We review our 6 favorite patio heaters for Fall 2019 and Winter / Spring 2020. Patio heaters, also known as outdoor or outside heaters, help you extend your outdoor living and entertaining. With cold weather here and ready to last for many more months, we wanted to give you our recommendations on the best outdoor heaters. We’ve included both ceiling mounted and freestanding patio heaters, covering uses for home and residential and also restaurants and outdoor event venues.
The Best Patio and Outdoor Heaters
Ceiling Mounted The ceiling mounted heaters listed below are unvented, and must have a continuous supply of fresh air in order to operate safely. They should not be mounted in areas lacking a free flow of air. You will need to have a gas line routed to the installation site for the ceiling mounted gas heaters from Sunpak and Bromic, whereas the Infratech patio heater is all electric.
Sunpak TSR Stainless Steel Patio Heater with Remote – Gas Best Feature: Dual-Stage Heat Output The Sunpak TSR is dual-stage heater, meaning it operates at two thermal settings: 34,000 BTUs for the high setting and 25,000 BTUs for the low setting. This allows the consumer to have more control over the heat output and not feel stuck in a one-setting-fits-all (which it rarely does) situation. It comes with a remote, but don’t lose it. But if you do, there’s still a handy wall-mounted control.
Bromic Smart Heat Platinum 500 30 Inch Gas Patio Heater – Gas Best Feature: Swivel Head This space-age designed heater can be swiveled to aim the heat where you want it. And by heat, we mean heat! 38,800 BTUs, to be exact. Plus, it has wind baffles that will help ensure that the heat doesn’t go flying off in the breeze. Sure-start electronic ignition gets the heat going fast.
Infratech WD Series 6000 Watt Dual Element - 240V Best Feature: 6000 Watts of Power All-electric and then some. Two quartz electric elements generate up to 6000 watts of chill-blasting comfort, and sophisticated electronic controls make sure the output doesn’t exceed the need. Unlike gas heat, electric heat is unaffected by the wind, allowing for predictable spot or zone coverage. The elements are rated for 5,000 hours of continuous use, and the body is constructed of high quality stainless steel.
Freestanding Freestanding outdoor heaters are popular both for homes and restaurants because of their portable versatility. They most commonly come as propane heaters, but there are options to convert to natural gas, as well.
Bromic Tungsten Smart Heat – Gas Best Feature: Wide Heat Distribution This handsome freestanding heater is as portable as they come, yet throws out a heat field 13 feet wide and 17 feet deep. The tilting head throws heat where you want it. The gas source is a stowed-away five-gallon propane tank, and you can upgrade to a 10-gallon tank for season-long (or almost) operation with a single trip to the propane supplier. Trouble-free electronic ignition gets the party started, and a regulator valve adjusts the heat delivery from 21,300 BTUs to 38,500.
Sunglo A270 Stainless Steel Freestanding Propane Gas Heater Best Feature: 304 Stainless Steel Construction This USA-made beauty puts out a whopping 40,000 BTUs, heating an area 15 feet in diameter, so your guests can not only feel the heat, but be made thoroughly comfortable by it. Quality 304 stainless steel means this model will grace your patio or outdoor kitchen for years to come, and look good doing it. A 20-pound propane tank allows up to 10 hours of constant operation.
Hiland 94-Inch Commercial Grade Triangle Glass Tube Propane Heater Best Feature: Commercial Grade At 94 inches, this is the tallest heater in our freestanding group and with 42,000 BTUs, it’s also one of the most powerful. The glass tube in the center helps distribute the heat evenly, and the wheels make it easy to simply move the whole unit to where the heat is needed the most. This is a commercial grade heater, built for frequent, or even constant use, and it should easily satisfy the needs of even the most demanding consumer.
So, make a list of your needs and wants regarding a patio or outdoor kitchen heater. Jot down how often you cook or entertain on the patio and how deep into the season you’d like to go. Where you live, the direction your patio faces and amount of wind your backyard receives are also important factors. Use this info to shop for your perfect patio heater or chat with one of our experts.