There are several types of patio heaters on the market today. Some of these devices may work great for your needs, but others may not. Your needs and your budget will dictate the kind of heater you should get. Keep in mind that they all have some similarities.
The first device, you should consider getting is a heat lamp. A heat lamp uses a glowing metal rod to create heat for your patio. Your fuel source will be your home gas, as that is the most common way people use them. A small amount of electricity will also work to power the device.
Some patio heaters use either a lamp or a fan to create heat. The lamp is usually installed on a pole or near a window. A fan is usually used to create the heat. Some devices also use a device called a fire extinguisher to automatically turn off once the fire has been put out.
For people who use a garden hose or other type of hose to create heat, then a fan may be what you need. A fan uses a motor and blades to create the heat. There is usually a light that illuminates the blades so you can see it. You can choose to use a cylinder type for a portable unit, or a tube type for a large unit.
If you are only going to use the flame patio heater occasionally, then you can probably skip the fan and just get a smaller size of flame heater. The main purpose of a fan is to keep the flame from going out. The smaller size makes it much easier to use and will save you from plugging in a cord to the patio heater all the time.
There are those that prefer to have the fire extinguisher. This will work much like a fire extinguisher in your home, except in your patio heater. When you are going to use the flame patio heater, you will actually use it to extinguish the fire. Keep in mind that the extinguisher also makes sure the fire does not spread.
In the end, what you should really be looking for in a patio heater is that it will create heat and will also be easy to use. Some types of patio heaters may be complicated to operate, but a simple flame can work just as well.