The addition of an outdoor patio heater to any space allows you to enjoy the outdoors for months longer each year than if you were to go without. Outdoor patio heaters are not only about delivering heat, however. Today’s models are designed to create a certain ambiance in your outdoor living space with many being attractive enough to become a focal point in your backyard.
Outdoor heaters come in a number of sizes, styles and fuel types. The most important consideration which needs to be made is the style of the heater. Outdoor heaters come in three general styles:
- Table top
- Freestanding or Standalone
Each style comes with it its own set of pros and cons which we will explore below.
The Table top Heater
Being able to deliver up to 12,000 BTUs, table top heaters come in the greatest variety of designs and dimensions in your three options. Often referred to as outdoor heating lamps, the table top heater is a good choice for those who will be placing these heaters on side tables or on larger tables while you dine alfresco in your backyard.
Table top heaters are usually 3 feet or less in height and they weigh significantly less than your other outdoor heater options. This means that these heaters are more portable, but it also means that they can easily be knocked over and break.
The Freestanding or Standalone Heater
This type of heater is most common in commercial spaces such as outdoor patios, around hotel pool decks, and at outdoor events. These heaters are tall, typically being 7 feet or greater in height and are thin so large groups of people can easily navigate or congregate around them. These heaters are able to produce much more heat than a table top heater.
The problem with this type of heater is that they are not very portable. While some freestanding units can be as little as 40lbs, these units tend to be of lesser quality than a unit which may be 100lbs or more. Many homeowners also find them unattractive and they can take up a lot of precious square footage.
The Mountable Heater
Mountable heaters are the most versatile heater of the lot. Because they are mountable, they do not take up any of your patio or backyard space and they can be installed in a way that makes them nearly invisible. These heaters can deliver as little as 3,000 or so BTUs to 100,000 BTUs or more. If you choose an electric mountable heater, it can also be used in a fully enclosed or partially enclosed area.
Mountable heaters tend to be more functional than the other heater types and usually do little more than provide heat to add to the ambiance of your outdoor living space. Many mountable heaters, when installed, cannot be removed without a lot more work than is involved with the table top variety. However, some can be easily removed and even come with a stand so that homeowners can place these heaters wherever necessary.