A patio heater is designed to heat up a large area quickly and in order to do this, they need to either burn a fuel such as gas or propane or they heat an element up by converting electricity into heat. The heat that is generated is then emitted out into the surrounding area. Patio heaters use radiant heat rather than fan assisted heat, which is what you’d usually find with indoor heaters.
A standard patio heater will heat up the air in all directions. When you purchase the patio heater, it will usually tell you how far the radius of the heat will be, as well as the heat output in either BTU or watts.
It is necessary to position the heater in an area where it will provide the most usefulness. There is no point in positioning a freestanding heater near a wall for example if you have room in the center of your patio.
Most patio heaters are designed to work outdoors, but if you want to heat an enclosed patio space or a patio that has a roof or awning, you should look out for heaters that are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Many walls mounted patio heaters are powered using electricity and these are top rated space heaters if you want to keep the air free from harmful gasses.