Adding a gas- or propane-powered heater to your patio provides an effective way to improve the comfort of this space. With a patio heater in place, you'll find that you're more likely to use the patio in the spring and fall months, and it may even be comfortable for use during the winter. When you begin to browse patio heaters, you'll notice that some devices mount overhead, while others stand directly on the patio. Among the latter style, there are a handful of designs that you'll likely see while you shop. Here are three popular types of heaters that you may wish to buy.

Pole Heater

A popular style of patio heater is a pole heater. As its name suggests, this is a device that is equipped with a tall pole that has the heating element mounted at the top of the pole. Pole heaters are available in many heights, and you'll often find that they have a saucer-style reflector above the heating element that pushes the heat downward. Pole heaters have several advantages, but some people appreciate them because of their narrow construction. If you have a patio that is on the smaller side, you might appreciate how a pole heater doesn't take up a lot of space.

Pyramid Heater

You'll also come across pyramid-shaped patio heaters while you browse the available options at your local retailer. Pyramid heaters are thicker at the base and have a pointed top, with a shape that is indicative of their name. Instead of the heat coming from the top of the pyramid, the flame comes out of the base and rises toward the top of the pyramid. Visually, pyramid heaters often have a modern look. You'll frequently see them on patios at high-end restaurants, bars, and hotels, although you can buy them for residential usage, too.

Compact Heater

There are all sorts of compact patio heaters that are available for homeowners. Compact patio heaters are a good choice for smaller patios. Some designs fit beneath your patio table, which can help to keep your feet and legs toasty as you sit and eat. Tabletop models are also an option. You'll have to be mindful of where you place such a heater because it may not initially be as obvious to your guests, but the small size of this device means that you can usually find a number of places to position it.

Visit a home supply store to learn more about patio heaters.