Your newly constructed patio is a great investment for your home, so why restrict its use solely to warm days in the summertime? Effective heating solutions would make it possible for you to utilise your new patio all year-round. But what would be the best heating option for your patio? Read on for some helpful guidelines on what's available.
For larger patios, gas-powered heaters make a good solution. These are usually tall, around 200 centimetres, so might not be suitable for you if your patio has a low pergola or awning. Gas patio heaters have a decorative casing at the foot to hide the gas cylinder and feature an umbrella-style heating element that is set on top of a slim pole, so that the heat generated is focussed downwards and out across the patio. This style of heater often has a collapsible pole for ease of storage.
A gas patio heater would suit you if your patio is open-topped and does not have a nearby electrical power supply. These heaters are fully portable, so you can alter the location of your heater, depending on how you want your patio laid out for particular occasions.
Electric patio heaters
There is a wide choice of electric patio heaters to choose from in a good range of styles including; free-standing square heaters, wall-mounted heaters, and parasol-shaped heaters. The main advantage of electric heaters is that they don't require a cumbersome gas bottle for power. However, you will need to have a ready source of electricity on your patio, which could mean that you are somewhat tied as to where you can place your heater.
A very popular source of patio heating is the chiminea. A chiminea is simply a pear-shaped oven with a chimney that sits on a metal-legged stand. A door is fitted in the front of the chiminea into which you place wood for fuel.
Chimineas come in different sizes and are available in cast iron, steel, or clay. Although the cosy glow of a real fire adds a great ambiance to your patio in the evenings, they require more maintenance than gas or electric heaters, as you do need to clean them out after use. Although fully portable, they can also be rather heavy and cumbersome to move around.
Fire bowls can make an extremely attractive heating option for your patio. A fire bowl is basically a wide, metal or clay bowl seated on short legs. You simply build a small log or charcoal fire in the bowl to provide a heat source. Fire bowls can also be bought with a barbecue grill attachment and usually come with an attractive lid for when the fire bowl is not in use.
One drawback of a fire bowl is that you'll have to clean it out between uses.
Braziers are perhaps the most primitive of heating methods for your patio. A brazier is simply a robust metal basket, set on short legs and standing above a metal ash plate. Some braziers also come with a barbecue grill. To heat your patio, simply build a small log fire in the brazier. You can use a large brazier for burning garden rubbish, as well as for heating your patio.
Although fully portable, a brazier can be a messy way of providing heating for your patio, as ash is readily scattered, especially on breezy days.
You can utilise your newly constructed patio all year round by heating it using one of the methods described above. Heating options are something that should be considered during the design phase of your patio, and you should discuss all the options available with your construction contractor before finalising your plans.