Where is the Best Place for a Patio Heater?
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Where is the Best Place for a Patio Heater?

When it comes to your garden, it is important to keep it a safe place for your family to relax and enjoy, so in this edit, we’ll give you insights on where it is best to place your al fresco patio heater. To keep you toasty, and to help you make the most of your outside space in the evening we’ll also discuss the different types of outdoor heaters and the benefits they’ll bring to your outside area. From electric infrared heaters to gas patio heaters and real wood-fired options too, we’ll put forward suggestions for some of the best outdoor heaters on the market that do more than simply warm up the air around them.

Contents 

Where to avoid positioning your patio heater
Best patio heaters to buy this year
Ideas for heating your outdoor space
How effective are patio heaters?  
Planning your outdoor space around the heater

Where to avoid positioning your patio heater

Finding the right place for your outdoor patio heater is essential for getting the most efficiency out of your heater and to also keep your patio a safe place. To find the perfect spot in your garden you’ll want to steer clear of unstable or uneven surfaces such as inclines as these can cause outdoor heaters to roll or topple over. Giving as much space around an outdoor heater is also a must, avoid positioning a gas patio heater or outdoor stove too close to garden furniture, outdoor rugs, or any other flammable materials as this could be a fire risk. Above all else, make sure you read the manufacturer’s guidelines for your exact model, particularly the safe distances specified by the heater's manufacturer.

The UK weather can be unpredictable and when the temperatures drop or the wind picks up, you might be thinking about taking your patio heater under some cover. However, it is vital that you don’t put your patio heater anywhere with restricted airflow. Typically, covered patios are very well-ventilated with open sides, but if the design of your patio has four walls that limit natural airflow, then we do not recommend using an outdoor patio heater in this type of space. Ensuring that your patio heater is protected from the outdoor elements is highly recommended as most models are not waterproof and will need a protective cover. They should also not be used in high winds as there’s a risk the flame might blow out or the heater will blow over. Before you put your patio heater away, ensure it has completely cooled down and never try to store it while it’s still warm.

Best patio heaters to buy this year

Take a look at this selection of patio heaters that have caught our eye this year. We’ve included stylish models with different fuel types so your choice isn’t restricted and we tried to cater for different budgets too! 

Ideas for heating your outdoor space

Deciding on which type of heater to choose for your garden or patio can depend on several different factors, the size of your outdoor set-up can ultimately decide which type of heater is the best for your space. Other considerations include whether you want a permanent heating feature or a portable design and you’ll want to think about usability; outdoor stoves and fire pit burners that require wood can take time lighting but provide more heat and ambience, for the easy life you could opt for a gas-powered or electric heater that will give warmth at the flick of a switch.

  1. Outdoor wood burning stove - If you’d prefer a fire that is more contained than a blazing fire pit or chiminea then an outdoor wood-burning stove is a fantastic choice. These outdoor log burners throw out plenty of heat and make a stylish centrepiece for a patio.
  2. Smokeless fire pit - A smokeless fire pit is designed to provide the warmth and ambience of a traditional fire pit without the smoke, ash, and hassle it brings. Toast your marshmallows without the smoke this summer.
  3. Traditional fire pit - Look for quality fire pits with additional perks, models that include a cooking element are incredibly versatile, and brands like Bonfeu and Fire Pits UK have a host of outdoor bowls and garden fire pits that utilise specialist equipment so you can barbecue too! 
  4. Garden fireplace - If you crave comfort and fireside warmth then an outdoor fireplace will allow your friends and family to remain outside even when the temperature drops. An outdoor fireplace will provide much-needed heat well into the evening.
  5. Infrared patio heater - If you’re looking for a low-maintenance and cost-effective way of heating then choose an infrared outdoor heater that will only emit warmth to the areas that need it rather than heating an entire space. Brands like Heatstrip offer freestanding and ceiling-hung options that can be used in commercial settings.
  6. Gas fire pit tables - Whether you invest in a traditional gas-powered fire pit table or a modern cylindrical gas heater, these trendy outdoor heaters are guaranteed to give your space an ambient feel with real flames.

There’s nothing like a real roaring fire to add instant ambience and cosiness to your patio and we’ve given you many options to choose from if this is your preference. You’ll feel the benefits of an electric heater the moment it is switched on so don’t dismiss this option for your garden space either. Electric and gas heaters boast fantastic efficiency and have easy-to-use controls for those who don’t want the aggravation of lighting a real fire.

Outdoor Firepits by StovesAreUsOutdoor Firepits by StovesAreUs
Firebloom Alfresco outdoor heaterFirebloom Alfresco outdoor heater

How effective are patio heaters?

You might be asking yourself if buying a new patio heater is worth it and the idea of warming an outdoor space might seem a little pointless to you. We’re pleased to say that lots of patio heaters are far more effective than you might think and they could be the perfect appliance for keeping your space warm and adding a stylish touch too.

If you’re set on an electric or gas-powered outdoor heater then each model presents its unique appeal and these garden heaters work well as a direct form of heating. Gas patio heaters or fire pit tables will usually boast a large kW heat output that covers a wide area, if you have a modest-sized patio then this type of heater is a good choice. Electric heaters are becoming more and more popular because they’re considered efficient and eco-friendly. They also offer instant and convenient heat, once they are plugged in or wired into your mains electric supply you can simply flick a switch for their instant heat. Electric heaters also present lots of options including floor, tabletop, wall-mounted and tall cylindrical options. Plus, according to research from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the carbon footprint of an electric heater is less compared to heaters that use propane gas as the fuel source.

An outdoor wood burner is a super effective way to heat your outdoor space and they boast heat output that a far superior to electric and gas models. Unlike fire pits and chimeneas, garden stoves retain the heat of the wood thanks to the enclosed cast or steel body, this makes them far more efficient than an open fire pit.

Plain Jane Firepit

Planning your outdoor space around the heater

Finally, we’ll discuss how to style your outdoor space with the heat source in mind. You should think about where to position your patio heater and consider not only where it will look best but also where it will be most functional. For example, relaxation areas are best suited towards the bottom of the garden, away from the house, where you’ll get the most peace and quiet. Likewise, cooking and dining areas are best closer to the house, with easy access to the kitchen. Having a focal point can instantly transform the look of your whole outdoor space. A garden stove or large outdoor fireplace can provide the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality, creating a cosy spot for relaxing. A fire pit or stylish outdoor heater in the centre of your space not only adds warmth and ambience on cool evenings but also injects another layer of comfort into your garden design, making it a welcoming retreat year-round. 

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