The Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater is a popular freestanding patio heater and our top pick among the best patio heaters. Made by Fire Sense – one of the leading patio heater brands in the United States – it offers a winning blend of power, versatility and affordability.
Powered by a 20-pound liquid propane tank (sold separately), the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater produces up to 46,000 BTU of heat. Each BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
According to Fire Sense, 46,000 BTU should be enough to heat approximately 225 square feet of patio, keeping you and your family warm throughout every season.
Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater review: Price
The price of the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater can vary significantly depending on the finish you choose. Most models cost $229.99 if you buy them straight from Fire Sense, with the more robust Stainless Steel model costing $379.99.
However, if you buy it from another online retailer, you're likely to find a much cheaper deal. We've seen the Mocha model for just $165 on Amazon, for instance, and other finishes, such as Platinum, are under $150 at Home Depot – where you can also pick up the Stainless Steel model for under $300.
If budget is an issue, however, you can get a similar spec for even less with the AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater – although there's no pilotless burner system, and the base is less weighty making it less stable in windy conditions. AZ Patio Heaters also offers a very similar alternative, the Hiland HLDS01 – which at 48,000 BTU is also a little more powerful.
Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater review: Features
Heat source: Propane
Heat output: 46,000 BTU
Tank size: 20 pounds
Run time: 10 hours
Heating range: 225 square feet
Size: 89 x 33 x 18 inches
Weight: 43 pounds
Warranty: 1 year
Constructed from commercial-grade steel, the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater is a sturdy unit that balances practicality with fashionable design. It comes in a wide range colors, including Aqua Blue, Matte Black and Hammered Mocha/Bronze, to help you match your patio décor.
The heater lights at a push of a button thanks to a Piezo electric ignition system (which needs an AAA battery, not included) and its wide base gives it increased stability. Although it weighs 43 pounds without the fuel tank, its heavy-duty wheels make it easy to maneuver around even the most uneven of patios.
Its 'Pilotless' Burner System is more reliable than a conventional standing-pilot system as it can't blow out in windy conditions, and also reduces the fuel wastage of having a constant flame.
Fire Sense Commercial review: User Reviews
Walmart customers give the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater an impressive 4.8 out of 5 from almost 700 reviews, with Home Depot customers also rating it highly: 4.5 out of 5 from 170 reviews. Amazon's rating is lower, at 3.8 out of 5, from 131 reviews.
The Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater is widely praised by users for its sturdiness, heat output, ease of use and reliability. Most people take around an hour to assemble it, including filling the base with sand. However, many note that the instructions are quite basic and it's not immediately clear that a battery is required for the ignition system to work, for instance.
Around 10-12 feet is the average effective heating range quoted by users. That's smaller than the 15 foot maximum range quoted by the manufacturer – although performance for all patio heaters will vary according to the operating conditions. One user estimated the range at up to 18 feet.
Another issue to bear in mind is the suggested run-time on a full fuel tank, as on maximum power several users reported the propane running out in less than half the 10 hours advertised.
A top tip shared by one user is to warm the protective blue film covering the reflector pieces with a hairdryer to make it easier to remove, as it can leave sticky residue otherwise. Others noted that as it doesn't come with a cover as standard, it's worth investing in one separately.
Should you buy the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater?
Yes. If you're looking for a sturdy, reliable and attractively designed patio heater to extend the use of your outdoor space well into the cooler months, the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater is a great choice.
At peak performance, one heater should generate enough heat to warm more than 200 square feet of patio – and it's mobile enough to wheel around the garden to suit your changing needs.
Alternatives to the Fire Sense Commercial
Not convinced that the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater is right for you? You’ll find plenty more options in our best patio heater guide, where we've selected a range of models that excel in different situations for all budgets like the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater and AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater. However, if you're in a hurry, here are our three top alternatives to the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater...
AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Heater
If you're looking for a cheaper patio heater with a similar spec, AmazonBasics has a great-value solution. It's exactly the same size and power output (46,000 BTU), and also features a Piezo ignition system. Many users are surprised by the quality, given the low price.
Thermo Tiki Deluxe Patio Heater
If you want something with a bit more flair as a patio centrepiece, this striking pyramid-shaped patio heater features a 'dancing flame' at its center. It's less powerful at 38,000 BTU, slightly heavier and a little more expensive, but is definitely more of a talking point too.
Endless Summer Triple Dome Patio Heater
If you have more cash to spend, and a very large area to keep warm, this innovative tripled-domed patio heater spreads its modest 40,000 BTU a lot further than its rivals – Endless Summer claims that it can heat up to 400 square feet. It's twice as heavy as the Fire Sense Commercial, too.