Enhance Your Backyard Party Presence with Patio Heaters

patio heaters
I get it, you like your backyard. If you’re like me you have spent all summer balancing your chemicals, getting your pool as clear as possible and enjoying the patio life. Now that autumn is coming, hot days are turning into chilly nights, and trying to ruin your porch paradise. Here in California, this can be a strange time of year, with the days still breaking the triple digits, and the evenings cooling to below sixty degrees. It can be difficult to enjoy an evening poolside comfortably.
Last year I purchased a heat pump that was able to heat my pool till about October when I have to close it up. You may remember I just finished plastering my pool about a month ago, so I have every intention of extending my season as much as possible. The problem is, late in the summer once the sun goes down, people don’t want to swim because the outside air is so cold. The water temperature is warm, but I can’t control the weather out of my pool.
patio heatersAfter a night of al fresco dining at a restaurant here in town I found the solution, patio heaters. I see these things on restaurant patios all the time. Running on liquid propane or natural gas these pylons of warmth belt out heat for everyone at the table. I wound up asking the manager how many canisters of fuel he goes through using his, and it turns out some of these heaters are surprisingly efficient, getting eight hours of heat on one pound of propane.
After that, I was sold. I purchased the Lava Heat Opus, and was pleased with how easy setup was. After all, it came fully assembled. I just had to plug in the gas, and I was off to the races. After a couple of uses, I was a little bummed out when my 20lb tank dried up in a little under 12 hours. I called the manufacturer and they said the Opus was a little less efficient due to it’s size and the sheer volume of heat it produces. The restaurant’s was 3’ tall and only produced 15,000 BTUs, the Opus is over 6’ tall and shoots a giant pillar of flame in a safe glass column that produces 61,000 BTUs of heat. The marginal impact to efficiency is made up for with an incredibly cool look and a much wider radius of heat.
patio heaters
In fairness, the twelve hour lifetime was enough for two parties, one large gathering and one small gathering. If you consider 20lbs of propane costs $20 that means I was able to keep my guests and I comfortable for about $10 a night. Also, the unit is incredibly well built, and no one got burnt if they accidentally bumped into it. There was also a remote that came with the unit which was able to be used anywhere while I was on the patio, but not while I was in the pool.
There is the definite cool factor of a 6’ shaft of fire, but I can also go swimming in the latter months of summer and not freeze when I get done swimming. My fiance and I will probably be using this unit even after I close up the pool, I don’t need to use a winter cover here in California, so once I install an LED lamp in my pool, and a few landscape lights, my backyard will be the place to be, all the way up to Thanksgiving.
patio heaters
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For almost a decade Ben has been working to prevent boring homes and dirty pools. Ben joined as a contributor to the PoolSupplyWorld.com blog after working in the home improvement industry designing backyards, kitchens, bathrooms, and HVAC systems. Our resident Marco Polo champion, and part time Frankenstein, Ben is always excited to open up any of our pool supplies to see how they work.