Sunday, 28 November 2010

Using Your Patio in the Winter With Patio Heaters

You've worked hard to create and cultivate your outdoor living space - meaning your patio or your deck - so why let that all go to waste when it gets cold outside? There are a couple of different ways to make your patio a still comfortable and hospitable place to be, even when the weather is not so agreeable.

Mainly, you have to bring the heat back to your patio. There are a few ways to do this. One is to install an outdoor fireplace, which is costly and time-consuming. If you have the time for it, it is a striking and pleasant way to warm up your patio. Another way is to purchase a fire pit. These are portable basins that you can put logs in to burn. All kinds of fire pits are available on the market - from $30 fire pits to ones that are much more elaborate, bigger, and cost much more money. Lastly, and perhaps the most maintenance-free option, is the patio heater.

Patio heaters come in many shapes and sizes. Currently on the market are freestanding patio heaters, mobile, tabletop heaters, ceiling or wall mount heaters, and ground mount patio heaters.

Freestanding patio heaters can be powered by propane or with infrared technology. They are also called "mushroom heaters" because the tops look a bit like a mushroom. These provide radiant heat, so that if you are sitting near one, you don't feel the chill of winter.

All of the freestanding patio heaters are also portable, but they are rather large. Some portable heaters are smaller, and therefore easier to move around. They are generally powered with propane, and cost a great deal less than the larger freestanding heaters that you'll see at outdoor patios are restaurants, for example.

Tabletop heaters are a great option if you have a large patio with lots of tables. That way each group of people gets their own little heat source. They are powered by electricity, halogen, or propane, and are relatively affordable. Even if you one have one patio table, a tabletop heaters should provide enough heat to the people sitting around it, so it is an option for even a small family.

A ground mounted patio heater looks very much like a freestanding patio heater, but it is permanently mounted into the ground. The cost difference is not much between the ground mounted and freestanding heater, so if you live in a climate that has cold evenings even in the summertime, the ground mounted heater might be the one for you. Most of these types of heaters use natural gas, so you'll simply pay for your usage along with your gas bill every month.

Finally, ceiling or wall mount patio heaters are perfect for an indoor/outdoor enclosed space, or for a patio with a roof. They can be powered with natural gas, halogen, or have infrared technology. They generally are not as attractive as the other types of patio heaters, but they are less obtrusive as well.

With all of these patio heater options available, there is no reason to let your outdoor living area go to waste during the winter months.