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Everybody loves summers, hot weather notwithstanding. It’s a time of clear skies on a months-long stretch and there are annual events people can partake in and enjoy only during the summer. But then, the chill of autumn comes and the warmth of the dog days finally ends for the year.

Why a Patio Heater?

If you want to extend the balminess of dog-day season, you can do so with a patio heater (link: buying guide). A patio heater is a sizable, upright radiative heating device that is designed to be operated in open spaces. It is a popular form of heating for home use, especially in areas like outdoor dining spaces, backyards and courtyards.

A number of cafes and restaurants from all over also make use of this heating tool, particularly if they have seating outside the establishment.

Because of the slight increase in surrounding temperature, the unit is constructed to make your stay outdoors, in your front porch or backyards on chilly evenings more pleasant. If you are the type who loves relaxing outside during early spring or autumn, you can still extend your stay for a few hours by means of this device.

It has its limits though. This heating tool is not meant for weather conditions with a significant drop in temperatures like the winter season. The cost of a unit differs depending on its specifications and features, with portable ones costing $100 while bigger units cost over a hundred but not high enough to go beyond the $900 dollar mark.

How It Works

A conventional patio heater operates by means of butane, kerosene or propane. Some units use other kinds of fuel to work while some were designed to work with electricity. Models which are mounted permanently take in natural gas to work while a portable model operates on bottled fuel so you can bring it anywhere you go.

A lot of models include a weighty aluminum reflector on top. This assists in guiding the heat on the model. Devices with the aluminum reflector are most often recommended by many over the open ones since the latter frees up a lot of energy in the atmosphere.

The range of heat that this device can provide depends on its specifications and weather conditions. Majority of it can uphold a range of 3 to 6 meters of heat. Several can provide warmth for a good 9 meters even in good weather conditions and it can increase the surrounding temperature from 10 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

A standard unit provides 40,000 BTUs and the fact that it can churn out concentrated heat can have an impact on the model. It can emit temperatures as high as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit so it results into an occurrence called bluing. Bluing affects the appearance of stainless steel much more like rust, but unlike rust, it does not have an adverse effect on the unit.

Benefits of a Patio Heater

The patio heater is the perfect device to use if you own a house built with a great backyard, balcony or porch. It will add extra warmth to outdoor entertainment during early spring and autumn season. It is also highly recommended if you own a business like a café or restaurant with outdoor seating.

  • They can prolong the feel of summer

People who love entertaining their guests outside and organize events like parties and barbecues will benefit from using this unit. It will heat up the area’s ambient surroundings and will make guests feel more comfy and warm even on the coldest of spring and autumn evenings.

  • They are safe and reliable

These devices won’t generate open flames and its bottoms are designed in a manner that it will remain cool upon contact so using it is still considered safe, even with children and pets around.

The parts that gets hot eventually are the dome (which is on top of the unit) and the emitter screen because it’s in actual contact with the source of the heat.

A good number of this patio heaters also include a safety tilt valve that can turn the heater off routinely once it is skewed more than it was intended or if the unit gets toppled down.

Prices vary depending on the unit, but in reality, it costs far less than one would expect. Its prices range from $100, to the highest being $900 and it basically commits low-cost operation. For the 40,000 BTUs it churns out, the electrical use costs approximately a dollar an hour.

Outdoor heaters which run on electricity are designed to function as directional heaters thus there is no wasting of energy and no excessive fuel charges. The operating cost of patio heaters is therefore reasonably low.

  • There are plenty of styles

The unit can be pretty diverse in terms of fuel options, styles and placement. It usually runs on fuels like butane, propane and kerosene. Several models even operate using electricity.

Electricity and propane-driven patio heaters are usually the portable or standup types, table-top, ceiling type, wall-mount or hanging models.

Units which run on natural gas are a tad more permanent and it’s available for purchase in in-ground, hanging and stand-up varieties.

Things to Consider Before Buying One

Location is one factor to consider before a purchase. A permanent outdoor heating unit can be mounted in the hub of the area with furniture arranged on all sides of it while a portable one can be placed in a corner and transferred anywhere in the house as required.

Quality heaters can be bought for no more than a hundred dollars. Prices differ in terms of brands and features so some might be a bit more expensive. Read the warranty carefully and the service contract prior to the purchase.

In addition, see to it that the warranty also takes into account certain parts like heating coils, which are crucial operational components of the unit. Lastly, you can also look for reviews online for more information before buying a unit.