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Last Updated on July 12, 2022 by Manager Access
Outdoor patio heaters mean you can enjoy your backyard all year long. However, finding the best heaters to warm your outdoor area isn’t always easy. This decision isn’t as simple as picking which patio heater will look best in your home.
That’s why I’ve put together this guide on the top patio heaters. Here’s what you need to know about getting the best patio heater.
TLDR: My top pick for an outdoor propane heater is the Garden Treasures Floorstanding Liquid Propane Patio Heater. It has the highest BTUs, and I was able to assemble it in under an hour. It has a push-button electric start that was easy and felt safe to operate on my brother’s deck.
Top Benefits of Outdoor Heaters
Heaters for patios offer many benefits besides warming up you up during the colder months. Here are several reasons why you should invest in the top patio heaters:
Outdoor patio heaters are notoriously durable. While you probably won’t be using patio heaters all year, you certainly could with one of the top options. Most of the best heaters come with durable materials like high-grade stainless steel and a resin top.
Many of the top patio heaters also come with a cover. In the off-season, you won’t need to keep venturing outside to check on your patio heater; you’ll know it’s safe and secure from the elements.
Best Air Quality
If you install your propane patio heater in the right location, you won’t need to worry about air quality. As long as all propane gas lines are secure, you can breathe that crisp outdoor air with no problems from your patio heater.
Top propane-powered fire pits and patio heaters use radiant heating to keep the surrounding area warm. Radiant heat, also called infrared heat, works by warming surrounding people and objects rather than blasting heated air onto your outdoor area.
Have you ever used an electrical space heater in your home or at work? You’ll know that those heaters can operate for hours, churning out warm air, only for you and your office to be still freezing by the end of the day. This inefficiency is because they don’t use radiant heat as patio heaters do.
With patio heaters, radiant heat means the best efficiency ratings for heaters of all types. You can expect your propane heater for the patio to warm you up and waste less energy in the process.
There is nothing worse than buying new outdoor patio heaters, only to have the surrounding area become noisy and unbearable.
Luckily for you and everyone at your party, radiant heat is silent. The best patio heaters let you enjoy music and conversation while staying warm.
Easy and Low-Maintenance
Outdoor patio heaters require little maintenance. You can leave your heater untouched during the offseason and expect it to work at top performance. The only upkeep you’ll need to do would be during times of high use.
Even then, patio heaters are not high-maintenance appliances. Upkeep involves simple tasks like:
- Checking the levels of your propane tank attached to your patio heater
- Clearing out any insects on the top of the burner
- Inspecting the heater gas connection for any leaks
- Looking for any obstructions in your gas line leading to your heater
It’s a simple process once you’ve gotten the hang of it. If you encounter any issues, there are tons of great resources like this video to help you fix your heater.
Attractive Heater Designs
Nowadays, the top heaters for patios come in a wide selection of stylish designs. There’s no point in hosting events if you have bulky, unattractive patio heaters, right?
The best patio heaters come in a wide range of styles. For example, you can get a modern, sleek tower heater design for a more contemporary design.
Standalone or mounted heaters often feature sleek glass, stainless steel, and matte finishes, meaning you can get a heater to complement your home aesthetics.
Top Propane Patio Heaters Reviews
We’ve reviewed what to look for when choosing a patio heater. Let’s finally talk about some of the top models of patio heaters. While there are many other patio heaters on the market, but these are the ones I’ve found the best to use.
1. Garden Treasures Floorstanding Liquid Propane Patio Heater
This standing patio heater features heat-treated stainless steel for strength and durability. It has an impressive 48000 BTUs of heat output.
The manual for this heater said it would take 60 minutes to assemble, but I was able to complete assembly in 58 minutes and that was with two small children “helping” me along the way. You could assemble this unit in 30 minutes. The instructions were very clear, and each nut and bolt was well labeled and packed nicely.
I found the propane canister holding area large enough for your standard propane tank. It also has a nice little strap for keeping the tank in place when you roll the unit around. The attached rollers at the base of the unit worked great and made moving the heater around the deck easy and safe.
- Heats up to two-hundred square feet
- Made of durable stainless steel
- Easy to access door for fuel tank
- Doesn’t come assembled
- Heavier than other similar models
This heater has the highest BTU heat output on this list. However, it doesn’t include things like base supports or a heater cover. Despite a few lacking features, the heater is durable and stylish. Best of all, you can’t beat that BTU!
2. Legacy Heating Quartz Glass Tube Patio Heater
This standalone patio heater comes in both stainless steel and black powder-coated finish. It has a visible flame heater and 40000 BTU of heat output.
- Can heat a 1,300 square feet area
- Anti-tilt safety device
- Wheels for easy mobility
- One-piece, sleek quartz glass tube
- Easy access to the gas tank
- Can screw down for stability and safety and is not top-heavy
- Doesn’t come fully assembled
- Does not include the twenty-pound propane tank
- Warranty not mentioned
This patio heater is the top affordable option—if you don’t mind some assembly. It has top safety features like an anti-tilt safety device and ETL approval. Lastly, it can heat a large area with its efficient radiant heat system.
3. TACKLIFE Patio Heaters Propane Standing Outdoor Heater
This standalone patio heater features a stainless steel burner, a piezo ignition system, and 47000 BTU of heat output.
- Sixteen square feet of heating range
- Will last for ten hours with a standard twenty-pound propane tank
- Easy to assemble in under one hour with an instruction manual
- Easy one-button ignition
- Powder coat to protect against rust and damage
- ETL certification
- Two-year warranty included
- Does not come assembled
- Propane gas tank not included in the purchase
- No built-in way to secure the unit to the ground
- Only two wheels for mobility
This top patio heater is excellent if you want a classic style that is sturdy while remaining affordable. The BTU output is impressive at 47000, and although you will need to assemble yourself, the process is an easy one. It has ETL certification but no built-in tilt protection.
4. PAMAPIC Propane Outdoor Heater
This top patio heater design has commercial use in mind but will easily suit a residential setting. It comes in bronze, black, stainless steel, or hammered silver. This patio heater generates 46000 BTU of heat output.
- Built-in gas tank chamber for easy access
- Can heat up to eighteen feet in diameter
- Tilt protection system
- Reliable pulse ignition
- Comes with a door patio cover that is water and dustproof
- Mobility wheels
- Best for areas with extensive outdoor space
- Does not come with the twenty-pound gas tank needed for fuel
- Does not come fully assembled
- No warranty
This top patio heater can keep an impressive 46000 BTUs’ worth of square feet warm. The ease of use is high thanks to the pulse ignition, easy to access fuel tank and wheels. This unit might be the best option for you if you don’t mind that you’ll have to set up your new heater yourself.
5. Sunjoy A306006403 Avanti Heater
This top patio heater comes in a sleek silver color with a powder-coated finish to protect from the weather or harsh sun. The Sunjoy patio heater has a heat output of 47000 BTUs.
- Features an easy push-button ignition
- Tilt safety shut-off valve
- Wheels offer easy mobility
- Heats a large area
- Fuel source not included
- No top cover
- Only has two heat settings
- Does not come assembled
- Warranty not specified
This patio heater option is simple but effective. While assembly is necessary, it is an easy process. You can heat a large number of square feet on your patio with the touch of a button. It is also safe to operate since it has the essential feature of the tilt-safe shut off valve. I recommend this as one of the best heaters if you want to buy a few and heat the whole space!
What Is the Best Propane Patio Heater?
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when choosing the best patio heater to use to fuel your patio space. There are many great choices, but you need to invest in the top patio heater for you wisely. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with a heater you don’t thoroughly enjoy, right?
There are a lot of things to consider when browsing your patio heater options. Do you want one that is standalone or mounted? How large of a space do you need to heat? How many square feet? What sort of output do you require?
At the top of the list, it boasts an impressive 48000 BTUs of heat. It has a top ETL certification, easy assembly, and even features an anti-rust finish. Not only can you get this top heater for an affordable price, but it’s easy to assemble and maintain.
You want a safe, stylish, and effective way to heat your outdoor space. With this in-depth guide, I think it’s a guarantee you’ll find the perfect one!
Top Things to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Heater
A propane-powered heater is the best, most efficient type of patio heating, whether it’s a free-standing heater or a wall-mounted one.
Propane gas-powered heaters provide instant heat, are easy to use, easy to install, and only require a propane-powered gas tank.
Generally, a propane heater will use a one, twenty, or forty-pound gas tank. You will have to replace these every once in a while, but you can easily find a propane tank at your local grocery or hardware store.
If you’ve set your mind against using a propane tank heater, another option is bromic heaters. These mounted units can go on the wall or ceiling and hook up to a direct propane line fed to the heater.
Heating Power and BTUs
Most patio heaters use British Thermal Unit, or BTU, to measure heating power.
For outdoor heaters, the heating power factors in the square feet in the area surrounding the patio heater to measure the BTU’s efficacy.
For example, if an outdoor heater offers up to twelve hundred BTUs of power, the heater can warm up to a twelve-foot area around the heater.
BTU ratings are also sometimes “BTUs per hour.” With this measurement, the higher the amount of BTUs, the more heat is available. The top patio heaters can even reach upwards of 470000 BTU.
There is a handy way to determine how many BTUs you will need to heat your space. Simply take the total BTUs of a heater and divide it by any number between thirty to forty. This heating factor is useful for cold climates. The answer will be how many square feet the heater can warm up.
Some other items to consider when purchasing a heater to warm up your outdoor space include:
- Warranty Length: While most patio heaters come with a warranty, the length can vary. Most likely, if the heater has an extended warranty, it means the maker built it with durable materials that will last the test of time.
- Adjustable Flames: This feature can be convenient if you want to adjust the heat levels.
- Electronic Controls: Electronic controls are easier to use, especially when adjusting the heat. Specific models even come with remote control for even better ease of use.
- Type of Assembly: Depending on how confident you are in your assembly skills, you can find heaters available in various stages of assembly, from fully-assembled to ones you must put together yourself.
What Is the Best Type of Outdoor Heater?
The answer here depends on your needs, aesthetic preferences, and space. The different types of propane heaters include:
- Mounted Heaters. Mounted patio heaters can attach to a wall or ceiling. These units often come with a stand. This option could work well if you lack ample floor space or want your patio heaters mounted out of the way. These units require a propane line.
- Tabletop Heater. You might also hear these called outdoor heating lamps. They are smaller than other patio heaters and can go on top of side tables. They look like a traditional lamp with an umbrella-shaped top.
- Standalone Heater. This outdoor heater is the most common type, and you’ll often see them in commercial spaces. They are tall, thin, and give off a large amount of outdoor heat. These heaters are easier to move than mounted patio heaters since they come with wheels on the base.
- Fire Pit Patio Heaters. This style is the top choice for many homes and looks more like a typical wood-burning fire pit rather than a patio heater. A propane tank rests under a broad base, along with a hidden control panel used to control adjustable flames and automatic ignitions.
How Long Do Outdoor Propane Heaters Last?
The standard for top patio heaters is heat that lasts approximately ten hours on one fuel tank. This usage is more than enough for a great get-together in your backyard.
Are Outdoor Propane Heaters Safe?
Outdoor patio heaters generally provide many top safety features. Here are some safety features that any top patio heater will have:
- Safety Approvals: The top patio heaters will have standard safety approvals such as UL or CSA tested. These seals mean that the heater has undergone professional evaluation and meets all necessary safety requirements.
- Cool-Touch Glass: Many new patio heaters come with glass that is cool to the touch, which makes them safe to use around pets or children.
- Knockover Protection: This label means that if outdoor heaters get knocked over, the heating mechanism at the top of the heater will turn off automatically. It’s a form of ’tilt’ protection. The last thing you want is for someone to bump into your brand new heater and break it. Not only would this be inconvenient, but it could also be dangerous if you haven’t chosen patio heaters with the necessary knock over protection.
What Are Some Issues with Propane Outdoor Patio Heaters?
Like anything, outdoor heaters can have their setbacks, too. Here are some considerations to keep in mind while deciding whether to buy a propane heater:
- You cannot recess propane heaters; only electric heaters can recess into your walls/structure.
- Propane is more expensive to operate than natural gas.
- Patio heaters only have one or two settings for heat.
- Propane heaters have less wind resistance than electric heaters.
- You’ll need larger clearance to operate the appliance safely, meaning less room for additional furniture or decorations.
What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Using an Outdoor Patio Heater?
Patio heaters are incredibly safe. However, even the best propane patio heaters require following the necessary precautions.
When installing the top patio heaters, you need to be careful. It might be best to get help from a family member or friend when putting the appliance together or moving it into place. Otherwise, you risk injuring yourself and your property or damaging your patio heater.
When you use propane patio heaters, you’ll need to mind the following:
- Turn patio heaters off before moving them or performing any routine maintenance. It will keep you safe and ensures that you don’t accidentally start a fire.
- Never leave flammable materials, like clothes or pillows, near your patio heaters. This point is especially crucial for patio heaters built in the fire pit design, where the open flames can be dangerous.
- Review your owner’s manual to find out wall clearance and clearance to combustibles information for your heaters. You’ll need to measure how close your patio heaters can be to walls and other objects.
- Do not place patio heaters in an area with low trees, close to plants, or high winds. You could cause a fire hazard or otherwise cause your heaters to tip over and become damaged. Make sure the top of your heater has enough clearance from any ceiling or hanging plants.
- Make sure that your heaters are on an entirely flat surface.
- Do not place items on top of the patio heater.
- You should only use propane heaters in an outdoor space. Patio heaters are only for heating an outdoor space. Patio heaters aren’t safe for warming up small, indoor spaces. Interiors lack circulation, so your patio heaters are much better suited for the outdoors.
Scott Krager purchased generatorgrid.com in the summer of 2020 and quickly began to buy every generator under the sun! He currently has over a dozen generators and the number is growing quickly. He lives in Portland, OR near his family and friends.