Keep Warm: Choose From These Outdoor Heating Options
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Published by TOP4 Team
Choose from one of these outdoor heating options and make year-round use of your outdoor area.
Outdoor fireplaces can be built into an existing outdoor wall or from scratch as a freestanding fireplace. Either way, they are a permanent fixture, so consult a professional when choosing the location in your yard. They can be fuelled by either gas or wood.
- Gas fireplaces don’t require a vent, need little maintenance other than servicing by an authorised technician once a year.
- Wood fireplaces require a few accessories and a vent, need to be cleaned after each use.
Outdoor fireplaces don’t release as much heat as some other options, but they’re aesthetically attractive and will add value to your property.
Braziers and fire pits
Braziers are used for both heating and cooking. They’re made from painted or powder-coated tempered steel, and can be fuelled by wood or briquettes. Braziers are inexpensive to buy and to run, long-lasting, can be placed anywhere, and only requires an ashtray as an accessory. The only maintenance is emptying the ashtray.
For ambience, people with small spaces to heat favour the fire pit (typically crafted from steel or cast-iron). Many fire pits come with an optional grill plate, so you can cook a flame-grilled meal while keeping toasty warm.
Chiminea is made from either clay or cast-iron, and specifically used with wood and coal. They put out a large amount of heat and provide your guests with a great conversation piece.
You need to place them on a specially designed rack, as the heat they produce will burn anything they sit on. Maintenance is low and the only cost involved, besides the start-up cost, is the relatively cheap fuel. Just ensure that the inside of the chiminea never gets wet.
Gas patio heaters
Gas heaters produce radiant energy that’s absorbed by people and objects, thus energy isn’t wasted on empty spaces and moving air. They leave no soot, ash or smoke, and can be fixed or portable. They can be fuelled by either LPG in cylinders or connected to a natural gas supply. However, they emit carbon monoxide and the gas tanks may run out at inconvenient moments.
The average gas heater placed in a protected area will give about a 4m diameter spread, but will reduce to 2.5m when in fully exposed conditions. The only real wear-and-tear item is the thermocouple, a safety device that monitors the pilot flame. It may need replacement every few years, depending on the amount of use the heater gets.
Electric radiant heaters
High-quality electric radiant heaters require precise installation rather than simply plugging into a powerpoint like an appliance, so you need a licensed electrician to set up the units for you. Heat production is dependent on the area, but generally, they will heat 2.5-3m per unit. No maintenance is required other than the occasional wash (the units are waterproof).
Consider working with heating installation experts in QLD.