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All to often I am asked why the Sunglo or Sunpak is so much more expensive than the outdoor patio heater seen at a big box retailer.  The simple answer is Design! 

In many cases the cheap heater you are contemplating purchasing is made overseas by a manufacturer who knows very little about the outdoor heating industry.  Moreover, many of these heaters are copies of the Sunglo by a manufacturer who has little understanding of the dynamics of heat transfer when working with metal or how to achieve the infrared light spectrum from gas.  Secondary, the components (i.e. valves, gauge of metals, quality of stainless steel and even the way fasteners are attached) used by these less expensive heaters are inadequate for continuous use. 

If the heater was made overseas, it may be difficult to obtain simple parts or not find them at at all.  Do you just set it on the side of your property because a pilot is blocked and the $10.00 item can not be found?

Generally these manufacturers offer one configuration, a portable LP patio heater.  Infrared Dynamics offers several free standing natural gas (NG), portable propane (LP) and hanging outdoor patio heaters.

There are may things to consider and this is not to say that the less expensive heat lamps are not for your application.  Just do a little homework before you make your final choice.


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Last modified: 07/28/14