Beat the chill on cooler nights with these backyard heaters
Find out which type of heater is best for your outdoor space
Now the warmer months are
a thing of the past and winter is upon us, the cold can quickly bring an enjoyable evening outdoors to a grinding halt.
So, how can you guarantee that your outdoor entertaining space is welcoming in all kinds of weather without having to hand out rugs and uggs to your guests?
Easy, just install outdoor heating. There are a multitude of choices available to keep you cosy.
Every outdoor heating solution will use fuel or energy of one sort or another.
There are three main options when it comes to the energy source. You can choose gas from a bottle or mains, electricity or traditional solid fuels such as wood or briquettes.
The advantage of gas and electric is that you can flick a switch and have instant heat without any fuss, while solid fuel requires a bit of effort to get going and the heat can be inconsistent.
But let’s face it, a marshmallow toasted in the glow of an electric heater is just not quite right.
There’s no arguing that gas heaters will bring near-instant warmth and, with bottles that can easily be replaced, a degree of simplicity and convenience.
The majority of gas heaters are portable, so you can move them to where the action is.
Some of these heaters can also be connected to the mains gas, if you have an outdoor spigot.
But one drawback with gas heaters is they work by convection, heating only the air around them. This means they will feel warm up close, but the heat will drop rapidly as you move further away.
Very easy to use, as there’s no messing around with fuel or switching gas bottles, electric heaters allow you to just flick a switch for instant heat.
The running costs of quality, modern radiant heaters is also far lower than gas options.
A gas heater can cost about $3 an hour to run, whereas a quality radiant electric heater can cost as little as 30 cents an hour.
One reason for their efficiency is that this type of heater aims to warm you up directly, not to simply heat the air around you, in the way that fuel heaters do.
Traditional, fun to use and attractive, solid fuel heaters are still a great option.
While a little more planning is needed to light it in advance, there is something so comforting about being warmed by an open fire.
There are also more options in the style of solid fuel heaters you can buy, than with gas or electric.
But you must remember to observe local fire restrictions and to keep the kids well supervised.
Also, only use solid fuel in well-ventilated areas, avoid burning treated pine and ensure the fire is completely extinguished at the end of the evening.