Backyard and Garden Heaters:

Exploring Your Options for Outdoor Warmth

Published: July, 2023

Heating Your Garden and Backyard: An Overview

Outdoor living spaces have become extensions of our homes, and having the ability to enjoy them year-round is increasingly important. A backyard or garden heater can make a significant difference in how you use your outdoor space, extending its use beyond just the summer months. These heaters provide a source of warmth that makes chilly evenings more comfortable, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors in a broader range of conditions.

In this guide, we’re focusing on heaters that can be used in backyards and gardens. While patio heaters – typically attached or in proximity to your house, often under a cover – are a popular choice for many homeowners, we have covered them extensively in a separate buyer’s guide for patio heaters. Here, we consider a backyard or garden heater to be one that heats an outdoor space that usually is not undercover.

With the right heater, you can transform your backyard or garden into a warm, inviting space regardless of the season, and this guide will help you understand when these heaters are most beneficial and explore the different types of heaters that can help you achieve this.

When Are Garden Heaters Most Beneficial?

While outdoor heaters can’t turn winter into summer, they’re quite effective during the cooler months of spring and fall and on summer nights when the temperature dips. In colder climates, a well-positioned heater can still create a cozy spot for sipping hot cocoa on a brisk winter afternoon or prolong your alfresco dining season. They’re designed to reduce the chill, not create a tropical paradise in the middle of a snowstorm.

However, with the right type of heater and positioning, you can still create a cozy spot in your garden or backyard. Here are some of the ways a garden heater can enhance your outdoor experience.

Benefits of Backyard and Garden Heaters 

Having a heater in your backyard or garden can be greatly beneficial:

Fire Pits in Backyards Bring Enjoyment to Families and Friends

  • Extended Outdoor Season: With the warmth a heater provides, you can extend the enjoyment of your outdoor spaces into colder months.
  • Inviting Atmosphere for Gatherings: A heater creates a cozy environment perfect for hosting dinners or social events outdoors, enhancing comfort for your guests.
  • Aesthetic Enhancement: Beyond their practicality, many heaters are designed to be visually appealing, adding an attractive element to your outdoor decor.
  • Outdoor Cooking Opportunities: Some heater types, such as fire pits, can double as a cooking source, providing a unique experience for outdoor meal preparation.


Applications for Garden and Backyard Heaters

Garden and backyard heaters can serve a variety of purposes, providing warmth and ambience in different settings. Here are some common applications:

  1. Entertaining: Whether it’s a casual gathering with friends or a family celebration, an outdoor heater allows you to host comfortably during cooler evenings. Fire pits, in particular, can be a social centerpiece, with guests gathered around for warmth and conversation.
  2. Dining Al Fresco: Enjoying meals outside doesn’t have to be a summertime activity. With a garden heater, you can dine under the stars even during cooler months. A chiminea or heat lamp could provide the right level of warmth for a dining area.
  3. Relaxation: There’s something calming about sitting outdoors, perhaps reading a book or just enjoying the garden view. A heat source like a fire pit or electric heater can make these moments more comfortable when the temperature dips.
  4. Gardening: For gardening enthusiasts, a heater can make the hobby more enjoyable in cooler weather. A portable heater might be beneficial here, allowing you to move it around your workspace as needed.
  5. Outdoor Activities: For activities like yoga or other exercises, having a heat source can make the experience more enjoyable. Infrared heaters, which provide instant heat, might be a good choice for this application.
  6. Creating a Focal Point: A beautiful chiminea or an elegantly designed fire pit can serve as an attractive focal point in a garden or backyard, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

When selecting a heater, consider the primary activities you engage in your outdoor space, the size of the space, and how the heater type would fit into that scenario.


Types of Backyard and Garden Heaters

Fire Pits

Fire Pits

These come in a variety of styles, from simple dug-out pits in the ground to intricately designed, manufactured pits. Fire pits are often fueled by wood, providing a natural, crackling fire that many people find charming and comforting.

Some fire pits are designed for use with propane or natural gas, providing a cleaner, more controlled burn. Fire pits are excellent for heat output and are often a social gathering point. They also add a rustic touch to your garden or backyard. 




These traditional heating structures, originating from Mexico, feature a bulbous body for the fire and a slender chimney. This unique design helps to direct smoke upwards, keeping it out of your space while efficiently radiating heat outwards.   

Traditionally made from clay, modern chimineas are also available in cast iron and steel, offering increased durability. A chiminea can be an attractive and functional centerpiece for your garden, providing both heat and a unique aesthetic appeal.

Gas Heaters

Gas Heater

Available in propane or natural gas models, these heaters are renowned for their high heat output and efficiency. Propane patio heaters, including popular “mushroom” or “pyramid” designs often seen at restaurants and cafes, offer excellent portability and are easy to set up. These heaters are particularly effective for heating larger areas and can also serve as a visually striking centerpiece.

Natural gas heaters, on the other hand, require a permanent gas line connection. While this limits their portability, it ensures you won’t run out of fuel in the middle of an event. Some natural gas heaters can also be wall or ceiling-mounted for efficient heat distribution.

Electric Heaters

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters come in a variety of forms, including freestanding models, tabletop heaters, wall-mounted units, and those designed to resemble commercial patio heaters. They are simple to operate: plug them in, switch them on, and they start providing heat. These heaters are often equipped with safety features like tip-over switches and overheat protection, making them safer for family settings.

Electric heaters are versatile and can heat larger areas when used in multiples or in strategic locations. Though their heat output may be lower compared to gas or wood-burning options, electric heaters operate silently and are more eco-friendly, producing no fumes or emissions.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared Heaters

Also known as heat lamps which are an electric heater, these devices emit infrared light which is absorbed by your skin and clothes, heating you directly rather than warming the air. This makes them an excellent option for windy conditions. They provide heat almost instantly, so there’s no waiting for the unit to warm up. Infrared heaters are energy-efficient and often used for focused, direct heating.

Remember, when choosing a heater, consider the fuel type, heat output, your space, and safety features. Each heater type has its strengths and unique characteristics that make it more suitable for certain situations than others. Consider your specific needs to choose the most fitting option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Backyard and Garden Heaters

Choosing the right heater can make all the difference in the comfort and usability of your outdoor space. Here are some key factors to consider when making your selection:

  1. Heater Type and Heat Output: From fire pits to gas heaters, each type has its unique benefits and drawbacks. Consider your specific needs and preferences. Do you want the ambience of a wood-burning fire pit? The simplicity and cleanliness of an electric heater? Or the powerful heat of a gas heater? Additionally, think about how much heat you’ll need. The heat output of outdoor heaters is usually measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) for gas and watts for electric heaters. Higher BTU’s or watts mean more heat.
  2. Fuel Source and Accessibility: Consider what type of fuel you prefer to use. Wood can create a beautiful, natural ambience but requires a steady supply and leaves ash behind. Propane is a convenient, clean-burning fuel, but you’ll need to keep spare tanks. Natural gas heaters provide continuous operation, but they require a permanent gas line. Electric heaters are very convenient and clean but may not provide as much heat as their gas counterparts. Additionally, remember that electric heaters will need access to an electrical outlet, which could be a limiting factor in your yard or garden.
  3. Space Size and Configuration: When selecting a heater for your outdoor area, you must take into account the size, layout, and safety considerations of the space. Heaters come in various sizes and heat outputs, making some models better suited for certain environments than others. If your outdoor space is large and encourages group gatherings, a centerpiece heater such as a fire pit could be an ideal choice. However, due to the open flames and potential for emitting sparks, fire pits should be situated at least 20 feet away from any structures, vegetation, or overhead obstructions (including tree branches). Fire Pit for Backyard HeatingThis safety buffer helps to prevent accidental fires. Similarly, gas and electric heaters also require specific clearances for safe operation. A standard rule is to maintain a minimum of 3 feet of clearance on all sides of the heater and 6 feet above it.When it comes to enclosed or structured spaces, mounted infrared heaters can be an excellent choice, given you have access to a power source. These heaters should be mounted at a safe distance from flammable materials and high-traffic areas to avoid accidental contact or disruption. The right placement ensures both efficient heating and safety for everyone.
  4. Climate and Weather: Your local climate significantly influences the effectiveness of your outdoor heater. Most outdoor heaters can operate efficiently when the ambient temperature is above 40°F (4.4°C). Below this, the efficiency may drop, making the heater less effective. Also, it’s crucial to remember that while outdoor heaters can reduce cooler temperatures, they can’t combat extreme cold.Wind can greatly affect heat dispersion, making the heater less efficient, and potentially creating safety concerns. Therefore, if you frequently encounter windy conditions in your area, it would be beneficial to consider using your heater in a more sheltered outdoor setting like a walled patio or gazebo. Alternatively, choosing a heat source that isn’t as affected by wind, such as an infrared heater, could be a more effective solution.For areas that get more rainfall, heaters made of materials resistant to rust and corrosion like stainless steel or certain treated metals should be considered. Regardless of where you live, it’s always a good practice to cover your heater or store it in a dry place when it’s not in use to protect it from weather damage.
  5. Safety Features: Safety should always be a priority when using backyard and garden heaters and refer to our below section where we cover safety features for out door heating in detail.
  6. Budget: Finally, consider your budget. Outdoor heaters can range from affordable to high-end, with various features and capabilities. Consider not just the initial cost of the heater but also the long-term operating costs. Electric heaters typically have lower running costs, while propane and natural gas can be more expensive over time.

    Taking the time to consider these factors can help ensure you select a heater that’s right for your space, meets your needs, and provides you with enjoyable outdoor experiences for many seasons to come.


    Comparing Different Types of Backyard and Garden Heaters – Pros, Cons, and Ideal Usage


    1. Fire Pits

    Pros of Fire Pits:

    • Provides high heat output and an engaging, interactive experience.
    • Offers a range of styles and designs to suit different outdoor spaces, from wood-burning fire pits to propane and natural gas models.
    • Can double as a cooking source for outdoor meals.
    • Propane fire pits offer easy ignition and control over heat levels.

    Cons of Fire Pits:

    • Wood-burning fire pits produce smoke which can be bothersome and may not be suitable for people with respiratory issues or allergies.
    • Some regions have regulations limiting the use of wood-burning devices due to air pollution concerns.
    • Propane fire pits require access to a propane tank and regular refills, which can be cumbersome.
    • Requires regular cleaning and maintenance, particularly if you use wood as fuel. Propane models also need periodic checks for leaks and proper gas flow.

    Ideal Usage of Fire Pits:

    • Perfect for large gatherings, where people can sit around the fire pit for warmth and conversation.
    • Well-suited to larger, open spaces due to their high heat output and potential for smoke (for wood-burning models).
    • Propane fire pits can be used in smaller, more enclosed spaces where smoke could be a problem.

    Cost Breakdown for Fire Pits:

    • Initial Cost: Can vary greatly from inexpensive simple metal pits to expensive, elaborate designs. Propane fire pits often cost more than wood-burning models due to their additional features.
    • Fuel Cost: Wood can be costly depending on the region and usage. Propane costs can also add up but offer more control over usage.
    • Maintenance Cost: Regular cleaning and occasional replacement of parts like grates or protective covers might be required. For propane models, there may be additional costs for inspections and maintenance of gas connection


    2. Chimineas

    Pros of Chimineas:

    • Unique design efficiently radiates heat and directs smoke upwards.
    • Can serve as a functional and attractive centerpiece in a garden.
    • Often more efficient than traditional fire pits due to their enclosed design.

    Cons of Chimineas: 

    • Like fire pits, chimineas can be subject to local regulations regarding wood-burning devices.
    • While more controlled than fire pits, chimineas can still produce smoke and sparks.
    • Requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

    Ideal Usage of Chimineas:

    • Best suited to smaller, more intimate spaces due to their focused heat output.
    • Perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere for smaller gatherings or for individual use.

    Cost Breakdown for Chimineas:

    • Initial Cost: Depends on the material and complexity of the design, but typically moderately priced.
    • Fuel Cost: Wood is most common and cost will depend on consumption.
    • Maintenance Cost: Minimal, but clay models may need replacement over time due to cracking or damage.


    3. Gas Heaters

    Pros of Gas Heaters:

    • High heat output and efficiency.
    • Propane heaters offer excellent portability and easy setup.
    • Variety of styles and sizes, including models designed to heat larger patio areas.
    • Natural gas heaters offer a permanent solution, ensuring you won’t run out of fuel during an event.

    Cons of Gas Heaters:

    • Propane heaters require frequent refueling (usually a 20lb gas bottle) which is inconvenient and requires planning.
    • Natural gas heaters require a gas line, limiting their portability and where they can be used in a backyard/ garden.
    • Affected by windy conditions.
    • Larger models may be overkill for smaller, intimate spaces.

    Ideal Usage of Gas Heaters:

    • Larger open spaces where high heat output can be utilized.
    • Permanent outdoor settings that have access to a natural gas line.
    • Larger patios and spaces where heat needs to be distributed over a wider area.

    Cost Breakdown for Gas Heaters:

    • Initial Cost: Moderate to high depending on the model and fuel type.
    • Fuel Cost: Propane is typically more expensive than natural gas, but both can add up with frequent use.
    • Maintenance Cost: Low, but may need occasional checks for leaks and maintenance of burner components. May require professional checks and maintenance if connected to a gas line.


    4. Electric Heaters

    Pros of Electric Heaters:

    • Simple to operate, just plug and play.
    • Silent operation and cleaner energy with no emissions.
    • Typically equipped with safety features like tip-over switches and overheat protection.
    • Less affected by wind and can be used in sheltered outdoor settings.
    • Variety of styles and sizes available, including models designed to heat larger patio areas.

    Cons of Electric Heaters:

    • Heat output may be lower compared to gas or wood-burning options.
    • Requires access to electricity, which can be a challenge in some outdoor areas.
    • May need heavy-duty extension cords for outdoor use, which can be an additional expense/ safety hazard.
    • Larger models may be overkill for smaller, intimate spaces.

    Ideal Usage of Electric Heaters:

    • Excellent for smaller, sheltered spaces that have access to electrical outlets.
    • Ideal for family settings due to their safety features and clean operation.
    • Larger patios and spaces where heat needs to be distributed over a wider area.

    Cost Breakdown for Electric Heaters:

    • Initial Cost: Varies widely depending on the type, size, and features of the heater.
    • Fuel Cost: Electricity costs can add up, especially with frequent or prolonged use.
    • Maintenance Cost: Generally low, but may need occasional bulb replacement for infrared models.


    5. Infrared Heaters (Heat Lamps)

    Pros of Infrared Heaters:

    • Emit infrared light which is absorbed by your skin and clothes, heating you directly.
    • Provide instant heat, making them ideal for quickly heating specific areas.
    • Can be wall-mounted, ideal for directing heat into specific areas.
    • Less affected by wind and can be used in open or sheltered outdoor settings.

    Cons of Infrared Heaters:

    • Heat is very directional and will not spread out over a wide area.
    • Requires access to electricity, which can be a challenge in many outdoor areas.

    Ideal Usage of Infrared Heaters:

    • Perfect for heating specific areas quickly, such as outdoor seating or exercise areas.
    • Better choice when there is a breeze since their heat output is not affected by wind.

    Cost Breakdown for Infrared Heaters:

    • Initial Cost: Moderate to high, particularly for larger, commercial-grade models.
    • Fuel Cost: Will add to electricity bills, but infrared heaters are generally more energy-efficient than traditional electric heaters.
    • Maintenance Cost: Low, though bulbs will need to be replaced occasionally.


    Safety Considerations for Backyard and Garden Heaters

    We’ve already touched upon a few safety considerations when using heaters in the backyard and garden. To recap and add a few more important points:

    • Clearance: For wood-fueled heaters such as fire pits, there should ideally be 20 feet of clearance from sheds, fences, vegetation, etc. This should also include clearance above the fire. For gas and electric heaters, there should be at least 6 ft clearance above and 3 ft on the sides unless specified differently by the manufacturer.
    • Level Ground: Any outdoor heating should only be used on level ground to prevent tipping over.
    • Local Restrictions: Check if there are any restrictions by your local county or Homeowners Association regarding the use of certain types of fires.
    • Weather Conditions: Don’t use outdoor heaters if high winds or heavy rain are forecast.
    • Stability: Ensure heaters are stable and secure when not in use to prevent them from being blown or knocked over.
    • Never Leave Heaters Unattended: Regardless of the type of heater, always turn it off when it will be unattended.
    • Proper Maintenance: Regularly inspect heaters for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Gas heaters should be regularly inspected for gas leaks, while electric heaters should be checked for any signs of wire damage.
    • Keep Heaters Away from Flammable Materials: Besides keeping heaters at a safe distance from sheds, fences, and vegetation, also ensure they are away from flammable substances, including certain types of patio furniture, cushions, etc.
    • Use Correct Fuel: If your heater uses fuel, make sure to use the recommended type to avoid accident


    Safety Features of Wood Outdoor Heaters

    When using wood-burning options like fire pits or chimineas, there are additional safety factors to consider:

    Chimineas with a Spark Guard for Backyard Heating

    • Spark Guards: These are screens that cover the opening of a fire pit or chiminea. They allow heat to escape while preventing sparks and embers from flying out, which could potentially start a fire.
    • Fire Safety Tools: Make sure to have fire safety tools on hand. This might include a poker for adjusting logs, a pair of tongs for safely adding more wood, and a fire extinguisher or bucket of water in case the fire needs to be put out quickly.
    • Proper Placement: Wood-burning heaters should be placed at least 10 feet away from your home, shed, or any wooden structures or overhanging trees. This reduces the risk of sparks igniting something nearby.
    • Cover/Storage: If possible, use a cover for your wood-burning heater when it’s not in use. This prevents the accumulation of water and debris that could cause safety issues when you next light a fire.

    Remember, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety precautions, and never leave any heater unattended while it’s in use.


    Safty Features of Electric and Gas Heaters

    • Tip-over Switches: This is a safety feature that automatically turns the heater off if it gets knocked over. This is especially important for freestanding heaters that could potentially start a fire if they tip over onto a flammable surface.
    • Safety Certified Electric Cords: For electric heaters, ensure the cords are safety certified. This indicates they have been tested and comply with safety standards, reducing the risk of electrical faults or fires. Refer to our safety considerations when using extension cords outdoors.
    • Flame Guards: For gas and propane heaters, a flame guard is a vital feature. This helps to contain the flame within the heater, preventing accidental contact which could result in burns or fires.
    • Automatic Shut-off Valves: This feature shuts off the fuel supply if the heater tilts or falls, or if it senses a lack of oxygen, reducing the risk of fire or gas leaks.
    • Cool-touch Features: Some heaters have surfaces that remain cool to the touch, even when the heater is in use. This is a valuable safety feature if you have children or pets who might come into contact with the heater.
    • Safety Certifications: Check for safety certifications from organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or ETL Intertek. These certifications indicate the product has undergone testing to ensure it meets specific, rigorous safety standards.


    Safety Considerations for Extension Cords for Outdoor Heating

    Using an extension cord for an outdoor electric heater requires careful consideration of a few factors:

    • Outdoor Rated: Make sure the extension cord is rated for outdoor use. These cords are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, including varying temperatures and moisture.
    • Proper Rating and Capacity: The extension cord must be able to handle the electrical load of the heater. Check the heater’s wattage and make sure the cord can handle it. Overloading an extension cord can lead to overheating and potential fire hazards.
    • Length: Choose an extension cord that is just the right length. Using a cord that’s too long can result in a voltage drop and inefficiency. However, avoid stretching the cord too tight as it can become damaged or become a tripping hazard.
    • Safety Measures: The extension cord should be grounded (three-pronged) for safety reasons. It’s also a good idea to have a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plug on the extension cord, which can help prevent electrical shocks.
    • Proper Placement: The extension cord should be placed in a way that prevents tripping hazards. Also, ensure it isn’t subjected to any potential damage, like being run over by a lawnmower.
    • Cord Maintenance: Regularly check your extension cord for any signs of damage, such as fraying or exposed wires. Replace damaged cords immediately.

    Remember that using an extension cord should ideally be a temporary solution.


    Features to Look for in Backyard and Garden Heaters


    1. Heat Output: This is typically measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) for gas heaters and watts for electric heaters. The higher the number, the more heat the unit will produce. Consider how much heat you’ll need based on the size of the area you want to warm and the average outdoor temperature during use.
    2. Safety Features: Look for backyard and garden heaters with safety measures such as tip-over protection, which automatically switches off the heater if it’s knocked over, and cool-touch surfaces that prevent burns. If children or pets will be around, these features are especially important.
    3. Fuel Type: Consider the type of fuel that’s most convenient and cost-effective for you. Wood creates a unique ambience but requires more cleanup. Propane is portable but may cost more over time. Natural gas is economical for long-term use but requires a fixed line. Electric heaters are easy to use and environmentally friendly but may not provide as much heat.
    4. Weather Resistance: If your heater will be exposed to the elements, it should be made of weather-resistant materials like stainless steel or have a protective finish. Covers can help protect heaters when not in use.
    5. Portability: Some heaters, especially larger gas models, can be heavy and difficult to move. If you’ll need to store the heater away or move it around your space, look for a model with wheels or consider a lightweight option.
    6. Ease of Use: Some heaters are easier to use than others. Electric heaters are typically the simplest, often requiring only a push of a button to start. Gas heaters require more setup but may offer greater heat output.
    7. Design: Outdoor heaters come in many styles, from rustic fire pits to modern electric models. Choose a design that fits well with your outdoor decor. Some heaters even double as furniture, with fire pit tables providing a place to set drinks or food.
    8. Cost: Consider both the upfront cost of the heater and ongoing expenses such as fuel. Higher-priced models often offer more durability and features, but there are many budget-friendly heaters that perform well for smaller spaces.
    9. Size and Space Requirements: Make sure you have enough space to safely use and store the heater. Some require significant clearance around them to prevent fire hazards.
    10. Heat Controls: Some outdoor heaters offer adjustable heat settings, letting you control the temperature to your liking. This can be especially helpful for electric and gas heaters.
    11. Noise Level: While most outdoor heaters are quiet, some can produce a humming noise, especially electric models. If noise is a concern, consider a natural gas or propane heater, which are usually silent.

    Remember, the right heater for your backyard or garden will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Assess your space, consider how you plan to use the heater and choose a model that aligns with your preferences and budget.


    How to Maintain Your Backyard and Garden Heaters

    Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your outdoor heater and ensure it operates safely and efficiently. Here are some general maintenance tips:

    1. Regular Cleaning: Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate in your heater, affecting its performance. Regularly wipe down the heater and use a brush or compressed air to clean hard-to-reach areas, like the burner of a gas heater.
    2. Inspect for Damage: Check your heater regularly for signs of wear and tear, like rust, cracks, or dents. If you notice any damage, consult the user manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.
    3. Check the Fuel Source: For gas heaters, regularly inspect the fuel lines for any signs of damage or leaks. For electric heaters, check the cord for any fraying or damage. If you use a wood-burning heater, always use dry, seasoned wood to prevent excessive smoke and soot buildup.
    4. Cover When Not in Use: Protect your heater from the elements when it’s not in use by using a cover designed for your specific model or type of heater. This can help prevent rust and other weather-related damage.
    5. Store Properly: If you won’t be using your heater for a while (like during summer months), it is better to store it in a dry, protected location. Before storing, clean it thoroughly and ensure it’s completely dry to prevent rust and mildew.


    Best Practices for Staying Warm

    To maximize the effectiveness of your outdoor heater and keep your outdoor space cozy, consider the following tips:

    1. Strategic Placement: Place your heater where it can effectively warm the area you want. Remember, heat rises, so heaters placed at ground level will warm the area more effectively than those placed higher up. For larger spaces, multiple heaters might be needed to ensure even heat distribution.
    2. Wind Protection: Wind can quickly carry heat away, reducing the effectiveness of your heater. Try to place your heater in a protected location or use barriers such as screens, outdoor curtains, or landscaping to block the wind.
    3. Layer Up: While your outdoor heater will help, dressing warmly is still essential when spending time outdoors in colder weather. Layer up and consider providing blankets for your guests.
    4. Use Outdoor Rugs: Outdoor rugs can help insulate your space from the cold ground and add a cozy feel.
    5. Heated Furniture: Consider investing in heated outdoor furniture, like heated seats or benches, for an additional source of warmth.
    6. Proper Use and Maintenance: Always use your heater as recommended by the manufacturer and maintain it properly to ensure it works effectively. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and regular inspections can help keep your heater running at peak performance.

    Remember, a backyard or garden heater is only one tool in your arsenal for enjoying your outdoor space year-round. Combining it with these practices can help you stay warm and make the most of your outdoor living area, even in cooler weather.


    Embracing the Outdoors: Final Thoughts on Choosing a Backyard or Garden Heater

    Choosing the right backyard or garden heater can transform your outdoor space into a year-round oasis, extending the usable life of your garden and enhancing your outdoor living experience. With a variety of options available, you can find a heater that fits your aesthetic preferences, heat requirements, budget, and the unique characteristics of your space.

    Consider the space you have available, the fuel source you prefer, the type of heat you require, and the heater’s safety features. Whether you go for the rustic charm of a fire pit, the efficient heat of a gas heater, the easy use of an electric heater, or the instant warmth of an infrared heat lamp, the right choice can bring warmth and comfort to your garden or backyard.

    Maintenance and proper usage play a crucial role in the longevity and performance of your heater. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and usage as per the manufacturer’s recommendations will ensure that your heater remains in top condition, providing you with reliable warmth for many seasons to come.

    Above all, the goal of a backyard or garden heater is to make your outdoor space a welcoming extension of your home, allowing you to relax, entertain, dine, or simply enjoy the outdoors regardless of the season. So, make your choice with your comfort and enjoyment in mind, and here’s to many cozy evenings in your garden or backyard.

    Remember, the key to enjoying your outdoor space is not only in the equipment you use but also in how you use it. Layer up, strategically place your heaters, and make your space as windproof as possible. By following these best practices, you’ll ensure that your outdoor area remains cozy and inviting all year round.


    FAQs about Backyard and Garden Heaters

    What is the most efficient type of outdoor heater?

    Infrared heaters, or heat lamps, are often considered the most efficient because they heat objects directly, not the surrounding air. This means they aren’t as affected by wind or cold air, and they provide heat almost instantly. However, other types, like gas heaters, can also be efficient and provide more heat overall, so it can depend on the specific needs of your space.

    Can outdoor heaters be used indoors?

    Most outdoor heaters should not be used indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is especially true for propane, natural gas, and wood-burning heaters. Electric heaters and infrared heaters are usually safe for indoor use, but always check the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    How can I make my outdoor heater last longer?

    Regular maintenance, including cleaning and proper storage, will extend the life of your outdoor heater. Protect your heater from the elements when not in use with a cover or by storing it indoors. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use and maintenance.

    What type of outdoor heater is best for my small backyard or garden?

    If you have a small space, electric heaters or smaller models of fire pits or chimineas could be a good fit. They are usually more compact and easier to control. Tabletop heaters can also be an option for small spaces. Remember to always consider safety and ensure there is enough clearance around any heater.

    Can outdoor heaters be left out in the rain?

    Some outdoor heaters are designed to be weather-resistant, but not all can withstand being left out in heavy rain. It’s best to use a cover, store your heater indoors during bad weather, or choose a heater designed to be weatherproof. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure.

    How do I choose the right size heater for my space?

    Consider the size of the area you want to heat and the heater’s BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating. A higher BTU rating means more heat output. As a general rule, a heater rated at 40,000 BTUs can heat an outdoor area of about 20 square feet but where you have a completely open space and drafts, it’s ability to do this will be decreased.

    Are outdoor heaters bad for the environment?

    The environmental impact of an outdoor heater depends on its type. Electric heaters and infrared heaters produce no emissions, but their environmental impact can depend on how the electricity they use is generated. Gas and wood-burning heaters do produce emissions, but some modern models are designed to be more efficient and cleaner burning.

    What backyard heaters are safest for children and pets?

    Safety is paramount when children and pets are around outdoor heaters. Here are some options that are generally considered safer:

    1. Electric Heaters: Electric heaters don’t have an open flame and produce no emissions, making them a safer choice. Models that are wall-mounted or installed high on a pole are out of reach of children and pets. Additionally, many electric heaters have safety features like a tip-over switch that automatically turns off the heater if it gets knocked over.
    2. Infrared Heaters (Heat Lamps): Similar to electric heaters, infrared heaters provide immediate warmth without an open flame. They can also be mounted out of reach and have safety features like a tip-over switch.
    3. Propane Heaters with Safety Features: Propane heaters often come with safety features like a tip-over switch and a safety control valve that turns the propane off if the flame goes out.
    4. Heaters with Protective Guards: Any heater that has a protective guard around the heating element helps prevent accidental burns.

    No matter what type of heater you use, always supervise children and pets around heaters. Ensure that heaters are stable and located where they can’t be easily knocked over. Make sure children understand that heaters are not to be touched or played with. For pets, consider using a pet gate or similar barrier if the heater is in an accessible area.

    What sort of heater is best suited to use on a timber deck?

    Using a heater on a timber deck requires a certain level of caution, as heat and sparks could potentially ignite the wood. That being said, some types of heaters are safer to use on wooden decks than others:

    1. Electric Heaters: Electric heaters, such as freestanding or tabletop models, are generally the safest options for wooden decks. They don’t produce any flames or emit sparks that could potentially cause a fire. They also don’t produce any ash or embers that could dirty your deck.
    2. Infrared Heaters: Infrared, or heat lamp, heaters can be a good option as well. They provide direct heat to the area or objects they’re pointed at, rather than heating the air, which makes them energy-efficient. As with electric heaters, they don’t produce open flames, sparks, or embers.
    3. Gas Heaters: While propane or natural gas heaters can be used on wooden decks, they should be used with caution. They should be placed well away from any flammable materials and not used in high-wind conditions. Also, make sure the heater has a safety “tip-over” switch, which automatically turns off the heater if it gets knocked over.

    It’s best to avoid using wood-burning heaters, like fire pits and chimineas, on wooden decks due to the risk of sparks and embers. If you want to use these types of heaters, consider placing a fire-resistant mat or pad underneath to protect the deck surface.

    Regardless of the type of heater you choose, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use, and never leave the heater unattended when it’s in use.

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