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How to Choose a Propane Patio Heater

Written on: March 1, 2018

Modern patio
As February transitions to March here in Pennsylvania, it’s time to think ahead to outdoor entertainment season – especially if you want to kick it off as soon as possible.
One of the best ways to add some weeks to your barbecue and star gazing in 2018 is to invest in a propane patio heater, which will get the party started earlier in the spring and keep it going well into the fall.
What factors do you need to consider if you’re shopping for a propane patio heater? Here’s a quick guide to the five most important ones:

  1. Size, power, and heating area – The three most important features to consider when choosing a patio heater are how big it is, how powerful it is (measured in BTUs), and how far it “throws” its heat. Heating diameter will vary considerably depending on the brand and style of heater, even if the two units have similar outputs – make sure you choose a unit that covers the area you need to heat.
  2. Configuration – Propane patio heaters typically come in three configurations: wall-mounted, tabletop or freestanding. Tabletop propane heaters are typically about four feet high and output bout 10-12,000 BTU; freestanding heaters range between seven and nine feet high and output 40,000 BTU or more.
  3. Safety features – Most standing patio heaters include an anti-tip feature, which automatically shuts off the heater if it falls past a certain angle. Other safety features to look for include an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and an overfill protection device (OPD).
  4. Efficiency – Find your heater’s AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating. AFUE is a lot like MPG for your car: the higher the number, the more efficient your heater is.
  5. Style and finish – Patio heaters are available in a range of styles and finishes – from modern stainless models to brushed copper and enamel painted options.

Need help choosing the perfect patio heater for your PA home? We can help. Contact us today to get your outdoor entertainment season off to an early start!