A lot more people are having outdoor celebrations these days, everything from birthday parties to business conferences to family reunions. That’s great news for businesses like yours that rent tables, chairs, awnings, serving dishes and other party supplies. It’s an especially good opportunity to feature one of the most important items in your rental inventory: the patio heater.
Many of your customers don’t understand the difference a few well-placed patio heaters can make in the success of their event. They certainly don’t recognize as well as you how many heaters they need and where they ought to place them. They count on you as the expert to supply them with high-quality heaters that ensure a comfortable experience for them and their guests.
What Makes an Ideal Patio Heater?
There are lots of patio heaters available, and it’s easy to think it doesn’t matter which one gets rented as long as it cranks out the heat. However, there are several important qualities that you and your rental customers should insist on.
The ideal temporary heater for an outdoor event is a portable infrared mushroom heater. Mushroom heaters give off their heat in a 360-degree circle. Everyone who’s 10 feet from the heater gets the same warmth no matter what direction. Infrared heat is similar to the natural heat we get from the sun. It doesn’t uselessly warm the air but directly heats the skin, clothing, and chairs that it lands on.
Customers typically aren't going to know how many outdoor propane heaters they need, but as long as you know how much space needs to be covered, you can help them with that.
The styling of a heater doesn’t affect how well it keeps people warm, but customers want a patio heater that feels like a natural part of the décor rather than one with an invasive industrial look. The heaters you stock should pay attention to elegance and visual detail.
The last thing you want is a customer complaining that a heater failed. Customers only need reliability for an evening, but you want to rent the heater again and again with a minimum of maintenance. Your heaters work hard every time you send them out, and a high-quality, long-lasting heater will earn its keep. That's why AEI's attention to detail and adherence to high-quality manufacturing makes their brands stand out for heater reliability.
Mushroom heaters can run on both liquid propane and natural gas, but party supply heaters use propane because they’re the only types that are portable. The tank is right there in the base, and it’s easy for you to wheel the heater into the event and for the customer to wheel it to a new spot if the need shifts.
Depending on the length of the event, you may need to rent the customer some backup tanks. After all, there’s no easy way for them to go get more propane if a tank runs out.
Why Patio Heaters from AEI Corporation?
Some rental companies buy the least expensive patio heaters they can find. After all, there’s less up-front cost doing it that way. If you think about the long run, however, the better return on investment (ROI) from a top-quality patio heater makes it a more financially sound choice.
AEI Corporation supplies patio heaters for party supply companies from the leading manufacturers. For example, the Sunglo, and Patio Comfort heater lines live up to their names by creating what AEI calls a “Circle of Heat.” Patio Comfort has been researching, manufacturing, and improving heaters for 45 years.
These heaters are fully portable, made of durable stainless steel, have all the expected safety control features, and boast a match-free ignition system. AEI stands behind its patio heaters with a complete customer support system and a full inventory of replacement parts. If you have AEI patio heaters in your inventory, you can expect years of trouble-free rental.
Patio Heater Care and Maintenance
As a rental business, the maintenance of your inventory is a major concern. All of AEI’s patio heaters are engineered to minimize maintenance. However, a few regular maintenance practices will extend the life of your heaters and keep your ROI as high as possible. Dirty or neglected cleaners don’t last as long, and furthermore, they burn more gas and produce less heat. In the worst case, they can even create a fire hazard.
AEI stainless steel surfaces won’t rust, but they do get dirty. Use a cleaning solution made for stainless steel surfaces. Never clean a hot heater immediately after use; wait an hour or more until it cools. If you have a powder-coat painted surface, you can wash it with soap and water then wipe it immediately.
If soot builds up on the burners, pilot or surrounding area, remove it with compressed air only. Soot build-up happens slowly and removal is necessary only once or twice a year.
Checking for Leaks
Gas leaks can lead to wasted fuel and other liability issues, so checking for them is a critical part of maintenance. Visually inspect the gas line, propane tanks, and connections. Look for dents, cracks, tears, brittleness, or holes. Make sure the connectors fit tight on the tank and gas tube.
For a more thorough test, spray the gas line with a soapy solution, then turn on the gas. If there’s a leak, bubbles will appear. Sometimes you can stop a leak by tightening connections, but otherwise, you’ll need to replace the fuel line and connectors.
Removing Insects and Spider Webs
Varmints love the little dark corners that a patio heater provides for them. As soon as the heater has cooled off they take it as an invitation to come on in. Even though they’re small, they can create a danger. They’re not flammable themselves, but they know how to drag in materials that are, like twigs and webs. Follow the instructions in your owner manual for checking and removing any debis.
Polishing is optional, but providing a good-looking patio heater makes you look good to your customers. You can brighten up your heaters with a little bit of car polish.
With top-quality AEI patio heaters and routine maintenance, you'll be able to provide customers with safe, efficient, attractive heaters for their events. They’ll recognize they’re getting the top product for their money and will keep coming back not only for party supply needs but for all the rental services you provide. It’s the benefit that comes from being known as a company that rents out the very best equipment.