6 Things to Consider When Selecting the Perfect Outdoor Heater
Using outdoor heaters on your deck can enhance your comfort and extend the usability of your outdoor space during the colder months in Colorado. Many heater options are available on the market, and then there is the decision to install them yourself or ask a professional. Check out the six things we recommend you consider when selecting the perfect outdoor heater for your space and decide whether to enlist a professional's help for installation.
Types of Outdoor Heaters
Propane Heaters: This type of heater is popular for outdoor use, as they are portable and provide excellent heat. They usually come in freestanding or tabletop designs. Professional installation is required, and a higher cost is associated with this type of heater due to the need to purchase fuel.
Electric Heaters: These heaters are convenient and come in various forms, such as standing models, wall-mounted, or hanging heaters. They are often more suitable for smaller spaces. Depending on the electric heater purchased, a wall-mounted or hanging heater might need professional installation.
Natural Gas Heaters: Since natural gas heaters are tied to the gas line, they are more affordable than buying fuel such as propane heaters continually. This type of heater does require professional installation.
At Rocky Mountain Outdoor Living, warming your outdoor space is simple and convenient with our mounted heaters that emit infrared heat, which are available with patio covers and roof additions. We hard-wire these models directly into the electrical. Therefore, your outdoor space can be enjoyable year-round with a simple click of the switch.
Clearance: Ensure sufficient clearance around the heater to prevent any potential fire hazards. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding the minimum distance required from combustible materials.
Stability: Place the heater on a stable and level surface to prevent accidental tipping if using a non-mounted model.
Ventilation: If you use a propane heater, ensure the area is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. Never use propane heaters indoors.
Children and Pets: Keep children and pets away from the heaters to prevent burns or accidents.
Our heaters are typically mounted 8-10 feet from the surface - therefore, they are out of reach of children. They can't be knocked over like the standard heaters that can be transported.
Wind Resistance: Choose heaters with good wind resistance, especially if your deck is exposed to windy conditions. Some models come with features like weighted bases to improve stability. Our mounted heaters are placed in locations that will reduce their exposure to the wind to maximize heat output.
Water Resistance: If your deck is not fully covered and you are not using mounted heaters, consider heaters with weather-resistant features to withstand rain and other outdoor elements.
We use infrared heaters at Rocky Mountain Outdoor Living, including a quartz heating element. Heated quartz emits a safe, clean wavelength of light only absorbed by solid objects, transferring heat directly to a person, table, or floor rather than heating the air. For this reason, infrared heat can be distributed very evenly and will not simply “blow away” in windy or drafty conditions. In addition, our studies show that if heaters are directly mounted above a patio space and snow settles in a specific area, the heaters will melt the snow.
Propane Tanks: If you choose a propane heater, ensure an easily accessible and safe place to store propane tanks.
Electricity: Our electric heaters are hardwired to be activated with the simple flip of a switch. Our clients prefer this option as it eliminates the need to plug in heaters manually and adds another level of safety.
Natural Gas: If a natural gas heater is what you prefer, it will need to be in a location where it can be directly connected to the gas line.
Installation and Maintenance
Read the Manual: If you are not using professionally installed heaters, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, usage, and maintenance.
Regular Checks: Periodically inspect the heater for any signs of wear and tear. Check for gas leaks if using propane heaters. Our heaters do not require any additional maintenance and offer a three-year warranty.
Cost and Energy Efficiency
Consider the operating costs and energy efficiency of different types of heaters. Electric heaters offer a more cost-effective heating approach and an added level of convenience if professionally installed.
While there might be many options, the clear winner is having an infrared heater directly hard-wired into your patio cover or roof addition. This heater option is not only safe but also affordable.