Summer can spoil you. You get used to enjoying your terrace while spending afternoons and evenings outside, then the cold begins to strike. In the fall, evenings on the patio or in the backyard suddenly start to feel like a no-go – unless you invest in an outdoor heater.
An outdoor heater extends the year during which you can comfortably enjoy the outdoor spaces of your home. For a few more months, you and all the guests you welcome can continue to enjoy the time on the patio without being too cold.
You have a few different options to keep your patio or yard nice and warm in cold weather. This guide will explore the main types of outdoor heaters available and the most important factors you should consider to help you choose the one that works best for you.
The best patio heater in Quebec
When it comes to the best patio heaters on the market, you can hardly do better than this stainless steel patio heater.
Thanks to an affordable combination of style, functionality and power, it’s a great value for money. Its durable steel construction is also expected to last for some time.
In fact, the best patio heater will perfectly match the following features with your lifestyle and outdoor space:
- Heat type
- Heat beach
Best types of patio heating
Propane: These portable models do not require any professional installation. The easiest heater to use, propane tanks are usually located in the recessed cavity at the base. They are more expensive than long-term natural gas outdoor heaters and you should plan to replace the gas tank from time to time if you opt for this option, but the start-up convenience appeals to many users. And when the propane tank runs out, it’s incredibly easy to replace it with a new one. That’s why this patio heater is one of the best choices for a patio heater.
- Heat up quickly.
- No installation required.
- Portable; Can be moved to where you need the most heat.
Keep in mind
- Propane is more expensive than natural gas.
- Gas tanks will need to be replaced periodically.
- Not to be used in a covered or enclosed space.
Electric: These eco-friendly electric patio heaters produce zero emissions while effectively heating an area, making them more economical. However, they must be plugged into a socket, so make sure there is a socket nearby when choosing a location. Some electric heaters may require professional installation.
- Convenient to use - just plug it in.
- Safe to use in open or closed spaces.
- Easy to use and maintain.
Keep in mind
- More expensive cost to use in the long term.
- Can only be used near a socket.
- May be slow to heat.
Natural Gas: Natural gas heaters are environmentally friendly and permanent. Connected to a natural gas supply line, these types of heaters must be professionally installed to prevent leaks. There is no need to fill a fuel tank as there is a constant supply of fuel. Although you need a professional installation, they have the lowest operating cost.
- Cheap to use.
- Easy to maintain.
Keep in mind
- Expensive to buy and install.
- Cannot be used in a covered or enclosed space.
- May be difficult to move due to natural gas line.
Terrace Heating Style
Standing Terrace Heater: Standing Terrace Heater are normal size, often portable and include a compartment for the fuel tank. Ideal for an outdoor party, some standing heaters can provide heat at locations more than 20 feet away. They are a popular option and one of the most common types you will see if you choose to go with a gas heater.
Mounted Patio Heaters: Wall-mounted Patio Heaters are ideal for small spaces, where there is not enough room for a table or freestanding model. They are built for permanent installation on a patio, terrace or veranda. They can vary considerably in price and size, are almost always electric and will usually require some installation time on your part. Depending on your handling, it is unlikely that you will need to hire someone to install this heating on your terrace. Most people find this quite simple to do by yourself.
Suspended Patio Heater: Suspended radiators are suspended from the ceiling of a patio, terrace or veranda. They are ideal for small spaces, as they do not take up space on walls, floors or tabletops. The majority are electrical and require permanent installation.
Table Heater-Terrace: The easiest model to carry, table radiators are a great option for small parties and dinners. Available in electric and propane, these miniature models rest comfortably on a table or a similar surface. Propane models will most likely have a compartment to hold the propane tank.
Tank Top Patio Heater: These low maintenance patio heaters connect to the top of propane tanks where they emit heat. They are profitable because they are usually purchased with propane included.
The cost of the different options varies somewhat depending on the size, type and style you choose. Many table heaters will fall into the $50 to $200 range.
Floor heaters will typically cost more than $200 and can cost more than $1,000 for models that use natural gas. Hanging and wall heaters have an equally wide range depending on size, power and style. You can find models for less than $100, but easily pay over $1,000 for larger and more powerful heaters.
Homes and chimneys usually cost a few hundred dollars. You can find models for about $100 if you agree with a small single fireplace or fireplace, but you can find larger options made with better materials and more pleasant designs if you are willing to pay more.
It is wise to have an idea of your budget in order to know which range to look for. Some of the most expensive models are fun and can be worth going crazy – or in the case of natural gas heaters can save you more in the long run – but if your needs and desires are simple, There’s no reason to pay more than you have to.
The power of your outdoor heater will determine how much space it heats. The power of a heater is usually measured in kilowatt (KW). The higher the KW, the more heat your heater will emit. In some cases, the manufacturer will indicate the space its model heats in its marketing materials, but keep in mind that the distance travelled by this heat will depend on various factors, such as the cold outside.
Measurements such as KW and power may be useful to help you compare different models to each other, but they can sometimes be misleading. In addition to considering the power that the manufacturer says its product gives, look at what customers say in their reviews. They generally offer a clearer picture of the power of a heater and how much space you can expect it to heat in different climates and types of weather.
Heaters are not safe. A floor heater must be properly weighted to withstand windy days - if it falls off while it is on, you risk a fire. Many models will come with an automatic stop function for this purpose. If strong winds are typical of where you live, you should definitely look for a model that offers this feature. Or at least find a way to anchor the heater.
All gas and wood heaters must be kept in open spaces. If you place one in an enclosed or covered patio, you risk both an accumulation of carbon monoxide and a fire hazard. Electric radiators tend to be the safest option, but you should always be careful not to place them too close to something very flammable.
Since garden fireplaces involve an open fire, they are the type of outdoor heating with which you should exercise the utmost caution. Be sure to always completely extinguish the fire when you are done and keep the fire contained in the pit itself so that it cannot spread beyond.
As in many things, much of the safety of outdoor heaters is the responsibility of the user. If you read the manual for your outdoor heater and use it carefully, you will greatly reduce your safety risks.
The typical climate of your region will influence the amount of heat you want and the most logical type of heating. If your area is prone to regular drizzle, a fireplace will not be very useful. If you often see strong winds, a floor heater can be hard to stand on.
Consider what the weather usually looks like at times of the year when you’ll want to use your outdoor heater the most and make sure you opt for a model that will be convenient for your climate.
Aesthetics and atmosphere
Some people will be satisfied with any functional heater. Others will want one that adds something to the appearance of their yard or patio. Most floor models fall mainly in the functional category, but some are designed to add a nice aesthetic touch to the area in which you place them. Many people choose an option that has an open flame for the extra ambience it provides.
If appearance and atmosphere are important to you, take the time to browse through your options and see which ones have a look that you think is a great addition to your outdoor space.
Ease of use
Some outdoor heaters are extremely easy to use from the moment they are operational as long as you have them. Others will introduce you to work or maintenance efforts.
How hard will your heater be to turn on? For most electric and gas models, it will be as simple as pressing a switch. For homes and chimneys, it will take a little more work and time. How hard will it be to assemble when you receive it?
Some models require more assembly or installation than others, so you’ll want to make sure you’re ready for everything your model needs. Electric radiators will generally only need to be plugged in and natural gas radiators will only need to be plugged in once, while other models will require you to replace fuel sources with some regularity.
Weigh the work needed to own the type of outdoor heating you prefer over what you are willing to do. Some people don’t care to make a little effort to get what they want. Others may find that the work required is dissuasive in the actual use of their product.
The final word on the best patio heater in Quebec for you
In the three main heat categories (propane patio heater, natural gas patio heater and electric/infrared patio heater), you will find a range of sizes, designs and prices. The end result is the same: the best patio heater is a way to allow you and your guests to stay comfortable outside longer, even when the weather is not perfect. That’s why you should definitely try this one.