The pesky insects have retreated and the uncomfortable humidity has abated. Take advantage of this moment and breathe in the fresh, chilly air of winter with the aid of an outdoor heater. Whether you’re looking for a movable patio heater or a more grandiose fire feature such as a flame tower or fire pyramid, we’ve got you covered. Our top picks for patio heaters will suit any budget and keep your backyard design cozy and inviting during the colder months.
At first, the Hiland HLDS01-GTCB pyramid patio heater caught my attention as the top model amongst those I tested. Its pyramid-like shape and the glass tube placed at the center of the stainless steel heater give it a more stylish and contemporary appearance compared to conventional pole and saucer-style patio heaters or commercial patio heaters. The sight of the flame continuously rising up through the glass tube is mesmerizing, similar to the effect of gazing at a campfire. Additionally, it provides a generous amount of heat.
Based on the measurements taken within four feet, the average temperature increase is 4.59 degrees. Within two feet, the average temperature increase is 7.49 degrees, and within one foot, it provides the highest recorded temperature increase of 11.72 degrees. While there are other models that can produce higher temperatures at specific points, the Hiland excels in even heat distribution up close. Its control system is user-friendly, and it can be easily lit every time.
However, despite its impressive features, the Hiland is not the most portable patio heater. Its weight makes it slightly inconvenient, and the glass tube is difficult to move across rough surfaces like concrete, which can unsettle the safety guards. The hinges of the door have also shown signs of bending. Moreover, the heater illuminates the surrounding area excessively, which might be too bright for you or your neighbors.
Priced at the middle of the range with a one-year limited warranty, this 40,000 BTU standing heater may not generate the highest amount of heat, but it will effectively warm you up if you stay close to it. Overall, I found its appearance appealing.
AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-SSxxx
If you prioritize sheer heating power, the propane-fueled AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-SSxxx is the ideal choice with its impressive 48,000 BTUs. In comparison, electric patio heaters can only offer around nine times less heat. This mushroom-style heater is widely distributed across the country and boasts excellent customer service, ensuring hassle-free assembly and long-term part replacements. While similar to other propane heaters, including those exclusive to Lowe’s and Home Depot, the HLDS01-WCGT stands out with its clearly marked ignition mechanism, a crucial safety feature when dealing with fire. If the HLDS01-SSxxx is unavailable, the East Oak EO-PHxxx offers near-identical features, thoughtful details, and reliable customer service.
Hampton Bay 48,000 BTU Patio Heater
Total BTU: 48,000
Fuel Type: Propane
Heating Area: 200 square feet
Dimensions: 87.3 x 32.3 x 32.3 inches
Weight: 33.0 pounds
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REASONS TO CONSIDER BUYING:
+ Competitive price
+ Durable construction made of steel
REASONS TO CONSIDER AVOIDING:
– Produces less heat output compared to higher-end models
Transform your patio into a chic outdoor restaurant with the Hampton Bay 48,000 BTU Patio Heater. Made of sturdy stainless steel, this portable heating system weighs 33 pounds, making it a perfect balance of function and style.
The best part? The piezoelectric ignition of this patio heater ensures a quick start and seamless operation, while the adjustable heat control settings let you set the perfect temperature up to 48,000 BTUs. With its measurements of 87 inches height and 32 inches diameter, it will look at home in any backyard space, and can be easily stored in a corner when not in use. Note that the propane gas cylinder is sold separately.
Pound for pound, the Hampton Bay 48,000 BTU Patio Heater delivers incredible value while adding warmth and charm to your outdoor space.
EnerG+ Infrared Electric Patio Heater
Target Users: Those seeking an electric patio heating system that utilizes radiant heating.
Non-Target Users: Those searching for a patio heater that provides a broad range of heat.
If the thought of venturing outside to purchase propane in the bitter depths of winter sends shivers down your spine, then you may want to consider this model of electric patio heater from EnerG+. During our testing, the infrared radiating heat provided a 27 degree elevation in body temperature for our testers. Although the heat field isn’t broad (less than 3 ft), its powerful heating performance makes up for this deficiency.
“My tester says, “At the high setting, it produces a satisfactory amount of heat, reaching just over 32 inches. It’s ideal for groups of people sitting together outside. The tower is tall enough to heat individuals from their toes to the top of their heads while seated.”
During our tip test, the equipment remained stable, and none of the exterior components of the heater became excessively hot, demonstrating its family-friendliness. Our electric patio heater also comes with a remote control, which simplifies turning it on and off from a distance.”
“It provides a satisfactory amount of heat,” says our tester. “It may be expensive. However, it is still worth it if you use it frequently.”
Current Published Price: $300
Output: 1,500 watts
Fuel Type: Electric
Size: 9 x 9 x 48 inches
Lava Heat Italia CAPRI-A-LINE-6MPB Propane Heater
Intended for: Outdoor gatherings | Heat output: 42,000 BTUs | Fuel source: 20-pound propane tank
You’ll never want to stay indoors during the winter with this patio heater. The Lava Heat Italia Capri A-line heater boasts a pyramid-style design that catches everyone’s eye. Justin Grimes, manager of nine boutique hotels in Maine, recommends this heater for outdoor dining on his property. The six-foot-tall unit features a rustproof bronze finish and can cover a sizable 36 square feet, making it perfect for hosting a party. With 360-degree infrared heat, you can enjoy warmth for up to 12 hours on just one propane tank. The torch-like flame design adds an attractive and mesmerizing element to any outdoor gathering.
What to know when shopping for the best outdoor heater
When deciding between an electric or propane outdoor patio heater, both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Electric heaters are easy to set up, portable, and safe for indoor use. However, their placement is limited to the distance of an outlet, which could be costly considering your area’s electricity cost. Additionally, some electric heaters require a 220-volt plug, which may require an electrician’s services and add to the overall installation cost.
On the other hand, propane patio heaters do not require electricity or outlets, making them more versatile. They provide greater warmth and heat output than electric heaters with high BTUs. However, they are not recommended for enclosed spaces and require tank replacements.
For safe usage, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for covered porch usage and clearance requirements. Before purchasing, consider the size and portability of the heater according to your needs. For targeted heating, investing in multiple smaller patio heaters may provide more efficient heating across specific areas.
Lastly, when shopping for patio heaters, pay attention to their BTU ratings, which indicate how powerful the heating unit is. Higher BTUs mean more heat output, making it important to consider the recommended BTU rating based on your space size. Heat range, expressed in square feet or radius/diameter, indicates the area that the heater can warm.
Q: Are infrared heaters safe?
A: Infrared heaters are completely safe for humans to use. The rays function the same way as the sun’s own rays and are not hazardous at the levels emitted by heaters.
Q: Are heaters safe to use in covered patios?
A: Heaters are safe for use in covered patios provided that there is adequate clearance for them on the sides. This means no flammable objects near the heater. Other than that, you shouldn’t worry about your heater causing damage to your property.
Q: Can you leave your heaters outside?
A: Outdoor heaters are designed to withstand harsh weather and can be used in most weather conditions. This also means you can leave them out for extended periods of time and not worry about their condition worsening at all.