If you have a propane-powered patio heater and are looking for a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option, natural gas might be the perfect solution. Converting from propane to natural gas necessitates a conversion kit that will adapt your heater accordingly. This change comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, with the primary concern being the potential harm natural gas poses to the environment.
If you’ve recently received a surprisingly high gas bill and are seeking ways to cut costs, consider converting your propane heater to one that runs on natural gas. This switch offers several benefits, including the fact that natural gas is generally cheaper and has a reputation for being safer. The popularity of transitioning to natural gas is steadily growing, and if you’re interested in making the switch, we’ll guide you through the process. Let’s explore how you can embrace the natural gas side.
- Converting your patio heater to natural gas offers several advantages, including cost savings, a continuous fuel supply, convenience, environmental benefits, and reduced maintenance.
- Natural gas is generally more cost-effective than propane in the long run, as you won’t need to purchase and refill propane tanks regularly.
- Converting to natural gas removes the need to handle and store propane tanks, making the use of your patio heater more hassle-free.
- Natural gas burns cleaner than propane, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, contributing to improved air quality and reduced environmental impact.
- Natural gas provides a longer operating time compared to propane, beneficial for extended use during outdoor events or gatherings.
Patio Heater VS Natural Gas
To convert patio heaters into natural gas resources, you need to understand both heater and natural gas at first. Here’s the basic idea and benefits:
A patio heater is a type of outdoor heating appliance designed to provide warmth and comfort on patios, decks, or other outdoor spaces. It is especially useful during cooler weather or chilly evenings, allowing people to continue enjoying the outdoor environment without feeling too cold. Patio heaters typically come in two main types: electric and propane.
Electric patio heaters are powered by electricity and are easy to use, requiring only an electrical outlet. They provide radiant heat and are generally safe to use, making them a popular choice for residential patios.
Propane patio heaters, on the other hand, are fueled by propane gas. They usually have a gas tank attached to the heater, providing the fuel for the burner. Propane patio heaters offer a significant amount of heat output and are often used in commercial outdoor spaces like restaurants and cafes.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel primarily composed of methane (CH4) and other hydrocarbons. It is a naturally occurring resource found beneath the Earth’s surface, often trapped in rock formations. Natural gas is commonly used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, electricity generation, and as a fuel for vehicles.
How to Convert Patio Heater to Natural Gas?
Converting a patio heater from propane to natural gas requires careful consideration. Before you proceed, check for the manufacturer’s instructions. Some patio heaters are convertible. If not, then here’s a step-by-step guide on how to convert your patio heater to natural gas:
Step 1: Gather the necessary components
If your patio heater is convertible, you’ll need to obtain a natural gas conversion kit. This kit should include the required components for the conversion, such as a new gas valve, burner orifices, and any other necessary parts. Purchase the kit from a reputable source or directly from the manufacturer.
Step 2: Turn off and disconnect the propane supply
Before starting the conversion process, turn off the propane supply to the patio heater and disconnect the propane tank. This ensures that no gas is flowing to the heater during the conversion.
Step 3: Remove the propane components
Carefully disassemble the propane components from the patio heater. This typically involves removing the propane burner, gas valve, and any other propane-specific parts.
Step 4: Install the natural gas components
Follow the instructions provided in the conversion kit to install the natural gas components. This usually includes installing the new gas valve and replacing the burner orifices with ones designed for natural gas.
Step 5: Check for leaks
After installing the natural gas components, it’s essential to check for gas leaks. Apply a soap and water solution to all gas connections and joints. If you see bubbles forming, it indicates a gas leak. In that case, turn off the gas supply immediately and tighten the connections. If you’re unsure about detecting leaks, it’s best to have a professional perform this step.
Step 6: Adjust the gas pressure
The pressure of natural gas is typically lower than that of propane, so you need to adjust the gas pressure to ensure the patio heater is functioning optimally. This step may require technical knowledge and specialized equipment, so it’s advisable to seek the help of a professional for this adjustment.
Step 7: Test the patio heater
Once the conversion is complete and you’ve ensured there are no gas leaks, it’s time to test the patio heater. Turn on the natural gas supply and ignite the heater. Check that the flame is stable, and the heater is providing adequate heat.
Step 8: Periodic maintenance
After the conversion, make sure to perform regular maintenance on your patio heater, including cleaning and inspecting the gas connections to ensure safe and efficient operation.
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Why You Should Convert Patio Heater to Natural Gas
Converting your patio heater to natural gas can offer several advantages, making it an attractive option for some homeowners and businesses. Here are some reasons why you might consider converting your patio heater to natural gas:
1. Cost savings
Natural gas is generally more cost-effective than propane. Once your patio heater is connected to a natural gas supply line, you won’t need to purchase and refill propane tanks, which can be more expensive over time. Natural gas prices also tend to be more stable than propane prices.
2. Continuous fuel supply
Unlike propane, which requires regular tank replacements or refills, natural gas offers a continuous supply. This means you won’t have to worry about running out of fuel in the middle of using your patio heater.
With a natural gas connection, you eliminate the need to handle and store propane tanks, which can be heavy and cumbersome. This added convenience makes using your patio heater more hassle-free.
4. Environmental benefits
Natural gas is considered a cleaner burning fossil fuel compared to propane. When burned, it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, contributing to improved air quality and reduced environmental impact.
5. No need for tank storage
Propane tanks can take up valuable space on your patio or deck. Converting to natural gas removes the need for tank storage, giving you more space and a cleaner outdoor environment.
6. Low-maintenance solution
Once properly installed and connected to a natural gas supply, your patio heater will require less maintenance compared to propane heaters. Natural gas burns cleanly, reducing the likelihood of clogs and soot buildup.
7. Longer operating time
Natural gas typically provides a more extended operating time compared to propane heaters. This is especially beneficial if you plan to use your patio heater for extended periods, such as during outdoor events or gatherings.
8. Commercial benefits
For businesses like restaurants, cafes, or bars with outdoor seating areas, converting to natural gas patio heaters can be economically advantageous due to the lower fuel costs and continuous supply.
1. Is natural gas cheaper than propane for patio heaters?
Yes, in general, natural gas is cheaper than propane for patio heaters. Natural gas prices are typically more stable and lower in cost compared to propane, especially when used for frequent or extended outdoor heating.
2. Are natural gas patio heaters more environmentally friendly than propane?
Yes, natural gas patio heaters are considered more environmentally friendly than propane. When burned, natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, making it a cleaner-burning fuel option.
3. Do I need a natural gas line for a natural gas patio heater?
Yes, a natural gas patio heater requires a connection to a natural gas supply line. If you don’t have a natural gas line in your outdoor area, you’ll need to have one installed by a qualified professional.
4. Can I use a natural gas patio heater indoors?
No, natural gas patio heaters are designed for outdoor use only. Using them indoors can be hazardous, as they produce carbon monoxide and require proper ventilation. For indoor heating, consider using indoor-rated heaters that are specifically designed for safe indoor use.
5. Are natural gas patio heaters safe?
When installed and used correctly, natural gas patio heaters are safe. But, follow the guidelines, perform regular maintenance, and ensure proper ventilation when using any gas-powered outdoor heating appliance.
Patio heaters provide a wonderful way to extend your outdoor enjoyment even during cooler weather. If you’re considering converting your patio heater to natural gas, there are several advantages to doing so. Natural gas offers cost savings, a continuous fuel supply, convenience, and environmental benefits. Also, it reduces maintenance and creates more space on your patio or deck by eliminating the need for propane tank storage.
Finally, converting your patio heater to natural gas can be a practical and environmentally friendly choice, providing you with a comfortable outdoor space to enjoy year-round. Whether for personal use at home or for commercial purposes, natural gas patio heaters offer a reliable and efficient heating solution for your outdoor gatherings and events.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.