Posts Tagged ‘patio fireplace’

What Are The Best Patio Heaters?

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Patio heaters or other types of outdoor heaters can turn your patio from a space that’s only comfortable during temperate months into that you can use in fall and winter, too. Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing the best patio heaters for your particular use.

What kind do you want?

§         Patio fire pit

A patio fire pit is the least expensive type of patio heater, and it’s simply a container we can build a campfire. You can do one of two things with a fire pit; you can simply establish it as a suitable container that you can move from place to place, or you can install one permanently. Not just a “fire pit,” in fact, these can be very stylish, depending on your decor.

§         Mexican chimineas

Other types of patio heaters include the Mexican chimineas. This is simply a clay or metal pot, freestanding, that has a short chimney on top and a wide opening at the bottom. It gives the atmosphere sort of unique and homey, “old world” feel.

§         Patio fireplace

A patio fireplace is a fireplace that’s actually built into your patio, either as a freestanding cast-iron stove, or constructed similar to an indoor fireplace. These can be fueled by electricity, wood, or propane gas.

§         Standalone patio heaters

Standalone patio heaters are the most versatile type of patio heater, and are simply a freestanding post with a propane burner. This is probably the most consistently warming (and among the least expensive overall) of the options, and uses either natural gas or propane fuel; some models use electricity, as well.

Which should you choose?

The type of patio heater you choose is going to depend on your own particular needs. If you like a rustic feel, the crackle of fire, and a sort of “sitting around the campfire” atmosphere, the patio fireplace or patio fire pit are good options, and they’re not that expensive. However, be aware that you are going to have to “feed” your patio heater, in that it’s going to need to be continually fueled with wood when you use it. And of course, it’s also going to require some cleaning and maintenance.

The Mexican chimineas, too, is a good option, again if you prefer a more rustic feel.

Considerations

While the fire pit is the cheapest and easiest to set up, it does require some maintenance. For maintenance free patio heating that’s also the most consistent, your best bet is probably to go with the standalone patio heater. Because you can move standalone patio heaters from place to place with no muss and no fuss, you’re also not limited to one location, as with some other options. And, they may be the most safe to use as well, although of course safety is always a consideration with these types of outdoor heaters, anyway.

Choose the right patio heater for you, and enjoy your patio year-round with friends and family, not just during the summer. 😉

Patio Heater

Patio Heater

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Outdoor Patio Fireplaces

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

There are many different types and styles of outdoor patio fireplaces available, it really is a matter of what really strikes your fancy, your budget, and what kind of fuel source you want to use. You have a choice of wood burning, gas or electric. While an outdoor fireplace doesn’t produce quite the output of heat as say, a mushroom type outdoor heater, what it makes up for is in appeal. What better way to spend an evening with the kids than outside making s’mores in your own back yard?

Here are some tips for buying outdoor patio fireplaces. One is size. If you buy a patio fireplace find one with a large firebox, because you won’t have to cut small pieces of wood to fit in it. The point is that you should be able to choose between a small cozy fire that has romantic notions, or a family blaze. You don’t have to always have a large fire, but it’s nice to have that option. You will also want to find one with some kind of smoke chimney, outdoor fire pits don’t have such good air flow, and tend to smolder more than an elevated fireplaces.

Make sure that you choose outdoor patio fireplaces that are well made and have a heavy gauge metal. If you use thinner gauge products, they won’t last as long and will have to be replaced more frequently than a good solid model. Make sure that you buy one with an ash catcher, one that is easily removed for emptying. With an ash catcher, not only will it save you the hassle of cleaning your patio, but the risk of a loose ember catching your lawn on fire is greatly reduced. Now, while there are many different materials used in patio fireplaces, probably the most safe and easiest to use is cast aluminum.

Cast aluminum is probably the best choice for beginners to use. It is much easier to maintain, doesn’t rust and is lighter than most other units, and it won’t warp in the heat like some other ones do. Because they are much lighter and easier to move around, they can be moved into a garage or storage area in the winter to ensure many years of use. It radiates the heat just as good if not better than some of the other materials used to make patio fireplaces.

If you plan to buy raised outdoor patio fireplaces, know that they tend to be even lighter than other models, so you will want to find one with a sturdy weighted bottom, to reduce the chances it will tip over. You should buy a lid for it, so ash doesn’t get blown around, or get all nasty when it rains. If you are getting a wood burning fireplace, hard wood is popular, Pinon wood can smell like a fresh pine forest, generates pretty decent amounts of heat, and the smell will also keep pesky insects away from you. You can add pine cones to add to the aroma, but just keep in mind that pine cones have a tendency to crackle and explode. 😉

Outdoor Patio Fireplace

Outdoor Patio Fireplace

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