Patio propane heaters, also known as outdoor propane heaters, are most commonly used to heat outdoor patio areas, but can, of course, be used to heat any small outdoor area when it’s cold outside and you need to spend some time there.
They tend to be larger than indoor propane heaters and most frequently generate heat at the top, which is then forced downwards. The upright heaters can weigh up to 40 lbs and put out 46,000 BTUs.
In this article, we have a look at some of the top heaters that you can buy for your patio. These heaters have been tested to ensure you get the best value for your money. We have included a small buyer’s guide, also answering many of your personal questions to help you choose the best heater for your money.
Heating an area outdoors can be a tricky business for homeowners. Because any heat you produce is immediately affected by wind, temperature and other factors, it can be pretty hard to maintain a consistent temperature. To help combat this problem, most outdoor propane heaters are designed to heat objects instead of heating the air.
The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Propane Heaters:
Below we have listed and reviewed the 5 best patio propane heaters currently available for sale online. This list will be reviewed and updated regularly.
1. Texsport Portable Patio Propane Heater
- Lightweight and effective design
- Portable for traveling
- Uses multiple different cylinder sizes
- Really affordable
- The power output is only 2890 BTU
This heater is made from durable and stainless steel has been used for the overall construction, improving the long-term durability. Indeed, it can withstand continuous usage, without fear of it being damaged or ruined, with no detriment to its usability.
Another great feature is that it has an individual regulator with an on and off control knob so you can adjust its burner to 2800 BTUs. Not only that but if safety is your main concern, it has an auto shut-off valve that will turn the heater off when it accidentally tips over. An aluminum reflector is added, making it disperse heat more efficiently and in a wider radius.
The heater is one of the more affordable options on the market today. Since it is lightweight, it can be used with numerous different propane tanks when camping. According to the manufacturer, it does offer some great value for your money and a 1-pound cylinder should last you between 4-6 hours, which is more than enough for longer trips.
2. AmazonBasics Havana Bronze Commercial Patio Propane Heater
- Powerful heat output of 46,000 BTU
- No lighter ignition included
- Stylish design
- Includes wheels for moving
- Quite expensive
The Havana Bronze is a lovely outdoor heater that is nice and compact. It has a powder-coated charcoal finish allowing it to be both resistant to scratches and marks (preserving its nice design), as well as making it quite durable. With a powerful heat output of around 46,000 BTU’s, you can use it virtually anywhere, including your home.
It has the piezo type ignition, meaning you can light it up anywhere, even if you forgot your lighters (and other ignition tools). The heater has excellent safety features, including the tilt or tip over protection from an accidental fire starting. Having wheels included also means that the heater can be moved with ease. Yes, it is rather heavy for camping trips.
The heater is rather expensive, but definitely one of the most popular options on the market today. It is large as we have mentioned, but the great power output should give you real value for your money. To help match and improve your home décor, it is available in numerous different colors that should improve your patio.
3. Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Commercial Patio Propane Heater
- Powerful at 46,000 BTU
- Piezo ignition included
- Multiple safety features
- Includes wheels for easy maneuverability
- 360-degree heating radius
- Can be tricky to assemble
- A little expensive
Just another in the long line of fine products made by Fire Sense, this patio heater is an excellent choice to heat you up in those cold mornings on your porch. Now, this thing has a double mantle heating greed, and burners made from stainless steel, so you know it’s a fine piece of craftsmanship. It should spice up the décor of your patio.
Not only that, but it has the always handy piezo ignition system, saving you from the hassle of actually trying to light it when you have frozen and cold hands. Also, it has a ton of power. It has 46,000 BTUs output and a tilt auto shut-off system. Much like the previous heater, wheels have also been included, which should make life easier when moving it around on your patio.
The heater might be available in virtually any color you can imagine when you think of colored steel, but it is also rather pricey. However, we would definitely still recommend it for the value that is on offer and the quality of the materials. It is not for indoor use and you can easily use it and refill it for your patio on those cold mornings.
4. Mr. Heater MH15T Single Tank Top Patio Propane Heater
- 14,000 BTU power output
- Portable and compact
- Reliable brand
- Includes a warranty
- The design is rather stale and basic
Now this one is all about being quiet. Indeed, one of the most annoying things is just having a propane heater that drones and buzzes for hours, giving you no peace or relaxation. This one has a patented system that makes it as silent as a mouse on Christmas. The Mr. Heater MH15T Single Tank Top Outdoor Propane Heater is from one of the most reputable brands on the market today.
Furthermore, it’s portable, so you can bring it with you if you want to do some work in your backyard, and not actually freeze during those cold winter months. Also, it’s very easy to install, so that’s another headache gone. Finally, since it has a very sturdy construction, it’s sure to be with you for years to come. With a 14,000 BTU power output, it is ideal for your patio but can heat up a camping site as well.
While the heater is somewhat heavy, it is still one of the cheapest models on the market today. The heater can be used for all your traveling purposes and it can mount to virtually any sized propane tank you get your hands on. We would definitely recommend it for the portability and the versatility that it offers every user.
5. AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Tall Patio Propane Heater
- Massive 48,000 BTU power output
- Wheels included
- Limited 1-year warranty added
- Stylish design
The AZ Patio Heaters HLDS01-WCGT Tall Patio Heater is an 87-inch contraption that is not only efficient and useful but also really easy on the eyes. With a beautiful bronze finish and a stylish triangular design, it will make your patio and porch truly stand out. It also has a solid heat output, going in at 48,000 BTUs. It also comes in Matte Black, and in Stainless steel colors, if you want a bit more customization to your patio.
The heater will not only make use of propane gas, but the addition of having butane will help you when propane supply is a little low. Wheels have been included for added mobility and the stylish dark design is what will turn the heads. Since it is rather tall, the heater should heat up a much larger area when you have it on your patio or in a large room.
Unfortunately, the price can be a little excessive for many people, but this should not deter you from giving it a shot. The heater is stylish and features a massive power output. Having a limited 1-year warranty should add some peace of mind to ensure that you get value for your money. We would highly recommend it for the value it offers and the quality.
Types of Patio Propane Heaters
The first thing you’ll need to do is survey the area you are hoping to warm outdoors. There are several styles of heaters that can help and match the right heater to the area will make things easier. While any outdoor heater can provide some level of warmth, using one specifically designed for the specific location will be more effective and efficient.
If the area you are hoping to heat is semi-enclosed, you can use a heater that warms the air and then circulates this heated air with an internal fan. This type of heater can quickly produce large amounts of hot air and is very safe as long as it’s used in a well-ventilated space.
The best choice, in our opinion, is called a radiant heater and is designed to be used in a more open environment. These systems produce indirect radiant heat, which is very effective in warming your guests. Unlike the first style of heater, a radiant heater won’t actually warm the air but instead warms your body directly. Patio propane heaters normally use this heating technology.
Additional Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Patio Propane Heater
Now that you have seen the different types and some of the top heaters we tested, you should understand which features we used as well. This small buyer’s guide should help you when it comes to choosing the best propane heater for your patio. Here are the most important features that we actually used to determine the best options:
The weight might not be one of the most important features when choosing a patio heater, but you do still need to move it around from time to time. Having a lightweight heater is not always possible, but you have the opportunity to buy a heater with added wheels. The heaters we have selected have wheels or they are light enough for even a less powerful person to move.
Power consumption is the main aspect you need to keep your eyes focused on and this will be a great way to determine the long-term costs as well. Propane and butane gas can be a little expensive nowadays and this means consumption is definitely important.
The options we selected have decent fuel consumption rates, making them ideal for those trying to stick to a budget this holiday season.
Propane vs Butane
The power output of all gas-powered heaters is measured in BTU or British Thermal Units. The higher your power output, the more value you will get for your money. When it comes to determining the power output you need, you should look at the size of the room and this means the heater needs to be powerful enough to heat up your entire patio.
Most of the heaters we selected are ideal for average patios of around 500 sq. feet. However, those with a power output of more than 40,000 BTU, should be great when you need to heat up a larger room. The price is also greatly affected by the power output and as you can expect, it is much more expensive to buy a heater with large power output.
This is one of the lesser features you actually need to worry about. However, nothing can be more frustrating than having to deal with the excess noise when you are trying to have a party or even enjoy a morning out on the patio. Brands like Mr. Heater are some of the top options that ensure you can get a powerful heater that won’t make too much noise.
Many of the heaters do have safety features incorporated and these features are perfect for when you accidentally knock over the heater. The main safety feature for a patio heater is the tip-over feature, which should keep you protected if the heater does accidentally tip over from an accidental bump by some of your friends.
Another great feature we always look for is the overheating feature. This will keep the heater from overheating and actually shut it down immediately. Some of the elite heaters have been designed with oxygen sensors and these oxygen sensors will make sure that you do not suffer the risk of potential suffocation.
We always like including the brands and it is vitally important to have a top-quality brand that will give you protection and decent customer support. The brands we selected all have decent warranties and they offer great value for your money. Personally, I believe that Mr. Heater is the best heater brand on the market today, but many people might also debate this fact.
Anything can be subjected to manufacturer flaws and with outdoor equipment rising in prices; the warranties seem to be an essential part of picking the right heater. Having some peace of mind is definitely something we all would like when buying a new product, especially something as expensive as the top patio heaters.
The average warranty at the moment is around 1-year, but many brands do also extend this warranty at an additional cost. If you have a reputable brand, you need not worry about a warranty that is over the top. However, we do recommend having a top warranty when selecting some of the newer brands on the market.
Why Radiant Heat Is the Best Choice for Patio Heating
Radiant heat is a technology that heats in the same way our sun does. This type of heater uses a flame to heat a specialized element to a very high temperature. This element eventually gets hot enough to start emitting infrared heat that can travel through the air to nearby objects and heat them.
This is a very efficient way of providing outdoor heat because none of the energy is wasted in heating the air around the heater, which would be lost with even the slightest of breezes. These radiant propane heaters are very effective at keeping your guests warm and can cover a very large area outdoors.
How Effective Are Patio Heaters?
Being able to direct the heat they produce to people and other nearby things like tables and patios, they can keep you a little warmer without wasting energy simply heating the air around you. Picking the right outdoor heater for your needs requires some careful consideration of the size of the area you want to heat and choosing the type of heater best suited for those needs.
Most outdoor patio heaters are based on radiant technology mentioned above and do an outstanding job of providing the heat you’ll need to make an outdoor space very comfortable. These heaters are typically self-contained with a propane canister in the base to provide fuel.
This allows you to place them anywhere you need them outdoors. Larger models even feature base-mounted wheels to make moving them quite easy. When considering one of these larger patio heaters, be sure to confirm the heating pattern they provide.
While most models will heat in all directions equally, some specialized models allow you to direct the heat to a specific area. This can be a nice feature to have if you want to locate the heater at the edge of a patio to minimize clutter.
In addition to the larger, freestanding models there are a variety of smaller models of outdoor propane heaters that can be set up on a tabletop or the ground near your guests. These smaller versions won’t generate as much heat as the larger upright models but since they are located closer to your guests they are still able to keep them comfortable.
While heating an outdoor space may seem like an impossible task, there are a wide variety of attractive propane heaters that can help. These solutions are designed to be very effective at keeping an outdoor space warm at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. Modern versions of these heaters are very easy to use and feature color and style options that can accommodate any type of décor.
The propane these heaters use can be purchased locally from a hardware store in refillable tanks of various sizes to make heating your outdoor space easy. After you have seen the top heaters and the features, we would like to encourage you to share some of your thoughts on these heaters. Let us know in the comment section which ones you like and if we might have missed any of your favorite options.
This article was last updated on November 27, 2022 .