On a warm, balmy night, sitting outside, enjoying a nice drink in your garden or on the terrace, is very pleasant. In the summer, it is customary for the evenings to stay warm until late in Perth, but towards the end of summer, or in early spring, you may find it too cold to be outdoors for long unless you happen to live in the far north of Australia. However, with a patio heater, you can enjoy your garden for longer, without needing extra layers to keep the chill off.
You have several options if you need a patio heater. Free-standing patio heaters can be moved around to suit. Wall mounted patio heaters are useful if your table and chairs are adjacent to the house. Tabletop heaters are, as the name suggests, suitable for tables. So, what are the best heating options for patios?
Solid Fuel Outdoor Heat
Chimineas are very popular for heating outdoor patios. Mexican clay, cast bronze or iron chimineas look attractive and kick out plenty of heat on a cool evening. They work with solid fuel, so you can burn wood or coal. You can even cook food on them if you like the idea of a smoke-tinged sausage.
Fire pits are another option if you want to go down the solid fuel route. Metal fire pits are relatively inexpensive or you can dig your own fire pit. The smoke will repel insects, but remember that an open fire can be a danger, especially in tinder dry conditions.
Gas Patio Heaters
Gas patio heaters deliver plenty of heat. They typically have a solid base that contains a gas bottle, a heat generator, and a reflector to distribute the heat nearby. So long as you sit reasonably close, you won’t feel cold, even on a very cool night.
The main disadvantage with gas patio heaters is that they heat the air, so most of the heat is lost before it has the chance to warm you up. Therefore, they are not very efficient or economical. But, gas patio heaters are inexpensive to buy and easy to install, and you can position them anywhere as no power outlet is needed.
Infrared heaters heat up people and objects, rather than radiating heat into space. Wall-mounted and tabletop heaters are typically infrared. Infrared heat is more efficient than gas heating. So long as you sit relatively close to the heater, you should stay nice and toasty.
The disadvantage with using electric infrared space heaters outdoors is that they are expensive to run. You are also restricted with where you can position them, as an electrical outlet is required.
Whichever type of patio heater you go for, you can maximise its effectiveness by making your outdoor entertainment area more enclosed. Use fencing, walls, or dense shrubbery to block out the wind and create a smaller space for your heater to do its job.
Awnings and gazebos are also useful.
Consider how often you might need extra heat and whether you want the versatility of a freestanding patio heater before you invest in one.