Patio heaters are a game-changer when it comes to extending outdoor living spaces into the cooler months. Whether you're hosting a backyard party or simply enjoying a quiet evening on the patio, a patio heater can keep you warm and comfortable. These heaters come in various types, including propane, electric, and natural gas, each offering its own set of benefits.
While many patio heaters now come with convenient electronic ignition systems, manual ignition is still a crucial skill to have. Knowing how to light a patio heater manually ensures that you're prepared for any situation, especially when electronic ignition fails or when you're using an older model that doesn't have it. In this article, we'll discuss the different types of patio heaters and provide detailed reviews of three popular models that require manual ignition.
Part 1: Understanding Patio Heater Categories
Propane Patio Heaters: Propane patio heaters are a popular choice among homeowners due to their versatility and portability. These heaters are powered by propane gas tanks, providing a steady and adjustable heat source. They are easy to use and require minimal setup. However, it's important to ensure proper ventilation when using propane patio heaters to prevent the buildup of harmful carbon monoxide gas.
Electric Patio Heaters: Electric patio heaters are a convenient option for those who have access to an electrical outlet near their outdoor space. These heaters are easy to operate and offer instant heat. They are also more energy-efficient compared to propane heaters. However, the downside is that they may have limited mobility and require a power source.
Natural Gas Patio Heaters: Natural gas patio heaters are a permanent heating solution that requires a natural gas line connection. These heaters provide a constant heat source and are usually more powerful than propane or electric heaters. They are ideal for larger outdoor areas but may require professional installation. It's important to note that natural gas patio heaters cannot be moved around once installed.
Part 2: Detailed Review of Manual Ignition Patio Heaters
AZ Patio Heaters GS-F-PC Propane Fire Pit
Features and Specs: The AZ Patio Heaters GS-F-PC Propane Fire Pit is a stylish and functional patio heater that doubles as a fire pit. It features a hammered bronze finish and a 40,000 BTU burner. The fire pit is made of durable steel and comes with a protective cover.
Ease of Lighting Manually: This patio heater is equipped with a manual ignition system that is easy to use. Simply turn the control knob to the pilot position, hold it down, and press the igniter button. Once the pilot flame is lit, continue holding the control knob for about 30 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. Release the knob and turn it to the desired heat setting.
Safety Measures: The AZ Patio Heaters GS-F-PC Propane Fire Pit is equipped with a safety shut-off valve that automatically cuts off the gas supply if the flame goes out. It also has a thermocouple sensor that ensures the heater only operates when the pilot flame is lit. Additionally, the fire pit comes with a protective cover to prevent any damage when not in use.
Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater
Features and Specs: The Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater is a freestanding propane heater that offers 46,000 BTUs of heat. It features a hammered bronze finish and a convenient piezo ignition system. The heater is made of durable stainless steel and has a safety shut-off valve.
Ease of Lighting Manually: Lighting this patio heater manually is a breeze. Simply turn the control knob to the pilot position and hold it down while pressing the igniter button several times until the pilot flame ignites. Continue holding the control knob for about 30 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. Release the knob and turn it to the desired heat setting.
Safety Measures: The Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater is equipped with a safety shut-off valve that automatically shuts off the gas supply if the flame goes out. It also has a tip-over protection system that turns off the heater if it is accidentally knocked over. The heater's stainless-steel construction ensures durability and longevity.
BALI OUTDOORS Gas Fire Pit Table
Features and Specs: The BALI OUTDOORS Gas Fire Pit Table is a stylish and functional patio heater that doubles as a fire pit and outdoor table. It features a 50,000 BTU stainless steel burner and a beautiful slate tabletop. The fire pit is made of weather-resistant materials and comes with a PVC cover.
Ease of Lighting Manually: Lighting this patio heater manually is simple. Turn the control knob to the pilot position and press the igniter button while holding it down. Once the pilot flame is lit, continue holding the control knob for about 30 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. Release the knob and turn it to the desired heat setting.
Safety Measures: The BALI OUTDOORS Gas Fire Pit Table is equipped with a safety shut-off valve that automatically shuts off the gas supply if the flame goes out. It also has a thermocouple sensor that ensures the heater only operates when the pilot flame is lit. The PVC cover provides protection against the elements when the fire pit is not in use.
Part 3: Step-By-Step Guide: How to Light a Patio Heater Manually
Initial Preparations: Before lighting a patio heater manually, ensure that the gas supply is turned on and that there are no leaks. Check the gas tank for any damage or leaks, and make sure it is securely connected to the heater. Place the heater on a stable and level surface away from any flammable objects.
Steps to Manually Ignite the Heater:
Locate the control knob: The control knob is typically located near the base of the patio heater. It may be labeled with symbols such as "Off," "Pilot," and "On."
Turn the control knob to the "Off" position: This ensures that no gas is flowing to the burner.
Turn the gas supply on: If your patio heater has a gas supply valve, turn it on by twisting it counterclockwise. If you're using a propane tank, ensure that the tank valve is fully open.
Turn the control knob to the "Pilot" position: This allows the gas to flow to the pilot assembly.
Press and hold the control knob: While holding the control knob down, press the igniter button repeatedly until the pilot flame ignites. If there is no igniter button, you may need to use a long lighter to ignite the pilot flame.
Continue holding the control knob: Keep the control knob held down for about 30 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. This is an important safety feature that ensures the gas flow is maintained even if the pilot flame goes out.
Release the control knob: After 30 seconds, release the control knob and turn it to the desired heat setting. The main burner should ignite, providing warmth and comfort.
Safety Tips to Remember:
Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific patio heater model.
Make sure the area around the patio heater is clear of any flammable objects such as furniture, curtains, or foliage.
Keep children and pets away from the patio heater while it is in use.
Never leave the patio heater unattended, especially when it is lit.
If you suspect a gas leak or smell gas, turn off the patio heater immediately and contact a professional for assistance.
Part 4: Reviewing Essential Patio Heater Accessories
Classic Accessories Terrazzo Standup Heater Cover
Features and Benefits: The Classic Accessories Terrazzo Standup Heater Cover is a durable and weather-resistant cover that provides protection for your patio heater when it's not in use. It is made of heavy-duty fabric with a waterproof backing, ensuring that your heater stays dry and protected from the elements. The cover has a zippered closure for easy installation and removal, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
Limitations: Some users have reported that the cover may be slightly too large for certain patio heater models, resulting in a loose fit. However, this can be easily remedied by using straps or bungee cords to secure the cover tightly.
GasOne 50140 4 FT Propane Hose Adapter
Features and Benefits: The GasOne 50140 4 FT Propane Hose Adapter is a convenient accessory that allows you to connect your patio heater to a larger propane tank instead of using disposable propane cylinders. This adapter is compatible with most patio heaters and comes with a 4-foot hose for easy maneuverability. It provides a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to constantly replacing disposable propane cylinders.
Limitations: Some users have reported that the hose may be prone to kinking if not handled with care. It's important to ensure that the hose is properly straightened and does not have any sharp bends that could restrict the gas flow.
Knowing how to light a patio heater manually is a valuable skill that ensures you can enjoy warmth and comfort outdoors even when facing electronic ignition failures or using older models without electronic ignition. We reviewed three popular patio heaters that require manual ignition and discussed their features, ease of lighting manually, and safety measures. The AZ Patio Heaters GS-F-PC Propane Fire Pit, Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater, and BALI OUTDOORS Gas Fire Pit Table all offer reliable performance and stylish designs. Additionally, we explored essential patio heater accessories such as the Classic Accessories Terrazzo Standup Heater Cover and the GasOne 50140 4 FT Propane Hose Adapter, which enhance the functionality and longevity of your patio heater.
Remember, safety should always be a top priority when using patio heaters. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents or gas leaks. By properly maintaining and operating your patio heater, you can enjoy cozy evenings outside even when the weather gets chilly.
Can I use a propane patio heater indoors?
No, propane patio heaters are designed for outdoor use only. Using them indoors can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide gas, which is extremely dangerous.
How long does a propane tank last on a patio heater?
The duration of a propane tank depends on the BTU rating of the patio heater and the size of the tank. Generally, a 20-pound propane tank can last for around 8-10 hours on a patio heater with a 40,000 BTU rating.
Can I convert a propane patio heater to natural gas?
Some propane patio heaters can be converted to natural gas by using a conversion kit provided by the manufacturer. However, it's important to note that not all patio heaters are convertible, so check with the manufacturer before attempting to convert your patio heater.
How do I clean and maintain my patio heater?
Regularly clean the patio heater by wiping down the exterior with a damp cloth and mild soap. Check for any debris or obstructions in the burner holes and clean them if necessary. Ensure that the gas supply is turned off and the patio heater is completely cooled before performing any maintenance.
Can I leave my patio heater outside during the winter?
It's best to store your patio heater indoors or in a covered area during the winter months to protect it from the elements. If storing indoors is not possible, use a durable patio heater cover to protect it from snow, rain, and other harsh weather conditions.
About Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson, a Texan, finds BBQ a mindful journey of connection. The grill isn't just about cooking—it's a way to relish the moment and create memories. With the sun's warmth and the sizzle, grilling becomes an exploration, from marinades to searing. Join her in celebrating life's flavors and joys around the grill.