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Outdoor HeatersWith the feel of spring just beginning, you can enjoy your long weekends on the patio with an outdoor patio heater. A patio heater provides comfort and extends your living space in the cool weather of late fall and milder evenings of early spring.

The right choice will allow you to lengthen your seasons, but there are several things to consider when choosing a heater that suits your needs the best.

Power Source

Outdoor patio heaters come in a variety of different power sources, such as gas, propane, and electric, but which one is best for you as the main heat source can be confusing. Consider your lifestyle when choosing your heater and when shopping, compare the heat output of different models. Use these considerations as your guideline.

A natural gas patio heater is convenient and start-up is immediate, but you may find that you are restricted by where it can be located. For those who already have a gas line running to your barbeque, this is the ideal situation because this will reduce your cost of connecting to a patio heater, but you’ll still have to determine the location or the heater relative to the area of the barbeque. If you do decide on selecting a gas-powered patio heater, you’ll have the cost of running the gas line, in addition to the cost of the heater and finding it a home.

Propane operated patio heaters offer you the versatility of where the heater can be located, but just like propane barbeques, propane runs out. There is nothing worse than running your tank out during a large gathering, so you must always have an extra tank as your backup plan. As for cost, propane will run you a bit more money, but the flexibility of location is worth the added costs.

From the point of affordability and flexibility of location, electric heaters are often a more practical choice, but with hydro prices being what they are in Ontario, this selection may not be the ideal option for you if your outdoor patio heater is going to run a considerable amount of time. On the other hand, because electric patio heaters have no open flame, they could be considered a safer alternative for families with children.

Dual Heat & Radiant Heat

You can choose among outdoor patio heaters that provide dual heat settings. These setting allow you to control the heat output depending on your need. Also, there are some outdoor patio heaters that provide radiant heat. These types of heaters provide you with more efficiency that helps to control your energy costs.

Remember that hot air rises; therefore some heated air will be lost to the atmosphere. You can help conserve some of that heat by placing your patio heater at a safe distance beneath an umbrella or awning. Always avoid exposing a propane unit to the wind because blustery conditions will make it difficult to light.

Output

There are several types of outdoor patio heaters that offer differing amounts of heat output, so review them carefully to determine which best suits your needs or ask a professional.

Safety

You should consider the safety requirements of operating an outdoor patio heater, such as the presence of children and/or pets in the house. Your patio heater should be anchored because a toppling heater can result in burns and property damage. And, remember to place the unit in an area where the electrical cord does not become a tripping hazard.

Enjoyment

Homeowners spend a lot of money and energy in making their outdoor spaces beautiful, expansive and extendable for the seasons. A patio heater will ensure you get the most from this space and turn chilly nights into cozy, star filled evenings enjoyed by friends and family.