Coming up with creative ways to heat patios, decks, or just about any outdoor spaces is one of the most interesting areas of home improvement over the last few years. Many options exist to stay warm on a cool fall or spring evening and maybe even some cool summer nights. Many of these devices serve fashion just as well as function, but the particular route a homeowner goes is generally a matter of personal preference. Outdoor patio heaters or deck heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and chimneas are also great options for heating the area or assisting in recreation options. Still, just as everything else in the home improvement arena, advantages and disadvantages exist with each and every option. Here is a look at a few different ways to heat the patio, deck, or outdoor space:
Deck or Patio Heater
The deck or patio heater is a relative newcomer to the world of outdoor heating. While the units come in a variety of shapes and sizes, for the most part they resemble a cocktail table with a small metal umbrella. Because these units can run on gas or electric, they are fairly versatile with regards to placement. However, just as any type of space heater usually someone has to be fairly close to feel a good bit of heat. However, generally these are great for removing an evening chill.
Fire Pits or Fire Bowls
Fire pits or fire bowls are popular for recreation type heating. Just about everyone loves sitting around the campfire and enjoying the evening, and these devices provide just that type of enjoyment. Of course, fire pits can be custom designed to a given space, and are generally installed in one place. A fire bowl can be purchased from just about any large retailer or home improvement warehouse, and can be setup pretty much anywhere space is available. However, fire bowls are generally limited in regards to size for safety and convenience sake. Either option requires the burning of wood, and the amount of heat given off is generally directly related to the size of the fire.
Chimneas or Outdoor Fireplaces
A chimnea or outdoor fireplace can provide a nice decoration element as well as function as a semi-efficient outdoor heat source. While several different materials can be used in the fabrication of chimnea, aluminum or ceramic materials are among the more popular. Outdoor fireplaces can actually be replications of indoor fireplaces, made from bricks and other traditional fireproof material. Chimeas usually rest on a metal frame, which allows them to be moved from spot to spot, and obviously fireplaces are set in place permanently. Both of these units require a source of wood to be operated.