July 29, 2023
With autumn fast approaching, and the weather becoming less inviting to those lovely evening get-togethers with friends and family, your home is likely in desperate need for some patio upgrades. Thankfully, you can keep everyone warm with many available smart home patio heater options from brands such as Infratech for all of those chilly San Francisco Bay Area nights. Even better, some patio heater options can integrate seamlessly into your automated smart home, creating a perfect ambiance for all of your home events.
Patio heaters are quite similar to most of the heating systems that we are already familiar with, but they do have a major difference. Most of us are familiar with a the concept of having a simple space heater for our homes or office, and patio heaters are similar to these in many ways. They do however differ in the type of heat they provide, how they provide it, and how effective they are in outdoor spaces. Just sticking a space heater on your deck or patio wouldn’t do nearly as much as a patio heater would. This is because these types of heaters are designed to be used indoors, where there’s insulation and closed space to retain the generated heat. We’ve also all likely sat around an artificial fire pit and those too are a type of patio heater, using both gas and electricity to power up.
In the case of a patio heater, it needs to be able to operate effectively while in a wide-open area. In order to do this, it creates radiative heat. The heat created by a patio heater is directed upward into a silvered hood, which is bad at absorbing heat, but very good at reflecting it. This lets the generated heat radiate safely back downward into a directed cone. A patio heater is built to heat outdoor areas safely and thoroughly for those outdoor movie nights or evening chats on the outdoor deck.
Installing a patio heater is actually quite simple! Depending on what your home’s needs are, you’ll be selecting either a propane patio heater, natural gas, or electric. With the first two, installation is as simple as connecting your new heater to the gas line and ensuring that all the connections are secure. Any installer will be able to do this fairly easily, and you might be able to even do it yourself. With electric patio heaters, especially ones such as the Infratech heaters, you’ll want to ensure that a proper low voltage installer is able to install it and connect it to the smart home system of your choice. Nothing is better than using your Savant system to activate a scene mode that turns on both your outdoor Samsung Terrace TV and patio heater at the same time.
Whether you have a smart home system by Savant, Control4, or Crestron — there are options for integrating your patio heater to be used by a keypad or even an app on your phone. Savant and Infratech for example integrate very seamlessly, taking advantage of Savant’s advanced interface and giving users the ability to turn on their patio heaters from anywhere in their home or just by using the Savant app as well. Infratech’s custom controls, which offer features like mobile, touchscreen or voice-activated functionality, make integration with any smart home system a breeze.
When using the app that comes with various smart home systems such as Savant, its very easy to control your outdoor patio heaters. You can set your Savant Scene modes to create a setting for your patio heaters, allowing you to turn them on to the intensity of your company’s liking. With this customization, you can make sure your guests are never too hot or cold and their movie night is at the perfect temperature. With such simple customization, you can tie your heaters into an entire scene mode dedicated to your patio setup, allowing you to turn on the TV, lights, heater, outdoor Sonance speakers, and anything else you can imagine.
Traditional patio heaters that you may have seen at restaurants while outdoor dining are always an option for your home, but traditionally these use Propane and manual switch lighting to turn on. A good example of this type of heater is the AZ Patio Heaters 48,000 BTU Outdoor Heater. These outdoor heaters are floor standing, and unfortunately quite limited in connectivity with your smart home without quite a few electrical upgrades. These heaters are the most affordable options if you’re looking for something simple to keep you warm and complete your outdoor patio setup. That makes these a less likely candidate for smart home integration.
Natural gas patio heaters come in several different varieties. They can be free-standing like propane heaters but a more popular set up would be wall-mounted or ceiling mounted. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re in a fixed location because they’re tied into a natural gas line and thus can not be portable on your patio. These cost less over time than a propane heater and you don’t have to remember to constantly buy more fuel for them. These heaters are also very limited in available smart home connections, requiring several adapters to even use voice command activation. A great example of a natural gas ceiling mounted heater for your patio is the Sunpak 48-inch 25,000 Btu Natural Gas Infrared Patio Heater. These will also likely not integrate well with your Savant or Control4 system.
If you’re looking to take up minimal space in your home and lead the cutting edge of heater technology, there are quite a few options available for your outdoor spaces and patio. More sophisticated electric heaters exist in the form of brands such as Infratech with their various available models, designed to be connected to a ceiling. These heaters are electric and also are able to connect to your various smart home systems such as Savant, allowing you to control them wirelessly from any mobile device. Infratech heaters offer compatibility with Savant, Control4, Crestron, and any other smart home system available.
While this may seem like a bit of a silly question with a common sense answer, the idea of the location for patio heaters comes up quite a bit! In terms of connecting to various home automation systems, your patio heater should be able to go anywhere that it can connect to your home network and to an electric panel. This makes it fairly easy to fully realize all the available zones you’ll have for your heater placement. Patio heaters can be used anywhere in your outdoor areas, and we’ve seen quite a few customers at Regent5 putting them somewhere as simple as a little outdoor nook for those evening chats. Locations such as this are perfect for ceiling or awning mounted electric heaters, as they can be tucked away and not take away from the living space. While patio heaters are typically placed in areas centered around the outdoor experience, such as outdoor seating areas around a Sunbrite Outdoor TV or a Samsung Terrace TV — they can really go anywhere around your home.
With all of the available options in patio heaters, along with the cumbersome task of creating the perfect outdoor patio and deck spaces for your home, we recommend that you contact your favorite installer to get everything right down to the wiring. Regent5 can take a look at your existing patio and every need and want that you have to ensure that your home has the newest and best in outdoor spaces. Whether you’re in Atherton, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Saratoga, Napa, Sonoma, Hillsborough, or even San Francisco, we’d love to come take a look for you and get you off to a great start. Feel free to contact Regent5 for a free consultation and get your project started today.