Gas Patio Heaters
Summer is on its way but evenings can still be cold so right now is the best time to get your hands on the best gas patio heaters for your garden or patio.
In this guide, we have collated expert tips and information you can count on to answer the most important questions you’re likely to have. If you’ve already decided on getting a gas patio heater then visit our online shop.
What is a gas patio heater?
A gas patio heater, it’s exactly what it sounds like, a heater for your patio that uses gas as its fuel. It is an excellent way to allow you to enjoy the cool breeze of winter, all while having a warm environment around you. Although they are mainly designed for outdoor use, some owners also like to use them in covered porches and similar surroundings for that ever-needed flexibility.
Nowadays, you can find patio heaters in the form of floor-standing, hanging, wall-mounted, and even patio heaters you can keep on a tabletop. These heaters eliminate all the limitations you may have for having fun outdoors.
How good are gas patio heaters?
Gas patio heaters are really good at heating up large outdoor areas, gardens and patios.
Here comes the real question: although they have been raved by every house owner you see, are they really worth your time and effort to research and invest your hard-earned money into it?
If we specifically talk about gas patio heaters, they are the most wide-ranging heater you can ever find out there. If you happen to have a spacious area, a gas patio heater can cover every inch of it with no hassle. Their high-intensity ceramic burners are also known for providing exceptional efficiency, and anti-tilt structural design can also make them the safest options to opt for. Besides that, with gas patio heaters, you have full control over the heat’s intensity, so you can always adjust it according to the temperature.
However, since they cover many areas, they can take a while to heat the whole environment. Although many people use it for covered spaces, many experts do not recommend you to risk it unless you’ve personally spoken to the manufacturer.
How do gas patio heaters work?
Natural gas heaters connect directly to your home’s gas supply to give you long-lasting heat on brutally cold days. It does this by transferring the heat from the gas patio heater’s flames to the environment, mainly using radiation. It is one of the best effective ways to get each corner covered since it heats it directly regardless of what temperature you may have outdoors.
However, mains gas heaters are more common in the US rather than the UK where gas patio heaters are more often fuelled by propane or butane gas.
What gas is used in a gas patio heater?
You can use mains gas, propane, and butane gas in gas patio heaters.
The type of gas used depends on which country you currently live in. All gas patio heaters in the UK require you to use a gas cylinder. Whereas in America, you can expect to have a fixed solution with your home’s gas supply pipe. Most retailers in America offer their customers either natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas).
Patio heaters supplied with natural gas as in America lack the ever-needed portability, and therefore, you can see many people opting for LPG if stability is not their concern.
If we specifically talk about LPG fuels as these are commonly available in the UK. They are a mixture of flammable hydrocarbon gases that turn into a gaseous state when released from the containers. Many people use this method to heat their patios and efficiently cook their favourite BBQ meals. The best part about LPG fuels is their compact size and portability and can allow you to heat up outdoors in remote areas. Nowadays, you can find two types of LPG gasses out there: Propane and butane.
Another thing to bear in mind is the concept of one of “patio gas.” When you are shopping online, you are likely to stumble upon a so-called third option for a gas patio heater called patio gas. However, this is just a re-branding of propane that is known for its benefits outdoors.
If you aren’t sure which gas to go for, then most patio and barbeque heaters are suitable for butane and propane gas. But to choose among these two depends on which time of the year you want to use the heaters and your gas pressure regulator. You can always count on the manual to suggest some good gas pressure regulators to get an overall idea of the type of gas you need to go for.
How long does a 13kg Calor gas bottle last?
A 13kg gas bottle will last about 15 hours in a gas patio heater if left on full power constantly.
According to FloGas, 1kg of propane will produce 47300 BTU/h. So if we look at an average standing gas patio heater such as the Dealourus Outdoor Patio Pyramid Heater. They generally use in the region of 42000 BTU per hour on full power. Therefore a 13kg tank would last on average 14.64 hours on full power. Now each patio heater is different and so you may find some will last slightly longer and some slightly less.
If you then look at the overall area you are planning to heat you’ll realise that you won’t always need your gas patio heater on full power.
Let’s look at a variety of spaces and the approximate BTUs needed to heat them.
|Area in Square Metres||BTUs Estimate|
|9 – 14 Sq/M||5,000|
|14 – 24 Sq/M||6,000|
|24 – 28 Sq/M||7,000|
|28 – 32 Sq/M||8,000|
|32 – 37 Sq/M||9,000|
|37 – 42 Sq/M||10,000|
|42 – 51 Sq/M||12,000|
|51 – 65 Sq/M||14,000|
|65 – 92 Sq/M||18,000|
|92 – 111 Sq/M||21,000|
Are gas patio heaters expensive to run?
Patio heaters are not that expensive to run. A good quality gas patio heater will produce a large enough amount of heat to keep a fairly large patio warm.
As we’ve said above, an average patio heater lasts for 15 hours on full power but the smaller the area the lower power you will need and subsequently, the less gas you will need.
Let’s take an average-sized patio of 3m x 3m. This is 9 square metres in size and as an estimate would need around 5,000 BTUs to heat it.
Going on our previous example of a gas patio heater that produces 42000 BTU per hour on full power, if you had it on a quarter power it would still be more than twice the amount needed to heat a patio of this size.
In this example, a 13kg gas tank would last for approximately 60 hours which is quite a long time. As you can see in these circumstances a gas patio heater isn’t that expensive to run.
Are gas patio heaters safe?
Well-made gas patio heaters are safe because they are made with specific structures and safety features to keep them safe for domestic and commercial purposes.
However, prevention is always better than cure, and they are only dangerous once you start irresponsibly using them. Try to go through the instruction manual to properly carry out the maintenance, storage, and use of the patio heaters.
The most common concern for many homeowners who opt for a gas patio heater is the risk of tipping over and potentially starting a fire. Nowadays, thanks to the advancements, these gas patio heaters are equipped with special safety features that automatically shuts-off the gas when the heater gets triggered by tipping the unit.
However, regardless of how secure the heaters’ manufacturers claim it to be, always make sure you are doing your part of the work and going the extra mile to ensure safety. This includes firmly anchoring the heater in place, especially if you live in high windy areas.
Other than that, here are few features that can give you peace of mind that your gas patio heaters are completely safe to use at home.
No Naked Flames
No matter which gas patio heater you go for, you will never find a heater with a naked flame. Flame patio heaters typically come with a protective quartz glass tube to add an extra layer of security to the heaters.
The hob-style burners are known to have a shielding reflector at the top of the heater that prevents direct contact with the flame. Other table-top heaters are often protected with a metal grill which also improves safety to a great extent.
The Instructions Manuals are Packed with Safety Tips
Before you begin assembling the gas heat patio and start your first healing session, always rigorously go through the instruction manual. These manuals are all you need to provide not only maxim security but also the tips present can allow you to use it efficiently.
One of the most important things is to look for any leaks when assembling the heater. It is recommended that you do a quick and easy test using soap water. If there were to be a leak, you would start to see obvious bubbles forming in the solution.
Besides that, also carry out common precautions to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience with your heater. The best way to do this is not to leave the patio heater unattended when using it and never to use it on days when you have high winds. Remember always to ensure the safety of your family before anything else.
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