It’s becoming that time of year again. That time when you don’t need to water the garden anymore because it rains enough to feed it. That time when you’re on your way home from work and suddenly feel frozen to the core. Winter is almost upon us!
This means it’s time to start thinking about how we can best heat our outdoor areas so that we can use them over the chilly months. Because why should we have to not enjoy our gorgeous spaces just because it’s cold outside?
Here are our best tips for heating your outdoor area this winter.
Assess your outdoor area
What space are you looking to heat? Is it an outdoor veranda or patio? Is it covered, or semi-covered? Enclosed? Is it just a patch of grass down the end of the backyard where you have an outdoor setting and like to sit around with friends in summer?
Where your outdoor area is dictates what is available to you in terms of the type of heating options that you can purchase. If it’s the space down in the backyard, you’ll be limited to either a fire pit, chimenea, pizza oven, or other fire option, or a heater that uses gas canisters. Gas mains and electric heaters will be off limits unless you feel like running a line down all the way from your house!
However, if it’s your back patio, you might have already gas or power outlets outside, or on the inside but still reachable, or be willing to install them. This opens up your options quite a bit! If it’s a raised, wooden patio, you should think very carefully before using a wood fire, because of the danger involved.
Think about your budget
If you don’t as yet have a heating solution for your outdoor area, then the first thing that you will need to consider is your budget. Heating solutions can range from less than $50 (or free if you try Gumtree and get lucky!), through to thousands of dollars.
If you have a large outdoor area to heat, you’ll also need to think about whether you need just one heater, or multiple ones about the place. Some heating solutions are more effective at outputting heat than others, so you can take this into consideration as well.
Check out your fuel options
You’ve essentially got three types of fuel that you can use for outdoor heating: wood, gas, or electricity. Deciding which one to get can be a difficult decision. Generally, a wood fire will cost you less money to heat (wood is cheap to buy) but can be worse for the environment. Gas is a little more expensive, however is much better than both wood and electricity for CO2 emissions. Electric is very effective, however it is also the most expensive of the bunch, and you’ll need a power outlet for it. Electric outdoor heaters are generally the overhead bar heater style ones that you’ll see outside in restaurants and bars, etc.
Do what other people do?
Most people, when heating their outdoor areas, opt for one of two options: the fire pit, or the stand up gas heater. These can both be moved about as necessary to any area of the yard. Generally, the stand-up gas heater will be used on the patio, and a fire pit will be used in the yard – however, this isn’t always the case.
Can you enclose it?
If you can enclose your outdoor area that you’re looking to heat it will make a substantial difference in terms of how warm the area gets and stays. If you can spring for a more permanent structure, some outdoor blinds to section off your veranda, or any other way to enclose your space, then it will help you out immensely.
Aren’t you better off indoors?
Winter gets freezing, we all know that. Unless you are dedicated to sticking around outside with ineffective heating options, then don’t have your guests suffer. Create a warm, cosy place indoors to enjoy yourself. If you are looking to use your BBQ, then you can try BBQ stovetop plates.
If you can’t manage to heat your outdoor area well enough, then you should come inside once the clock hits 7pm.