Which Outdoor Heater Should I Use and How Many?
Outdoor heaters are an excellent way to extend the life of your outdoor living space—especially if the area you live experiences all four seasons. In that case, heaters can certainly make using your outdoor area during the shoulder seasons more comfortable and enjoyable. The question remains, however, which outdoor heaters will be best for your space and how many you will need to make that area as comfortable as possible.
The first factor to consider before purchasing any outdoor heating system is your geographic location and where the outdoor space itself is located.
Where you live will help dictate how many heaters you need because weather patterns are obviously going to play a role in how much heat you need. However, the layout of the outdoor space is also a big indicator of how many heaters you’ll need to install. If the area is particularly shaded, for example, you might need more heaters to combat the cold. If the space has natural wind blocks such as trees or shrubs, you might need less.
Also remember that all this is dependent on personal tastes. If you are easily cold or always too hot, that can play a part in your outdoor heating decisions.
Consider the Size
The size of the outdoor space is a huge factor in determining how many heaters you need. If you have a twenty foot by twenty foot patio space, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to heat that entire area. You’ll just need to accommodate for the occupied space, which is often the lounging and/or dining area.
Use a Floorplan
One of the best ways to determine how many outdoor heaters you’ll need is to draw up a floorplan of the space. One outdoor heater generally covers approximately ten feet of space, so you can draw lines around those heated zones on your floorplan.
In some areas, you can also have overlapping coverage to avoid any cold zones or pockets of unheated space. This will give you a quick visual idea of your intended “heat footprint” and will give you an idea of how many units it’s going to take to achieve your heating plans.
Utilize the Experts
Once you have a rough idea or plan, it’s a great time to consult a building and design firm. The professionals at this point can start to tweak your plans according to their expertise. This will get you the most out of your design concept as well as the most out of your preferred heating system.
Kinds of Available Heaters
The type of heater you want depends largely on the specifics of your space. If you have a covered patio, electric outdoor infrared heaters are often the best way to go. If you prefer the rustic or industrial aesthetic, gas heaters generally work well. If you’re trying to heat an open, uncovered space, a semi-portable natural gas heater can be quite effective.
Again, this is a good time to consult the expertise of your design build team. The professionals can look at your specific plans and designs and guide you as to what heating system is going to work best in terms of temperature difference and visual appeal.