How to choose the best outdoor heater

Adding some welcome warmth through outdoor heating to your open-air entertaining area is always a great idea. While a gas appliance might work well in your space, there’s also the option of an open fire. The team at Fiammetta look at some things to consider when choosing what's best for your place.

Try a gas outdoor heater

Gas patio heaters are ideal for warming up an outdoor space. They are designed to warm what’s directly within the vicinity by using radiant heat that specifically travels through the air to where it’s needed most.

While these heaters come in a range of sizes, most work most effectively if positioned in the centre of your entertaining area.

Look for easy start or push button ignition. And think about the aesthetics. Will it match your décor? Is it the right height for the area? There are important clearance distances for these products, so be sure to follow these.

Another factor to consider is the weather. If you live in a region where winters are bitterly cold, you might need more than one heater to provide enough warmth.

Fiammetta heater

Size, portability and safety count

Select the right size heater for the job. For example, the Fiammetta multi-reflector has the capability of warming an area 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 6 square metres.

These heaters operate on bottled gas. A gas bottle should last for at least 8-9 hours of use on a high setting.

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

Safety is also important. Most gas heaters 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.

Fiammetta heater

The romance of the open fire

Outdoor firepits and fireplaces are other popular heating options. Both are appealing because they help create the perfect ambience that brings people together.

When selecting a firepit think about design, shape and size, all dependent on your backyard, or outdoor area. Select a firepit that is made from materials that will match your décor, or the style you want to achieve.

Do you want a permanent fixture, or a bowl that can be easily moved to where it works best for your outdoor event?  This is a consideration for your fireplace too. Do you want it built-in or movable?

Location is important

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

Firepits and fireplaces are ideal places for people to congregate, so position yours where it’s accessible. For example, near an outdoor kitchen.

You’ll need plenty of fuel such as wood. So, think about a place to store this too. Wood needs to be stacked out of the weather so it’s dry and burns well.

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.

Safety is also important. Always use a screen if supplied, or consider buying one, to help prevent sparks. And always watch children and pets around outdoor heaters, and fires. 

Get your outdoor heater

Check out the full range of Fiammetta outdoor heaters available at your local Bunnings store.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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