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Outdoor Heaters Buyer’s Guide

December 3, 2018 by Chris Chapman

If you enjoy spending time on the patio, you shouldn’t let a bit of cold weather keep you from doing what you love! Those fresh winter nights are perfect for relaxing in the great outdoors with a steaming mug of cocoa or even a festive mulled wine, but many people miss out on this feeling as it’s simply too cold outside. That’s why a patio heater should be an essential purchase for anyone with a patio! A patio heater will let you relax in your garden all year round – but which one is right for you? Well, read on – our complete guide to outdoor heating will help you stay cosy all year round!

What You Need to Remember About Patio Heaters

fire pit for the gardenAs a rule, patio heaters all need to be a bit more powerful than indoor heaters. Indoor heaters mainly work by convection, which means they circulate warm air around the room. Obviously, when you’re outdoors, this doesn’t work at all, so outdoor heaters have to work using radiant heat. This means they give off rays of heat which warm the objects around them directly. What this all means is that the positioning of your heater needs to be right so that the heat rays can hit you, otherwise you won’t feel any benefit!

As you might expect, when it comes to electric patio heaters, more powerful electric heaters with a higher wattage will cover a wider area. Bear this in mind if you’re choosing an electric patio heater.

Electric Patio Heaters

electric outdoor patio heater

MYLEK 2KW electric patio heater

Electric patio heaters are the most popular kind of outdoor heater. This is because they’re low-cost, simple, and effective. The benefit electric patio heaters have is that they’re usually designed to be wall-mounted, so you can leave them out on your patio all year round without any problems. You can also position your patio heater to overlook your whole patio, meaning the warming glow of the halogen bulb can reach every corner of your outdoor area.

Generally, you’ll want to pick up the most powerful electric heater that you can afford. There’s no point picking up just one 2KW outdoor heater if you plan on heating a very large patio area as the rays won’t be powerful enough to heat it all. 3KW patio heaters should be enough to heat large patio areas, but if you have a really wide area of over 30-35m² (such as a smoking area in a pub), you might want to look at picking up more than one.

You can pick between pull-cord electric patio heaters and remote control patio heaters, and each has their own advantages. Pull-cord panel heaters are simple and tend to be much more affordable, while remote control patio heaters give you the convenience of being able to turn your heater up, down, on or off without having to get out of your chair.

Choose an Electric Patio Heater if:

You want a patio heater that’s simple, effective, and easy to use.

Chimeneas

chimenea

Charles Bentley chimenea

Chimeneas give your patio a stylish, rustic aesthetic, and are great for creating a cosy atmosphere. They’re essentially wood (or coal) burning stoves with a rounded bottom and a chimney. Chimeneas are slightly less practical than electric patio heaters as you have to actually build the fire, light it, and keep it burning while you’re outside, but it’s hard to argue with how they look and feel!

Chimeneas are rounded, so they can distribute heat around a 360-degree area. This means you should put your chimenea in the centre of your patio and arrange your seating around it in a circle.  This makes them a stylish centrepiece for your patio, while also giving out a cosy heat – you can even use them for toasting marshmallows!

Choose a Chimenea if:

You want a stylish way to keep warm outdoors.

Fire Pits

Charles Bentley fire pit

Charles Bentley fire pit

Fire pits are similar to chimeneas – they’re still wood or coal burning stoves, but they look more like metal basins that you can build a fire in. They don’t have a chimney structure to help shield them from the wind, so they’re better suited to sheltered spots that aren’t exposed to the elements. However, as fire pits tend to be open, this means you can build much larger fires inside them and you can even use them for cooking!

Starting an open fire in a fire pit naturally comes with a few extra safety concerns. If you have young children at home, a fire pit may not be the best idea! You’ll also need to be aware of covering your patio area in smoke and ash – if you place your fire pit a good distance away from your seating area, this shouldn’t be a problem as you can build a bigger fire that’ll put out much more heat anyway.

Choose a Fire Pit if:

You want the freedom to build larger fires to keep extra-cosy.

Garden and Outdoors, Heating

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