How Long Does a Tank of Propane Last On a Patio Heater?

Propane is one of the modern affordable, clean, and reliable fuels used to heat homes, workspaces, or patios for this case. You will need key information on the science behind heat to decide on the amount of propane needed. The heat production units are BTUs (British Thermal Unit).

To calculate the period which your propane heater will run depends on some things. This includes;

  • The BTUs a heat source can produce
  • The immediate outside temperatures
  • The square footage of your space being heated
  • Insulation of the place being heated

All the above factors determine the amount of propane used to heat a place. The most common 20-pound tanks will run for about 10 hours when the heater is at the highest setting. Smaller tanks require frequent changing as they last less compared to the large tanks.

Putting it into context, an average patio heater is approximately 41000 BTUs. A 20-pound propane tank can hold an average of 432,000 BTUs. 432,000 divided by 41,000, you will get 10.53 which represents the approximated 10 hours of heating. 

What are the Benefits of Patio Heaters that Use Propane Tanks?

A propane-powered patio heater is easy to use, cheap and reliable. More advantages come with using such.

  1. They are Environmentally Friendly

The heating system of the patio heater involves heating liquid propane which is clean. It does not bring about any air pollution or produce harmful products to the environment. It is therefore the best option when it comes to outdoor spaces like the patio.

  1. Convenience

Such patio heaters are convenient as a standard 20-pound tank will run for 10 hours continuously. This means you do not have to go up and down spoiling your evening relaxing session. Also, if the propane runs out, you can always get one in a grocery store or outlet near you.

  1. Availability of Different Designs

Different types of propane-powered patio heaters will meet the needs of different patios. They can be small or large, mounted or portable, and of different models. You have to choose a heater that meets the needs of your patio.

  1. Effectiveness

The propane patio heaters have always provided enough warmth by providing a constant and steady stream of heat for hours. They heat the surrounding air that circulates evenly carrying the heat and you can control the amount of heat received using the control panel. 

Propane-powered patio heaters have been proved to heat faster than electric patio heaters.

  1. Low Maintenance Requirements

You only need to connect the patio heater to the propane source, then enjoy a warm evening on your patio. Compared to the fire option where you need to add wood or when there are messes like soot and ashes that need cleaning up. They save you a lot of stress.

  1. Flexibility

Most of the propane patio heaters are flexible. This is because you can adjust them to another place without difficulties for your comfort. 

Purchasing a Propane Patio Heater; Factors to Consider

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The propane patio heaters are excellent at their work and that is why you deserve the best to get the best. Different types of patio heaters suit different people. You will have to look at the following factors to reach the best patio heater for your needs.

  1. Mounting Type

Propane patio heaters can be freestanding, tabletop, or wall-mounted. Tabletop and freestanding are more portable compared to the wall-mounted which is less portable. Freestanding is approximately 9 feet tall while the tabletop is 4 feet tall. Go for a heater that suits the heating needs of your patio.

  1. Power and the Heating Diameter

The physical size, the diameter of heating, and power measured in BTUs are important when getting to an ideal patio heater. The above will depend on the brand and style of the heater. Choose the propane patio heater of ideal power and size to cover enough area of your patio.

  1. Fuel Efficiency

Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating is an important factor when choosing an ideal patio heater. Go for those with a higher AFUE rating because it shows the heater is better in energy-saving and will save you the bills. 

  1. Availability of Safety Features

Many propane patio features have safety features like the anti-tip element. The features help in shutting the tips off when they exceed a specific angle automatically. Go for a heater unit with such features and you will be guaranteed safety when enjoying your evening. 

Safety Tips to Apply When Using a Propane Patio Heater

Here are tips on how to stay safe when using propane patio heaters;

  • Turn off the patio heater before trying to move it
  • A safe distance between the wall and the heater should be maintained
  • For the heater to stay firm, add adequate weight to the base 
  • Do not use such heaters indoors as they are meant to be used outside. They produce carbon monoxide which is colorless and can cause suffocation
  • Keep the heaters away from flammable materials
  • Make sure you double-check the propane tank connection to ensure there is no gas leakage before turning the heater on
  • Check for heaters equipped with oxygen sensors that shut down automatically when oxygen levels fall to dangerous levels


The propane-powered patio heaters are superb in providing a warm environment for your patios and also add decorative aspects. We have looked at the many benefits and thus you should be tempted to go for one. Consider the factors that will determine how long your propane tank is going to last to avoid other costs.