5 Great Patio Heaters to Fit Any Budget

5 Great Patio Heaters to Fit Any Budget

The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to get creative when it comes to safe gatherings. As a result, outdoor spaces have become quite popular for such get-togethers. But with cooler temperatures threatening to drop even lower in the coming weeks, you’ll need a long-lasting source of heat to keep you warm and toasty through the winter. Patio heaters extend the life of your outdoor gatherings to literally year-round.

There are two distinct categories of patio heaters: electric and propane. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks but pick the one that best suits your needs.

Propane heaters tend to push out more heat at higher levels— but it’s an ambient heat, warming the air around you as opposed to directly. They also require more maintenance; cleaning before storing away for the season is expected.

Electric heaters can typically be plugged into standard residential outlets, so no need to call an electrician. These are more energy efficient which means lower operating costs for you in the long run.

Best Mushroom-Top: BELLEZE 014-HG-PH00-BRO

Power Source: Propane

One of the most undeniably popular styles of patio heaters are the mushroom heating towers. Why? Because they pump out impressive amounts of heat. The Belleze easily produces 48,000 BTUs. With this design, the flame lives in the tower’s nucleus, inside the burner, and the mushroom’s umbrella directs the head downward. This particular unit will heat a diameter range of 15 ft. so you can comfortably socially distance. And to avoid overheating, you can adjust the control knob to your liking. We also love how user friendly this one is, as the ignition system starts up with just the touch of a button.

Best Tabletop: Napoleon Tabletop Patio Heater

Power Source: Propane

Tabletop models are great for keeping you and a friend cozy, as the heat radius is ideal for more personal use. Depending on your space and number of people, a tabletop heater might work in your favor. They can do just about everything their taller counterparts can, just on a smaller scale, and with the added benefit of portability. Take the Napoleon Tabletop  for instance, which can give a nice burn lasting a little over an hour on a 1-lb propane bottle. (If you plan on staying out longer, consider getting an adapter hose to sync to your 20-lb tank.) It’s built with non-magnetic stainless steel so you can trust that the product won’t rust even with continued use year after year.

Best Hanging Heater: Donyer Power 1500W Electrical Patio Heater

Power Source: Electric

Look at your patio layout. Low on floor space due to all those potted plants that someone insisted on getting? Not to worry, because hanging patio heaters are great at providing full 360-degree coverage of heat from above. The Donyer has two temperature-resistant halogen heating pipes that dissipate heat and also offer an attractive soft orange light. Hang the unit about 5 feet above your outdoor table for maximum exposure at a safe distance. To switch between low and high settings, give a light tug on the rope for 600-watts and then once more for 1500-watts.

EnerG+ Infrared Electric Outdoor Heater

Power Source: Electric

EnerG+ is a powerhouse brand when it comes to outdoor heaters, so we knew their EnerG+ Infrared would not disappoint! This freestanding unit is very efficient at using radiant heat. It also comes with a handy remote control so you can turn it off/on and adjust the heat settings from a distance. Rain, wind and snow are no match for this this tall and elegant patio heater because it is built for weathering the elements. Don’t think it can get any better? Complete silence. Since the infrared models don’t use a fan – it just radiates light –you won’t be distracted by noisy whirring sounds. Be mindful though, the heater doesn’t rotate, so it will need to be faced directly at the audience.

Best Pyramid-Style: Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG

Power Source: Propane

If aesthetic is your driving force, consider a pyramid style heater such as the Hiland . These angled structures on average will stand about 7 ft. tall and restrain the fire in its glass prism. Aside from providing a nice ambiance, the quartz glass tube also keeps the flame contained – better than mushroom-topped heaters – which is a safety plus, especially if you might have kids running around the patio. They won’t be able to knock over this sturdy 65-lb. structure or get burned from direct flames. Sacrificing a couple thousand BTUs in exchange for this peace of mind isn’t all that bad; trust us, you’ll still get ample heat with a 40,000 BTU output.

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Tailgater Magazine