Tips for Buying an Outdoor Heater
An outdoor heater can virtually double your living space during winter. It can enable you to use your sun porch or deck no matter how cold it is outside, and can help you overcome cabin fever from being cooped up inside all winter long.
An outdoor heater may allow you to entertain during the wintertime and to stay comfortable while watching your kids as they play in the snow. Once you shop for an outdoor heater you may be surprised at the various models and options available to you, so it’s good to consider their differences before you purchase.
Heaters work in a variety of ways; some are electric and some are propane. Propane heaters are typically larger and may be best for heating your entire deck or patio. A portable electric heater can work if you need a small area of your outdoor space heated but these typically work by blowing warm air. This can get uncomfortable in an enclosed space, and they may not heat your space evenly. Large propane heaters may work with a type of heating coil that radiates heat, and this is often more comfortable for larger spaces. Electric heaters can also work with radiant heat, meaning heat that radiates from a warm coil, and these are more comfortable for larger outdoor spaces.
Before you purchase, you want to calculate your heater size. Many sites that sell outdoor heaters will have conversion charts you can go through to make this calculation. If you don’t use a chart, you can easily note the square footage you want to have heated and the average increase in temperature. Note if the room you’re heating is insulated or not as this will make a difference. If you’re using an outdoor heater for your deck or patio, you’ll want the strongest one for your heating space.
Once you have determined the size, your choice is a matter of what works best and easiest for you. Some don’t want to work with propane because of the danger, but an electric heater will raise your electric bill. There are also small, wall-mounted electric radiant heaters you can purchase which are much less cumbersome and noticeable than larger floor models. These are good if you entertain quite often and don’t want a heater to be noticeable. A tabletop heater is good for smaller spaces, and some heaters are built to be more attractive, resembling a light post. Others are built into umbrellas so you can have protection from the elements and heat at the same time, a perfect choice for a rainy season. Choose what works best for your patio rather than just the cheapest model so you can be warm and comfortable all winter long.