The Heat is On with Patio Heaters
Any outdoor lover will tell you that the right patio heater will allow you to extend your love of the open-air life all year round.
A 15-20 foot circle of heat can easily increase the outside temperature by 10-25 degrees Fahrenheit and that makes all the difference between having to stay inside and eating out.
As with most patio equipment, the choice of the right heater for your needs isn't always such an immediate process. First thing to know is whether you really need or want one. Some factors to consider are your lifestyle. How often do you eat or entertain outside? What is the weather predominantly like?
Now a few words concerning your budget.
How much are you willing to spend?
Prices for free standing models generally start at around $200-$250 and can go up to and over the $1000 mark. For normal domestic use, most sources indicate a $300-$400 model as being perfect.
The more expensive models are generally intended for commercial use. The newer, better-made patio heaters offer a selection of safety features and temperature controls. They will allow you to entertain in the early spring evenings. Just take a family breakfast set outside, or simply have a barbecue anytime you feel like it.
Modern patio heaters are:
so safe, you needn't worry about fire
really make having a patio or deck worthwhile
Freestanding heaters are usually about 7 feet tall and resemble a lamppost with a conical umbrella type housing on top. This helps radiate heat downwards. Some electric models are available but the majority use propane or natural gas, and these are by far the best type to consider. The gas canisters are contained in the base of the heater.
A quality patio or garden heater will generate around 45-50,000 BTUs, and that would be enough to keep you warm when you sit anywhere within a 20-foot diameter.
Most models now come with wheels, which facilitate moving your heater from one place to another while some even come with carrying cases. When it's not in use, you can put the patio or deck heater in its carry case, or under an appropriate cover, and just wheel it away!
Many retailers are also able to offer smaller tabletop, or footstool, versions of the freestanding models.
So, apart from the price, the main things to look out for are the BTUs and temperature controls. The rest is really just design. Choose something you like ... and prepare to enjoy more quality time outdoors.
In summary, garden or patio heaters will allow you to enjoy the outdoor life all year round.
Nicholas webb is the owner of http://www.allabout-patio-furniture.com A site that provides valuable patio furniture and patio accessories consumer tips and buying advice for the outdoor lover. Check it out before parting with your money.