Fireplaces or wood-burning stoves have become commonplace in homes where the winters are long, dark and cold. In any given cold-climate city or town, the woodcutters start their businesses around the first week in October. Racks of wood outside back doors become as oft-seen as roses were in the spring. Plus, we now have indoor stoves that burn pellets – cleaner and more efficient than raw-cut firewood.
If we’re safely warmed by our stove or fireplace, why would we want to venture outside to lounge on the patio when the temperature hovers around forty degrees? Simple; patio heaters are gaining enormous popularity as outdoor accessories. In mildly cool areas of the country, we need not be deprived of the glorious site of a star-filled sky and the smell of fresh balsam pine. With a patio heater, we can enjoy the outdoors in autumn rather than retreat into our centrally-heated homes. There’s something magical about gathering around an open fire –indoors or outdoors- and patio heaters are rapidly becoming sought-after accessories.
How Do I Choose A Patio Heater?
There are so many styles and sizes of patio heaters, it just depends upon you own personal preference. Many heaters are actually built into the patio itself as an in-ground fire pit. Fuel such as wood, charcoal and pellets are used in these heaters. Others are built out of brick or ceramic and can take any shape desired by the buyer. Most popular among these free-standing patio heaters are those that are round, pot-belly stove shaped, or square. Each has a “pit” area for the fuel to be burned, plus a ventilation hole on top. The type of ventilation needed depends upon the fuel you plan to use in your patio heater. Cut cordwood burns hotter and longer, but pellets burn cleaner, with less smoke. Patio heaters do more than provide warmth on a crisp November night; they also provide ambiance and style to your patio setting.
Choose a patio heater that you can comfortably afford, taking into account the additional expense of the fuel you plan to use. Describe your patio setting to the merchant, or better still, do business with a merchant that will come to your home and suggest the style of patio heater best for your setting and desires. Also take into account the frequency of which you plan to use your patio heater; occasional use until “hard” winter sets in or more frequent use if you live in a climate with milder winters. This is an accessory that, properly cared for, will last for many years. Consider your patio heater as you would your indoor fireplace; as an accessory that will become a significant part of your family life. Choose a style that you’ll still appreciate many autumns and winters in the future.