Should You Get An Outdoor Heater For Your Apartment’s Outdoor Space?

It’s getting colder, and even if you know how to keep your apartment warm, you might think you can’t spend time in your apartment’s outdoor space. If you want to spend time on your patio or balcony during colder months, outdoor heating just might do the trick. Find out below which types of outdoor heaters you can get for your apartment’s outdoor space.

What are the types of outdoor heaters?

The most common heaters people get for outdoor apartment spaces are tower patio heaters, tabletop heaters, and ceiling- or wall-mounted heaters. To choose the right type for you, determine the right amount of heating output for your patio or balcony. 

Heat is measured in British thermal units (Btu) for gas-burning heaters (including propane heaters) and watts for electric heaters. While propane is the most popular fuel source for outdoor heaters, some people prefer electric-powered heaters due to their ease of use. Additionally, some electric heaters may additionally use infrared heat, which is especially powerful.Should You Get An Outdoor Heater For Your Apartment's Outdoor Space?

Large, floor-standing tower patio heaters are the most common outdoor heaters you can find to supply a significant amount of heat. Most tower patio heaters are propane-powered, and their shape is often mushroom-top or pyramid-style. 

Typically, mushroom-style patio heaters offer more heat (48,000 Btus or approximately 14,100 watts) than pyramid-style heaters (42,000 Btus or approximately 12,310 watts). Mushroom-style tower heaters are thus best for larger outdoor spaces. However, pyramid-style heaters are usually more attractive, and they are safer because the glass tube in pyramid-style heaters restricts flames more than the metal screens used in mushroom-styled tower heaters.

If you have a limited amount of outdoor space and you have a small table, a tabletop heater could be your best option. Many tabletop heaters are electric, but you can find some gas-powered models as well. If your outdoor space comprises solely a small seating area, tabletop models are the most practical option.

Another option for heating a small outdoor space is a wall- or ceiling-mounted heater. Nearly all these heaters are electric-powered and have much lower heat output than propane heaters, maxing out at around 5,100 Btus (approximately 1500 watts). However, some of these heaters are infrared and offer silent and immediate heating from their lighting.

What should you know when buying outdoor heaters?

Before you purchase an outdoor heater, you may want to check your lease to see whether you can use one, as many leases have clauses against them. Depending on where you live, you may be discouraged or even barred from using propane-powered heaters (such as in New York City), but other heaters may be permitted. If you are allowed to buy an electric-powered heater, it’s best to make sure your outdoor space has safe access to an electrical outlet.

Avoid any electrical and fire hazards when using an outdoor heater. For example, you can use a standard residential outlet for electric heaters, but it’s important that the outlets are protected to avoid electrical hazards or malfunctions. Propane heaters should be supervised with the same amount of caution to avoid fire hazards. 

If you decide to purchase more than one propane heater, you shouldn’t ignite multiple heaters at the same time, as doing so is a fire hazard. Additionally, when searching for an outdoor heater, make sure it has adequate weatherproofing to avoid any hazards caused by outdoor elements.

If your apartment has an outdoor area, how do you keep it warm in the winter? Sound off in the comments!

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