Outdoor Heaters

Many people like to spend time outdoors throughout the year whether it be summer, winter, or anytime in between. However, doing so in the colder months is a little hard to do. Most people turn to outdoor fireplaces or fire pits during the winter, however, there is also an option of outdoor heaters.

How Does an Outdoor Heater Work?

Outdoor heaters are designed to radiate outward so that people do not have to gather in one spot and clump together. These heaters can use different types of fuel sources like propane, natural gas, or electricity.

Where Can They be Used?

If the outdoor heater uses a natural gas or propane as a fuel source, then there is most likely an open flame. Therefore, these types of heaters should be used in well ventilated areas like patios, terraces, gardens or decks. These types of heaters should never be used in an enclosed space.  It is also suggested that these be at least a three-foot clearance round the heater.

How Much Do They Cost?

Like any other appliance, prices for outdoor heaters can vary widely. While tabletop heaters can typically be about $100, a larger heater or commercial heater can be $500 or more.

What Size is Needed?

 Each heater has a heat output that is rated in BTUs. BTUs are a unit of measurement that measure how fast it takes to heat an area. The higher the BTU the more heat there is. 

To calculate the right sized heater the following formula can be used: Size of the space in cubic feet multiplied by desired temperature increase. For example, if an area is 10 by 10 and the temperature needs to be increased by 40 degrees, with an 8-foot-tall heater (10x10x8x40 = 32,000) would require a 32,000 BTU heater. 

What Type Should Be Bought?

Propane – These heaters work similar to a grill that uses propane. Heaters that use propane are the most portable as the tank can be moved around. However, when the tank runs out the heater will shut off. Typically, a 5-gallon tank will last about 10 hours on a 40,000 BTU heater.

Electric – These heaters do not need to be placed in a well ventilated aera as there is no open flame. Thus, these heaters can be used in enclosed spaces or covered decks. However, these heaters put out much less heat than a propane or natural gas heater.

Natural Gas – The appeal of these heaters is that they will never run out of fuel as there is a direct line to a fuel source (like a direct line natural gas grill). These are also the least expensive option because they hook into a home’s natural gas line, but they are hard to move around because of having to be connected to that line.

Are They Safe?

When installed and used correctly an outdoor heater is perfectly safe. Though there are some guidelines homeowners could follow to make sure they are using these heaters as safely as possible:

Give it space – Keep it away from walls, ceilings, and flammable material. A three-foot area should be maintained around the heater.

Place it on a spot that is level

-Check for leaks in the gas lines

-Light it safely

-Keep a fire extinguisher handy

-Keep an eye on the heater – Never walk away from an open flame. This is to prevent fires or other accidents from happening.

-Cover it up – keep the heater covered when not in use to extend the life of the heater.

About AAA Public Adjusters

AAA Public Adjusters, LLC, is a property loss consulting firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Additional offices are located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. AAA Public Adjusters have been fighting insurance companies for over 25 years. AAA Public Adjusters, Maximizing Your Claim!