Patio heaters allow you to enjoy cold evenings outside of your house. They are available in five types – propane and halogen heating methods, and wall-mounted, tabletop, and freestanding. These various types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, they are still efficient in providing heat in outdoor areas and enabling diners to sit outside during cold night. Due to the smoking ban in public, they have been commonly used as well. At home, they are ideal for garden use, particularly when you have guests.
Propane patio heaters operate through fuel-activated conductors that heat the air. Propane is used as a fuel source due to its cleanliness. However, the produced heat consumes oxygen in the air which results to carbon monoxide. Thus, this type of heaters should not be used in a closed patio.
If you want a propane-fuelled heater, look for one with a sensor that shuts off when carbon monoxide is detected. Propane is also an effective fuel with very little energy consumption during the heating process. Although they do not have bulb breakage risks, they should be refilled periodically.
Halogen-fuelled heaters run in a typical electrical circuit and halogen tubes or bulbs, which emit heat through concentrated light. Halogen bulbs are energy-efficient, but require a large amount of electricity. To help circulate the heated air, you may also need to include oscillating devices. Halogen heaters have also some risks due to the fragility of the bulbs and extremely high temperatures. When looking for halogen-fuelled patio heaters, choose lamps with heat-resistant casing and automatic shut-off mechanism.
Tabletop heaters are as small as a table lamp and are designed with decorative qualities to look attractive on your patio. Both halogen and propane-fuelled tabletop heaters are available with full-surround heat emissions.
In propane heaters, the tank is concealed in the base of the lamp. Tabletop heaters are small and portable. However, they are not the best in providing heat in the patios. They also have the risk of being tipped over when you reach across the table.
Freestanding patio heaters are as large as a lamppost. They are available in propane and halogen versions with full-surround heat emission as well. They are more effective in heating large area, thus are often used in outdoor restaurant areas.
They are not easily moved around, but they are harder to knock off. They are more stable that their tabletop counterparts. The heating element on freestanding is also located at the top, safely away from the reach of your children.
Wall-mounted patio heaters are smaller and are only available in halogen version. They are lightweight and do not have tanks. A single wall-mounted heater is convenient for small patios. However, it is not as efficient in providing heat.
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