Gas patio heaters are generally used for heating outdoor spaces. They are sometimes referred to as umbrella heaters, owing to the disc-shaped heat-guard that sits atop many models of this particular heater. The standard gas patio heater is a circular base unit from which a metal shaft protrudes upwards. Atop this shaft is a burner which is fuelled by either liquid petroleum, butane or propane gas. The flames created by the burner are directed against a metal screen which encircles the device, radiating heat outwards through small perforations. The heat-guard above the heater serves to ensure that as little heat as possible is lost to the sky, and is instead directed downwards. As with the electric counterparts, gas patio heaters are available in two main varieties: free-standing and surface mounted. A third variety is the table top gas heater, which is a smaller version of the free-standing gas patio heater commonly seen in bars and other outdoor venues. This variety provides more warmth over a smaller area, and is ideal for more intimate settings.
Free Standing Gas Patio Heaters
The benefits of one variety of gas patio heater over another will largely depend on where the patio heater is to be deployed. The free-standing gas patio heater is ideal for larger outdoor spaces where comfort is a key priority, such as outdoor seating areas in restaurants and bars. Typical free-standing gas patio heaters can provide warmth to an area of many square meters, with the effective range depending on the size and capacity of the burner. They generate no smoke and little noise, but it is important to monitor the fuel level to ensure continued smooth operation of the device.
Surface Mounted Gas Patio Heaters
For enclosed outdoor, and some indoor, spaces, a surface mounted gas patio heater may be the ideal choice. These heaters are unobtrusive, being smaller than the free-standing variety and can be mounted on a ceiling or wall or even the inner post of a gazebo. Models can possess differing number of individual lamps depending on the specifications, and generate light as well as heat. The mountable heaters do tend to be more expensive, but the gas patio heater covers come in a variety of finishes and colours to match any environment.
Table Top Gas Patio Heaters
Table top gas patio heaters are ideal for small, intimate seating areas as they can be easily placed on most table tops without modification. Their size means they are easily transferable and extremely portable, and distribute warmth evenly to those sat around a table. They are also available in a wide range of finishes and styles, with some of the more expensive models possessing one step ignition systems, adjustable bases and automatic shut-off systems should the device be knocked over. Standard table top gas patio heaters run on disposable gas cylinders that typically last for three or so hours.
Gas Patio Heater Spares
Should a gas patio heater break down or show signs of wear from standard usage, gas patio heater spares are readily available for all types. Components do tend to degrade with sustained usage over long periods of time, but this is a problem that is easily remedied.