Nothing is more enjoyable than sharing social moments with family or friends in the garden. Living in the UK means the temperatures outdoors can sometimes make this a little less pleasant, but the addition of a patio heater to your outdoor space means you needed head indoors when the temperature drops.
In this article, we offer some advice on how to choose a patio heater and how to maintain it based on the type of appliance.
Types of Outdoor Heater
To warm your outdoor space, you have a few options. Here are some of the various types of patio heaters.
Umbrella Patio Heater
The heated umbrella. These are elegantly shaped, coming in various sizes and fuel types.
- Gas fuelled (butane or propane). These heaters have heating power that can reach 12 kw/h or more. They can cover an area of 20 to 25 m².
- Electric heaters. The power generated by this type of heating is variable, often between 1,500 and 2,500 W, a heating power sufficient to heat an area of 15 to 20 m².
The most commonly used materials for these types of outdoor heaters are aluminum or steel. Some models are provided with glass or PVC around the heating body.
The heated umbrella can be moved as you wish. With a support surmounted by a block of round, square or oval heating, but also of various heights, it is proposed in variable forms, such as: pyramid, column, umbrella.
Outdoor electric wall heating
The external wall-mounted electric heater attaches to any wall mount near an electrical point. Generally small, this outdoor heater typically has a power of 1,500 to 2,500 W.
Some units come with remote control for greater ease of use.
It’s worth noting that some external electric wall heaters, as well as some electric heated sunshades, can make use of infrared rays, which allows them to distribute an instantaneous heat and also offer some ambient light at the same time.
Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit
A very popular choice, the outdoor fireplace can be either contemporary or rustic. In addition to its heating properties, itcan be a very decorative feature, whether on the terrace or in the middle of the garden.
Fuel is normally bioethanol, wood or logs manufactured specifically for this type of heater.r
There are models of outdoor chimneys of different shapes and sizes, such as:
- Fire Pits
These types of outdoor fireplace have a heating power that varies according to the model you choose. Some models are also designed to function as a barbecue.
Whichever type of terrace heater you choose, be sure to select the best position for it, so that all guests can enjoy the diffused heat.
Maintenance of Patio Heating
Having invested in a patio or garden heater, you’ll want to make sure it looks and functions at it’s best. Here are some useful tips regarding the maintenance of a patio or garden heater.
Electric Patio Heaters
The electric terrace heater does not really require any special maintenance, however, its halogen lamp should be checked from time to time. It is up to you to change it when it no longer works. A typical lifespan can reach 7,000 hours of use.
Gas Fuelled Heaters
The gas-fired heating appliance requires a little more regular maintenance. You should clean it regularly to remove dirt and any accumulated insects. If you notice that the appliance produces a flame that is too low or the flame goes out immediately after the ignition, it is definitely time for cleaning. In all cases, it is not recommended to use flammable or abrasive products to maintain this type of outdoor heater. Use a cloth soaked with soapy water to clean the burner, glass and possibly the ventilation duct.
Storage and Protection of Your Heater
If the patio heater is not to be used for a long time, it is strongly recommended to cover the appliance with a protective cover and store it in a dry place. This will protect from dirt, dust and moisture and will extend the lifespan of your heater.
How to light a Chimenea
Chimeneas were originally used for cooking. A 17th century invention of Mexican origins, the chimenea is made of baked clay and has two parts: a pile and a wooden chamber. The wooden chamber is a rounded pot and has a wide, round opening.
Chimeneas are now frequently used as pits or fireplaces for decorating outdoor rooms, and although the fires in chimeneas are small controlled fires that need to be closely monitored.
- Place the chimenea outside on a deck, patio or other area free of trees or overhanging bushes. The chimenea must be placed on a metal support if it has no legs. The wooden chamber should not be sitting on the floor or the surface.
- Clean the wood chamber of all debris and dust. Make sure the chimney is free of debris.
- Place sand or gravel in the bottom of the wooden chamber, just enough to cover the surface. Do not overfill. This rocky bed is to protect the bottom of the wood chamber from direct contact with the flames.
- Start with a small fire. Use a hardwood and place a small amount of kindling on the top of the sand or gravel. Next, place some small pieces of wood in the middle of the wooden chamber. All fires in the chimenea should burn in the center of the chamber.
- Avoid using lighter fluids or other accelerators. Light the kindling with matches or a lighter.
- Let the fire die naturally. Do not extinguish a chimenea fire with water. If you have a chiminea made of clay, this will cause the body of clay to crack.
- Light a second fire after the chimenea completely cooled, at least 24 hours.
- Add a handful of sand or gravel if necessary for the second fire. Ball a small sheet of paper and place it in the center of the wooden chamber. Put wood on top and light the paper. This fire must be slightly larger than the first and burn for longer.
- Subsequent fires are expected to remain low and controlled.
Safety Considerations for Patio Heaters
Although outdoor heaters should be manufatured to safety standards, it is recommended that you follow simple guidelines to ensure you use them safely.
- Don’t stand too close to the appliance when it is in operation
- Avoid contact with paper or similar flammable materials, especially on windy or breezy days
- Keep children well away from the fire area at all times
- Always ensure you place the heater on a stable surface so that the device cannot tip over
- The appliance must be switched off and in the case of gas fuelled heaters, must be systematically closed when not in use
Many of us spend a lot of time, effort and money creating wonderful gardens and outdoor spaces. Sharing these spaces with family and friends need not be restricted to warm summer days. Cool evenings, Autumn nights and even Winter outdoor parties can all be comfortable and enjoyable experiences with the addition of some patio heating. We hope you found our article useful and are inspired to add some heating to your own outdoor space.
Why not take a look at some of our fantastic offers and deals on patio heaters.