Freezing? This patio heater lets you use your terrace throughout the winter

Dwelling the place winter isn’t any picnic. As quickly as September rolls around, folks start scrambling to place away patio furnishings and shut up; they are out of doors areas in anticipation of a  lengthy chill. 

However, this yr out of doors areas have to turn into a social lifeline for folks to battle cabin fever and socialize safely with family members. We’re all searching for methods to increase the out of doors season a bit longer, which is why patio heaters have been virtually bought out for weeks. When researching our information on the most effective patio heaters, the Mr. Heater Buddy Heater was one of few that we might get our fingers on.


My deck, closely shaded by an extensive and positively hundred-year-old maple tree, is chilly even on hot days. Because the temperatures hover around freezing at night, it is onerous to sit down the exterior and comfortably benefit from the recent air. Whereas I used to be excited to test the Mr. Heater Buddy Heater, I used to be skeptical that this compact little gadget would do a lot to heat me towards the Canadian chill. 

My first response to the Buddy Heater was, “Gosh, that is ugly.” It is not the type of glossy, upright patio heaters you’d spot at a restaurant. As a substitute, it is compact and rugged, like one thing you’d use to jump-start your automotive. It is a vivid purple, comparatively small, and rectangular, with dimensions of about 14 inches lengthy and 15 inches tall. It matches simply on high of my 5-foot steel patio desk, with loads of room to spare for meals and drinks. It is meant to run on small one-pound propane tanks, which you could purchase at hardware or doors shops; however, it would not include one, so I needed to make a journey to the shop. It weighs about eight kilos with the tank hooked up, so it is also very mild and straightforward to maneuver around.

Freezing? This patio heater lets you use your terrace throughout the winter

Evaluation of Mr. Heater Buddy Heater

I used the heater for two days within the late morning when it was breezy and funky sufficient to want a sweater. Turning it on took me a minute or so of fidgeting with the knob. It’s good to press down on the dial, whereas on the pilot setting for around 30-60 seconds to get it going, you flip it to the specified warmth setting, a bit like working a gasoline kitchen range.

I let the heater run for 2 hours on the best setting on a primary day. I used a thermometer to observe the skin temperature, and the heater warmed my 59 F patio to 75 F pretty rapidly; I ended up feeling overly toasty, however, I was; however, assured that I might be comfy on a more relaxed day. I introduced it again out the following day, which was a bit chillier, and ran it till the tank was empty — an additional hour. Though I positioned it several ft away from where I used to be sitting, I did not expertise chilly toes. The warmth on the max setting was sufficient to supply whole-body consolation. 

Heating units, just like the Buddy Heater promote their warmth output in British thermal models (Btu). The upper the Btu, the extra warmth a tool can produce, although the precise max temperature a heater can attain is determined by the beginning air temperature, climate situations, and heater design (a tall dome-top heater will disperse extra warmth evenly than a tabletop mannequin that factors in a single route). Most eating places, for instance, use doors heaters that put out 40,000 Btu to maintain loads of company comfy over an ample space.  

By comparability, the Buddy Heater produces 9,000 Btu on its max setting. Whereas it was more significant than enough for solo use, I would not depend on this to maintain several socially-distanced companies comfy. The corporate claims the heater can heat 225 sq. ft, somewhat less than my 300 sq. foot patio scale. I attempted to sit in numerous positions away from the heater alongside the size of my patio deck. I was capable of really feeling a snug stage of warmth so long as I used to be going through the heater entrance. I did not feel much heat like the Buddy Heater heating units once I tried sitting behind the team, which is anticipated, so most of my company must be sitting shut collectively on one aspect of the desk to remain heated. That is most likely okay for non-pandemic instances when we are extra comfy being nearer collectively; however, for now, I will most likely stick with utilizing the Buddy Heater for private use. Mr. Heater additionally makes a “Big Buddy” heater that packs practically double the warmth (18,000 Btu on max), which is perhaps an excellent choice for more extensive areas. 

Freezing? This patio heater lets you use your terrace throughout the winter

Fixed warmth additionally comes at a premium. In keeping with Mr. Heater, a one-pound propane cylinder lasts most of three hours, and I confirmed that in my testing once I received nearly three hours of warmth out of it on the best setting. You may purchase a hose to hook the unit as much as a bigger propane tank; however, that is not one thing everybody desires in full view on their patio or deck. In the event you’re planning on utilizing the heater repeatedly, it is best to fill up on propane cylinders or else be ready to make frequent journeys to the ironmongery shop for refills. 

Security options

The Buddy Heater boasts several security options. The tip-over change prompts when you choose up or knock over the unit when it is powered on. It’s delicate, and whereas I used to be glad that it labored once I purposely pushed over the heater, it was a bit irritating that it turned the heater off even once I moved the heater round barely. Due to this characteristic, be sure to place the heater where you need it earlier than igniting the propane. It additionally has an oxygen depletion sensor that shuts off the gasoline if the air stage gets too low, often a sign of excessive carbon monoxide ranges. 

There are additionally two variations of the heater — one that’s certified for Canada and Massachusetts, and another that’s authorized for the other 49 states (together with the contiguous states, Alaska and Hawaii). The important thing distinction is the packaging and security warnings. According to region-specific laws, the heater isn’t licensed for indoor use in Massachusetts and Canada. In each different state, you can legally use it indoors. Due to my location, I couldn’t test the Buddy Heater for indoor use. Nevertheless, I spoke to Matthew Griffith, prevention chief for the Montreal fire department, who was adamant about by no means utilizing gas-propelled equipment inside for warmth irrespective of your location. Propane-powered heaters usually tend to create carbon monoxide than electric-powered indoor heaters. It is safer and extra economical to use an electrical area heater to heat your own home.  

Like most propane-powered heaters, the Buddy produces precise flames, and the realm close to the grate will get scorching, so by no means put it near flammable objects — together with wood patio furniture. In case your patio desk is made from wooden, you may need to think about getting a small metal table to position the heater on. 

Relying on your native laws, you will need to keep away from storing it indoors with the cylinder hooked up. You may take away the cylinder to retailer it inside; however, I left it assembled on my porch, the place it spent several days exterior, uncovered within the rain in temperatures near freezing. It is nonetheless good as new, so I would not fear sturdiness. It is a robust little heater. 

The underside line

Freezing? This patio heater lets you use your terrace throughout the winter

The Mr. Heater Buddy Heater is straightforward to make use of, compact, and extremely lightweight for such a powerful machine. I used to be so impressed that I use it with my mother, who loves spending time in her yard; however, it will get chilly at even the slightest breeze. My mother and father had an electrical heater; however, it might flip theirs out of doors breaker. With this propane heater, my mother can simply get pleasure from her espresso exterior, and my dad can learn an e-book without each of them freezing their fingers and toes off. It is a beautiful choice for many who do not have the room for a free-standing patio heater; however, nonetheless need to spend a bit of additional time exterior into the autumn and winter. I might suggest this to anybody who heads out on frequent doors excursions equivalent to winter climbing and tenting. The sturdy development, compact design, and spectacular warmth output make this a terrific accent for having fun with the outdoors season slightly longer. 

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Freezing? This patio heater lets you use your terrace throughout the winter
Aimee Lyons


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