User Guide for Shopping for Outdoor Portable Heater

8 minute read | Heaters

It may seem like a waste of time and money to heat outdoor areas that aren't totally closed in or airtight, but it is possible. Outdoor portable heaters serve as an excellent solution when attempting to add heat to outdoor areas, and now thanks to advancements in tech and design, these heaters can serve as eye-catching decorative pieces. From adding a light glow to a dark, outdoor area to improving the ambiance of closed indoor patios, portable patio heaters come in any style and size to accommodate your outdoor heating needs. Keep reading for must-know tips relating to shopping for a portable heater, understanding how much space they heat, and how to choose one that meets your design and heating preferences.

Are There Different Types of Portable Heaters?

There are many types of portable outdoor heaters. It's important to understand the different types and how they vary from one another as this helps ensure you are successful when shopping for one and making a purchase. The two most common types of portable patio heaters are:

Each type serves a long list of the same benefits as well as several different ones. Keep reading to learn more about these heaters and use what you learn to make a heater purchase that suffices your needs.

What Is the Purpose of Portable Propane Patio Heaters?

A portable propane patio heater is generally easy to move as long as you have a wheel kit to roll it around on. The main reason a portable heater is considered portable is that its fuel is carried in a propane tank. When purchasing a portable patio mushroom heater, you can easily heat a space using infrared heat that's dispersed in a 360-degree circular pattern. When a portable patio heater stops producing heat, this usually means it has run out of propane. Fortunately, empty propane fuel tanks are easy to switch out. You simply take out the empty tank and get it filled back up with propane or you can swap in an already full tank. You can purchase full propane tanks and return empty ones for a refill at most grocery stores and gas stations.

Who Needs to Use a Commercial Portable Patio Heater?

A commercial portable patio heater is usually purchased to keep guests or employees warm in large outdoor patio areas. Take for example restaurants that offer outdoor patio seating. A lot of restaurants will install a commercial portable patio heater in outdoor seating areas to help add a bit of warmth, which allows them to keep patio seating open during cooler parts of the year.

One of the top reasons that restaurants and businesses turn to the use of outdoor propane heaters is because they don't require natural gas hookups, so they aren't restricted to where they can place their heaters. Bars and breweries are much the same as restaurants in that a lot of them use commercial outdoor propane heaters to keep their outdoor guests warm during the cooler parts of the year. The same also applies to hotels, community centers, and condo and apartment complexes that offer outdoor seating and lounge areas to guests and visitors.

What Are the Benefits of Residential Propane Heaters?

Having a residential portable patio heater means you can warm comfort to just about any outdoor area. From screened-in porches to outdoor garages and uncovered patio heaters, the right heater can keep you, the family, and any guests comfortable outdoors no matter the time of year. Even if it's snowing out, you can still enjoy the outdoors with the right heater. This means no matter the time of year, you and the family can enjoy outdoor meals, enjoy morning coffee in the fresh air, and even keep warm when you spend a long night gazing into space through a telescope in the backyard.

How to Determine BTU Power For an Outdoor Space?

BTU stands for British thermal unit. A BTU is used to measure heat energy in various types of fuels. A more scientific definition is:

BTU refers to the amount of energy that is needed when trying to raise a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit (this only applies at sea level).

By determining the energy output of a heater, you'll always want to look at its BTU status. Generally, the higher the BTU, the more enhanced the performance potential of the heater. It is advised, however, to never purchase a heater that provides too much heat for a small space. This not only helps improve the safety of the heater but also increases its heating efficiency.

Here's a guide you can use to determine how many BTUs your heater/s needs to heat certain amounts of outdoor space:

  • 100-150 sq. ft.: 5,000 BTUs
  • 150-250 sq. ft.: 6,000 BTUs
  • 250-300 sq. ft.: 7,000 BTUs
  • 300-350 sq. ft.: 8,000 BTUs
  • 350-400 sq. ft.: 9,000 BTUs
  • 400-450 sq. ft.: 10,000 BTUs
  • 450-550 sq. ft.: 12,000 BTUs
  • 550-700 sq. ft.: 14,000 BTUs
  • 700-1,000 sq. ft.: 18,000 BTUs
  • 1,000-1,200 sq. ft.: 21,000 BTUs
  • 1,200-1,400 sq. ft.: 23,000 BTUs
  • 1,400-1,500 sq. ft.: 24,000 BTUs
  • 1,500-2,000 sq. ft.: 30,000 BTUs
  • 2,000-2,500 sq. ft.: 34,000 BTUs

What Are the Different Styles of Outdoor Patio Heaters?

When it comes to finding a heater that meets your design and decorative preferences, you won't have to look very hard to find one. Some of the most popular types of outdoor patio heaters come in the following designs:

  • Hanging: A suspended patio heater can be hung from various types of overhead outdoor structures. A lot of people choose to hang them directly from the ceiling which is particularly of benefit when trying to heat compact spaces. By hanging the heater overhead, you aren't taking up any living space. Box-shaped heaters running on natural gas or electricity are also commonly hung overhead.
  • Standing: Standing heaters are excellent for just about any environment and propane versions are super easy to move from one spot to another. Standing natural gas heaters are still a viable option for any patio with natural gas hookups but they are not portable.
  • Wall-Mounted: Wall mounted heaters are box-shaped heaters that run on natural gas or electricity and are not portable.  With a wall-mounted patio heater, the heater itself is attached to the wall and is used as a permanent heating solution.

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