During the cooler months of the year, Spring and Autumn in particular, some form of outdoor heating is the only real way to enjoy your alfresco dining with friends and family. A really fast and easy way to get things warmed up is with a stylish patio heater and the choices are wide-ranging so you’re bound to find one that fits the bill.
Patio Heater Designs
The quality of patio heaters, as with any outdoor furniture, reflects to a large extent in the price you’re prepared to invest. A more robust patio heater will last much longer, generate more heat, and is usually easier to use. The heaters generally tend to fall into the following separate categories of gas patio heaters, electric patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces and cheaper patio heaters. The patio heaters can be floor standing, attached to a table or a larger parasol.
Gas Patio heaters
As the name suggests gas patio heaters work via a bottled gas supply. One of the advantages of using gas is that the cost per hour of use is generally very favourable when compared to an electric patio heater. The downside to a gas patio heater can be that it’s liable to run out of gas – leaving your barbecue food only half cooked. Plus your guests will be mightily unimpressed after you’ve promised them a great evening of alfresco dining.
The taller free-standing patio heaters are a great choice as they often come in smart aluminium metal designs and look great on your patio. The gas bottle is usually incorporated within the base and so keeps everything sleek, stylish and safe. The gas patio heaters are a little more fiddly to operate, especially when changing the gas bottle, but are still nonetheless a sound choice when warmth is needed quickly when you’re outdoors in your garden.
Electric Patio Heaters
The alternative to high quality gas heaters comes in the form of electric patio heaters. The main benefit of an electric outdoor heater is the fact that it can be switch off and on at any time you choose – that’s a big tick in the convenience department. An electric patio heater is the garden lovers choice when ease of use is a must – just plug it in and switch it on.
Electric heaters can come in some very stylish designs and floor standing heaters can make a real design statement. There are other choices of electric patio heaters that include those that can be wall mounted, attached to a parasol and those that are tall free-standing types. Power outputs vary according to price and typically range from 1.3 kW – 3kW. Go for a larger 3kW patio heater if you need a wider area of coverage.
Outdoor Fireplace Heaters
There are some great choices of outdoor fireplace patio heaters and these can include everything from smaller steel heaters to chimeneas and the common Weber design heaters. Some of the fireplace heaters also double up as barbecues but are usually smaller in size and won’t be effective as a larger specifically designed patio heater.
Steel chimeneas are generally of similar design but have proved very popular in gardens of all shapes and sizes. The Chimenea generally needs some small assembly, it is delivered in 3 separate parts; the main body, the funnel and the lid. There is also a grate on the front to hold the logs inside the stop the wood from spitting out onto the patio or garden area.
Cheaper Patio heaters
If you’re on a tight budget then there are still some good choices on offer for reliable patio heaters. A cheap patio heater will be limited in its ability to provide high amounts if heat over a larger area, but can still provide an element of warmth. The cheaper style of patio heater, that still retains some good design features, can cost anything around £70 mark upwards. This still provides good value for money.
Adding that extra warmth means more time with friends and family while you’re taking in and admiring your horticultural efforts. Prepare the food, switch on the patio heater, and relax while eating your favourite barbecue food and glass of wine or beer. Whatever style of patio heaters you prefer there’s no better way to enjoy your garden.