Monday, 23 May 2011

Types of Patio Heaters And Their Fuel Options

If you like to hold outdoor parties or simply like to spend more time outdoors, a patio heater may prove a very handy device for you. Patio heaters come in different styles, sizes and fuel options. So you can choose one keeping your particular requirements in mind. Previously, the steep prices of these heaters mostly kept them out of general use. But due to greater demand, the prices have come down in recent years and these days you can get a decent propane heater for as low as $150.

As for fuel options, these outdoor heaters come in three different types - propane heaters, electric and infrared heaters, and gas heaters. propane heaters are the most commonly used type since they do not need any extension cords or outlets and can be placed in the exact location the owner wants. For gas heaters, which are fueled by natural gas, and electric heaters, you will however have to have a nearby natural gas or electrical outlet near to the heater stand. Because of this, it is often not possible to install electric or gas heaters in the location you want without installing a new outlet.

Propane patio heaters come in two different styles - the stand alone and the table top models. If it is a small area and the guests will mostly remain seated, the table top heaters are a good option. It is recommended to place the heater at a lower level than the normal seating arrangements. Since the heat will mostly be directed upwards, this will be a more comfortable arrangement. Some of these heaters, however, come with a mushroom top that reflects a part of the heat downwards. The fuel option for these heaters is the disposable propane canisters. A single bottle can last from two to three hours, so if you are planning to spend a longer time outdoors, it is best to go for stand alone heaters.

These heaters are placed on top of a post and can be fueled by disposable bottles or an LPG hose that will be connected to a larger propane tank. These heaters can operate for longer times and the heat is spread over a larger area. You lose the portability option, but you will save more on fuel since disposable propane bottles result in greater fuel costs.

As for the fuel costs, you can save the most on that by using gas heaters. But since they require professional installation and cost significantly more than the propane heaters, people generally shy away from using them. Electric heaters cost less in fuel than propane heaters, too.

So if you are thinking about buying one of these heaters, keep these factors in mind. You can shop for patio heaters online or at local retailers. Be precise about your requirements and finding the right outdoor heater will not be difficult.