Other benefits include safety features like automatic shut-off if the unit tips, and a weighted base for extra stability. Many models also have electronic ignition.
Tabletop electric or gas heaters are a smaller version designed for a patio table. These have a lower BTU output, but they are even more lightweight and portable. Some are even designed to look like table lamps.
All of the semi-portable mountable models must follow all of the clearance requirements outlined in the owner's manual. Wall-mounted models can usually mount directly up against the wall using screws or a bracket. Floor-mounted models use a leg set and may require a floor shield for extra protection and leveling. Ceiling mounted models are often used for patios or decks.
Wall-mounted infrared heater
You can find various mounting options for propane, electric, and natural gas fuel. Natural gas requires a hookup and propane models will need some sort of propane installation. With propane, this can mean a dedicated propane tank or access to a larger tank. In this regard, electric heaters are usually the easiest to relocate.
Also, remember that the clearance requirements apply to all sides of the unit. A wall unit designed to mount flush to the wall might still need to be a certain distance away from any shelves or flammable objects near its sides or front.
Ignition Systems and Controls
You'll find three different ignition options for portable and semi-portable heaters. The least common ignition type is match-lit, although you may find it in some older heaters. Matchless Piezo standing pilot ignition is common for indoor heaters, while electronic ignition is used for patio heaters.
Unless you are using an electric heater, most of the ignition options don't require an electrical power source. Even the electronic ignitions on patio heaters often use a battery to create the circuit that ignites the heater.
Matchless piezo ignition uses a push button to trigger a tiny spark and relies on a pilot flame for safe and convenient ignition.
Ignition controls on a portable heater
Some of the models come with variable heat settings so you can adjust the heat output. Thermostat controls allow you to select the desired temperature and will cycle the heater on and off to stay within the desired range.
There are so many options when it comes to fuel and configuration that it's easy to get lost in the search. Here are some of our top recommended manufacturers to help you find a durable, well-built portable heater that suits your needs.
Infratech Comfort - Infratech comfort specializes in infrared heating. They have a wide selection of outdoor electric infrared heaters with slim, sleek designs that won't be an eyesore.
Endless Summer – Endless Summer products help you enjoy your outdoor space even when it's chilly. Their propane or electric patio heaters are a stylish and effective heating solution.
Bromic – Bromic is another great option for outdoor heaters. They offer quality gas, electric, and portable models designed for outdoor use.
Care and Maintenance
Proper care goes a long way in making your heater long-lasting and safe. The first rule is always to read the manual for information on the specific product you own. To avoid a fire hazard, pay close attention to the required clearances. The manufacturer's instructions should also include information on cleaning your unit.
Gas and electric heaters are low maintenance, but they still need periodic inspections and dusting. Follow the owner's manual for instructions on how to dust the heating components. Often, a can of compressed air works great for dusting hard-to-reach places.
Regularly inspect your propane tanks for leaks. If you are using natural gas, check that the gas lines are hooked up properly and aren't leaking. Call the fire department right away if you smell gas unexpectedly.
Propane gas line connection on a portable heater
When the heating season is over, disconnect and turn off the gas sources and take the opportunity to dust the units again before storing them for the summer.
Smaller portable heaters like the wall-mounted gas or electric infrared heaters usually ship via small parcel post. Any of the larger units that are too big/heavy for normal parcel post will ship using LTL freight.
If your shipment is coming on LTL freight, the shipping company will contact you to arrange a time for delivery. With any shipment, always inspect the item before you sign off on the delivery. Call the manufacturer if you notice anything amiss and they can help make it right.
Bromic pole-mounted infrared heater
Portable heaters are a convenient way to warm up the spaces you choose. Whether you want to make your patio more comfortable, add zone heating in your home, or heat up a workshop or garage, our portable heaters make it easy to get efficient heat.