Sometimes, there is nothing better than just relaxing in the patio or the deck at the time of the year when the bugs are not yet very active. Good evenings can be spent outside of the door just lazing around looking at the clear evening sky, having a silent time to yourself or have a conversation going. But evenings like these can be ended shortly when the chill sends you indoors.

An outdoor person who wants to extend his sitting season must have invented patio heaters. He must have intended to enjoy peaceful evenings and a year of summers. In many areas this cannot be possible but still it will prevent people who want to spend evenings out not to be sent in by the first blow of the cold.

Whatever the case, patio heaters can let you enjoy your outdoor nights by keeping you comfortably warm. They can come in a variety of designs, sizes and fuel sources. Patio heaters that works by radiant heat systems can be very comfortable as they are designed to give warmth to the people and not the air.

Gas, propane, wood and wood substitutes, electricity or Alco-gels can fuel patio heaters. Depending on the sizes and settings, it could warm a few feet of spaces or an entire party yard.

Just like any other heating units, patio heaters perform best when it is located near a combination of walls and fences. An overhang can optimize its heating capability as overhangs can help shield the area from winds that will be blowing directly into the heated spaces. Walls and fences likewise can help bounce the heat back instead of having the warmed air escape easily.

Patio heaters can come in the following varieties. The umbrella type patio heaters, so called because of its shape, are good for heating larger spaces. The umbrella type patio heaters are powered by propane, which is located at the bottom of the unit and radiates its heat through the top cylinder. This type of patio heater is sensitive to elements and it is important to tuck it away when not in use. Effective heating area is from 12 to 20 feet in diameter.

Wood burning patio heaters are the cheapest to maintain and operate as they use wood and wood derivatives. These patio burners however are limited to areas that do not have ordinances against burning wood in the property. Other areas will allow wood burning provided a chimney is installed to limit the scattering of sparks that could cause damage. When opting for this kind of patio burners, children have to be taught regarding its handling. Wood burning patio heaters are available in portable and collapsible units that could easily be installed. It can also come with optional cooking grills.

Patio burners that come in the gas variety and propane powered patio burners are economical to operate. Patio burners can also be powered by electricity. The limitations though is that electric powered heaters are the most expensive to maintain.

Before you decide to warm up your patios and decks, consider first whether you would want a permanent patio heater or not, or if you prefer easy installation or the fixed variety. You might also want to consider if you want your patio heaters to be connected to your gas supply or the homey feel of burning wood.

Patio heaters can be found in the shop where you bought patio furniture while gas and propane powered patio heaters can be found in specialty shops.