Fuel There are three fuel sources to choose from when it comes to a patio heater: propane, natural gas and electric. Propane patio heaters offer mobility and they're easy to use. You can place them anywhere and no installation is required, though propane fuel costs are the highest. Natural gas will cost you much less and provide constant, available fuel, but you will need to have the heater installed professionally. Electric patio heaters produce zero emissions and are right in the middle as far as cost. They may need to be professionally installed or simply plugged in depending on the model.Patio Heater Buying Info It is easy to love the outdoors, yet cold weather can be a deterrent. You aren’t restricted to staying indoors when you own a patio heater. Outdoor heaters are a convenient way to defeat the cold and enjoy the ambiance of the outdoors. Do you have a patio set that you regularly use to entertain family members and friends? Are you unable to entertain during cold weather season? Patio heaters can dramatically increase the temperatures so you can continue to enjoy the outdoors. Do you have a ‘drafty’ room in the house? Do you spend a lot of time in the basement, but the heating system in your house doesn’t seem to heat the room to optimal temperatures? A portable electric heater can alleviate this problem. Have you decorated your porch with comfortable rocking chairs, wood benches, and gliders? You may want to ‘extend’ your use of them into the late fall and early winter months. In addition, you may desire to start spring a little early. Implement a patio heater onto your porch to enjoy sitting outside. Are you a business owner with an outdoor area? Perhaps your patrons would like to sit outside rather than be confined indoors. Purchase a number of patio heaters, so your clients can spend time outdoors. If this is an option your competitors do not provide, you just may find yourself serving as host to a number of new customers. Sam’s Club offers different varieties of portable heaters. You can purchase large space heaters to stand alone or you can buy smaller heaters to place on table tops or outside fixtures. Do you have a large yard or patio? You may find it beneficial to purchase several heaters to arrange around a desired perimeter to ensure maximum warmth.There is a wide variety of patio heaters available depending on the amount of space you need covered and the layout of your patio. The most common are full-size, tall heaters that your guests can stand under, but there are also tabletop heaters and outdoor heaters that mount on the wall or ceiling. You can also choose which fuel source is most convenient: propane, natural gas or electric. Lastly, you should consider how it looks in the space. Most manufacturers provide several options for the same heater, from basic stainless steel to bronze or gold accents.Design Perhaps the most important aspect of the patio heater you choose is the overall design. The aesthetic appeal of the unit is half the fun. Outdoor heaters should complement the design of your patio, not distract from it. Different manufacturers put their own flair on the basic design of the full-size units, from simple, functional steel to a more modern look around the fire.Size & Output Full-size units are the ones you’re used to seeing outside of clubs, keeping the lines warm. They stand around 7 to 8 feet tall and produce around 40,000 Btu. Outdoor patios may also have tabletop heaters at each individual table. These smaller outdoor heaters produce around 12,000 Btu. Mountable wall and ceiling heaters vary greatly depending on the size. The smallest emit around 3,300 Btu. Large, industrial-strength heaters can produce hundreds of thousands of Btu. You should consider the entire layout of your patio and whether a few full-size units would work best or if you prefer smaller units at every table. The ceiling-mounted outdoor heaters can also work on table umbrellas.