Outdoor Patio Heating Options
When entertaining outdoors, it can get cool after the sun goes down. The party doesn't have to end or move indoors just because of the chill. With the variety of options that exist, you and your guests can stay warm even on cold winter nights.
One common misconception about outdoor heating is that all the heat drifts away; raising the question 'what is the point in trying to heat an outdoor area?'. It is true that hot air, convected heat, drifts away. Convected heat is the type of heat produced by your home's furnace. But the heat used for outdoors is radiant heat. We've all stood in the shade and then moved into the sunlight to get warm. You didn't get warm because the air was warmer, you were warmed by the radiant heat of the sun's rays. Like basking in the sun's rays, standing in the radiant heat zone of a fire or heater provides you with warmth. As long as you are close enough to the heat source, you can be comfortably warm.
There are many products available for outdoor heating and they all work using the same principal, thermal radiation. Therefore, your selection will be influenced primarily by style, ease of use and cost. Style isn't just the look of the equipment it is also whether you want the visual impact of open flame or the simplicity of unobtrusive warmth. As to ease of use, some units simply require the turn of a dial and a push of a button, while a fireplace requires much more effort to get started. Finally, cost is not just the initial cash outlay for the equipment but the ongoing cost to operate - the cost of propane, natural gas, electricity or wood.