There is nothing better than the comforting warm rays of a patio heater as you get late into a summer evening and the temperature begins to drop and all of a sudden you begin to feel a bit chilly. Just when you get to the point where you begin to regret not bringing a jacket, or wearing those shorts you had on from earlier, someone reaches for the patio heater switch and your worries fade away.
This is great, but what we have found a lot of people have been asking is “Do they work in the winter”. So, in short, yes they do, although we wouldn’t recommend wearing shorts to a dinner party in February, for various reasons. We have written this article to give you some guidance on what to expect and how to get the most out of your patio heaters in winter months.
There are two main types of outdoor heaters commonly used: Gas and electric. Electric heaters have grown in popularity over recent years as improvements to the technology have been made with modern heaters now giving off a lot more heat without the glare that used to make them rather unattractive. Gas heaters offer a different experience however, and are often preferred as they can be seen more as a feature adding to the ambience of your outdoor space.
Gas heaters do transfer some heat to the air around them as the gas burns but the heat that is most useful for outdoor use is radiant heat. This is produced as the gas is burned and then directed by the reflecting element of the heater outwards in a specific direction. Radiant heaters transfer energy through an infrared wave to an object whilst losing minimal heat to the air in between. This is much like how the sun heats the earth and creates a pleasant warming feeling instead of the stuffy feeling created by warming the air itself.
Electric heaters transmit shorter wave lengths which make this energy transfer more effective resulting in less energy being wasted heating the air giving them a greater range and effectiveness outdoors. By relying more on infrared heat, it means the effect of air temperature and wind is on energy transfer reduced with electric heaters, meaning you get great results no matter what the weather.
By emitting radiant heat, patio heaters have the power to provide warmth throughout the winter even when the air is cold and the wind is blowing. Of course, they won’t shelter you from the wind, or offer any protection from the rain, but they will provide some comfort in the colder months.
As I said before, you will still want to dress appropriately and the power of your heater will also have an impact on the warmth you feel. Although heaters with more power are often more expensive to run, they do offer greater range and warmth. It is worth investing in an efficient heater that may be more expensive initially, but provides greater heating efficiency for less electricity as energy waste through glare and transfer to air is limited by the technology.
Alex works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.
As a psychology graduate it is ironic that he understands plants better than people but a benefit for the purpose of writing this blog.
An enthusiastic gardener, all he needs now is a garden and he’ll be on the path to greatness. Alex’s special talents include superior planter knowledge and the ability to put a gardening twist on any current affairs story.