We've researched the latest outdoor space heaters, sifting through thousands of specs, features and user reviews to find the best patio heaters around. Here's everything you need to know about the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater.
Dubbed "the original outdoor patio heater", the Sunglo brand is long-established in the US. The original product was designed in 1961 to cater to a particular demand in California for decorative yet practical gas-fired heaters.
Built to last, Sunglo heaters are available in four configurations: freestanding, portable, suspended and self-contained. This particular model, the ceiling-mounted Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater, frees up patio space – provided you have a suitable roof covering overhead.
The Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater can generate a very impressive 50,000 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.
Its deep dish reflector is designed to create radiant heat, which warms people and objects rather than wasting energy on heating the surrounding air. Depending on wind conditions, Sunglo claims it can heat an area of up to 144 square feet.
Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater review: Price
Boasting ornate craftsmanship, a timeless, stylish design and powerful heat output, the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater is certainly at the expensive end of the patio heater range.
With manual ignition, the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater costs $1,290 at Amazon. This rises to $1,458 with standing pilot, $1,551 with electronic ignition.
This puts the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater in a different price bracket from most patio heaters, which will make it prohibitively expensive for some. It's commonly used in commercial premises, such as restaurants, spas and hotels, but is also a premium investment for discerning homeowners that should last many years.
Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater review: Features
Heat source: Natural gas
Heat output: 50,000 BTU
Heating range: 144 square feet
Size: 41 x 34.5 x 34.5 inches
Weight: 105 pounds
Warranty: 1 year (parts only)
The Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater features a wrought-iron frame, decorated with a classical scroll design and a powder-coat finish. A variety of colors are available, including silver, black, white, green and stainless steel.
A large, umbrella-like aluminum disc reflector maximises the heat output, emitting a dome of radiant heat up to 15 feet in diameter. The cylinder-shaped primary burner is aerated to minimize noise, and has a safety pilot system that shuts off the gas if the pilot light blows out.
The manual controls on the basic model mean that the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater must be within easy reach, although if you need to mount it higher up, optional automatic control systems are also available for extra cost.
As the patio heater radiates heat in all directions, it's most effective when mounted centrally – above a patio table, for instance – although bear in mind that it needs a 24-inch clearance from combustibles in all directions around it.
Should you buy the Sunglo A244 patio heater?
As a domestic customer, your circumstances need to be just right for the Sunglo A244 Suspended Patio Heater to be the ideal choice for you. First of all, you need to be prepared to spend $1,200-$1,500 and have the unit professionally fitted. The cost is likely to put a lot of people off.
In a market where the fuel choices for patio heaters tend to be between a propane tank or an electrical socket, this heavy-duty unit needs to be piped into your house's natural gas supply, making it a much more permanent fixture for your patio.
Finally, in order to mount the Sunglo A244 above your patio, you do also need a suitable roof structure to fix it to, while meeting the minimum clearances.
If you're committed to a high-end Sunglo natural gas heater but don't have a suitable ceiling-mounting location, however, then freestanding, portable and self-contained units are also available.
Alternatives to the Sunglo A244 patio heater
Not convinced that the Sunglo A244 Suspended 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. However, if you're in a hurry, here are our three top alternatives to the Sunglo A244.
Fire Sense Table Top Patio Heater
Placed on top of an existing outdoor table, this portable unit from Fire Sense is a very effective way to keep your face and hands warm. At just 10,000 BTU it has a fifth of the power of the Sunglo Model A244, but at less than a tenth of the price.
Bromic Smart-Heat Electric Heater
If you have a healthy budget but would prefer a more eco-friendly option, you can achieve the same 144-square-foot coverage as the Sunglo Model A244 with a top-of-the-range 6000W (20,460 BTU) Bromic Smart-Heat Electric Patio Heater.
Endless Summer Triple Dome
If you have a large area to keep warm, this innovative tripled-domed patio heater spreads its 40,000 BTU up to 400 square feet. At over $700, it's at the higher end of the freestanding propane heater range – but still less than half the price of a top-end Sunglo A244.