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advice on pattio heaters

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  • Sep 30th, 2020 1:27 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2003
1262 posts
79 upvotes
oshawa

advice on pattio heaters

i got a townhome for the first time and very excited with backyard. should i get a patio heater or propane fire pit?
i might use it a few times a year. which is better value?
in terms of use, it will be just me and wife using it for most part. we dont have family gathering much. (covid does not make difference as we dont socialize much)
if you dont have an answer, dont repond to my thread.
I need answers, and thats why i use redflagdeals forums.
8 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
15036 posts
9437 upvotes
Toronto
I have a fire pit. It's a much nicer object to sit around and actually feel/see the fire as supposed to a big tall pole. That's just my opinion. I drink and smoke with this thing on all the time. It doesn't get much summer use, but fall/spring and even in the winter, I run it. It's only me and my wife as well.

Now is a good time to get one, mine is 36" square and 34" height, came from Home Depot on clearance for $300 after tax this time last year.

EDIT: trying to find a pic. Mine is in my gazebo. This is the only one I could find, when I first took it out and just fired it up to make sure it worked.
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Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2008
1635 posts
189 upvotes
Toronto
i have a firepit as well . its nice to look at but dont find the heat a huge improvement unless your right where the wind is blowing. its great to look at though and keep your feet warm.

i imagine the heaters will keep you warmer but are ugly.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
18436 posts
15972 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
We have both.

We began with a propane fire table about 10 years ago.
It gets the most use.
We use it year round.
In the summer, it’s on the patio, and we sit around it ... as an upscale coffee table
And it’s also sometimes used like a campfire
Where we’ve been known to roast marshmallows

After the Outdoor Dining Furniture gets put away for the season
We move the fire table inside the Gazebo where it is protected from the worst of the weather
And keeps us in comfort Late October thru Late April

The upright propane patio heaters
We added when we expanded our patio
They are a great add on when we have bigger parties
And it cools down in the evening
Gives our guests some warmth who cannot (or don’t all want to) huddle around the fire table

Technically they could extend our patio season longer into Fall
But we don’t have a whole lot of folks over after Labour Day (esp at night)
So when it’s just the 2 of us ... or another couple / family
We are quite happy with just the fire table

NOTE - Patio Heat options go on clearance August thru September
October tends to be too late (the stores are by now using that floor space for snowblowers etc)
This year... and CRAZY COVID
Good luck finding anything
In an effort to extend patio season as long as possible (and more guests) Restaurants have been buying up heating options since August

It’s like other seasonal outdoor items
You’ll pay more in the Spring than Late Summer
BUT ... there will be lots more selection available
So a trade off
Newbie
Mar 31, 2017
96 posts
45 upvotes
One item to consider in addition to aesthetics is how long the propane tank will last if it's a patio heater vs fire pit. I don't have a patio heater but I have a fire pit and I find the gas usage is crazy. I have the Napoleon Tropez and I find that we go through a propane tank every 3 to 4 times we turn it on (each time is approx 2 to 3 hours). It's a PITA to lug it back to the store to fill it up all the time.

Perhaps it's just my fire pit but those with both can comment on gas usage between the two.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10680 posts
5983 upvotes
Paris
I have a natural gas fire pit and a propane stand up heater. The fire pit keeps my toes warm but is basically useless compared to the propane stand up heater on its lowest setting. Most of the heat with a fire pit goes up. I purchased a reflector for it once from a place in the states but it got lost, I got my money back, and thats was the end of it. I dont know how you would make that work anyway to be honest.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10680 posts
5983 upvotes
Paris
SeeCCC wrote: One item to consider in addition to aesthetics is how long the propane tank will last if it's a patio heater vs fire pit. I don't have a patio heater but I have a fire pit and I find the gas usage is crazy. I have the Napoleon Tropez and I find that we go through a propane tank every 3 to 4 times we turn it on (each time is approx 2 to 3 hours). It's a PITA to lug it back to the store to fill it up all the time.

Perhaps it's just my fire pit but those with both can comment on gas usage between the two.
My Napoleon Patio Flame is 40K BTU. A 20lb tank is 430,000 BTU, so it would only last 10 hours. And while its variable flame, I always run mine balls out. The stand up I run on low almost always as it puts out so much heat. I’m glad my pit is NG. It uses as much gas per hour as my furnace.
Newbie
Mar 31, 2017
96 posts
45 upvotes
Jerico wrote: My Napoleon Patio Flame is 40K BTU. A 20lb tank is 430,000 BTU, so it would only last 10 hours. And while its variable flame, I always run mine balls out. The stand up I run on low almost always as it puts out so much heat. I’m glad my pit is NG. It uses as much gas per hour as my furnace.
That certainly explains it. Should have checked this before we bought it 🤦🏻‍♀️

Perhaps I should consider selling it, getting a patio coffee table and 2 patio heaters. Might still be ahead with all the gas I'm using on the fire pit Face With Tears Of Joy
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10680 posts
5983 upvotes
Paris
SeeCCC wrote: That certainly explains it. Should have checked this before we bought it 🤦🏻‍♀️

Perhaps I should consider selling it, getting a patio coffee table and 2 patio heaters. Might still be ahead with all the gas I'm using on the fire pit Face With Tears Of Joy
One patio heater is way more than enough. A manufacturer of patio heaters once told me the electric ones are better anyways as they function better in wind.

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