Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Patio Heaters

Extending your summer pleasures out into the night and into the fall season is now easy and convenient. Modern Patio Heaters are efficient, quiet and will warm you and your guests with a minimum of fuss. Schaefer Ventilation is an industry leader in the field of outdoor heating. Schaefer Ventilation has been in the commercial ventilation and heating industry for over half a decade. They are dedicated to customer service and define their patio heater products with outstanding quality and innovation.

When restaurant owners had to find separate places to seat smokers, they started buying up outdoor heaters to accommodate seating them outside. This has cansequently lowered heater costs making it affordable for homeowners to enjoy their patios well into the change of seasons.

For patio heaters to perform at their peak shelter from wind is key. Like any radiant heat source (the sun, a fireplace), patio heaters warm solid objects, not the air. In perfect windless conditions these heated surfaces will warm the surrounding air. In a windy setting, when the temperatures are already below comfort level, warmth is taken away from these objects. Most manufacturers attest that a 5-mph breeze will double the heating requirement in any given setting, thereby cutting the effectiveness of the appliance in half.

To maintain maximum efficiency from your patio heater, choose an intimate and comfortable space for your setting. This will help avoid costly heating regimes and allow for hours of warmth. Choosing a space near a wall is ideal as walls will radiate heat back into the space making it warmer. Ideal placement of a patio heater utilizes a combination of walls, fences, and overhead structures. Pay particular attention to stopping the breeze at ground level; because feet get cold first, that's where you'll most appreciate a pocket of still air.

The mushroom (or umbrella) patio heater uses a stainless steel cylinder and bounces heat off an aluminum reflector. In perfect conditions these heaters can produce up to a 20-foot circle of heat. A comfort zone of 12 to 15 feet is obtainable in non-perfect conditions.Mushroom patio heaters are rated between 40,000 and 50,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit) burning either natural gas or propane. While these heaters are the most powerful in terms of BTU output, much of the heat radiates horizontally therefore remaining above the area you want to heat. This is another reason why placing a patio heater near a wall could be beneficial. However, you must pay close attention to clearances from combustibles. Generally 2 feet from the sides and 18 inches from the top is sufficient.

Dome patio heaters will burn for about 10 hours when using a 5-gallon (20-pound) propane bottle. The mushroom style is available in models that are portable, with a hose hookup to a natural gas stub (a 12-foot hookup hose is the maximum length allowed); as a permanent mount in the ground; and as a suspended overhead fixture, with the radiant cylinder and umbrella sitting on a U-shaped bracket.

Because mushroom patio heaters are very sensitive to wind it is recommended to shut them down in winds that exceed 10 mph. Winds of this speed will steal heat and possibly cause the flame to damage internal components.

Moisture, chlorine air, and salt air can be hard on a patio heater but bugs (believe it or not) are the biggest problem. They climb into the pilot light line and burner orifices and create "nests". Because of this, we strongly recommend purchasing a patio heater cover to keep bugs out when the patio heater is not in use. Reflectors are also susceptible to greasy fingerprints, which will burn into the reflector surface. Cleaning the reflector with alcohol and cotton before firing the heater will prevent such discoloration. Keep inmind that aluminum bends and dents easily, so be careful when moving your patio heater.

Note: It's best to get patio heaters out of the weather when they're not in use.

For two natural gas heaters it costs about $800 to $1,200 in plumbing, plus another $75 to $100 for wiring the igniters (most units use a low-voltage line that's relatively simple to install). Rarely should you add a gas heater line to an existing gas line; the house run is typically calculated for the existing appliances. If you're at your line limit, you may need to run the new heater line back to the meter.

Electric installations require no maintenance; with gas, you'll need to check orifices periodically for bugs.According to a recent survey conducted by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), 50 percent of homeowners in the U.S. spend more time at home now than they did five years ago. 80 percent of those surveyed thought that it was very important for a home to have a relaxing outdoor room. One of the top items PERC recommends for creating the perfect outdoor room is a patio heater.

Patio heaters are remarkably safe these days and are getting better all the time. Many gas patio heaters come with a piezo electric starter, which eliminates the need for matches and don not require a pilot light. Automatic emergency shut off is pretty much standard, so if the patio heater is ever overturned (or even hit too hard) it will instantly shut itself off.

Free-standing heaters are about 95 inches tall and much more powerful than table-top heaters. Table-top heaters are lighter and smaller and therefore much easier to carry around. They are great for camping. A good example of a table-top heater is the Lil Arctic Sun, which can radiate heat in an 8 foot diameter.

One of the most unique types of portable heaters now available is the Dayva Tiki Torch. This is a small heater attached with a long spike that can stick in the ground or the umbrella hole of a table. The Dayva Tiki Torch heater is perfect for camping or a late-night trip to the beach.

Schaefer Patio Heaters, specifically the Zubri line, are designed as handy portable patio heaters. Light in weight, they feature powerful outdoor heater options and can be converted to table top patio heaters with very little effort. Using simple store-bought propane tanks, Zubri Patio heaters are not only efficient, they are also good looking. If you want to lead the neighborhood or upgrade your restaurant patio heater, look into the Schaefer Ventilation Riveria Electric Patio Heater. Hard-wired into your electrical line, these patio heaters are energy efficient and will add style to any deck, patio or garden.

Sunglo Patio Heaters are the choice of contractors and builders country wide. Utilizing permanent installation, Sunglo commercial and industrial patio heaters can be hooked up to an existing natural gas line and operated year-round. Recommended for resorts, restaurants and other outdoor entertainment areas where evening entertainment is profitable. Our best selling Endless Summer Patio Heaters and Garden Sun Kit Patio heaters are backed by comprehensive warranties and satisfied customers.

Endless Summer patio heaters have durable finishes and advanced operational parts. Whatever your needs are for warming ongoing entertainment outdoors, look to ComfortChannel.com and their extensive line of outstanding high-quality outdoor patio heaters from industry leaders such as Schaefer Ventilation, SunGlo, Endless Summer and Patio Comfort.

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