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Heater Selection Guide

You have an outdoor space you really enjoy, but you wish you could get more use out of it in the colder months. You can! Whether you have a deck or patio at your home or a restaurant with a dining patio, it makes perfect sense to extend the use of these areas.

Unlike a furnace that heats your home, patio heaters are not designed to maintain a specific temperature. They are concentrated producers of heat designed to alleviate the cold, or “take the chill out of the air”.

There are many types and brands of patio heaters available on the market. Here at, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive selection of outdoor heaters on the market. We offer natural gas, propane, and electric heaters. We have wall/ceiling mount heaters, as well as portable and table top heaters. We have experts trained in determining what type and style is ideal for your outdoor heating needs.

We know with so many options and variations, it is easy to get overwhelmed. So we have created the following guide to help you be on your way to a warm patio.

How they work:

First of all it is important to understand how patio heaters work. Most patio heaters warm spaces with a type of energy referred to as “Radiant Heat” or Infrared. The easiest way to describe radiant heat is that heats like the sun (without harmful UV rays). Radiant heat warms objects and not the air. This means radiant heaters are not affected by wind. It also means that the items on your patio become mini heat conductors as well.

Traditional “mushroom” style heaters, full sized or the table top variety, typically heat in all directions. The size of the heater will determine the circumference of the heat pattern. Wall/Ceiling mount heaters have more of a directional heat pattern, meaning they heat in the direction you point them in.

Types of fuel:

There are three different fuel sources: Propane, Natural Gas and Electricity. There are benefits to all three–read below to learn more:

  1. PROPANE: Propane tank enabled heaters offer the most portability and lowest installation costs (zero!)
  2.  NATURAL GAS: Natural Gas powered heaters are the most cost effective style of patio heaters as far as energy consumption. There is no need to refill any tanks. However, they do have to be professionally installed. Your initial investment with Natural Gas Heaters is higher but in the long run the cost of ownership is lower.
  3.  ELECTRIC: Electric powered heaters typically have a lower up-front cost of ownership, and they are do cost less to operate than a propane heater. Depending on the type of voltage, they may need to be professionally installed. Please note 120v heaters are not sufficient to heat most outdoor spaces adequately. Electric Heaters are most effective in the 208/240v type.

Different Heater Styles:

There are three main styles of patio heaters:

  • Portable full sized heaters
  • Wall/Ceiling Mount patio heaters
  • Tabletop Heaters. 

The most common is the portable full sized patio heater. These normally produce a radius of approximately 12’ of heat. Gaining in popularity are the wall/ceiling mounted heaters. There are many version of this style that are able to heat areas from 10’x10’ up to 20’x20’. Tabletop heaters are useful for heating an area the size of a table.


Used properly, patio heaters are a very safe way to heat your outdoor space. Most have safety features built right in, like tilt shut off valves. Always allow adequate space between your heater and any combustibles. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and clearances.

For over 2o years and have a working knowledge of heaters, inside and out. Please do not hesitate to call us directly with any questions you might have. We are sure we can help you determine the right type of heater, as well as heater placement to ensure proper heating for your outdoor space.

We also offer a wide variety of heaters for commercial applications. From fan forced heaters to warehouse heaters we can help you with all of your heating needs.

Let's get in touch!

Do you have any questions?

I'm Mike,

I have experience dating back to 1995 installing patio heaters in California and would be happy to answer any of your questions. Right now, we're offering free shipping for any orders over $100 and free consultations.

Give me a call on (760) 779-1352 or send me an email.