July 9, 2019

Find out ways to keep the party going this winter with these tips on heating for outdoor entertaining.

Try a gas outdoor heater

Gas patio heaters are ideal for warming up an outdoor space. They’re designed to radiate heat through the air to where it’s needed most, and warm up what’s directly within the vicinity. While these heaters come in a range of sizes, most work effectively if positioned in the centre of your entertaining area.

Look for easy start or push button ignition and think about the aesthetics when choosing your outdoor gas heater (Will it match your decor? Is it the right height for the area? Have I factored in clearance distance?).

You’ll also need to consider the weather in your region. If you live in an area where winters are bitterly cold, you might need more than one heater to provide enough warmth to your outdoor entertaining area.

Size, portability and safety count

Select the right size heater for the job. For example, the Fiammetta outdoor gas patio heater can warm an area of up to 17 square metres, so it’s ideal for an outdoor entertaining space. If you’re dining under the stars, you can’t go past a tabletop gas heater, which will throw heat for up to six square metres. These heaters operate on bottled gas and are very energy efficient. A gas bottle should last for at least eight to nine hours on a high setting.

Most gas heaters are designed for easy portability. Wheels make the larger freestanding models mobile for simple positioning.

The majority of these models also have built-in features such as a tilt shut-off switch, so if the appliance falls over, the heater automatically turns off. Only use these appliances in an outdoor space.

Shop for outdoor firepits and fireplaces

Outdoor firepits and fireplaces are also popular heating options, and are appealing because they help create the perfect ambience for entertaining.

When selecting a firepit, think about design, shape and size, which are all dependent on your backyard or outdoor space. Select a firepit that is made from materials that will either match your decor or the style you want to achieve. Also consider whether you want a permanent fixture or bowl, and if you want it built-in or movable.

Location is important

Firepits and fireplaces need to be positioned on a flat, level and non-combustible surface, such as concrete pavers. Be sure to place your firepit and fireplace away from the house or other fixtures that might burn, and consider wind direction when choosing the right spot.

Firepits and fireplaces are ideal places for people to congregate, so position yours where it’s accessible, e.g. near an outdoor kitchen. You’ll also need plenty of fuel to keep it going, such as wood. So think about a place you can store the wood too where it’s out of the weather and stays dry.

If you’re looking at an outdoor fireplace, be sure its size is proportionate to the location. A well-designed flue will help let the smoke out so that the fire burns well. Always use a screen if supplied, or consider buying one, to help prevent sparks. And watch children and pets around outdoor heaters and fires.

Consider a Heatstrip

With a modern, minimalist style, heatstrip outdoor heaters can enhance the appearance and functionality of any outdoor area. Heatstrips are built with a corrosion-resistant alloy, so they are great for harsh environments, such as coastal areas and outdoor kitchens.

Compared to gas bottle heaters, heatstrips are very efficient, with much lower running costs and even increase the value of your home. Ceiling and wall mounting options are available.

Find out more at bunnings.com.au or head to the local Bunnings at Morisset for further advice.

For more stories on living, creating and exploring the local neighbourhood, read the winter edition of the Watagan Park Wanderer Magazine here.

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