Summer is just around the corner, in fact we’ve seen quite a bit of sunshine in recent weeks. However, the evenings still draw in colder at the height of British summertime and if you want to carry on entertaining when the sun goes down, then you need to seriously consider some form of patio heating.
There are so many different types of outdoor fireplaces, patio heaters and fire pits on the market that its important you make your purchase with some consideration. You don’t buy an outdoor patio heater everyday, and they aren’t cheap, so it must not only fit your budget, but your lifestyle too.
There are several different types of patio heaters on the market, and the main options are as follows:
- Freestanding Patio Heaters
These patio heaters consist of a burner on top of a freestanding or table-top post. The burner flames are enclosed by a screen. Standalone patio heaters can provide the most warmth, heating within a radius of up to 20 feet. They are fueled by propane, natural gas or electricity. Propane patio heaters are usually portable, but some require fixing. The natural gas like LPG and are generally viewed as the more eco-friendly option, while the electric heaters are not too good for the environment, but are generally viewed as the more convenient choice.
- Fixed Patio Heaters
The fixed patio heaters tend to primarily be wall or ceiling mounted and infared/electric. They are small, easy to install and will not give off any the fumes/smell associated with the freestanding propane heaters.
- Parasol Fitted Heaters
Universally fitting infrared parasol heaters can be attached within minutes and will provide heat at your Lazy Susan patio table. The parasol heater is highly efficient and the direction of the heat is not affected by the wind, only heating people and not the air in between.
A chiminea is a pot with a short chimney, typically made of clay but also available in iron and copper. In addition to providing heat, a chiminea adds a touch of old world ambience to an outdoor patio. However, as the chimenea style heaters burn wood, they can be a little messy and like a BBQ will require cleaning after use.
- Fire Pits
Fire pits can be built into a stone patio but are also available freestanding.
- Outdoor Fireplaces
Not as common, the patio fireplace is a patio heater that in many ways resembles an indoor fireplace with a mantel and screen or an updated cast-iron stove. They are available in wood-burning, gas or electric models.
First, you need to decide if you want a permanent fixed heater or would rather go for the portable options that can be stored during the winter months. Both of them are equally convenient, but you can move a portable outdoor heater to the part of the patio/garden you’re using. The fixed heaters are ideal if you have a specific area that you want to heat and the wall or ceiling type mounted outdoor heaters hardly take up any space at all, while the freestanding can be bulky. A couple of important points to also consider:
- Always read the instruction manuals carefully before installing a patio heater. Installing incorrectly or mishandling a patio heater can be incredibly dangerous, so please express caution!
- If you are installing the heater permanently, always choose the position very carefully. Put it up against a wall or some sort of structure, so that wind cannot blow the heat waves away from you. Place the temporary outdoor patio heaters likewise so that you get all the heat not next doors garden.
To be honest, such a wide variety makes it harder to choose. You can find heaters with different designs, each beautiful in its own way. Prices vary according to the design, material used and manufacturer. It is important that you decide exactly what you need for your patio/garden and then try to fix up a budget and to stick to it.
All the common heaters will more or less raise the temperature by 15 to 25 degree F with in a radius of 15 to 20 ft, but each of the different types of heater has its pros and cons. That’s why it is important to look around before you buy. You can do that by surfing the net or by visiting each shop that sells that outdoor patio heaters.
Nevertheless, make sure you do some research before you part with your hard earned cash and you won’t be left with an expensive heater that you never or can’t use.