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Colder weather should never stop anyone from enjoying the outdoors, and if you have a patio, what’s better than curling up out there on a sofa with a hot drink and a good book, or a late night chat with friends? If you want to enjoy your patio with a light blanket or jacket for ease and mobility, investing in an outdoor heater should be a priority.

While the market offers a variety of types and designs of standing and wall-mounted heaters, your first step would be to browse online and weigh your options. In addition to checking the latest models and their prices, thoroughly read the best patio heater reviews, and ask other outdoor enthusiasts about their heaters of choice.

To help you with your research, today we highlight the most important attributes you should focus on before making your purchase.

Looks: Design and Size

Choose your patio heater the way you would pick furniture and accessories; look at the colors in your space; the style of your patio furniture; the area it should fit into; as well as the materials involved. Just because a heater serves a practical purpose doesn’t mean it should look out of place, so choose carefully.

Engine: Propane, Natural Gas, or Electric

patio fireplace

While gas-fueled outdoor heaters take effect quickly and are great for a large area to use for an extended period of time, they can be quite bulky. And because of the risk of carbon monoxide buildup, you should never use them in an enclosed area. Electric heaters, on the other hand, do not rely on fuel, but rather on bulbs that need to be replaced periodically. They are usually smaller in size and work best for more limited areas.

Safety: Children and Pets

Some people opt for electric patio heaters because they have no open flame, making them safer than the propane or natural gas variants in the presence of children and pets. On the other hand, it is recommended to choose a model that comes with an automatic shut off safety option, which cuts the heat in the event that the unit gets knocked over.

Convenience: Cost and Portability   

When buying a heater, you should not only consider the initial cost of paying the price but also think about the costs of fuel/electricity, maintenance, and portability. For instance, electric heaters can be costly with their power consumption, but are cheap and easy to maintain, as well easily portable; while propane and natural gas heaters are cheaper to run, yet heavy and difficult to move.

Do Your Research

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor heating unit for your home or business, paying for the machine, its power, and maintenance can be quite the investment. Before you pay a significant sum of money, make sure you are happy with your choice to guarantee that you will be making the best out of it. You want to make your patio healthy and comfortable, so consider all the factors from shape and size; location and portability; fuel type; as well as safety.