The joy of being outdoors is appreciated by everyone, yet the cold winter days can feel very uncomfortable. If you want to spend some quality time out on the patio during those cold days, or perhaps wish to entertain guests outdoors, you need an outdoor heater. These heaters add warmth and comfort to outdoor entertaining spaces and can positively contribute to the ambiance. They are great for hosting an evening event and keeping your guests cozy and comfortable, even on the chilliest of nights.
Outdoor heaters come in various shapes and sizes, each one offering a unique set of features and heating output. To help you make the right choice, we have put together the following list of the best outdoor heaters in 2021 that are quite versatile when it comes to their placement and you can set them up according to your convenience.
Whether you’re outside camping at night or just want to relax by the patio, an outdoor heater can keep you warm during those cold windy nights. Read on to learn how to find the best outdoor heaters for your home.
What Is An Outdoor Heater?
Outdoor heaters, as the name implies, are specialized types of heaters that are best suited for outdoor usage. These heaters are generally more heavy-duty than indoor heaters due to how quickly heat dissipates outdoors. They can work with different types of fuels and heat up the area using unique heating methods, depending on the type of heater used.
Do You Need An Outdoor Heater?
Outdoor heaters are useful for a variety of reasons.
It keeps you warm outside
The reason people use heaters is to keep themselves warm, and outdoor heaters do just that. The difference between indoor and outdoor heaters, however, is that outdoor heaters are designed with the outside environment in mind. This means they can work despite being placed in the open air.
Some outdoor heaters come with the functionality of being portable. Certain models are small enough that you can carry them around with you, and even the bigger ones can be moved from place to place with a pick-up truck. They don’t necessarily need to be installed in one specific area, so you can also move them around anywhere you want. Some heaters come with wheels that can be attached to the base of the heater, allowing you to easily relocate them.
It works without electricity
One of the best perks about outdoor heaters is that many are designed to work without electricity. You can use fuel or gas to keep yourself warm with an outdoor heater. This becomes especially useful in locations where there’s no electric power, as you can still stay warm. Also, outdoor heaters have a dedicated compartment to hold a gas tank, allowing you to start them up anytime, anywhere.
Things To Consider When Buying An Outdoor Heater
Outdoor heaters come in surprisingly varied shapes. Firstly, you have large, almost monolithic designs that are quite tall. These large heaters are great for outdoor use as they cover a large surface area, though they can be in the way and can take up quite a bit of space.
Then, you have the more low-key heaters, with some even posing as light bulbs and lamps. This shape allows you to place the heaters in more discreet areas that you or your guests wouldn’t expect. The downside to this would be that the heater wouldn’t be able to cover as much area as the larger designs. Choose a design that fits your needs.
Heaters use different methods to keep the users warm. The two popular methods used are convective heating and infrared heating. Both methods have their benefits and downsides.
Convective heating involves the heating of the air around the heater. This air is heated through the use of a medium such as water or a solid like metal or ceramic. The heated air can also optionally be circulated through the use of a built-in fan. Since the air around the heater is made warm, it can be useful for use during weather with chilly winds.
Then, you have infrared heating. Infrared heating functions the same way that the sun heats up our bodies. It heats up solid surfaces, but it doesn’t heat up the air around them. This means the user can enjoy essentially direct heat from the heater without worrying about the distance. Infrared heaters are great if you aren’t exactly near the heater but still want to feel the warmth from it, as convective heaters have trouble with carrying heat over distances.
Finally, there’s the fuel source that you need to worry about. As mentioned before, many outdoor heaters run without the need for electricity, though this isn’t always the case. Some outdoor heaters also run purely on electricity. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you don’t need to refuel the heater at all. Some electric outdoor heaters come with batteries, too, and you can also hook them up to external batteries in case of a power outage if you still want to use them.
There are also fuel and gas-based heaters. These heaters offer the added advantage of not requiring any electricity to run, and they are also more portable as they don't require an electric connection to function. So, even if your outside patio has no outlets to plug into, for example, gas heaters can keep you warm regardless.
Outdoor Heater Price Range
Dedicated outdoor heaters aren’t all that expensive. Some models are as cheap as $20 a unit, and others can also function as a cooker for camping and outdoor living. Those versatile units will set you back around $60. The lamp-shaped heaters will cost you more at around $100 apiece, and they require electricity to run, so don’t expect any use from them during power outages.
How We Choose The Best Outdoor Heaters
The best outdoor heaters are chosen based on the heating method used, the design, and overall product reviews.
This outdoor heater provides exceptional warmth that can be felt within a radius of up to 9 feet, making it ideal for setting up on your patio. The heater also has a sturdy base with a water box that ensures secure placement and enhanced stability.
The heater has a durable construction as it’s made with an excellent combination of plastic, powder-coated steel, and aluminum materials, so it retains its appearance and functionality even after long-term use. Also, it features an easy push-button startup that makes it very convenient to operate.
Provides a heat output of 46,000 BTUs
A simple start-up piezo ignition system
Two smooth-rolling wheels for easy mobility
The paint might start peeling off due to heat
You need to invest time and effort in assembling the heater
This outdoor heater has an impressive design that ensures top-quality heating, with an infrared heating system that provides a total output of 5200 BTUs. The heater does not make any noticeable noise during operation, offering you a peaceful heating source.
The IPX4 weatherproof construction of this heater ensures it remains well-protected against weather elements, including rain and dust. Also, it takes less than five minutes to assemble this heater, and it comes with a tripod that is height-adjustable so you can set it up exactly as you want.
Weatherproof option, which makes it resistant to rain and dust
Easy to set up without any issues
You can easily adjust the tripod according to the preferred place and position
This patio heater has a unique design that consists of a quartz glass tube with 40,000 BTUs of heating power, providing excellent warmth up to 10 feet away. The product has wheels attached to it that ensure easy mobility for maximum convenience.
The heater features an easy access door that allows you to replace the gas tank within seconds. It has a gorgeous mocha powder-coated finish that gives it a luxurious appearance and also protects it against environmental elements. You can also screw down the heater to fix its position, or keep it on its wheels in case you wish to move it around often.
The door design provides easy access
Variable heating control, allowing you to create the right ambiance
The burner is made from stainless steel for high durability
This patio heater is an ideal option for creating a warm and comfortable environment when you have your guests over for an event. It produces an exceptional heating output of up to 46,000 BTUs that can easily heat up any space within a radius of 18 feet.
This heater has a built-in tank chamber with a door for convenient access, allowing you to easily change the gas tank when needed. Also, the wheels are very easy to assemble, while the heater also features tip-over protection for safe operation.
Emits over 46,000 BTUs of steady warmth
The burners of the heater are made from stainless steel for additional durability
The zips open and close with ease
The surface does not have a high-quality finish
Outdoor Heater FAQ
Q: Are infrared heaters safe?
A: Infrared heaters are completely safe for humans to use. The rays function the same way as the sun’s own rays and are not hazardous at the levels emitted by heaters.
Q: Are heaters safe to use in covered patios?
A: Heaters are safe for use in covered patios provided that there is adequate clearance for them on the sides. This means no flammable objects near the heater. Other than that, you shouldn’t worry about your heater causing damage to your property.
Q: Can you leave your heaters outside?
A: Outdoor heaters are designed to withstand harsh weather and can be used in most weather conditions. This also means you can leave them out for extended periods of time and not worry about their condition worsening at all.
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