Interested in extending those summer nights into the fall? A patio heater is the perfect way to still enjoy the outdoors on cool nights. Inexpensive and easy to use, patio heaters eliminate the need for an outdoor fire and are bylaw-friendly for use in the city.
Similar to commercial heaters found in outdoor restaurant patios, a full size patio heater comes priced around the $250 mark. Usually standing 7 ft. tall, they produce 41,000 BTU and create a 15 ft. diameter of warmth. Slim in size, you can add additional units depending on the size of the space you wish to heat. Propane models can be moved to suit your comfort, while natural gas heaters are secured for permanent instillation. Most models operate with an easy push button start.
A smaller version of the full size heater is available in table top form. Powered by propane or gel, these lamp-style heaters come in many designs. You can find anything from small fires in hollowed rocks to outdoor ornaments. Crafted from steel or copper, they also come with wicker or bamboo casings to complete your outdoor look. A strong heater with a high BTU (about 11,000) will produce up to 10 ft. of heat and will be priced at around $75 and above. Cheaper versions are eco-friendly and are often available in regular or citronella gel that burns smokeless and odourless flames.
Ideal for people short on space, a wall-mounted heater is the perfect solution for balconies, garages or small decks. Mounted on the side of the building, these heaters are usually electric and produce heat in the immediate area. Before installing a wall-mounted heater it is important to check building codes with your municipality to ensure bylaw compliance. They are priced at around $100.
Always check safety options with any purchase. Propane and natural gas should never be stored indoors or below ground level. Keep this in mind for winter storage. Larger units often come with covers to protect from the elements.
Many heaters come with safety tilt sensors to extinguish fire if it starts to fall. An oxygen depletion sensor acts in a similar way, ensuring safer fires.
Remember, a patio heater is like any other appliance and requires proper maintence for safe use.