Want to enjoy your patio and backyard more often throughout the year? A good quality patio heater is the answer! Here are our reviews of the best patio heaters for 2021, tips for buying the right outdoor heater for your home, and much more.
Best Patio Heater for 2021
Types of Outdoor Patio Heater
There are a few different heater options for heating your outdoor space, including:
Free Standing Heaters
These heaters are easy to set up in your space and can be moved around the space on wheels. They have a sturdy base to keep the heater stable, and anti-tip shut-off protection in case it blows over or is knocked down.
Generally, these are propane or natural gas heaters, and are very effective for large spaces, including commercial use.
Wall Mounted Heaters
These are great space savers and are ideal for patios and balconies of all sizes. They are especially useful if you don’t have the space for a larger free-standing unit.
Generally, these are electric and can be powered from a standard outlet.
Ceiling Mounted Heaters
A ceiling-mounted unit is another great space saver for small patios. They are very effective, although you need a roofed patio and suitable wiring in order to use it.
What to Consider When Buying a Patio Heater
- Fuel – Patio heaters can run on tanked propane, a natural gas line, or electricity. Each has their pros and cons. Natural gas is continuous and cheap, but you have to have the infrastructure in place.
Tanked propane is affordable, but has a limited run time and some environmental concerns. Electricity is environmentally friendly (no fumes or odors) and can run continuously, but you need to have access to an outlet.
- Range – This is the amount of space your patio heater can warm. Keep in mind that this is greatest in sheltered, roofed patios, and decreases if used out in the open or in windy conditions.
Think about the size of your patio and how you want your heater. You may need more than one patio heater if the range is limited.
- Output – The higher wattage or British Thermal Units (BTUs), the more powerful the patio heater is. This affects the range of the heater, as well as its maximum output.
What are BTUs?
BTU is an acronym that stands for British Thermal Units. This is a measurement of how much heat it takes to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
A good propane outdoor heater produces 30,000-40,000 BTU per hour. The higher the BTU, the faster the space will heat up.
What is Better – Electric or Gas Patio Heaters?
Both fuel types have their pros and cons. Gas patio heaters have a high carbon footprint, emit fumes and odors, and can be expensive to run – but they do output a considerable amount of heat.
This makes them great for very cold weather and large outdoor areas. Electric patio heaters are more environmentally friendly with a lower carbon footprint, but they tend to be much smaller and are better suited to balconies and small patios.
Do Patio Heaters Use a Lot of Electricity?
Generating heat consumes a lot of fuel, so it’s important to consider fuel efficiency when you’re looking for a patio heater that’s not too expensive to run.
Electric heaters are significantly more affordable to run than propane heaters, depending on the fuel costs in your area.
Where Should I Place My Patio Heater?
Your patio heater should be placed on an even, flat surface where it will be stable and sheltered from the wind. It should be at least 3 feet away from combustible items like fabrics, plants and fuel supplies. Set up the heater close to your seating space to get the most benefit.
Can I Use a Patio Heater on a Wooden Deck?
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it is safe to place your patio heater on a wooden deck. Generally, good quality heaters will not heat up at their base, which means they shouldn’t damage or burn wooden decking.
However, it is very important not to leave your outdoor heater unsupervised while on, and to ensure that it is stable at all times when on a combustible surface.
Best Patio Heaters Reviews for 2021
Best Outdoor Heater for 2021
Top Pick - Best Patio Heater of 2021
The Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater is our top choice as the best patio heater for 2021! It’s well-priced, supplies a lot of heat, and it’s easy to use – not to mention good-looking.
It runs on liquid propane, supplying 48,000 BTU – enough for any winter evening outdoors, and the adjustable heating system lets you change heat settings easily.
It’s made from stainless steel, so it’s built to last, giving you plenty of warmth through the years.
Best Value Patio Heater
We love the Sunjoy Avanti Propane Heater, and it was a real contender for the best patio heater for the year! It’s a very affordable propane heater, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get good heating or great features.
The 47,000 BTU output is perfect for heating a radius of up to 6 feet, it has an auto shut off safety valve, and the wheels make it easy to move around your space.
The sleek design looks and feels just like a top-of-the-range outdoor heater, and the rust-resistant powder coating means it should be just as durable.
Best Premium Patio Heater
If you’re looking to spend a bit more to get even better quality and features, we recommend the Mirage 38,200 BTU Bronze Heat-Focusing Propane Gas Patio Heater.
With its burnished bronze finish and durable oven-baked powder coating, it’s built to handle all weather conditions and look great at the same time.
The weighted base keeps the unit stable, and the heat-focused reflectors and cone-shaped burners offer exceptional, even heating coverage. Despite a lower output of 38,000 BTU, this heater offers great performance, heating up to 120 square feet with ease.
Stay Warm Year-Round With the Best Patio Heater of 2021!
We hope this article helped you find the perfect patio heater for your outdoor space. When shopping, remember to consider how the heater is fueled, the heating output, safety features and build quality of the item.
When placing your patio heater, keep it far away from any combustible items, and cover or store it safely when not in use. We hope you enjoyed our review of the best patio heaters of 2021!