With the increased new trend in outdoor living, which has undoubtedly been by TV Gardening DIY programs, we are all spending more money on our garden and patio areas.
Creating an inspirational outdoor living space is something we can all do, with a wide range of hard and soft landscaping products, lighting, decorations and garden accessories available widely on the market.
Some of the latest innovations are in garden heating which allows us to spend more of our precious leisure time enjoying our garden or patio area, be it for entertaining family and guests or simply for relaxing.
Patio heaters provide instant controllable heat and warmth, thus making your outside room as comfortable and enjoyable as any of your inside rooms.
On days when the temperature is not as warm as one would like, the patio heater can be turned on to give off a heat circle of around 6 metres and patio heaters come into their own after sun set, when they create atmospheres from party to tranquil.
When choosing a patio heater always ensure that it has the necessary safety features such as; a tilt sensor, which will cut off the gas and flame if the patio heater is knocked or blown over whilst in use and also an auto shut off switch will cut off the gas if the flame is blown out.
Patio heaters come in many shapes and sizes, but by par the most popular are the upright standing heater, sometimes available with a circular table around the gas bottle housing, and the table top patio heater.
Heat output is measured in Kilowatts and sizes range from 12 kW up to 15kw patio heaters, which are usually used for pub, hotel and commercial environments.
Patio heater finished usually range from coloured powder coated to the more expensive stainless steel models. The main difference in finishes relate to the likely life of the heater. Stainless steel patio heaters look by far the most impressive and will keep their lustre for many years.
Powder coated patio heaters tend to weather slightly less well and will rust if the powder coating is damaged.
Table top heaters are very popular but are a lot smaller and also have a much smaller heat output but they are a very effective way of providing heat to people immediately around the garden table.
Accessories for Patio heaters include covers ( which are a must is you intend to leave it outside during the winter), wheels – which will enable you to easily move the heater around the garden, ballast tanks which give extra stability and most good patio heaters actually come with a gas bottle regulator installed and ready for easy attachment.
Patio heaters run off bottles gas, mainly butane but sometime propane which is widely available in the UK and most other countries.
The regulator which is usually supplied with the heater, clips straight onto the bottle and is easy to install. Gas regulators are supplied by all gas bottle suppliers, but ensure that you take you gas bottle along to the dealer as there are varying sizes of bottle head.
Patio heaters require very little maintenance if any at all, and will give extend your time in your garden or on you patio.
Some safety points worth remembering are;
Position in a fairly sheltered area, as this will both reduce the likelihood of damage in strong winds and also increase the amount of ambient heat output.
If the heater is outdoors during the winter, buy a patio heater cover and protect you heater with it. Always leave the gas bottle in the heater to give it extra weight.
If you patio heater comes supplied with a ballast tank in the base, fill it with sand or if none is available, use water but mix car anti-freeze with it, otherwise the tank may crack when freezing occurs in winter.
Do not let children use the patio heater as a toy or climbing frame.
Enjoy long nights throughout the year with your patio heater – your life will take a new turn into outdoor living.