Your Guide to Outdoor Patio Heating

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Summer may be upon us, but that does not mean the cold nights will be totally gone. Summer days are often too hot and humid, and you’ll need a residential misting system to keep you cool and comfortable. But every now and then, you may find yourself slipping into a sweatshirt during the nighttime.

There’s nothing you can do about the cold summer breeze or the changing weather, but you can heat up your patio, so you don’t have to stop entertaining guests or unwinding in your backyard even when the nights get chilly and the temperature starts to drop.

These outdoor heating options will allow you to spend time and have fun in your patio on cold summer evenings and during the frosty fall and winter months.

Common Patio Heating Options

All-weather heaters

If you live in an area that’s prone to bad weather, a standard patio heater may not be a good or very practical idea. A few minutes of strong wind or torrential downpour is enough to damage most ordinary outdoor heaters and render them useless.

Luckily, all-weather heaters eliminate such risks. These outdoor heating options are heavy-duty and waterproof. You can sit back and relax, knowing that your heaters can take a beating from natural elements.

Wall-mounted heaters

Those with smaller patios or outdoor areas should consider hanging or wall-mounted heaters to save on floor space. They release enough heat to keep you warm and comfortable during the colder days, but without getting in the way.

Mounted heaters use infrared heat and are pretty much always powered by electricity. If you’re handy enough, you can even install them on your own.

Free-standing heaters

Free-standing heaters trump all other outdoor heating options in terms of mobility. They come in different shapes, sizes, fuel types, and price ranges.

Stand-alone models give off a good amount of heat and are the ideal choice for gardens, poolside, and restaurants with al-fresco dining because they’re relatively easy to move around and store.

Tabletop heaters

Tabletop heaters are meant for more concentrated heating. As their name suggests, they are designed for installation on patio tables and countertops.

These innovative heating products often look like lamps and are perfect for heating the body while enjoying a good meal outdoors on a cold night.

Zero-light heaters

Most outdoor heaters emit light. And while this warm glow is often welcome, there may be instances where they can be a distraction.

For those who want to keep their outdoor spaces warm and dim, zero-light heaters are the answer. They’re also the ideal choice for patios that already have sufficient and strategic sources of light.

Fire pits and chimeneas

If you want to add a touch of romance and wood-burning ambiance into your outdoor space, fire pits and chimeneas are the heating options you’re looking for! Sure, these choices require more maintenance than most types of outdoor heaters, but the beautiful, warm, and cozy atmosphere they create can make it all worth it.

Fuel Type and Heat range

Outdoor and patio heaters typically use one of four fuel sources, namely: propane, natural gas, electricity, and wood. Each of these fuel sources has its advantages and drawbacks. Learning about them will help you decide which one suits you best.

Propane – Propane heaters emit a high level of BTU (British Thermal Units), and may be the best option if you want to heat a large surface area almost instantly. Of the four fuel types, propane is the only one that’s portable and does not have to be attached to a gas or electric source. Most free-standing heaters – the popular choice for direct heating in many outdoor settings – are powered by propane.

Natural gas – Natural gas heaters can provide your patio with lots of warmth and coziness, but they must be installed by a professional. This is because natural gas heaters need to be connected to a fixed gas line to work. Once they’re installed, though, they’re a breeze to maintain and inexpensive to operate.

Electricity – Electric-powered heaters are the most convenient to use because all you have to do is plug them in, and they immediately start working. While they emit less heat than gas and propane heaters, they are cheap and require little to no maintenance. Also, the absence of flammable gas arguably makes them the safest option, especially for homes with children running around.

Wood – Though they’re harder to ignite and require more maintenance, many people love to use wood-burning fire pits and chimeneas because of the great atmosphere they provide. Also, wood is affordable, but it can be difficult to find and you might need to buy it if you live in the city.

Choosing the Right Outdoor Heater

When choosing a patio heater for your outdoor living space, it’s essential to consider the size of your yard and the situations you’ll use it in. For limited spaces, tabletop heaters will usually do the trick, while strategically-placed mounted electric heaters would be best for large, enclosed areas. If you want your outdoor heater to be both functional and aesthetic, however, wood-burning fire pits or chimeneas will definitely do the trick.
You don’t have to stick with a single type; you can mix and use different kinds of heaters to address your needs and preferences. With the right patio heating options, you’ll enjoy the use of your outdoor spaces even on days when the weather is cold and chilly.

About The Author: Anna Fox is the Content Marketing Strategist of Señor Mist, a Phoenix, Arizona-based company that provides high pressure misting systems/fog effects, comfort heaters, patio drop shades, hvls fans and more. When not writing, she makes use of her spare time reading books and hiking with her dog, Blaze.
Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

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