Whether you’re making plans for all-year grilling or just cherishing a good cup of tea on the deck, the best natural gas patio heater can make all the difference.
These heaters work by burning fuel (natural gas in this case) to produce lots of heat. The heat then dissipates throughout the desired area via radiation (as opposed to convection) heating objects on their paths.
A significant advantage of radiant heat transfer is high efficiency. Very little heat is lost to the surrounding air. Additionally, radiant heat is gentle (like the sun) and considered healthier than convection heat.
This natural gas patio heater reviews should help you choose the right unit for your needs. Let’s begin with a review of some of the best products in this category.
Best Natural Gas Patio Heaters – Reviews 2020
If you’re short on time and unable to narrow down to one natural gas patio heater, any of the eight models below would be a great option.
1. AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater
This 46,000 BTU AmazonBasics commercial heater is made from stainless steel and finished in powder-coated steel, making it the ideal outdoor heating solution for harsh weather locations. Additionally, the powder-coated finish offers a contemporary appeal that will add so much style to your outdoor.
Among the unit’s highlight features is a sturdy base fitted with a water box filled with water or sand to create a heavy, stable base. A wheel assembly with two smooth-rolling wheels is included for easy mobility.
The 33 x 18 x 89-inch, 40lb unit uses piezoelectric ignition and has multiple safety features, including a shut-off tilt valve and the option to secure the heater permanently.
- 46,000 BTU
- Made from stainless steel
- Features a powder-coated steel finish
- Piezoelectric ignition
- Safety auto shut-off tilt valve
- One-year warranty
- Fuel tank sold separately
- Water box doesn’t work with water
2. Fire Sense Stainless Steel Natural Gas Patio Heater
- This outdoor patio heater is made using heavy duty commercial grade steel.
- This copper finish patio heater features wheels for easy portability.
- The portable heater makes use of a standard 20 pound LPG propane tank.
- You can turn on this patio heater in an instant with the push of a button.
- This outdoor heater is perfect for your porch or any other outdoor venue.
Another patio heater made from heavy-duty stainless steel, this 45,000 BTU Fire Sense is a very portable unit that you can move around with ease. The heater spreads heat very effectively. If you’re hosting a small party, it would be a great heating option.
Some key features of the Fire Sense include piezoelectric ignition that turns on the heater automatically when you turn on the fuel source. This way, you only use the fuel that you need. Since it’s an exclusive natural-gas only heater, you don’t have to worry about changing gas tanks.
It comes with a permanent mounting plate as well as a 75-inch gas hose. A durable steel burner and double mantle grids are also provided.
- 45,000 BTU
- Stainless steel build
- Attractive stainless steel finish
- Tip-over protection
- Auto-shut-off tilt valve
- CSA certified
- Has a few plastic surfaces
3. Hiland NG-HB Tall Natural Gas Patio Heater
- 41,000 BTU's, variable control
- Integrated ignition
- Ground fixtures
- Thermocouple and anti-tilt safety devices
- Natural gas hose not included
An impressive outdoor patio heater, the NG-HB from Hiland, is one classy unit. It boasts a striking hammered bronze finish that will add so much beauty to your outdoor.
The 41,000 BTU heater also features an integrated ignition system so you can easily turn on the heating. It comes with a 33-inch heat shield.
What’s most impressive about the heater is that it pumps the heat to objects 10 feet away! Not many heaters can compete with that. For your safety, the heater has a thermocouple as well as an anti-shut-off safety device.
The 32.3 x 32.3 x 87-inch heater weighs about 33.6 pounds, comes with a built-in ground fixture, and is CSA certified.
- 41,000 BTU heating power
- Hammered bronze finish
- Heats up to a 10-foot radius
- Features a thermocouple
- Has an anti-tilt shut-off feature
- CSA certified
- Natural gas hose not included
4. Sunglo Black Natural Gas Patio Heaters
- Black or stainless steel finish; 100% Safety Shutoff Control; 50,000 BTU/Hour
- Constant Pilot; Automatic Pilot Ignition; Turn Heater ON/OFF with a Switch
- Heavy Duty Corrosion Resistant Construction; Black Powder Coated 3" Diameter Post
- 34 1/2" One Piece Aluminum Reflector; Wind Rating: 10 MPH Horizontal; CSA Certified
- WARNING: California Proposition 65. If not installed, operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, this product could expose you to substances in the fuel or from combustion including carbon monoxide which can cause death or serious illness and which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. For more information go to www.p65warnings.ca.gov
One of the tinniest (in physical size) natural gas patio heaters, the Sun-Glo A242B, uses infrared heat to warm up spaces. A large deep disk aluminum reflector at the tip of the heater helps direct heat where it’s needed most. As such, the unit wastes very little (if any) energy.
The A242B comes with an optional “floor clamp” kit to permanently secure the heater to the patio deck and uses a primary rated burner for minimal noise. It uses automatic pilot ignition. An auto-shutoff system that turns the heater off in case of tilting provides safety.
The 12 x 10 x 5-inch, 42-pound heater is made in the USA, has a 12-feet heat coverage, and is CSA certified.
- 50,000 BTU
- Beautiful black powder coating
- Corrosion-resistant construction
- 12-feet heat coverage
- CSA certified
- A bit expensive (at over $1.000)
5. Sunpak Stainless Steel 2Stage Natural Gas Direct Spark Heater
- Fully Automatic ON/OFF/HI/LOW control system and Ceramic Infrared Burner System
- Direct Spark Ignition with Auto Re-light and Flame Sensor System; Dual Stage 34,000 to 25,000 BTU; and 304 Series stainless steel construction
- Included: Stainless Steel Mounting Kit, Wireless Hand Held Remote and Wireless Wall Control
- Wall or Ceiling mount; 9.5 ft to 12 ft Mounting Height, Approximate 12 ft x 12 ft Heat Coverage @ 34,000 BTU (High Setting) and Approxiamte 10 ft x 10 ft Heat Coverage @ 25,000 BTU (Low Setting)
- Residential application recommended
This SUNPAK is a ceramic infrared 25,000 BTU heater that maxes out at 34,000 BTU. It’s one of the few heaters that are remote-controlled. You can change the heat settings with a hand-held remote. Additionally, it also supports wireless wall control.
The unit features Direct Spark Ignition technology with Auto-Relight and Flame Sensor System for easy and reliable ignition. A stainless steel mounting kit, wireless hand-held remote, and wireless wall control system are included in the package.
This 8 x 47.5 x 8-inch, 47.3lb heater is CSA Design Certified. It’s primarily a wall-mounted unit but also mounts on the ceiling.
- Up to 34,000 BTU
- 304 Series stainless steel construction
- Wall or ceiling mounted
- Remote and wireless control
- CSA design certified
- A bit pricey (at over $500)
- Requires professional installation
6. Lava Heat Italia LHI-VENETIAN-40BTU-HB-NG Patio Heater
Lava Heat heaters are made in Italy but have become very popular throughout the rest of the world because of their outstanding quality. This particular heater is a stylish, commercial-grade unit that packs 40,000 BTU and spots a traditional look that matches most outdoor decors.
The Venetian heater is built from solid steel and features a weighted hexagonal base for additional stability. It’s finished in antique bronze. A hinged door on the base allows you to connect your gas tank (sold separately) while a solid steel emitter and huge one-piece reflector combine to ensure that the heat reaches you in abundance.
Manual Easy Start, electronic ignition, and tilt-switch auto-shutoff are other highlight features of the Lava heater. The unit is CSA certified.
- 40,000 BTU
- Solid steel construction
- Heritage bronze finish
- 360-degree superior infrared heat
- 5-year warranty
- CSA certified
- Required batteries sold separately
- Only partially assembled
7. Caldo Patio Heater 51,000 BTU Natural Gas
The ultra-slim Caldo is another product from the Italian manufacturer Lava Heat. This unit is at least $100 cheaper than the LHI-Venetian above, but even more powerful, with a 51,000 BTU capacity at peak operation. It’s made from 304 Grade stainless steel and features a heritage bronze finish.
This heater stands at about 7.5 inches tall and disperses heat in a 360-degree fashion. The heat can reach objects located as far as 12 feet away. A free 10-foot quick hose (priced at about $100 in the shop) is included for free.
Other key features of the Caldo include electronic ignition, variable temperature control, and tilt-switch auto-shut-off. The heater is CSA certified and comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Up to 51,000 BTU
- Ultra-slim design profile
- Made from 304-grade stainless steel
- Excellent for commercial applications
- CSA certified
- 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
- Bit expensive (at over $600)
- Ships partially assembled
Natural Gas Patio Heater Buying Guide
So, you’ve looked at the eight products reviewed above. You’ve likely also seen a few more options online. How do you choose from the lot? The following are a few considerations to help.
Benefits of a Patio Heaters
The list is endless. The heater alone can fully transform your patio into a favorite spot for whiling away the evening or reading a book as you sip some coffee. The following are five other reasons to invest in one;
- Comfort: A patio heater keeps everyone warm and comfortable should you decide to spend your evenings outdoors.
- Portability: Many patio heaters are generally small and compact, thus easily movable. You can even carry it inside for use in other rooms.
- Style: Patio heaters are designed to be aesthetically pleasing. The right one can add so much ambiance and flair to your outdoors.
- Easy assembly: Unlike other heater types, most patio heaters are easy to assemble and use. In most cases, you can DIY the assembly.
- Affordable: Finally, patio heaters aren’t expensive. Very few cost more than $300. Therefore, getting one wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Why Natural Gas?
Many people prefer natural gas for patio heating, and for a good reason. First off, compared to electricity, gas fuels (natural gas and propane) are much cheaper.
Additionally, both propane and natural gas are all-weather fuels. Unlike electricity that can go out anytime, especially during storms, gas fuels aren’t affected by the weather. As long as you have gas in the tank, the heater will work normally.
Secondly, compared to propane, natural gas is;
- Cheaper to run
- Less harsh on the environment
- More practical/reliable
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Natural Gas Patio Heater
Although they use the same fuel, natural gas heaters come in multiple design styles and widely varying features. We recommend that you prioritize the following;
This is perhaps the most important factor when shopping for an outdoor heater. What’s the weather like in your location? Do you experience lots of rain? What about winds? Open heaters such as fire pits aren’t a perfect choice for wet areas. Windy places, meanwhile, may not suit standing heaters so well. Or consider using the best patio heater for wind.
- Heating Power
Heating power is about how much heat you can generate from the heater. For natural gas heaters, this is determined by the unit’s BTU value. Choose a heater that produces enough heat for your needs. Fortunately, the majority of natural gas patio heaters are very powerful, with most of them rated at over 20,000 BTU.
- Build Material
The best outdoor heaters are built from durable metals such as stainless steel. Others may be constructed from commercial-grade steel or even aluminum, which are also great options. What you don’t want is too much plastic on the heater. It creates an unnecessary safety risk.
- Style Features
While some people may not be too keen on style and design features, others may want to find a patio heater that adds some flair to the outdoors. If so, consider the finish, ambiance, and other bells and whistles. Additionally, consider hanging models and fireplace heaters. These two add so much charm to the patio.
- Ease of Installation and Maintenance
Many natural gas heaters are reasonably portable, thus don’t need a great deal of installation work. Others, meanwhile, are designed to be permanently installed by a professional. Keep this in mind, too, when doing your shopping. Also, consider the ease of maintenance.
- Safety Consideration
Finally, natural gas patio heaters aren’t 100% safe to use. They come with a few safety risks, such as tipping and overheating. Make sure that the unit you buy has in-built safety features to counter these risks. Anti-tip-over and anti-tilt switch-off measures would be a good start.
A natural gas patio heater would be another thoughtful addition to your home heating arsenal. These heaters are moderately priced but could be just what you need to start using your patio more during the cold months. They also add a touch of style to your décor, thus can easily transform your exteriors. If you’ve been thinking about getting one, this would be a good time.