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An outdoor room with furniture, BBQ and gas heater looking onto a river
Rather than retreating indoors during the colder months, think about an outdoor heater. There are plenty of stylish, affordable and energy-efficient options available, so you can enjoy your outdoor space all year round.

What to consider when buying a heater

Before you purchase an outdoor heater, it's important to consider the size and function of your area. Is it undercover or open? Do you use it to relax or entertain? How many people will you be hosting?

You should also think about how the heater will be used. If you have a large space, then a radiant style heater is going to keep everyone warm at the same time, while portable heaters create a bit more ambience and are ideal for smaller gatherings.

Fuel is also a consideration. Electricity may be more expensive than gas, but there are still energy-efficient electric outdoor heaters. If you choose a wood heater you'll need to have a steady supply of firewood.

Also think about any ways of enhancing the effect. Installing clear bistro blinds is worth considering. They seal in the heat and still let you enjoy the view of your garden without feeling the cold.

Electric heaters

Heatstrips are a stylish and energy-efficient heating option for undercover outdoor areas. They're ceiling mounted and provide radiant heat, which is more effective than convection heating and provides targeted warmth.

With their understated style, these heaters make a great design feature and fit in with any décor. They don't emit any light or glow either so you will hardly notice them. For smaller spaces you'll probably only need to install one heatstrip but you can line up a bank of them in larger spaces.

They're also easy to use and don't require much maintenance. Running costs are low and you can install timer controllers to save on energy as well.

Outdoor entertaining area featuring BBQ and heaters.

Gas heaters

Outdoor gas heaters are portable and affordable. Using radiant heat, you get a steady stream of warmth that's easy to control. They're also clean burning and practically odourless.

You'll find an outdoor gas heater in a style and size to suit any outdoor space. Table-top heaters are great for smaller spaces, while patio heaters are best for larger areas. Use them to warm up your patio, deck, around the pool or in bars and restaurants.

Some gas heaters can be hooked up to your natural gas line but for portable heaters you'll need a propane gas bottle. Either way, it's an energy efficient and economical way to keep warm outdoors .

Outdoor dining setting with focus on gas heater.

Wood heaters

Chimeneas come in a range of styles and shapes. Just like a potbelly stove, they work by burning wood but you can use anything from newspapers to garden waste. It's like having a portable fireplace on your patio.

The great thing about chimeneas is that the fire is contained. The wind can't trouble your flames and you won't get ash or smoke blown into your face. Plus, they retain heat very well.

Fire pits offer an open fire, which you can keep building up with as much wood as the pit will hold. They come in a variety of bowl shapes and sizes and make great centrepieces. The best thing is that you get 360° heat that people can gather around. However, your fire is more vulnerable to the elements and can get a bit smoky.

Wood heaters are a good option for contained, undercover outdoor spaces. Beautifully designed and environmentally friendly, these heaters look great and offer reliable radiant heat with low emissions. Plus, they're safe, retain heat well and can warm up larger areas quickly.

Outdoor lounge setting with fire pit.

Plan your outdoor area

Find out how easy it is to plan the perfect outdoor space to complement your home.

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.