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The Most Effective Outdoor Heating Options to Consider

With winter a matter of months away it is time to start considering which outdoor heating products you’ll require to make the most of your outdoor living space. When using outdoor heaters for your business or at home, choosing the most suitable model is critical to avoid wasted heat and energy. So how effective are outdoor patio heaters? Most of the time, the heat from outdoor heating products is cast outwards to the surrounding environment and then upwards (as hot air rises) to the sky, making the heat useless to the people seated around it. If the correct steps are taken, and the most suitable outdoor heater chosen for the application then this wastage can be reduced.

The Most Effective Outdoor Heating Options to Consider

There are three main types of outdoor heating products to consider – Gas (LPG bottles or Natural Gas line), Wood Burning and Electric.

Gas Patio Heaters

Gas patio heater designs have changed over the years with some manufacturers taking steps to improve the efficiency and looks, pyramid gas patio heater with a glass tube are now popular, but come at a higher cost. Cheaper umbrella gas patio heaters with a large parasol may not be as stylish but will generally provide more heat and be more efficient, saving you money.  If using a gas patio heater for your garden, then these types of heaters can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful chic new room attached to your house. For a commercial property like a restaurant or bar a series of pyramid gas patio heaters can transform an outdoor eating area and have customers returning time and time again.

The most commonly used gas patio heaters include an LPG gas burners which operate from a gas bottle. Changing the bottle is generally safe and easy. If using a gas patio heater in a pub garden, outdoor restaurant, bar gardens or smoking areas choosing a model which is supplied with wheels is critical. This will make moving and storing the patio heaters when the business is closed easy.

Solid Fuel Patio Heaters

The second type of patio heaters is a solid fuel burner, which come in numerous forms such as wood burning fire pits and log burners. These outdoor heaters create a really lovely environment for the people perched around them, and provide a camp fire experience. However, they produce a lot of smoke which can leave you feeling breathless, smelly (from the constant stream of smoke) and are overall quite bad for your health if you find yourself exposed to them for long periods of time. The practicalities of having a wood burning firepit make it a difficult long term choice. These real flame garden heaters take time to light and get up to a good level of heat. They also require constant maintenance and are over all much harder to keep going all evening. They are also less desirable in a commercial setting where health and safety considerations of having customers and staff near a live flame need to be taken into account.

Electric Patio Heaters

Electric outdoor heaters are generally cheap to buy and to operate. There are many advantages of using an electric heater. The most attractive feature is the ability to turn the electric heater on and off when required by using a simple switch on the product or wall. Wall mounted electric heaters, ceiling mounted electric heaters and freestanding electric heaters are a perfect way to save costs and electricity if no one is out on the patio. Look out for higher specification electric patio heaters models which come with an automated sensor that turns the heater on when triggered. In addition, electric heaters are much more efficient and can focus the outgoing warmth at a target, meaning that the people surrounding the heater will get warm instead of the skies above.

Electric patio heaters are extremely effective, do not emit any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and use 85% less energy than gas patio heaters. Electric heaters also do not omit any harmful emissions or smells which is extremely beneficial to the health of the user. There is no noise associated with most electric heaters however some electric fan heaters and electric tower heaters have a fan that spreads heat and this may be heard when operated. More importantly electric patio heaters will provide instant heat with the flick of a switch.

When considering an outdoor heating product you should be aware that the weather can change and when choosing a product and where to install it this should be taken into account. For instance a wood burning or gas patio heater will not be able to be used under a parasol of canopy as the emissions from the fuel will be contained and be harmful to the user. In this type of installation an electric heater like a high heat output halogen electric outdoor heater should be used.

A typical outdoor electric heater uses approximately 12p/kW/hour to run and, in my opinion is the best all round solution for outdoor heating. Electric heaters are the easiest way to ensure everyone remains warm outside. All you need to do is plug it in and switch it on. With no smells, no storage hassle and no noise, electric heaters are the new way to go.

Read more Outdoor Heating Guides – Patio Heating Explained