Outdoor Patio Heater FAQs

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Outdoor Patio Heaters-Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Heighten your outdoor enjoyment and extend the outdoor entertaining season with an outdoor heater. Outdoor patio heaters allow you to get the most use out of your outdoor room or patio by alleviating the chill of the air and creating a warm inviting atmosphere.  Depending on where you live and how cold it gets, outdoor heating with an outdoor heater can prolong the outdoor entertaining season for a couple of months or in some cases make it last year round!

Read our list of frequently asked questions and answers about outdoor patio heaters and see how outdoor heating with an outdoor heater can extend your summer season and improve your quality of life.


Outdoor Heating Frequently Asked Questions

How do I figure out what size outdoor heater I will need?

What are BTUs?

What types of outdoor heaters are there?

How much does heating with an outdoor heater cost?

Can I use my outdoor heater on an enclosed patio?

Can I use my outdoor heater on grass or does it have to be on concrete?

Will the base of the outdoor heater get hot while it is operating?

What is a tilt safety switch on an outdoor heater?

Can I use my outdoor heater when it's windy?

Are the propane tanks included with the outdoor patio heater?

Are outdoor heaters affected by low temperatures?

Do outdoor heaters require clearances to combustible materials?

Can outdoor heaters be left out in the rain?

What is the difference between outdoor heating appliances that have one large single dome and outdoor heating appliances that have the triple dome?


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Heaters

Question: How do I figure out what size outdoor heater I will need?

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  • Answer: To figure out what size outdoor patio heater is best for you, take the cubic feet of area you wish to heat and multiply it by the desired temperature rise. This equation will be a great guide to help you choose the outdoor patio heater that will best suit your outdoor heating needs.

Question: What are BTUs?

  • Answer: BTU is short hand for the old fashioned term "British Thermal Unit". In reference to outdoor heating with outdoor heaters, BTUs are used to calculate the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a room by one degree Fahrenheit.

Question: What types of outdoor heaters are there?

  • Answer: Generally outdoor heaters operate on propane, natural gas, or electricity. Each fuel type has a variety of outdoor heating styles available. Outdoor heaters that operate on propane or electricity styles include portable table top models, free-standing models, hanging and ceiling models and also wall mount models. Outdoor patio heaters that operate on natural gas are more permanent and are available in free-standing units, in-ground units and hanging units.

Question: How much does heating with an outdoor heater cost?

  • Answer: The cost of outdoor heating with outdoor patio heaters will largely depend on what type of fuel it uses. Typically natural gas outdoor patio heaters are less costly to operate since there are no upfront fuel costs. Based on a 40,000 BTU outdoor patio heater the average cost of natural gas usage is estimated at $.476 per hour.

    Electric outdoor heaters are directional heaters meaning there is no heat loss and no upfront fuel costs. Based on the required (3) 4000 Watt (4KWh) for 40,000 BTUs the average cost of electrical usage is $1.316 per hour.

    Propane outdoor heaters that produce 40,000 BTUs per hour will cost on average $1.60 per hour to operate. This is based on not only the operation of the outdoor patio heater itself but also the average cost of filling a propane cylinder which is about $16 to fill a 5 gallon tank that will provide approximately 10 hours of heat in an outdoor heater.

Question: Can I use my outdoor heater on an enclosed patio?

  • Answer: Propane and natural gas outdoor patio heaters are only to be used outdoors (outside any enclosure) where there is fresh air ventilation. Outdoor patio heaters that use gas are not to be used inside a building, garage or any other enclosed area. Electric heaters can be used indoors and outdoors but in any event consult your owners manual.