As the sun begins to peek through the rain clouds, we automatically start dreaming of summer. However, at least as this weekend in San Diego proved, it is still too cold to start leaving the jacket at home and stripping down to our bikinis. This does not mean it’s too early to start entertaining outdoors, especially with the help of a brand new outdoor heater or fireplace. But which one? There are so many to choose from! Here are some tips for how to heat your outdoor space.
First of all, consider the how much space you have. A bulky standing heater would take up too much room on a small patio or porch, so a wall mounted electric heater should be considered. If you’re trying to heat a large yard or terrace, where many people will be moving around, a standing LPG heater is probably the best option. Another way to go for a large space is an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. These are great main focal points and can serve as a gathering area when entertaining. A table top heater or a hanging heat lamp would nicely compliment a space used primarily for eating or other seated entertainment.
Secondly, consider what the space will be used for. A large space used primarily for entertaining groups of people will require LPG or propane heaters because the gas used in these outdoor heaters warms the air around it and ultimately increases outdoor temperature. These heaters are typically equipped with wheels to make transport easier; your party area will not be confined to a specific space in the yard. A smaller area where people will not be moving around as much is a better place for an infrared or halogen heater, as the infrared rays transfer energy directly from the heater to the bodies around it, not to the surrounding air.
The cost of heating your outdoor space should be considered when buying a heater as well. Gas heaters will ultimately cost more if they are used consistently over a long period of time. Each one, on average burns about 10 hours on one propane tank and operates completely independently without an additional power source. On the other hand, an infrared heater will run on regular electricity from the house and cost little to operate.
Once you decide what type of heater you want, then it is time to start looking at style. Standing heaters typically come in more styles and colors than wall mounted heaters because they will be a part of your outdoor décor. Wall mounted heaters come in a couple colors and styles but are meant to be inconspicuous, not a part of the visual scene as a standing heater or outdoor fireplace would be.