Patio Heater

Do you want to make use of electrically powered tabletop patio heaters or those powered by gas-liquid propane or natural gas?

When making a decision, you would have to decide which of the fuel types are the most efficient, warm up a larger area, and which one is environmentally friendly.

You would also have to consider the costs.

Environmentally Friendly

When considering the environmentally friendliness of the heater, you should consider making use of the heaters powered by electricity rather than the ones powered by gas because electrical patio tabletop heaters do not emit any harmful gases to the environment unlike the ones powered by gas which emits carbon monoxide or dioxide that can be harmful to the environment.

This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t use them indoors because of the emission of harmful gases.

Heat Coverage

When it comes to heat coverage, propane-powered heaters are more effective in broad heating areas than the electric tabletop patio heaters.

They give out more heat and spread it around because of the heat up the air, unlike the electric tabletop patio heaters, which give out radiant heat that feels like the sunlight and warms up people and objects, not the air.

The only thing is that if you stay too close to them, they can burn you.

Flexibility and Versatility

When considering versatility and flexibility, propane heaters do not make use of a cord or an outlet, so you can place them anywhere you want, unlike electrical heaters that can only be placed close to the outlet.

Propane heaters also use one pound tanks that are inside the heater, so they do not limit the placing of the heater.

But when it comes to costs, it mostly depends on the amount of heat that the heater emits.

Gas-powered heaters have additional costs because of the constant purchase of gas tanks or the refilling of the tank, but electrically powered heaters would add to your electricity bills.

The good thing about patio heaters is that they are not used all the time, only when you are outdoors, and so that would reduce the operational costs.

All fuel types are efficient, and so it depends on the one that favors you the most.

Why Should You Get a tabletop Patio Heater Instead?

There are other kinds of outdoor patio heaters: the floor or free standing that are usually bigger and take up space and the wall-mounted kind that is fixated in one place, so why should you get the little tabletop patio heaters?

Compact Sized

One benefit of the tabletop patio heaters is that they are small and have a convenient compact size.

For people that have a small backyard space, a small porch, or even a small compound, this type of heater is perfect for them.

Another great thing about their compact size is that it can be taken from a place to another and even be used on camping trips instead of campfires or around your recreational vehicle.

Lightweight And Space Saving

They are more lightweight than other patio heaters, and even the propane heaters are light because they use tanks as light as one pound.

They do not take up much space either in the garden or on the table, unlike full-sized heaters.

Energy Efficient

Another thing about them is that they are more energy-efficient than other types of heaters because of their small sizes.

The heater can warm up everyone seated at the table quickly, and you would get warmed up faster because it would be close to you.

The heater is placed on the table and would reach everyone on the table quickly.

Minor Disadvantages of Outdoor Tabletop Patio Heaters

tabletop patio heaters have many advantages, and of course, a small disadvantage that should not at all discourage you from purchasing one.

Although the small and compact size of tabletop patio heaters is a great benefit, it also causes the heat output of the heater to be low and limits the heat coverage of the heater because of the small size.

These tabletop patio heaters have smaller burners, which are one reason why the heat output is low, and they do not get to the usual 40,000 BTUs that larger or full-sized patio heaters use.

If you want to use your patio heater for a larger space, especially if you want to use it for commercial places like an outdoor space in a restaurant, you would have to purchase more than one for each table.

The heater can also make use of space on your table and inconvenience you or your guests.

What to Consider Before Purchasing an Outdoor Tabletop Patio Heater

Below are the factors you should consider before buying a tabletop heater.

1. Size of the Patio

One thing you would have to consider before you decide the tabletop patio heater that you want to purchase is the size of your patio or your outdoor area.

You would have to look at the size of the table that it would be placed on, the size of the patio, and if you would use it in a covered place or in an open area like a yard.

Before purchasing, check the heat coverage that is indicated by the manufacturer.

That way, you can compare it with the size of your patio and find the one ideal for you.

Some of these heaters also make use of a 360 degrees oscillation feature that allows it to distribute the heat around to everyone sitting at the table, and tall tabletop patio heaters usually have higher heat coverage.

2. Level of Heat Output

You also have to consider the amount of heat that it emits, and this is also usually indicated by the manufacturer.

With natural gas or liquid propane tabletop heaters, the heat output is shown with British Thermal Units, but for electrical heaters, it is indicated with kWh or watts.

Most outdoor propane tabletop patio heaters emit a heat output of between 3,000 and 12,000 BTUs, and this is ideal for a table with four to five people seated at it.

When a propane or gas tabletop patio heater makes use or a reflector, has a mushroom design or has a tall height, like some of the heaters mentioned above, the heat output is usually higher and widely and quickly distributed around the table.

For electrically powered outdoor tabletop patio heaters, the kWh or watts is used to measure the amount of heat emitted. 10,000 BTUs are around 2.9kWh, and this is smaller than gas-powered heaters.

The highest heat output for electrically powered outdoor tabletop patio heaters is at 1500 watts.

This shows that gas-powered tabletop patio heaters use a lot more energy than electric tabletop heaters but give out only a little bit more heat.

3. Durability and Quality

You also have to look at the durability and quality of the heater that you want to purchase.

You would have to look at the climate of the area that you are living in before you choose the tabletop patio heater that you would use.

When your climate is more humid than others, then you should be getting a tabletop patio heater that has a construction of very long-lasting and robust material and finishing, like stainless steel.

If you have a drier climate or if you stay inland, you simply need one made with aluminum or steel.

Even when considering durability, the way you operate and maintain the heater would determine how long it would last.

You would definitely not use your tabletop patio heaters throughout the year, and so you are not advised to leave them outside during all the warm weather months, especially the electrically powered ones.

When you are using those powered by gas, most manufacturers recommend that you should not leave the gas tank connected to the heater when you are not using it.

If you do not want to take your tabletop patio heater into the house, you use a good cover that would protect it from rain or harsh sunlight, and you should place it on a sturdy surface so that it does not get knocked over.

When looking at a durable painting that would not get chipped off, get the one that has a heavy-duty coating or an enameled coating.

Also, ensure that it can be repainted so that you can easily do that if it gets chipped off, and make sure you use the ideal type of heat for the heater.

4. Portability

Although outdoor tabletop patio heaters are made for portability and have a compact and lightweight design, you should still check for carrying handles and maybe wheels, which make it easy to be moved around.

If you want to get a tall tabletop patio heater, ensure that the heater can be taken apart or the height can be reduced when you want to take it on the road, like when going on camping trips.

5. Affordability

You would obviously have to check with your budget before picking the heater that you prefer.

Tabletop patio heaters that run with natural gas or liquid propane are cheaper than those powered with electricity, and their running costs are not that expensive either.

They also last for a very long time, and the gas regulator and connecting hose would last long for many years if they are adequately maintained, so you do not have to replace it.

Electric tabletop patio heaters, on the other hand, can be quite costly, mainly because of the use of filaments or infrared bulbs that emit radiant heat.

After using the heater for a long time, the radiant infrared heating technology would reduce in quality, and you would have to purchase new bulbs or parts, and this is very expensive; it can even cost as much as purchasing a whole new heater.

They both can have installation costs too.

Electrically powered tabletop patio heaters would need you to install a power outlet outdoors for you to plug the heater and gas-powered tabletop patio heaters might need to be assembled or connected to the gas tank if it’s for commercial purposes.

You would also need to install an adapter if needed, and if not included, you would have to buy a hose and a regulator.

6. Warranty

The warranty of a heater would determine the level of confidence that the manufacturer has in the product.

When the warranty had a long term of years, it shows that the manufacturer believes it would not get damaged.

You should look out for the warranty offered by the manufacturer before purchasing the heater.

The warranty means that if your heater should get damaged during the warranty period, you can take it back to the manufacturer to fix it or replace it.

One thing you should know is that if the heater is not working properly during the warranty period, and you decide to call an electrician to fix it, and the electrician is not able to do so, the manufacturer might not honor the warranty agreement.

Most of these tabletop patio heaters have a one year warranty, but if you are looking for those with up to five years warranty, you are looking for something more expensive and with higher quality.

Why You Need an Outdoor Tabletop Patio Heater

To Enjoy the Outdoors All Year Long

There are many reasons why we love staying in the patio; it is excellent for relaxing, cooking, or entertaining guests, but most people do not enjoy these during the winter months because of the absence of an outdoor heater.

Investing in a tabletop patio heater would extend your outdoor season into the winter season and allow you to make use of your patio, backyard, or any outdoor space for a more extended period.

Versatile Choices

tabletop patio heaters are also highly flexible because of their different fuel types and different attractive styles.

They can be powered by liquid propane, natural gas, or electricity, which gives you a wide array of options to make your choice from.

They also come in different styles, which can also add to the efficiency of the heaters.


They are also usually affordable, even though some people see it as a luxury.

They warm up your outdoor spaces with a low cost as they are cheap to purchase and operate despite its benefits.

Safe for Use

tabletop patio heaters are also safe to use as they usually have necessary inbuilt safety features to keep you, your family, and your guests safe.

They do not have an open flame, so the risk of a fire has been reduced, and it usually has a base that is cool to the touch, which is an excellent feature if you have children or pets running around the outdoors.

The only hot part of the heater is the screen where the heat comes from and the dome directly on the heater, so you still have to keep it away from children and pets.

Where You Can Use Your tabletop Patio Heater

In case you are wondering, yes, you can use your tabletop patio heater in an enclosed patio area.

All you have to do is purchase the one that is ideal for use in enclosed spaces.

Using tabletop patio heaters that are powered by natural gas or liquid propane in enclosed areas is very dangerous, and so you can only use those that are powered by electricity in enclosed areas.

You should also check the specifications of the tabletop patio heater before purchasing one.

The manufacturer would determine if it is ideal for enclosed spaces or even indoors.

Usually, it is not safe to use tabletop patio heaters indoors, especially those powered by gas or propane.

But tiny and electrically powered tabletop patio heaters can be used indoors, make sure you check first though.

You should also place your patio heater on only sturdy, flat, and solid surfaces that would keep the heater standing and prevent it from falling down.

You should not use the tabletop patio heater on grass because the grass is not leveled, and it is flammable.

If it is placed on grass, there is a high possibility that it would get knocked over, especially if the weather is windy.

The heater might not even come on when placed on grass and when it is not standing upright because the anti-tilt switch would prevent it from doing so.

If you want the heater to work correctly and efficiently, you should place it on a flat or solid surface.

tabletop Patio Heaters And Safety

Contrary to the prevalent mindset, tabletop patio heaters are very safe as long as they are used properly and are purchased with the right safety features.

Safety Features to Look Out For

A lot of outdoor tabletop patio heaters are equipped with particular safety features that reduce the risk of an accident or fire hazard.

Safety Shut Off Switch and Weighted Base

One important safety feature of these heaters that you should look out for is a shut-off valve or, in some cases, an anti-tilt switch off.

These safety features would cut off the power in the case of electric tabletop heaters or shut off the supply of gas or liquid propane in the case of gas-powered tabletop heaters if the heater is tilted.

When a gas-powered tabletop patio heater is tilted, that is very unsafe because the gas can leak out of the heater when the tank is not upright and cause a fire.

You should also lookout for the tabletop patio heaters that have a robust weighted base that would keep the heater rooted in the table or ground, but in spite of that, it can still be accidentally knocked over.

If purchasing a gas-powered tabletop patio heater, you should also look out for the one that features a safety valve that would turn off the gas supply into the heater if the flame of the heater turns off or if the heater does not ignite.

If the gas valve is open and the heater’s flame is not on, it can cause a fire, so you should look out for these features when purchasing a tabletop patio heater.

Burner Guard

Another safety feature that you should look out for, whether in a gas or electric-powered tabletop patio heater, is a burner guard.

Accidents relating to the lack of a burner guard on a heater have increased drastically within a period of six years, which is why you must look ours for the feature.

Burner guards would cover the burner of the heater and protect your hands from getting burnt or injured by keeping it away from the burner.

Long Cable

In the case of electric tabletop heaters, you should look out for long cables that you can quickly put out of sight.

If the cable is left anywhere just standing in the way, and someone trips on it and yanks it back, the heater can fall and cause an explosion.

Good Hose

For propane or natural gas-powered tabletop patio heaters, you should ensure that the heater comes with a suitable hose for connecting the heater to the tank so that you do not get a hose that does not fit and cause a leak.

Cool To The Touch Exterior

You should also purchase a tabletop patio heater that has a cool to the touch exterior in case you have children or pets running about that may accidentally touch the heater.

Also, make sure that the base of the heater is cool to the touch also so that it does not affect or burn the top of the table where it is placed.

Safety Tips

  • The first and most important tip to ensure safety is that you should place a heater on a flat, stable, and leveled surface and ensure that there is nothing around the heater.
  • This would reduce the risk of a fire because placing things in front of the heater would not just affect the heat output and the energy it would use to make up for the heat that is not circulating, and it would also cause the object in front of it to catch fire.
  • If it is not on a flat surface, it can tip over and also cause a fire.
  • You should also not place any objects on the heater, either paper or clothing. Anything that is flammable should be kept away from the tabletop patio heater.
  • You should especially not dry your clothes on the heater because they are highly flammable and can easily catch fire when left in front of the heater.
  • Keep flammable and combustible objects away from the heater when it is on; these objects are paper, clothing, furniture, alcohol, oily rags, and others.
  • When you are using a gas or liquid propane-powered tabletop patio heater, you should keep the extra fuel that you may have safely.
  • Fuel is obviously flammable, and in particular conditions, it can cause a fire.
  • You should keep it in a calm and isolated area in your home so that no one plays with it. You can also keep the tank in the base of the heater if it has space for an extra gas tank.
  • This way, it is in a very safe place and out of reach.
  • Another important rule is that you must never leave your heater unattended.
  • When you are going back into your house, turn the heater off and keep it in a corner. If you are not using the heater, turn it off so that you do not end up wasting energy and increasing the risk of a fire accident.
  • Some people think that having the heater outside would prevent a fire, but if not appropriately used, outdoor patio heaters can still cause a fire.
  • Keep tour heater away from children and pets so that they do not knock it over. And make sure you have a tip-over safety feature just in case they do so.
  • An important rule that you must remember at all times is that you should never use an outdoor heater indoors.
  • This is highly unsafe and can cause choking as well as a fire. If you are using a gas or liquid propane-powered tabletop patio heater, and you decide to use it inside, there are worse consequences because of the harmful and poisonous gases that the heater emits when it is being used.
  • When they are being used outside, they are safe because of the open air, but inside closed doors, they can poison you.
  • When using an electric tabletop heater, you should handle the cord with care. Check the cord for damages regularly before plugging it in.
  • Do not yank the cord out of the power outlet carelessly to prevent an accident but instead grip the heater’s plug and remove it carefully.

Always maintain the heater. Clean it regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions and limits, and always call the attention of a technician if you suspect that something is wrong with the heater.

If you smell anything pertaining to burning wires or released gas or propane, contact the fire department immediately and stay away from the heater.

Most of all, do not make use of a damaged heater.