Updated: November 2017
Patio Heater Reviews:One of the nicest things about having a deck or patio is being able to enjoy it year-round. Summer time is usually no problem, although evening can sometimes be chilly. The perfect answer to keeping you patio or deck comfortable most of the year is with an outdoor patio heater. They are also called umbrella heaters or mushroom heaters due to their shape. You've seen these at outdoor cafes, restaurants, and promenades. They look like gigantic metal lanterns, standing about 7-8 feet tall, with a propane tank hidden in their base. How do patio heaters works? They are normally powered by either natural gas or propane fuel, and like a giant heat lamp, their heating element radiates a large amount of heat into a 15'-25' diameter area around them, often raising surrounding temperatures by 15-25 degrees F. Their domed, shielded tops help radiate the heat downwards rather than allowing it to escape immediately upward. You'll see the flames flicker and hear the gentle roar of the gas fire, and you will be warm! You can browse the up-to-date list of best-selling outdoor heaters here.
Best Patio HeatersEliteDeals.com has a full selection of commercial and residential patio heaters. The commercial patio heaters are normally a little more rugged, more expensive, and put out more BTUs of heat. Expect to pay $150-$450 for a patio heater. As an example, they sell the Endless Summer ES Patio Heater for $479, decribed thus: "The deluxe commercial Patio Heater offers a unique triple dome design that more evenly distributes heat across the entire heat shadow. Packing the power of a commercial Patio Heater, the design makes it a favorite among business owners and discerning homeowners seeking to minimize temperature variations within the heat shadow." This is a 40,000 BTU heater, with a safety shut off switch (if it is tipped over), stainless steel design, a ceramic core heat shield, and 20 foot radius. You can but a matching patio heater cover for an additional $27. You can also get a table-top patio heater which is smaller and portable. For example the ES 60000 Patio Heater has a 10 foot heating radius, 14K BTU power output, Peizo Electric ignitor for easy start, stands about 36", and costs $219. These are well suited for a small deck or patio where they will be placed on a table to warm the surrounding area.
PatioExperts.com is another good site to look for patio heaters. They offer ceiling mount and permanent patio heaters. They also offer some higher-end patio heaters from Sunglo, DCS, Dayva, Sunpak, Infratech, and Patio Comfort, costing upwards to $600-$1000.