Temperatures can drop drastically outdoors and almost any time of year. It doesnt matter if you are a homeowner wanting to spend as much time as possible in your personal backyard patio or deck area, a business owner wanting to expand his seating capacity at his restaurant or a hotel wanting to keep your poolside warm, an outdoor patio heater can provide the warmth and comfort you wish for.
Different outdoor locations often call for varying types of heaters. Patio Heaters give of warmth in a circular pattern, while hanging Strip Heaters are spread only in one direction. Strip heaters are usually in one shape and are commonly mounted 6 to 11 feet high using brackets, while patio heaters come in tabletop, ceiling-mount, and in-ground forms. Strip heaters are not really meant for the homeowner unless you have an absolutely large are to heat.
Patio heaters are usually able to give off heat up to 15-20 feet in a circular pattern by raising the temperatures from 10 to 25 degrees depending on size and BTU. Strip heaters or commercial heaters do a better job when more focused, intense heat is needed. Patio heaters are also more decorative with aesthetics in mind to compliment your restaurant, patio, swimming pool or deck. Strip heaters are usually pure function, as the work horse of the outdoor heaters, they have a streamlined no nonsense appearance designed around their function that can be hidden or tucked away without being noticed. These are usually the choices of commercial establishments that want reliability and function at all times as a opposed to the individual homeowner who needs to heat a small area while maintaining a pleasing outlook to it.
When selecting a heater it is important to look into the materials used in the construction of the outdoor heater. Most patio and strip heaters are constructed of steel, although some budget models include aluminum parts. Prices depend greatly on the grade of steel used (such as stainless, or weather-treated), the size of the base (for portable heaters) and the diameter of the pole are also factors in price cost. Another important feature of the build quality of a heater is the dome of the heater. Domes with larger diameters allow for better heat distribution. Most patio heaters have single-dome construction, but the some high end models are easily distinguished by triple-dome construction, which guards the heating element against wind and diffusion.
You should also take into the safety features available on the patio heater. Different patio heaters are available with a wide range of safety features the most basic of which is the automatic shut-off to prevent overheating, and safety tilt shut-off switches, to prevent heaters from lighting objects on fire should they tip over. Additional features include heat adjustment, guide lights, anti tip over construction, and shut-off switches to guard against harsh weather. Watch out against dodgy bargain heaters that lack any safety features as this will be a danger to yourself and your family in case it causes a fire or electrical trip.
Another thing to remember is to get the right accessories for your patio heater to prolong its life. These accessories include covers (to guard against dust, dirt, and insects all of which shorten a heaters life and limit effectiveness), wheel kits and propane tanks. Selecting the correct accessories will allow you to enjoy your heater for a long time without having to replace it.
So when going out to purchase a patio heater be sure to remember these basic tips to ensure that you get a heater that is suitable for your purposes both aesthetically and functionally.