For many of us, using our outdoor spaces seems to plummet in the chilly winter months simply because it is too cold to sit out on the deck, patio, porch or veranda. This is a problem for commercial establishments as well, such as restaurants, cafés and so on.
Open spaces can be difficult to heat simply because the heat is not retained as in any enclosed space. Also, many of us are chary of outdoor heating appliances because they tend to be power hungry; not exactly the greenest of options. So here are some tips to help you heat the outdoors:
Pick the Right Kind of Heater
Ideally you want a heater that uses green energy and is energy efficient as well. A patio heater can make a lot of sense since it runs on LPG as well as electricity. LPG is a good option because it is a non polluting energy source. Those who want to avoid using coal based electricity will find this to be a good alternative. Of course if your electricity is hydro based or if you have solar panels or a windmill that assists your energy needs, then eclectic heaters, are great green options too!
Choose a heater that is appropriate for your requirements or which is versatile in terms of installation and running. Do you want heaters that are wall mounted or stand alone? And what sort of décor does your outdoor space have? Will the heater blend in with that or will it stick out?
Centralized timer controls are another good feature to look out for, particularly if you’re going to install more than one heater. Consider how many heaters you will need for the given area and how you want to space and position them.
Make Sure Your Outdoor Space Is Sheltered
A covered space will retain heat a lot better than a space that is open to air. So install a covering or awning where possible. An overhang of the covering or any other type of barrier around the outdoor seating area will also help cut out the wind and retain heat better. Even an umbrella or a pergola will help retain heat and protect from the wind.
Position and Run the Heaters Optimally
If you use multiple heaters, position them in a way that there is no overlapping of the heat output from the heaters since this can mean unnecessary energy expenditure. Horizontally positioned units also can help maximize the heat output. This may be a better idea than heaters placed at an angle, since they may radiate less heat to the person sitting close by.