What Exactly is a Patio Heater?

Explaining the different parts of the different types of heater will help you understand the workings of patio heaters.

61bfoVv54yL._SL1500_“Heat transfer through radiation” is a good definition of an IR patio heater.  This of course refers to infrared heat.  The very same heat we get from the sun but in the middle of winter.

As most heaters work on the principle of convection, blowing heat around, patio heaters with infrared heating technology emit the heat in electromagnetic waves directly to the area or people in the area. Convection heat is not ideal when it is literally blown away with the wind.  Infrared will not blow away; it will be there to keep you warm.

Patio heaters are designed to heat up small outdoor spaces like patios and home porches.

The main two options being i) dome shaped and ii) wall mounted

They can be powered by electricity or propane combustion

Dome Shaped heaters also known as mushroom heaters as their shape resembles a mushroom.

How do these work?

77They are designed with a pole connected to a propane gas cylinder. The dome being circular means it can radiate the heat in all directions in a uniform manner so the immediate space is warmed.

If you already have propane for use in your home a propane patio heater would be the obvious choice although they can be run on bottled propane as well.

Parts of a propane patio heater are:

  • Disposable propane bottle
  • Pipe to propane tank
  • Reflector assembly and reflector cap (top part of heater)
  • Heater burner screen
  • Cylinder for propane tank
  • Gas hose

And this type of heater is;

  • Easy to assemble

Parts of a gas patio heater

lightfire-patio-heater-night-flameNatural gas patio heaters are great for natural environments are very similar in construction to the above propane patio heaters.  They also have a centre reflector surrounded by a four piece reflector cap.

So whilst they are very similar they are slightly more complex and do require professional installation.

Advantages of natural gas patio heater

  • Very fuel efficient
  • With longer lasting parts compared to propane and electric patio heaters

The parts of an electric patio heater

outdoor-patio-heaterConvenience is the key to electric patio heaters.

Parts are;

  • Metal rod or quartz for the electromagnetic radiation heat source
  • Reflector
  • Automatic shut off
  • Thermostat
  • Connection cord

These electric heaters are less expensive for initial outlay and far less expensive to run. But they can only be used where there is easy access to electrical socket so they are good for smaller spaces although they are slightly less mobile than other more portable heaters.

More information

poseidon_patio_heater_twinDeciding between the different types of placement is the most fundamental decision, do you want a table top, ceiling mount or permanently mounted in the ground.

For outside dining table top must be considered as the most convenient and most intimate type of heater.  A ceiling mount is ideal if you have an outside porch, and permanently in the ground is good if you are more likely to be playing outside.

Don’t forget a cover for you heater, and don’t forget to put it on when it is not in use!

Check out the article on http://patioheatershq.info/ to give you a very full explanation of how the electric “quartz” heaters work and why you may want to go for that option.

There is no reason why you should not have safe and cosy warmth all year round in the home and outside.