What Should I Look For When Buying an Outdoor Heater?
It might seem impossible to enjoy recreational outdoor activities like BBQ, camping, and picnics in colder weather conditions, but all you need is a good outdoor heater and you're good to go. You can make use of the outdoor heater to warm up your outdoor space and make it suitable for lounging all year round. Outdoor heaters do not only bring warmth to your space, but they can also serve as decorative elements and enhance the ambiance of your space. Your guests will certainly have no issue settling in during an outdoor gathering when you invest in a suitable outdoor heater.
Outdoor heaters are of different types and a lot of factors need to be considered when you are searching for an outdoor heater to purchase. These heaters can be categorized based on the fuel that powers them. You can get outdoor gas heaters, outdoor electric heaters, outdoor ethanol heaters, or traditional wood-fueled fire pits. You can also categorize these heaters based on their design which can range from tabletop outdoor heaters, standalone/ground outdoor heaters, to mountable outdoor heaters, and fire pits. If you have been unable to decide which outdoor heater is the right one for you, you can continue reading to get detailed specs on the various types of outdoor heaters in order to find which one is most suitable for you.
- Outdoor Gas Heaters
Outdoor gas heaters are very popular and commonly used because of how inexpensive they are and how easy they are to set up and maintain. All you need to do is find a good location for the heater and connect it to a natural gas line. These gas heaters are odorless and make use of radiant heat to provide an easily controllable stream of warmth and are most effective when positioned in the center of your outdoor space. Some outdoor gas heaters even include a portable propane gas tank that makes the appliance more portable and can be moved across different locations. Outdoor gas heaters come in different forms and designs and you can choose the heater you want based on the type of outdoor space.
A tabletop outdoor gas heater will be the best option for a smaller outdoor space while a standalone outdoor gas heater will complement a large space perfectly. A gas-powered fire pit is also available if you are a person that likes blending traditional and modern styles in your space. You can also install more than one outdoor heater if your space is extremely big or if the weather condition is too harsh. The downsides of an outdoor gas heater is the possible emission of fumes while active and the fact that it can take up more room than other heaters.
- Outdoor Electric Heaters
Outdoor electric heaters typically require electricity to produce heat that will warm your outdoor space. These heaters make use of a heating bulb to generate radiant heat for controllable warmth and you can plug them almost anywhere because they are compatible with most standard residential outlets. It is very easy to use and maintain an electric heater with relatively low running cost. A lot of people prefer outdoor electric heaters to outdoor gas heaters because of how aesthetic and unobtrusive they are and how effective they are in providing targeted warmth.
Electric heaters mostly produce radiant heat provided by infrared technology which means that the warmth you get depends on your proximity to the heater. Another advantage of outdoor electric heaters is the lack of odor and fumes when active, making them suitable for enclosed spaces as well. They are also portable since you can unplug them from one outlet and connect them to another. There are different designs of outdoor electric heaters and they usually feature a heat strip design that allows you to mount them on the wall or ceiling with no hassle. The main disadvantage of an outdoor electric heater is its reliance on electricity and needs to be plugged in before it can work.
- Outdoor Ethanol Heaters
Another type of outdoor heater that is gaining popularity is the outdoor ethanol heater. They are also referred to as Bio Ethanol Heaters and they make use of alcohol-based eco-friendly bio-ethanol as fuel to produce a naked flame that will bring warmth to your outdoor space. These heaters do not produce any odor or smoke when active and are completely safe and environmentally friendly. T
he flames from an outdoor ethanol heater are authentic and produce sufficient warmth without releasing any harmful substances into the air. Cost-effectiveness is really high because ethanol heaters do not require any electricity, outlets or plug-ins and do not pose any of the risks usually associated with traditional fireplaces.
Outdoor ethanol heaters work through a mechanism that involves a burner fueled by bio-ethanol and a microprocessor that controls the flames. You can get an outdoor ethanol heater in different forms including fireplaces, pits, tabletop, and totem pillars.
- Traditional Wood-fueled Fire Pits
Sometimes nothing beats gathering around the heat of a good ol' wood-fueled fire pit with your family and friends. The fire pit itself can be a comforting piece of art that you can stare at for long without any ill effect. It gives a unique ambiance and aesthetic to your outdoor gathering while providing an adequate amount of warmth during cold nights. You can also use this fire to cook or grill some food and snacks while enjoying the heat as well.
The design of wood-fueled fire pits can differ significantly but it typically involves the fire burning in a metal bowl mounted on a concrete fire pit stand. The downside of this heating system includes the toxic emission of fumes that are harmful to the environment. Wood-fueled fire pits can be messy due to ashes and it is also difficult to regulate the flames and smoke.
- How To Choose The Best Outdoor Heater
To choose the best outdoor heating system for your patios, verandas, garages, gardens, and other outdoor spaces, you need to consider the location, size of the space, energy source, fuel type, cost, design, and efficiency of the heater. Some types of heaters might not be compatible with your space due to factors like climate, available power source, and building structure.
For large outdoor spaces or extremely cold environments, it is advisable to use multiple heaters around the space. Smaller spaces will need tabletop heaters or a single gas patio heater in the center to create an intimate outdoor mood. If you are looking for something portable, then an outdoor electric heater will be the best choice for you.
Fuel type matters when you are choosing an outdoor heater. If you do not have access to nearby electricity, then you might want to invest in an outdoor gas heater instead. If you are keeping the health of the environment in mind, then it would be good to stay aware of wood-fueled fire pits, fireplaces, or campfires.