The cold season can be a nightmare. Unlike in the warmer weather, when you can spend your days as you like and even tend to a few BBQs well into the night, the cold of the winter months confine most people indoors and may also prevent you from enjoying the patio.
The best outdoor propane heater is the perfect remedy for this situation. No matter how chilly it gets, a powerful patio heater adds warmth and ambiance to your outdoors, making it possible to enjoy your barbeques and even host guests for an evening party.
Better still, the heaters come in many options and designs, some of which can add style to your outdoors. This guide should help you pick out the right model for your needs.
Propane Patio heater Buying Guide
Onto the buying process, there are several factors you need to consider when shopping for a propane patio heater. Additionally, you need to know how the heaters work, maintain them, and stay safe while using the heater. Let’s begin with how patio heaters work.
How Do Patio Heaters Work?
A patio heater is a heat source designed for outdoor spaces such as a deck, terrace, veranda, or balcony. The heaters generate warmth by converting gas or electricity into heat. The heat is directed and distributed throughout the desired area.
The main difference between a patio and an indoor heater lies in how the heat is distributed. In indoor heaters, the warm air is typically “blown” throughout the desired room using a fan.
Patio (and most outdoor heaters) don’t have a blower fan. Instead, they direct heat using a reflector. The size and quality of the reflector determine the degree of concentration of the heat.
Also, patio heaters primarily depend on radiation for heat distribution. In radiation, the heat energy is absorbed by physical objects (such as you) rather than air particles. This makes sense considering that heating air molecules would prove counterproductive outside the house, especially windy days.
Outdoor propane heaters are powered by three energy sources – electricity, natural gas, or propane.
Electric patio heaters are some of the most modern. They use a bulb/tube to provide warmth and are usable even in semi-closed areas. They are also advantageous for being plug-and-play since you don’t need to refill a gas tank.
However, the biggest downside of electric heaters, including infrared outdoor heaters, is that they depend 100% on the availability of electrical power. Whenever there’s a power outage, the heater becomes useless. Additionally, heating with electricity is a bit expensive.
That usually leaves consumers with two options, i.e., natural gas patio heaters or propane. Both of these are potent fuel sources that produce tons of heat energy. They are also cheaper than electricity, can run even during a power outage, and allow you to “crank up the heat.”
However, two things make propane the better choice;
- Propane burns cleaner (more efficiently)
- Propane heaters are mobile (portable)
- They’re either plug-and-play or very easy to install
Types of Propane Patio Heaters
Propane heaters come in more than a dozen design styles. The following are some of the most common options.
- Floor standing: Floor standing options are the most common type of propane patio heaters. They are typically tall, thin, and give off a lot of heat, making them the best patio heaters for wind. You’ve likely seen them at a hotel or coffee shop that has a patio.
- Wall-mounted: Wall mounted patio heaters are also fairly common as they help conserve space. They are attached using mounting brackets that allow the heater to be pointed up or down. You, however, need a solid wall. Otherwise, the bracket won’t install properly.
- Hanging heaters: These are a unique kind of patio heaters that hang from the ceiling. They are some of the most impactful patio heaters in terms of adding style to space. However, they must be professionally installed for safety reasons.
- Tabletop heaters: As the name suggests, tabletop patio heaters are small, compact heaters that sit on the table. They are the most portable in this list and can quickly be taken inside for use in other areas.
- Fire pits and chimneys: Finally, these two are a great option if you’d like to add a sense of ambiance to your patio. The only limiting factor here is cost. Both fire pits and chimneys are reasonably expensive and some of the most maintenance-intensive heating products.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Propane Patio Heater
There are endless factors to consider when choosing a propane heater for your patio. We recommend that you prioritize the following;
- The intended use
This is arguably the most crucial consideration. The size and shape of your patio (and yard), condition/setup of the area, and how many people typically use the space, will all impact your choice of the heater.
- Power: The BTU value determines the power of a propane heater. Pick one with enough BTUs for your needs. Often, the manufacturer will indicate how much space that heater can comfortably warm. Additionally, consider how cold it gets on your patio.
- Typical weather: In areas with regular rain, for instance, a fire pit doesn’t make much sense. Similarly, a freestanding propane patio heater wouldn’t be ideal in a windy location. Other weather conditions to consider are flooding and storms.
- Aesthetics: While some people are okay with functionality, others may want some style and bluster. A fireplace, for instance, adds a lot of aesthetic value to a patio. Then, you may also be interested in the finish material (gold, hammered bronze, etc.).
- Safety: Safety is a crucial consideration for all patio heaters, so you should choose a unit with few risks. A freestanding model, for instance, should have some weight at the bottom for stability. The same applies to tabletop models. Additionally, consider safety features such as anti-tip and overheating shut-off.
- Cost: Finally, all the factors listed here will impact the price. Regardless, you still want to take home the best heater for the least amount of money possible.
Outdoor Propane Heater Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you’re still uncertain about a few aspects of outdoor propane patio heaters, the following answers to commonly asked questions might help.
- Can I use an outdoor propane heater in an enclosed patio?
Yes. However, greater caution is needed for safety reasons. For one, you need to choose an outdoor heater rated for indoor use. Secondly, additional safety precautions in the form of anti-tip-over turn-off and CO detectors are necessary.
- Can I use freestanding patio heaters on the grass?
Yes, but it’s not a great idea. Propane freestanding patio heaters are designed to stand on a flat, stable surface such as concrete. Glass surfaces are neither flat nor stable, thus increase the risk of tip-over. Some models may not even work in the first place if they sense that the body isn’t stable.
- How much does it cost to operate a propane patio heater?
First off, you’ll need to purchase the heater, gas tank, and propane fuel so that the initial investment can be significant. In terms of operational costs, a 40,000 BTU propane patio heater uses around $1.7 per hour.
- His clearance needed? If so, how much?
Yes, clearance is needed both for the safety and effective distribution of heat throughout the intended space. The exact amount of clearance required will depend on the size of the heater. For a 30,000 BTU to 50,000 BTU heater, a 30-inch clearance is needed all around the unit. Smaller patio heaters can do with a 24-inch clearance.
- Propane vs. natural gas vs. electricity, which is the best?
They all have strengths and weaknesses. Electric heaters are more affordable and more portable. But, power outages are a challenge. Natural gas patio heaters are the cheapest to run but are the least portable. Propane is somewhere in between – fairly portable but also a bit expensive.
10. Best Outdoor Propane Heaters Reviews 2021
1. LEGACY HEATING 47000 Btu Propane Patio Heater
- Product Overall Size: 30in x 30in x 88in.
- Durable Hammered Black powder coating
- Heat Output: 47000 BTUs
- Control: from high output to low output, without pilot
- Uses 20lb propane tank(not included)
- ETL Certified
- Wheels for Easy Mobility
The CAPH-7-S is a durable, freestanding propane patio heater featuring a hammered steel build and a black powder coating. It packs 47,000 BTU of heating power.
This makes it a great buddy during the cold winter months, though the High and Low heat settings mean that you can use it all year round.
In terms of dimensions, the CAPH-7-S measures 30 inches x 30 inches x 88 inches (tall). It weighs 31.9 pounds, with most of the weight concentrated at the base to provide stability and protect the heater from tipping over. It uses a 20lb propane tank.
The unit is easy to move and even comes with wheels to get it around. It uses piezoelectric ignition and is ETL certified.
- 47,000 BTU of heating power
- Durable steel build
- Long-lasting powder coating
- Auto-shutoff tilt valve
- Wheel assembly included
- No assembly guide
- It’s a bit expensive
2. Patio Heater Tall Hammered Finish Garden Outdoor Heater
- Ⅰ 【EASY TO ASSEMBLY:】All parts of the patio heater present, unit well packed and undamaged. All the holes lined up well, and the bolts all fit well, the outdoor heater is easy assembly, follow the starting directions and you will finished it less than hour. gas patio heater is sturdy if put together properly and looks great.Patio Heater outdoor heaters gas patio heater lp patio heater
- Ⅱ 【PUT LOTS OF HEATER:】The patio heater’s high output is 41000BTU, use it out on the patio at night in the late fall/winter time, the outdoor puts out a lot of heat, it’s a suggestion that start out with the gas patio heat on high but usually turn it down after the area heats up, a tank of propane lasts a couple of weeks.outdoor heaters gas patio heater lp patio heater Patio Heater
- Ⅲ 【MULTIPLE PLACE USAGE:】The patio heater is perfect for the garden, you can use outdoor heater out on the patio at night, or in cold winter, you can see this kind of gas patio heater in the park, coffee table in the street, and you can also use the gas patio when you fishing, drinking with you friends or party.gas patio heater lp patio heater Patio Heater outdoor heaters
- Ⅳ 【SAFTY:】 The patio heaters use 20 lbs LP Gas tank and which add weight to the Base of the gas patio heater providing much needed stability and safety during windy conditions, also you can fix the outdoor heater base on the deck by screws,The patio heater has Safety auto shut off tilt valve and Safety auto shut off when the gas run out. It is tall enough to be safe from hair lighting. lp patio heater Patio Heater outdoor heaters gas patio heater
- Ⅴ 【HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL:】 The patio heater use high quality stainless steel of the heating element which isn’t easy to melt/burn off, and the outdoor heater fire can’t come through the grating and melted the rim, the gas patio heater has CSA certification, which can make sure the quality is excellent. Please pay attention that use the heater outside.outdoor heaters Patio Heater gas patio heater lp patio heater
This FDW is another incredibly versatile freestanding heater. It’s built with high-quality stainless steel and works very well on the patio, yard, or even the garden. A few people also use it on the coffee table or when hosting evening parties.
The 41,000 BTU is more than enough to keep your patio warm and cozy during the cold months. It uses a 20lb LP gas tank. A full tank of propane lasts a couple of weeks.
The tank base also ensures stability and safety during windy conditions. Alternatively, you can fix the base permanently on the deck using screws.
The 30 x 30 x 88 (inch) heater weighs 35.7 pounds and automatically shuts off when the gas runs out. It is CSA certified.
- Long-lasting stainless steel build
- 41,000 BTU of heating power
- Easy assembly
- Piezoelectric ignition
- Auto shut-off tilt valve
- CSA certified
- No extra (sand) weight at the base
3. AmazonBasics Commercial, Propane Outdoor Patio Heater
- Outdoor gas heater with 46,000 BTUs, providing heat up to a 9-foot radius. Ideal for commercial cafes and restaurants or residential patios
- Made with aluminum, sturdy plastic, and rugged steel with a durable powder-coated finish that stands up to outdoor elements
- Piezo ignition system for easy push-button start ups; requires 20lb Liquid Propane Gas tank (not included); chain to help secure LPG tank provided.
- Safety auto shut-off tilt valve; waterbox for adding weight to the base; wheel assembly included for easy mobility
- Measures approximately 18 by 89 inches (LxH); weighs 38 pounds
- Secure the patio heater when not in use to avoid any potential damage to the patio heater
- Backed by an Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty
Manufactured by AmazonBasics, the Model 62703 is a moderately-priced freestanding patio heater that delivers 46,000 BTU at peak operation. It features a durable aluminum build and is ideal for cafes, restaurants, and other outdoor spaces. Some of the parts are made from stainless steel and sturdy plastic, though.
The unit uses piezoelectric ignition for your convenience. You’ll, however, need to buy an LPG tank (20lb) separately. A chain is provided if you wish to secure the tank permanently to the deck. An auto shut-off tilt valve and water box to add weight to the base are some of the unit’s noticeable safety features.
This heater measures 33 x 18 x 89 (inches) and weighs just 20.5 pounds. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
- 46,000 BTU of heat
- A durable stainless steel construction
- Auto-shut-off tilt valve
- Sturdy base for stability
- Wheels provided for mobility
- 1-year warranty
- Propane tank sold separately
- Water box only holds sand (not water)
4. Hiland HLDS01-SSHGT Propane Patio Heater
- Hiland 87-inch tall patio heater
- Two-tone Hammered Bronze powder coated and stainless Steel finish
- Wheels for easy mobility matching adjustable table.Use warm soapy water for cleaning. Never use flammable or corrosive cleaning agent
- Gas Type: propane
- All Hiland products include a one year limited . We are one of the only suppliers in the us to maintain a complete line of Replacements parts and a full service repair center
- High output, 48, 000 BTU's
- Access door design
- 33" Aluminum shield
- Weight bladder included
- Adjustable table
An 87-inch tall outdoor heater that packs 48,000 BTU of heat, the Hiland HLDS01-SSHGT is as majestic as they come. The two-tone hammered bronze powder coated and stainless steel finish gives it that contemporary appearance while wheels at the bottom make maneuverability a breeze.
There are many other things to like about the unit. For instance, it washes easily, with only soap and clean water required. It also features an adjustable table, access door design, and variable temperature control. A burner and regulator are included.
The 33.5 x 33.5 x 87 (inch) unit weighs 41.7 pounds and is equipped with a thermocouple and anti-tilt safety technologies. It comes with a one-year warranty.
- 48,000 BTU of heat
- A beautiful hammered bronze finish
- Wheels included for easy mobility
- Burner cover and regulator included
- CSA approved
- One year warranty
- LPG tanks sold separately
- Has a few plastic parts
5. Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater
- This outdoor patio heater is made using heavy duty commercial grade steel.
- This small patio heater can be taken indoors easily due to its light weight.
- The portable heater makes use of a standard 1 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.
Made from heavy-duty, commercial-grade steel, the Fire Sense features a stunning copper finish and wheels for easy mobility. Similar to most other units on this list, it works with a 20lb LPG tank. The tank must be purchased separately.
The 46,000 BTU heater is easy to assemble and even more comfortable to use. A piezoelectric ignition system means that you can turn on the unit in the press of a button. The consumption rate is 10 hours on a full 20lb tank.
The heater measures 18 x 33 x 89 (inches) and weighs roughly 43 pounds. It comes with a one-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Packs 46,000 BTU
- Made from commercial-grade steel
- Includes wheels for portability
- Stunning hammer-tone bronze finish
- Piezoelectric ignition
- One-year warranty
- LPG tank sold separately
6. PrimeGlo HLDS01-CG-A Tall Patio Propane Heater
- 48, 000 BTUs, variable control
- 33. 5" Aluminum reflector shield
- Full length cover included
- Thermocouple and anti-tilt safety devices
- Uses a 20lb propane tank (lasts 8-10hrs. On high, not included)
When the cool evenings come, the PrimeGlo becomes your best friend. This beautiful hammered bronze outdoor propane heater packs 48,000 BTU of heating power, more than enough to serve a small party. It works particularly well over areas up to 15 feet in diameter and provides an extra table for the patio.
The steel construction ensures long-term and reliable use. The unit also features a thermocouple and anti-tilt safety devices in case of tilting or if it accidentally falls over. An easy-access door, wheels for mobility, and a 33.5-inch reflector shield are the other standout features.
The heater lasts 8-10 hours on a 20lb LPG tank (sold separately). A full-length cover is included in the package.
- 48,000 BTU
- Durable steel construction
- Hammered bronze finish
- Wheels included
- Built-in thermocouple
- Wheels are a bit tiny (size)
- The installation manual isn’t detailed enough
7. Lava Heat Italia – AMAZON-129 – 2G Patio Heater
So far, we’ve only looked at freestanding models. The Lava Heat is slightly different. It’s a pyramid-style heater designed to add not just heat but also some swagger to your patio. Like the best outdoor heaters, it’s made from solid steel, aluminum, and 304 Grade stainless steel. It has no plastic parts.
Even better, the Lava Heat is one of the most powerful patio heaters out there, packing 66,000 BTU of raw heating power. This is ideal for spaces up to 36 square feet. It uses a 20lb LPG tank (sold separately). A full tank runs for up to 14 hours.
The 24 x 24 x 91 (inch), the 70-pound unit comes fully assembled, with an owner’s manual included. It has an auto switch-off tilt valve for safety.
- Beautiful pyramid-style heater
- Packs 66,000 BTU (highest on this list)
- Features a solid steel construction
- Ideal for up to 36 square feet
- Comes fully assembled
- Auto-shutoff tilt switch
- Wheel kit sold separately
- Regulator hose sold separately
- Weather-resistant cover sold separately
8. Thermo Tiki Outdoor Propane Patio Heater
- Stylish, commercial quality: Expertly crafted from premium, high-grade steel and aluminum, this professional-grade, 7' 6" tall outdoor propane gas heater with a dancing flame in a pyramid-style column produces both radiant warmth and exquisite beauty. Built-to-last with durable, weather-resistant components which include a rust, fade and corrosion-resistant finish, this heater is designed to withstand extreme climates, harsh sun, and abrasive salt air.
- Ultra-efficient heating coverage: Providing a comfortably wide field of warmth up to a 15' diameter, the heater's ceramic-glass heating column produces an extremely high, true-rated 38,000 BTU output, however, these heaters are sometimes quoted at their "peak output" of 42,000-45,000 BTU.
- Safe & certified: The heater features a built-in safety valve that will automatically shut off the fuel supply (shutting down the heater) if unit is tilted or tipped. It also includes protective mesh surrounding the ceramic-glass heating column, and a pilot light for safer startup/shutdown. It is also compliant with ANSI, CE, and CSA standards and specifications.
- Transportable: Includes wheels for convenient transport or storage
- Easy assembly & operation: Heater features a simple push-button ignition for fast and simple operation, and a temperature control knob provides easy adjustability of both the height and intensity of the dancing flame. All accessories required for use are provided in the box, including a ceramic-glass heating element, heavy-duty propane gas regulator and a pre-attached flexible hose. Simply supply your own standard 20-pound propane tank and fuel.
Another pyramid-style heater, the Thermo Tiki is a multi-purpose heater designed to create a warm, inviting ambiance. It’s unique and stylish design provides endless versatility.
Simultaneously, the durable, weather-resistant components, including the rust, fade, and corrosion-resistant finish make it the perfect acquisition for those unfriendly climates.
The unit delivers 38,000 BTU at regular operation and up to 45,000 BTU at peak output. It’s ideal for diameters up to 15 feet.
The Thermo Tiki is ANSI, CE, and CSA certified and comes with all accessories included in the box. It measures 54 x 30.5 x 8 (inches) and weighs 57.9 pounds.
- Stable, anti-tip base
- Safety shut-off valve
- Pilot lighter
- An 18-inch reflector
- Runs for 10 hours on 20lb tank
- Has a few plastic parts
9. Dura Heat 360 Degree Instant Radiant Double Tank Portable Indoor Outdoor Propane Heater
- 360° of instant radiant, infrared heat in a small and portable design; utilizes two disposable 1 lb lp cylinders
- Can also use a 20 lb refillable tank with optional extension hose (for outdoor use only)
- Protective grill guard; built-in carrying handle for easy mobility
- Built-in oxygen depletion sensor; safety tip-over shut off
- Swivel valve for easy tank loading; single 1 button lighting/heat control
Those looking for an ultra-portable patio heater, however, should consider this Dura Heat. Reasonably priced at just over $100, it’s small and compact, yet packs an incredible 25,000 BTU. For a tabletop outdoor heater, that’s amazing.
It’s called a 360-degree heater because it provides 360-degree of heat. It’s also very portable, thus can be carried around with ease. A built-in carrying handle helps with mobility. The unit has an oxygen depletion sensor, safety tip-over switch, and a swivel valve for easy tank loading.
The 12.25 x12.25 x 20.25 (inch), the 11.4-pound unit uses two disposable 2lb propane cylinders but also hooks to a 20lb refillable tank using an optional extension hose.
- 25,000 BTUs
- Amazingly portable
- Two heat settings
- Double-tank design
- One-year warranty
- The 2lb tanks burn out rather fast
10. Golden Flame (XL-Series Mocha-Wicker 46,000 BTU Deluxe Propane (LP) Heater
Finally, another freestanding patio heater on the list, the Golden Flame, which came out less than a year ago, is an XL Series Deluxe 46,000 BTU commercial-grade heater.
It features a unique pilot-less burner system that prevents the dreaded fuel wasting common in piloted propane heaters. It also boasts an innovative Rapid Spark ignition system.
The bottom sand reservoir, once filled, adds 25lbs to the base for stability. But, there’s also a built-in tilt-switch that immediately shuts off the unit if it accidentally tips over.
The heater measures 20 x 45 x 89 (inches) and weighs just 7.48 pounds making it one of the lightest freestanding outdoor heaters. It comes with wheels for ease of mobility.
- 46,000 BTU
- Innovating pilotless technology
- Innovative Rapid-Spark ignition
- Durable stainless steel build
- Mobility wheels included
- Still new and rather untested
- Tends to go off in windy situations
Outdoor propane patio heaters can be a valuable addition to your winter heating arsenal. They add so much warmth to your patio. More importantly, the heaters come in a variety of styles and options. Thus they can add much-needed color to your patio. If you haven’t got one yet, this is the time to go shopping.