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    Heater suggestion

    I recently added a fireplace to my outdoor patio. My goal was to create a warm environment to have a cigar in the evening, during cold months. I live in Northern Cal. so not freezing, temps, normally in 40s in winter evenings. Unfortunately, despite spending a great deal of money on this, the amount of heat generated isn’t enough, so I’m faced with adding an additional heater of some type.

    This area is under a 4 seasons cover. The roof is around 9 1/2 feet from the ground. I fear the traditional patio heaters might put too much heat on the ceiling. These units all seem to be 86 in. +/- tall. Looking for alternatives, propane fired. Though someone here may have faced this issue?

    #2
    I like my Big Buddy heaters. I have 2 and they are even safe to use inside as directed. You can use 1 pound camp stove propane bottles or hook them up to a full-sized 20 pound propane tank with an adapter.


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    Last edited by Attjack; November 30, 2021, 10:48 AM.

    Comment


    • mcook2201
      mcook2201 commented
      Editing a comment
      2nd this suggestion. We have a 10X20 covered patio with walls in the colder months. I run the large Buddy heater on a 100lb cylinder and it works great. Also keep a small fan running for air circulation.

    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      mcook2201 my first Big Buddy had a (weak) fan built-in. My newer model does not.

    #3
    SierraBBQGuy What is interesting is that the 4seasons web page, if I am looking at the right one, appears to show electric radiant heaters mounted under one of their patio covers, in the picture on the top of the page:

    https://www.fourseasonssunrooms.com/patio_covers.html

    That said, if it is a fabric or roll out cover, or even wood, I would agree with being concerned about the heat. In that case, either increasing your heat output from the fireplace, or using a patio heater like Attjack shows, which is low to the ground, would be an option. That way there is time for the heat to spread before it reaches the 9 foot ceiling.

    On the fireplace, are you burning wood? If so, having a large masonry wood burning fireplace in my den, I can vouch for the fact that most heat goes up the chimney. Only when you have built up a bed of coals do you get radiant heat, and building up the glowing coal bed takes an hour or two. Lot longer than the time to sip a bourbon and smoke a cigar. And that radiant heat is mostly felt within an area of 5-6 feet in front of the fireplace. The rest goes up and to the ceiling and away. Someone sitting 8-10 feet from the fireplace will have no heat in that type situation. This is one reason that I switched over last year to a vent-free natural gas log set last season, so that we could actually benefit from some heat.

    One thought to "speed up" having hot coals is to use a chimney full of charcoal as your fire starter, so that you start the fire with a bunch of red hot coals, and add the wood on top of it. That still does not solve the fact that the radiant heat is best felt close to the fireplace.

    Alternatively I know for a fact that there are outdoor natural gas log sets that will put out radiant heat once the ceramics get hot, and be ready much quicker than a wood fire. The issue this year is that the supply chain disruptions are making it hard to find this type of item. I got some gas logs last year at BBQGuys.com, and this year they have hardly anything in stock.

    Something I did this past year to provide heat in my outdoor pavilion was to get a portable propane powered fire pit, and we sit around it and drink or talk, and you feel the heat from the flames, and being on the ground, its far enough from the 8-10 foot high pavilion roof structure to where I have no concerns with heat damage. Once hot, the lava rocks start glowing red and put off even more radiant heat:

    https://www.campchef.com/back-patio/...fire-pits.html

    Just my 2 cents.

    Comment


      #4
      Here’s a pic standing on the outside of my semi enclosed pergola. Maybe you have something like this??? I’ve been using 3 different heaters depending on how cold and how much the wind is blowing.
      I have a “My Big Buddy”, like Attjack shows above that I can sit on the table and let it blow right on me and that works pretty good. I can also light my standing heater, pictured below to help if needed. Both of these work really good as long as the wind isn’t blowing too hard.
      If it is, I use my Mr. Heater, this thing gets pretty warm and makes it cozy, but make sure you have some ventilation because unlike the "My Big Buddy" you don't want to use this in a totally enclosed area.
      I don’t worry about getting anything too hot either, my ceiling is 9-10’ high and never gets very warm.

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      Last edited by Dadof3Illinois; November 30, 2021, 12:00 PM.

      Comment


      • tbob4
        tbob4 commented
        Editing a comment
        Love that set-up

      #5
      I have a Big Buddy, and it's been a great heater. Is the area you are trying to heat enclosed at all? If not, any heater is going to heat a relatively small area, so if it's just for you it would work, but I don't think it would for a larger group. We also have a DeWalt cannister heater, which puts out about 3 time the heat, but is noisier, more expensive to run, and can't be used in enclosed areas. ( https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/d...8aAjUmEALw_wcB ). The DeWalt has been a good heater too. If it's just for you, a cheap electronic ceramic heater might be enough.

      Comment


        #6
        +1 on the Big Buddy. We use them for our installers working on construction sites in Winter. You can use (2) small containers or adapt then to use regular propane tanks.
        Last edited by Donw; November 30, 2021, 12:38 PM.

        Comment


          #7
          I have a standing heater like Dadof3Illinois mentioned. It is tall, and would be somewhat close to your ceiling, but it is a radiant heater on which the entire top is dedicated to reflecting the heat downward. The top does get hot, but very little heat moves up from the top. I use mine to smoke cigars outside (and I have no walls or pergola) and it keeps me warm in 35 degree weather (I also wear a coat).

          Comment


          • Dadof3Illinois
            Dadof3Illinois commented
            Editing a comment
            Mine sits inside my pergola and never gets the trusses hot at all.
            I usually wear a heavy coat and have some hot hands in my pockets too....HA

          #8
          FWIW the buddy heaters work great. Mr. Heater recommends the use of a filter when using the longer hose extensions to prevent flakes of the hose lining from getting into the regulator, it's a $10-15 part that screws in where the 1lb tank would.

          Comment


          #9
          Have ya considered an electric blanket?

          Comment


          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            Or perhaps a sweater?

          #10
          Quit smoking. I guess you have heard that before. LOL
          Happy BBQ to you and PBR too.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey - you were the one I expected to recommend he heat that sitting area with wood pellets!

          #11
          Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
          SierraBBQGuy What is interesting is that the 4seasons web page, if I am looking at the right one, appears to show electric radiant heaters mounted under one of their patio covers, in the picture on the top of the page:

          https://www.fourseasonssunrooms.com/patio_covers.html

          That said, if it is a fabric or roll out cover, or even wood, I would agree with being concerned about the heat. In that case, either increasing your heat output from the fireplace, or using a patio heater like Attjack shows, which is low to the ground, would be an option. That way there is time for the heat to spread before it reaches the 9 foot ceiling.

          On the fireplace, are you burning wood? If so, having a large masonry wood burning fireplace in my den, I can vouch for the fact that most heat goes up the chimney. Only when you have built up a bed of coals do you get radiant heat, and building up the glowing coal bed takes an hour or two. Lot longer than the time to sip a bourbon and smoke a cigar. And that radiant heat is mostly felt within an area of 5-6 feet in front of the fireplace. The rest goes up and to the ceiling and away. Someone sitting 8-10 feet from the fireplace will have no heat in that type situation. This is one reason that I switched over last year to a vent-free natural gas log set last season, so that we could actually benefit from some heat.

          One thought to "speed up" having hot coals is to use a chimney full of charcoal as your fire starter, so that you start the fire with a bunch of red hot coals, and add the wood on top of it. That still does not solve the fact that the radiant heat is best felt close to the fireplace.

          Alternatively I know for a fact that there are outdoor natural gas log sets that will put out radiant heat once the ceramics get hot, and be ready much quicker than a wood fire. The issue this year is that the supply chain disruptions are making it hard to find this type of item. I got some gas logs last year at BBQGuys.com, and this year they have hardly anything in stock.

          Something I did this past year to provide heat in my outdoor pavilion was to get a portable propane powered fire pit, and we sit around it and drink or talk, and you feel the heat from the flames, and being on the ground, its far enough from the 8-10 foot high pavilion roof structure to where I have no concerns with heat damage. Once hot, the lava rocks start glowing red and put off even more radiant heat:

          https://www.campchef.com/back-patio/...fire-pits.html

          Just my 2 cents.
          If I had planned for this, I could have run extra electric or even gas to the cover, but…?

          Forget to mention, it’s a gas log set, ventless fire place so no heat going up a flue.
          Last edited by SierraBBQGuy; November 30, 2021, 04:01 PM.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Ah. Yeah, I can see the problems there. A ventless set still vents most of its heat UP out of the firebox and up over the mantel, and in your case, out the edges of the roof. I've got the vent free inside, and end up running the ceiling fan in reverse on low speed to help get the heat down from the ceiling and distributed around the room.

            Many of the outdoor gas logs that are not designed for vent free operation let the flame impinge on the logs, and produce some radiant heat. Just a thought.

          #12
          The area is open, here are a few pictures. The kitchen is at one end, seating area at other. We still need to face the fireplace with stone.

          I’m also looking for something that is pleasing to the eye. I first thought one of the pyramid style heaters, but have come to understand they don put out much heat.

          As you can see, I do have a fire pit also, but not covered. Puts out more heat than the fireplace actually.

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          Last edited by SierraBBQGuy; November 30, 2021, 04:15 PM.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Beautiful setup! Puts my shabby backyard to shame in a big way!

          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            Your space looks fantastic. I have a standing heater too and it looks more classy than my Big Buddy but it pales in comparison in the performance department. Here's a thought. They make metal fans for wood stoves that run off the heat of the stove. Maybe they make larger-scale heat fans you could place near the fireplace?

          • tbob4
            tbob4 commented
            Editing a comment
            I like the standing heater idea. You likely need a couple of them. You get just a wee bit colder than I do. A number of restaurants here still serve dinners outside in the winter using them and patrons are comfortable. You can still find some at COSTCO. My wife won’t let me get one because she fears I will abandon the dining table for holiday gatherings.

          #13
          Originally posted by Joey877 View Post
          I have a standing heater like Dadof3Illinois mentioned. It is tall, and would be somewhat close to your ceiling, but it is a radiant heater on which the entire top is dedicated to reflecting the heat downward. The top does get hot, but very little heat moves up from the top. I use mine to smoke cigars outside (and I have no walls or pergola) and it keeps me warm in 35 degree weather (I also wear a coat).
          The standing heaters all seem to be 85 ish tall, is that what y’all have? Any particular brand? or are they all about the same?

          Comment


          • Dadof3Illinois
            Dadof3Illinois commented
            Editing a comment
            The one in my pic above was just a cheap one on sale at Lowes for like $125. If you don't get much wind and it stays above 45F for the majority of the time I would think this could work pretty good.

          • Joey877
            Joey877 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, that's about how tall mine is. I am actually contemplating buying a second one to create a "heat zone" on my patio. I doubt that would be necessary at temps above 35-40, or if you have any walls to help hold the heat. My patio is completely exposed. I am at work and do not recall the brand, but they all look pretty similar.

          #14
          There are low clearance infrared tube heaters available that can be mounted to the ceiling, with some only needing about a 6” clearance from the ceiling. However the bottom needs to be at 8’ or greater from the floor. You might find one that could be installed to cover the seating area without clashing with the look of your covered area. They do make gas and electric models. Just a thought.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            I am thinking this would be what would work best too. If a gas model can run on propane, he can hide the tank and run the hose up a column to the heater.

          #15
          Another idea is to use what all the bars and restaurants use around here. Whether electric or gas, they install heaters like this. You could line the perimeter and add hanging spot heaters too as needed. These things can be very powerful.

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          Last edited by Attjack; November 30, 2021, 05:27 PM.

          Comment


          • SierraBBQGuy
            SierraBBQGuy commented
            Editing a comment
            These would be great, don’t think I have adequate power for any of these that run on AC. I’ll look into it.

          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            You could also go gas.

          • SierraBBQGuy
            SierraBBQGuy commented
            Editing a comment
            I wish, already spent a lot of money running the propane lines up through the concrete floor. Not about to run an unsightly line external.
            I’m pretty well limited now to some freestanding heater.

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