Choosing the Best Outdoor Propane Heater
Written on: March 13, 2023
Patio heaters keep the outdoor fun going when temperatures drop.
If you’re like us, you’re probably getting excited about all the open-air fun that comes with the arrival of spring. Households from Dover Rehoboth Beach and Newcastle to Laurel are taking the covers off their grills and putting out patio tables, chairs and umbrellas.
But while daytime temperatures in Delaware may be mild this time of the year, the nights can still make your teeth chatter. If you want to keep the alfresco party going even as the sun — and the mercury — goes down, we recommend you consider a propane-fired outdoor heater.
Here are some things to consider when choosing an outdoor propane heater.
Why is propane good for outdoor heating?
To begin, propane generates a lot of heat. One gallon of propane produces about 91,502 Btu of heat energy. And a typical 40,000 Btu patio heater will keep a 20-foot radius quite comfortable on a cool night.
Propane-fired heaters are also more mobile than their electric counterparts. After attaching a propane cylinder, you can place the heater where you like outside. Electric heaters need to be plugged in.
What size propane cylinder powers an outdoor heater?
Generally, you would attach a standard 20-pound propane tank to the appliance. This is the same type of propane cylinder you connect to a freestanding grill. You can find them at home stores, gas stations, garden centers and hardware stores throughout Delaware. On average, this tank size will power around 10 hours of space heating.
What factors should you consider when choosing an outdoor propane heater?
As with any home comfort appliance, you’ll want to compare different models of patio heaters before purchasing. Some variables to look at include the following:
- What is its maximum Btu output and heating area?
- Is there a reliable ignition switch?
- How do you adjust the heat?
- Are there wheels to move it around easily?
- Does it emit heat in one direction or all around?
- What is the length of the manufacturer’s warranty?
Remember, you don’t have to get the most powerful option or the one with extra bells and whistles. Right-size your purchase to your needs. If you have a small outdoor porch, for example, a patio heater with a smaller heating area is fine.
Can you use an outdoor propane heater inside the home?
You should never use an outdoor propane appliance inside — whether it’s a patio heater, outdoor fireplace or fire pit. It is a fire hazard, and you risk fumes accumulating indoors.
If you need an indoor space heating solution, there are many affordable propane space heaters that connect to your home’s propane tank and provide robust, safe heating for finished attics, garages, guest houses or other hard-to-heat spaces. These relatively affordable heaters can generally vent combustion byproducts outside with minimal piping.