There’s something about fire, something mystical that we’re instinctively drawn to despite the modern conveniences of our time. Today we live in a world where our cell phones take pictures, play music, and write messages. Our television sets get 165 stations. Everything we want to eat is ten minutes away at the grocery store or the drive-through. Our clothes don’t fade or wrinkle, our pets have medical insurance, and we can play movies in our automobiles.
But stoke up a nice fire, and we’re suddenly transported back in time, to the days when early mankind huddled around open fires for warmth, to prepare food, and protection from enemies – both human and animals. Outdoor heaters are a representation of our still-strong instincts to regard fire as life-giving and security in a dangerous world. Fireplaces and woodstoves in our homes are now commonplace, but outdoor heaters remain remnants of eons past.
How To Shop For An Outdoor Heater
To make the magic of an outdoor heater work for you, your first step is to decide what kind of heater you want and can afford. Most merchants who deal in these heaters have displays in their stores of the different types of outdoor heaters available. Do you prefer an in-ground heater similar to a fire pit? Or would you prefer a stand-alone heater that you can place anywhere in your yard or on your patio? Stand-alone heaters are as much decorative as they are practical. Not only will these outdoor heaters provide warmth and soothing serenity, they also serve as delightful decorative accessories to your home and yard. Round, square, pot-bellied, cactus-shaped – all are serviceable and attractive. They have a wide, open “mouth” or fire-area where you put the fuel, plus a venting hole on top to prevent smoke from choking you, your family and your guests.
Next, consider what type of fuel you want to burn in your outdoor heater. Cut cordwood is the perennial favorite, possibly because of its connection to our ancestral past. Firewood burns hot and creates a lot of smoke. Some prefer to burn charcoal, and still others prefer the new smokeless pellets that provide warmth and a “clean” burn. Firewood is the least expensive fuel for your outdoor heater, with pellets being the most expensive. If you’re uncertain, you can try each type of fuel and decide which you prefer and which you can easiest afford.
Regardless of the style of outdoor heater you buy, that ancient instinct will emerge as you slide closer to the flames. Sooner or later, someone’s going to stick a hot dog into the heater, you can count on it!