Cold weather can spoil many life joys, but hanging out outside, in your yard or on your patio doesn’t have to be one of them. If you wish to enjoy your beautiful outside area even in fall and winter, you can bring out some heat with the help of an outdoor heater.
There are different options for keeping your outdoor area warm and cosy, however finding the right one for your needs may require some learning. Outside heaters are an investment that should serve you for a long time, so you’d bedder take your time to choose the right one.
Types of Outdoor Heaters
The most important difference between different types of heaters for outdoor areas is the way they are fuelled. Most of them they use either electricity, gas, such as natural gas or propane, wood or ethanol.
Gas Outdoor Heaters
These heaters run on either natural gas or propane. They are easy to use and to maintain, but they shouldn’t be used in a covered or enclosed space. They offer a lot of heat and they actually produce flickering flames, which makes them especially appealing.
Natural gas outdoor heaters are harder to install because you’ll need a professional to hook it up to your gas line. However, even though both the heater and the installation will cost a bit more, in the long run, heaters fuelled by natural gas are one of the cheapest options. Besides being cost effective, they are also easy to maintain. The downside is that they can’t be easily moved, because of the gas line.
Propane outdoor heaters are really easy to add to your outdoor area. They don’t require any installation. They are ready to use by simply putting them in place, connecting the gas tank and turning them on. Since they are so convenient to install, and the gas tank is so easy to replace, many people decide to invest in a propane outdoor heater. However, keep in mind that propane costs more than natural gas.
These are the least easy to use, since they require constant wood-feeding, and they call for a lot of maintenance. Burning wood is the most old-school and traditional heating solution, but, it’s also the least eco-friendly.
Though starting the fire in a wood-burner may be harder, especially when there is wind, and it can prove to be hard to control the heat, many people find the relaxing atmosphere fire creates to make it worth the trouble, and will choose outdoor fire chimeneas or fire pits despite the costs and inconvenience, because of their ability to provide beautiful ambiance.
Ethanol outdoor heaters
Ethanol heaters are a fairly new, easy to install and eco-friendly heating option. They are also easy to maintain and clean, and can be relocated with little fuss. These quick-to-set-up heaters for outdoor areas use ethanol or bio-ethanol, a type of renewable alternative fuel, created from by-products from plants.
Ethanol fireplaces come in stunning contemporary designs for adding a stylish touch to an outdoor space. What’s more, ethanol burns with orange flame, making them great for creating ambience, but without the smell, the smoke, the ignition troubles, or the carbon-monoxide you get with wood-burners and gas heaters.
Ethanol heaters offer less heat then gas heaters, for instance, but unlike them, they can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Electric outdoor heaters
These are probably the most convenient option, since they work by simply plugging them in. The installation is usually fairly easy, except when they have to be wall-mounted or hanged. Furthermore, patio heaters that use electricity are the easiest to maintain and clean, and they are safe to use in covered or enclosed spaces.
The downsides to electric outdoor heaters, besides affecting your electricity bill, are that you have to either put them near an outlet or use an extension cable.
Designs of Outdoor Heaters
If you love hanging out in your patio or your garden, you probably care about the way it looks. Outdoor heaters can contribute greatly to your outdoor area appearance. They come in a huge range of both traditional and contemporary designs. However, patio heater designs are usually categorised by the way they are installed:
- Floor standing
- Fire pit
Things to Ask Yourself
If you are looking for a patio heater for your home, there are a few things you should take into consideration before choosing one:
- How often will you use it? Thinking about the initial and the long run costs can help you choose which type of outdoor heater suits your needs best.
- Where will you place it? Defining the space can help you determine the size and the shape of your outdoor heater. It will also tell you how strong your heater needs to be, how much space it will need to heat.
- Do you want your heater to be an asset to your outdoor décor?