, do it with this 46000 BTU gas heater from Amazon Basics that churns out soothing and relatively quiet heat. Don't worry, it's smokeless and not an open fire heater.

It's easy to assemble you don't need to be very handy to do it. Here is a tip for you as you assemble it; to remove the blue protective film on the heat reflector, just use a hair dryer and it will peel off easy.

Once you assemble it and connect it to a standard 20 pound LP gas cylinder, it has an easy push to start button. You will also notice a large knob that regulates heat from low to high.

This heater is fabricated in commercial grade stainless steel allowing for both functionality and a very fashion forward appeal. It will stand up to harsh weather and still look elegant in your outdoor space. To move it from one area to another, it comes with two smooth rolling wheels. You can move it to where your family and friends are gathered.

To attend to the risk of this heater tipping over especially from gusty winds, the manufacturer built a steady base reservoir system such that the base can be filled with either water or sand for better stability. In the event that it actually does tip over, it comes with a safety auto shut off valve. That should give you some peace of mind.

What we like

  • Heats up a large space
  • Easily portable
  • High quality material used to improve durability and aesthetics

What we didn’t like

  • Doesn’t come with the gas cylinder.

AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater, Quartz Glass Tube in Hammered Bronze

One “wow” feature that you will absolutely love about this heater is the amount of light that emanates from it. Once its turned on, it easily illuminates up to 8 ft in radius.

Its assembly is pretty easy. All parts are labeled and well organized. If you follow the instructions you should be done in 30 minutes or less

Connect it to a 20 pound propane tank; turn it on and off it goes burning at 40,000 BTUs to keep your family and friends warm.

You will also like the dancing flames that go up the tube. They are just beautiful. I should tell you that if you have your own kids or even visiting children who may be curious to touch the tube of flames, I will have you know that the side grills are cool to the touch. They will not burn.

It’s set on a stable base but it's still a tall heater and prone to tipping over. The safety shut off and anti tilt features protect you from any such incidents especially if you live in a windy area.

Its sturdy frame is constructed from stainless steel and quartz glass that makes it durable, robust and sturdy.

The bronze hammered finish makes it attractive.

What we like

  • Very sturdy and durable
  • Easily portable
  • Cool to touch
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    Good lighting from it to improve the ambience of your outdoor space

What we didn’t like

  • Some reviewers claimed that you have to be near the heater to get the full benefits.

The Fire sense brand is a popular brand you can trust in the outdoor heating space. It's been producing quality products for over 20 years now.

Let's get back to this review...

If you need a patio heater for commercial use (restaurants, coffee shops, night club etc…) The 46000 BTU commercial heater from Fire Sense should be a strong contender.

It is very stylish, easy to clean and remains rust proof due to the powder coated mocha finish. The innovative design makes it stand out among many.

With its wheel assembly, you should be able to move it with ease.

The weighted base allows for easy placement and stability.

Low to high heat dials, you are able to decrease or increase the heat depending on how comfortable or uncomfortable those around it are.

What we like

  • Puts out a lot of heat
  • Easy to move around due to the wheels
  • Stable

What we didn’t like

  • It's a bit pricey

If you spend most of your time around a dining table on your patio, this 11,000 BTU outdoor heater should work for you. It is designed for table tops with its 38” height and 19 pound weight.

It is easy to assemble.

For stability and enhanced balance on a table, it stands on a wide weight plate. Comes anti-tilt safety feature to turn off the appliance should it tilt over.

To avoid changing your propane canisters every 1-2 hours, I recommend that you buy a hose extension/ adapter and use a bigger propane tank.

The burner screen guard protects the inner components in case of falls, snow or rain.

What we like

  • Very affordable
  • CSA certified thus good quality

What we didn’t like

  • Covers a smaller area thus not effective for larger outdoor activities.

This is one heater I would recommend for both home and commercial use. If you are looking to save space in your outdoor space, the 6000 watt mountable infrared heater from Bromic should work for you. Unlike other heaters that take space of your patio floors or table tops, this one is mounted on your wall or ceiling.

I highly suggest you get some professional help for this install. You need the heater to be well spaced from the wall or the ceiling, there is some wiring to be done and such like things.

The spectral reflector increases the heat output of the infrared elements as well as regulating the light emission.

What we like

  • Saves floor space.
  • Effective for both commercial and residential use
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    Flexible for wall and ceiling mounting

What we didn’t like

  • Very expensive
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    Its parts are tricky to assemble thus require professionals
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    Not very effective for larger patios.

This is one electric heater that you can use both indoors and outdoors.

You can attach it to any standard umbrella centre pole and spread its 3 blades or “wings” that put out a total of 1500 watts. It's a good product for you if you are looking for something just around your dining table.

It’s an easy assembly. It’s silent and puts out maximum heat in a very short time.

You can easily move it around between indoor and outdoor spaces as it only weight 8 pounds. Once you are done with it you can unplug it, let it cool, detach it from your umbrella pole and put it back into storage.

What we like

  • Uses less power
  • Heats up very fast
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    Effective for both indoor and outdoor
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    Heats up quietly
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    Easy to install and use.

What we didn’t like

  • less heat, just cover a small round table radius

This propane fuelled outdoor heater is exceptionally resistant to rust, fade and other corrosions and can comfortable stand up to extreme climates such as harsh sun and salt air. It is tall with ceramic glass flame tube which gives it the spectacular look as well as a reflector which reflects plenty of heat

Easy to assemble. Push button ignition. Variable heat control knob for prompt heat.

Included in the box should be a heavy duty propane gas regulator. Its stable and strong anti-tip base conceals the 20 lb propane tank and all the controls. This protects them as well as reducing the chances of accidents.

It comes in a stylish design, warms up a 15’ diameter area with it 41,000 BTU output through its stainless steel infrared heating element.

Compliant with CE, CSA specifications and standards. Built in safety valve that automatically shuts off in response to anti tip over.

Easily transportable as it has wheels, you can move it from one place to another effortlessly when it's being used (turn it off before moving it) or even back to storage.

What we like

  • Generates enough heat over a wide area
  • Very sturdy and durable
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    Portability ease
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    CSA certified thus safe

What we didn’t like

  • Uses a lot of energy

Patio Heater Power Types:

The most common fuel types for patio heaters are propane, electric and natural gas. Lets go over their pros and cons below.

Propane

Propane heaters are a simple addition to your patio or deck. You do not need a professional to come install one of these. Easy assembly if any, attach the gas tank and you are good to go. When the gas runs out, just replace with a new gas tank. Many people like them for how easy they are to operate.

They are good for:

  • Heating up your space fast.
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    No professional installation required.
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    Portability; Move it to where you need the heat easily.

Keep this in mind:

  • Propane costs more than natural gas
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    Gas tanks need periodic replacement
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    Do not use in enclosed/ covered patios

Electric

Most electric outdoor heaters will not require any installation unless you get the hanging or wall mounted models. In the long run gas and wood powered outdoor heaters are cheaper to run than the electric powered units. Electric heaters are safe to use in enclosed or covered patios.

They are good for:

  • Convenience just plug it in.
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    Safe to use in covered or enclosed spaces.

To Keep this in Mind:

  • Will cost you more in the long run.
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    Always needs to be near an electric outlet.

Natural Gas

You will definitely need professional help to install one of these because it requires to be connected to your gas line. The upfront cost will be higher than propane or electric heaters. Once installed, natural gas heaters are the cheapest to use and are easy to maintain too.

They are good for:

  • Cheap to use.
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    Easy to maintain.

To Keep this in Mind:

  • Expensive to buy and install.
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    Can’t use in a covered or enclosed space.
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    May be difficult to move due to natural gas line.

Designs:

Free/ Self Standing

In terms of style, you are looking at just about 3 variations of such heaters.

These are very popular am sure you have seen them in many restaurants with outdoor sitting areas. Most of these are tall and will give you some good amount of heat.

Wall Mounted

If you are looking to save patio floor space, hanging or wall mounted heaters should do the trick. They are most likely electric and are not hard to install of course depending on how easy such handy work comes to you.

Tabletop

These are the smallest compared to the other two above. They are also affordable especially if you just need a small area heated up. This heater is very convenient if you spend most of the time in your patio around a table. Most of these are electric options but gas models can be found as well.

Top Brands:

  • Az Patio Heaters
  • Firesense
  • Bromic Heating

Placement and Safety Consideration for Patio Heaters

Consider these factors before you go ahead and install an outdoor heater:

Outdoor only: Most patio heaters are built for outdoor use only especially the natural gas and propane powered units.

Level surface: you definitely want your heater on a level surface where it is stable and can carry its own weight without tipping over or something of the sort.

Flammable material: Do NOT hang any clothing or such material near or even on the heater.

Clearance: It is a good idea to go over the manufacturers’ recommendations on the required clearance to such things as walls, ceilings and other combustibles.

Maintenance: general maintenance on heaters is easy. Remember to have it turned off when conducting maintenance. Also remember to turn it off when moving it from one place to another.

Safety Features To look out for:

Just like any other appliance, operating a portable outdoor heater presents a potential fire risk. Consider these safety features as you make your purchase:

Automatic Shut Off: Should the heater get too hot, it should have an automatic capability that switches it off.

Tip over Protection: For an outdoor heater, it is advised to place it where there is infrequent movement and also for electric patio heaters do not connect them to extension cables rather connect them directly to the power outlet on the walls. Look for a heater that will go off when it tips over.

Cool-to Touch: If you have children and pets, most outdoor heaters have glass that is cool to the touch. Should your child or pet reach out for the glass, they will not burn.

So here are questions we get a lot about patio heaters:

Can I use my patio heater indoors?

Most patio heaters are marked outdoor only. It is not advisable to use them indoors especially propane fueled patio heaters which carry the risk of oxygen depletion and this can be very fatal to any family.

Can you use a patio heater in the garage?

Your garage is still considered an indoor space and a patio heater should NOT be used here. The garage is an enclosed area and especially propane and natural gas patio heaters are designed for outdoor spaces where there is proper ventilation.

About the Author Nicolas Ochilo

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