Patio heaters are a tremendous addition to an open-air environment, not only to increase traffic in a commercial establishment but also to extend the outdoor party season in residential homes. However, if outdoor heating systems are obtrusive, they can detract from the aesthetic of the space. The ideal heater not only keeps guests comfortable but also blends amicably with the decor that surrounds it. Fortunately, there are plenty of attractive patio heating options that fit right with an outdoor ambiance.
Handsome Heaters from AEI
If you’re looking for a stylish patio heater, AEI Corporation carries several brands. With so many units to choose from, it’s not hard to find one that fits your requirements. Among the most important factors in heater aesthetics are finish and color, especially the finish on the user-facing side of the heater. That would be the front face plate and possibly the sides of a mounted box heater. On a mushroom heater, it would be the pole and base. It’s not just the color that makes for an attractive heater; the style and coating are every bit as important.
A Variety of AEI Products
Not all patio heater finishes are the same, nor should they be. As with any home or business furnishing, you make the choice based on your own tastes and on the setting and furniture, your outdoor heaters are going to coexist with. Different heater manufacturers favor different styles, and even within one brand, there are generally multiple finish choices. All of AEI’s brands offer at least one stainless steel finish along with some alternate selections. Consider these five brands and the distinctive looks they have to offer, and you’re bound to find something that’s just right for your special space.
For much of its 45-year history, Patio Comfort marketed patio heaters specifically for restaurants. It was inevitable, though, that eventually restaurant customers would want these beautiful yet functional heaters for their own homes. Nowadays, these heaters are found in backyards as well as in commercial spaces.
All major Patio Comfort components and fasteners are made from commercial-grade aluminum, stainless steel, aluminized steel, or brass. Customers can select finishes of stainless steel, antique bronze, or jet/silver, available as a propane patio heater or as a natural gas patio heater. For a distinctive appearance, there’s the vintage series, where the heater is protected with an antique bronze polyurethane powder coating and a uniquely-shaped base. The coating is electrostatically applied for a look of old-world beauty that adds an appealing accent to a wide variety of patios. It’s proof that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics to get safety, high performance, and long-lasting comfort.
One type of Sunglo model is the common mushroom heater on a pole that's so prevalent in outdoor restaurant seating, and are available as a propane patio heater or natural gas patio heater. These Sunglo heaters are in-ground heaters that minimize the floor space required and position the heater at the ideal height to radiate warmth. But Sunglo also offers another creative space-saving choice: the suspended heater that can hang from a ceiling or pergola.
In the mushrooms, the 3-inch diameter heater posts are available in stainless steel with a contemporary steel finish as well as a black powder-coated version. The expert design and careful craftsmanship are especially evident in the suspended heaters. These feature a stylized form that resembles a framed work of art: decoratively scrolled connecting pieces surround the heating element at the bottom of the frame. Though the suspended heater may be out of reach overhead, an optional automatic control system allows you to easily turn it on and off from a distance.
An alternative to the pole heater or suspended heater is the mounted heater. Sunpak heaters have a rectangular profile that can be mounted to walls or ceilings throughout the patio area and handsomely complements your patio design. Like the mushroom and suspended heaters, the Sunpak is available as a liquid propane or natural gas patio heater.
They’re available in a pair of pleasing colors: 304 series stainless steel and hi-temp powder-coated black. The finish of the mounting kit matches the heater. These heaters have a slim profile and are fronted by a decorative safety grill.
The Sunpak heaters can be mounted on walls, under ceilings, or on awnings at angles from zero to 30 degrees. It’s easy to arrange them in a pattern that feels natural and fits right in with the ambiance of your patio.
Sunstar heaters are also mounted units available in natural gas and liquid propane models. They come in two finishes. There’s a high-temperature aluminized steel construction with black powder-coated paint, and there’s a model made of marine grade 316 stainless steel. Both units come with mounting kits made of the same material. They’re adjustable for angled installations between 15 and 60 degrees.
These sleek units can be mounted either on a wall or ceiling in a residential or commercial setting. The preferred mounting height is seven to 10 feet. They’re slim and unobtrusive, and they're able not only to keep guests comfortably warm but also to look good while they’re doing just that.
All of Infratech’s patio heaters run on electricity and are mounted on a wall or hung from a ceiling or overhead outdoor structure. Ceiling-mounted Infratech heaters can potentially be mounted with a flush mount frame, giving them a sleek almost hidden profile that is flush with your outdoor ceiling.
Infratech has three lines of patio heaters one of which is called Slim Line Single Element Heaters, and they’re trim enough to earn the name. The electric-powered single-element heaters are great for surface mount applications and are designed to be embedded in a recessed installation. Their narrow profiles make them inconspicuous so that they never detract from the rest of the patio decor.
Infratech's Slim Line has two finishes available. The Silver Housing has a brushed stainless steel face plate and an anodized bronze aluminum housing. We all know that stainless steel is a popular style choice today, but then so is black. The other Slim Line offering, the Black Shadow Series, surrounds the heating element with a black anodized aluminum housing and a matte black face plate.
These heaters are ideal wherever there are low clearance requirements. These clean electric machines operate without the fuss and emissions of gas. They run quietly and nearly disappear into the patio decor, yet they operate big, with wattage from 1,600 to 4,000.
Infratech’s CD Series & WD Series dual element heaters, and C Series & W Series single element heaters both come with stainless steel finishes, while the C and CD Series have a different heater profile than the W & WD Series heaters.
Infratech’s Motif collection of single-element and double-element heaters comes in two colors(stainless steel or black) and four different protective wire designs(Contemporary, Craftsman, Mediterranean, or Traditional). The protective wire designs are unique, interesting, and can really add to your patio’s aesthetic.
Good Heating and Good Looks
At one time patio heaters were found almost exclusively in restaurants and other venues where large groups gathered, such as golf clubs, boating clubs, apartments, and condos. However, as more and more people experienced the comfort and convenience of a heated outdoor space, individual homeowners sought to acquire heaters for hosting their own patio parties.
Individuals put a lot of thought into setting up their patios, just as restaurateurs carefully consider how their heaters will look to their customers. Fortunately, both groups are finding that comfort and aesthetics go hand in hand. When you choose the right patio heater from AEI’s broad selection, you not only enjoy the warmth of a robust and reliable outdoor heating system. You also get something that’s pleasing to look at and that complements and even enhances your patio furnishings and decor.