Outdoor Radiant Heaters
Last month I wrote a piece called Outdoor Entertaining During Winter in which I mentioned outdoor radiant heaters as being a good option for keeping your guests warm. The article featured a picture of Heatstrip heaters on the patio ceiling, so I thought I'd go into a little more detail to explain what these types of heaters are.
With indoor HVAC systems you will often have convection heaters such as radiators, or systems which work by forcing warm air throughout the home, however these techniques don't work in an outdoor setting because the warm air quickly dissipates, and this is where outdoor radiant heaters come into play.
Radiant heaters work by radiating large amounts of heat directly on to all objects and people nearby, heating them up without too much warmth being lost by air currents carrying the heat away. This is what makes radiant heaters the best choice for outdoor use.
Gas vs Electric Radiant Heaters
The first choice you have to make is whether you want to use gas or electric powered heaters.
Portable patio heaters, like the one pictured right from Home Depot, are usually powered by bottled gas. This makes them highly portable and easy to position anywhere...