Gas Patio Heaters Buyer's Guide
Gas patio heaters are great outdoor accessories to add warmth, ambiance and a comfortable environment to patios, balconies, pool areas and more. Heating your outdoor area with a gas patio heater will allow backyard entertaining to be extended so you can relax, entertain and enjoy your outdoor area in pure comfort long after the warm summer season has passed.
5 Things to consider when choosing an outdoor gas heater...
Because there are many different types of outdoor gas heaters available, it is important to know what to look for and what to consider when choosing which gas patio heater will best suit your needs. This patio heater buyer's guide discusses the various topics that you should keep in mind to ensure that the gas patio heater you choose will meet all of your outdoor heating needs.
1. Fuel Type
The first important factor to consider when choosing a gas patio heater is which fuel type will best suit your needs. Outdoor gas heaters provide a couple of different fuel options that are both safe and user friendly. These options include natural gas and liquid propane. If your home has an existing gas line, you may want to choose a natural gas heater as it hooks directly in to your home's existing gas line. If you wish to use natural gas and your home does not have an existing gas line, you will need to contact a service professional to install a gas line. Propane outdoor gas heaters are a very popular outdoor heating option using standard 20 pound liquid propane tanks for operation. Liquid propane is readily available and stored in portable tanks for use with your outdoor patio heater.
2. BTU Range
The next important factor to keep in mind when choosing an outdoor gas heater is the amount of BTUs you will need to sufficiently heat your outdoor area. To determine how many BTUs you need your outdoor gas heater to produce in order to sufficiently heat your outdoor area, take the cubic feet of area to be heated and multiply it by the desired temperature rise you wish to heat the room to. This equation will give you the amount of BTUs you need your gas patio heater to produce.
3. Placement and Design
There are a few factors to consider before deciding where you want to place your outdoor gas heater. For instance, natural gas patio heaters and liquid propane gas patio heaters will provide different placement possibilities. Propane gas patio heaters can be placed virtually anywhere. They are extremely portable and available in free-standing, table top, hanging, and wall and ceiling mount models. Natural gas patio heaters are a little bit more restrictive in terms of placement because they hook up to an existing gas line. You can however contact a service professional to add multiple outlets to make your natural gas patio heater a little more portable. Natural gas patio heaters are available in free-standing, in-ground, hanging, and wall and ceiling mount models.
4. Codes, Clearances, and Restrictions
It is crucial to consider codes, clearances, and restrictions when choosing an outdoor gas heater. Different gas patio heaters will have different clearances to combustible materials and state and local codes will vary from place to place depending on where you live. If you plan to use an outdoor gas heater on a patio or balcony with an awning it is also important to make sure that the use of a gas patio heater with an awning isn't restricted.
5. Budget and Cost of Operation
The initial cost of gas patio heaters will vary from model to model depending on features, construction, size, and BTUs but generally natural gas patio heaters are said to be less expensive because there is no upfront fuel cost. Based on a natural gas patio heater that produces 40,000 BTUs the average cost of operation will be around $.476 per hour. A propane gas patio heater that produces the same amount of 40,000 BTUs will cost around $1.60 per hour to operate. This estimate is based on the average cost of operation as well as the average cost of filling a standard 29 pound propane cylinder which is approximately $16 and will provide up to 10 hours of heat in a propane outdoor gas heater.