Outdoor Heaters

By Murray Anderson

Enjoy being outdoors with your family and friends? Hate it when the weather gets too cold for you to have outdoor barbecues or dinners? Well here's a sure-fire way to extend your outdoor patio season - get yourself a patio heater. Sure the idea of outdoor heating isn't new. People have been siting around campfires for thousands of years, but fires require lots of work before and after as well as constant vigilance while they're burning and in some areas open fires are illegal. However, with the new breed of outdoor gas heaters you can enjoy the warmth of a fire and not have to put up with the inconvenience of an open flame.

Types of gas outdoor heaters

Outdoor gas heaters have been around for quite a while, but early designs were more often designed for commercial applications like restaurant patios, usually fixed in place and relatively expensive to install. However, gas heaters have evolved and newer safe, portable and inexpensive outdoor gas heaters have found a ready market with homeowners looking for ways to get extra use from their yard and deck.

Gas heaters are commonly available in either tabletop or freestanding designs. Starting at a few hundred dollars in price, they provide the ultimate in convenience, safety and warmth. Easy to light, quick to heat with no open flames, smoke or ashes to deal with, they are the ultimate in convenience.

Portable freestanding heaters generally work using LPG gas - the same type of gas and tank as your barbecue. These heaters typically provide 40,000 to 50,000 BTU's of radiant heat - which can be controlled with a built in thermostat so you can comfortably enjoy your outdoor activities inside about a 20-foot circle around the heater. Since the designs of most heaters include a built in compartment for storing the gas tank, you can easily move the heater to anywhere you want to provide heat. No worries about disconnecting and disconnecting gas lines or being tied to a single location.

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