Important Factors to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Heater

So, you’ve created the perfect outdoor space, complete with a practical alfresco kitchen, comfortable and beautiful outdoor furniture and garden lights for safety and mood. And the entire summer you’ve spent your mornings and evenings outside, enjoying the nice weather. But now that the weather is getting colder, you won’t be able to use your outdoor space as much. Unless you invest in a good outdoor heater.

An outdoor heater will allow you to take advantage of your outdoor space during the colder days without getting chilly. Available in a variety of designs and with a multitude of features, everyone can find the right outdoor heater for their needs. So, if you’re wondering what’s the best outdoor heater for your space, here are some important factors to consider.


The Type of Fuel

An outdoor heater can run on one of four fuel options: natural gas, propane, electricity and wood. Gas heaters are the most common choice due to their numerous advantages over other types. For one, gas is much cheaper than the other fuel options which allow you to save some money on your heating costs. Additionally, gas heaters heat up super fast. You don’t have to wait at all for the space around the heater to warm up. And with heat outputs that can range from 30 to 50Mj, gas heaters are suitable for heating areas around 20-25m2.

If you consider purchasing a gas heater outdoor supplies stores sell permanent and portable models. Portable gas heaters are convenient as you can easily move them around. On the other hand, permanent models can be connected to your gas line, so you don’t have to worry about refuelling the tank. However, it’s important to note that a permanent gas heater outdoor installation can only be performed by a licensed technician.

On the other hand, propane outdoor heaters do not need to be installed by professionals as all of them are portable. When the fuel runs out, the tank is very easy to replace with a new one. However, propane costs more than natural gas, which means that these heaters are more expensive in the long run. Additionally, propane heaters are difficult to light when it’s windy. It’s important to note that propane heaters should never be used in a covered or enclosed space due to the risk of carbon monoxide buildup.

Electric heaters are a clean and convenient option – but as long as you have suitable outlets nearby. They are safe to use in covered and enclosed spaces and are easy to maintain. However, due to the higher cost of electricity than gas or propane, these heaters are more expensive to use in the long run. They are also known to heat up slowly.

Some homeowners prefer outdoor heaters that run on wood due to the atmosphere fire provides. However, food heaters require you to regularly clean out the ashes. Plus, you have to continuously add wood to keep the fire going. Then, there’s also the fact that you have less control over the warmth as you can’t easily tweak the heater to reach a specific temperature.


The Design

You also have a number of heater designs to choose from. The right design for you depends on the size and shape of your outdoor space, as well as the conditions you’ll use it in and how many people will take advantage of the warmth. If your outdoor space is small and people usually gather around one table, a tabletop heater will satisfy your needs. On the other hand, if you don’t want the heater to take up any space, a hanging or wall-mounted model is the most suitable. For large areas, you will need a floor standing patio heater which can generate a good amount of heat.

Your Budget

Of course, you also need to pick a model that’s within your budget’s limits. Most tabletop heaters range from $80 – $300. Floorstanding heaters cost more than $200 and can get up to $1000 for more powerful models that use natural gas. And then there are the wall-mounted heaters which have a broad range of prices based on their size and power. You can find small and affordable models that cost around $100, as well as larger and powerful heaters that cost more than $1000.

Can Outdoor Heaters Be Left Out in the Rain?

Once you buy your outdoor heater, you will need to take care of it properly in order to get to use it longer. Although all outdoor heaters are designed to be weather resistant, they shouldn’t be left out in the rain as some water can get inside and corrode the heater. And obviously, it’s especially important to protect electric heaters from being exposed to water.