Fall is a lovely time of year to enjoy your outdoor spaces. With the worst of summer's heat and insects behind you, your patio can be great for relaxing, reading, or socializing. Of course, fall can also be a little on the nippy side, especially after the sun goes down. But you can still enjoy sitting out, even as the temperatures drop, by adding a patio heater.
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Patio heaters come in portable models powered by electricity or propane, or permanently installed models powered by natural gas. Some work by radiating heat from a central source, so they need to be positioned in the center of the space you want to heat. Others can be wall-mounted, directed at the space that needs warming. There are also tabletop models that provide warmth to a small area-many stylish models look quite handsome as the centerpiece of your table.
The size of the heater you need will depend on how big an area you're trying to heat, and how much you're trying to raise the temperature. The cubic feet times degrees will tell you how many BTUs you need-for example, a 10' x 10' dining area that you want to raise from 60 degrees to 70 up to eight feet from the ground will need 800 cubic feet times 10 degrees, or 8,000 BTUs. A 20' x 20' patio on a 50-degree day would need 64,000 BTUs to do the job.
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