Heat Up Your Deck or Patio – Outdoor Heat Sources

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 15, 2012

We all want to get maximum use out of our backyards and decks and a great way to do this is by adding a heat source to your seating area. This allows you to sit out and enjoy your deck even on cool evenings and also helps lengthen your season since you can start using your outdoor space earlier in spring and later into the fall.

Fire pits are a great rustic way to add warmth and charm to your backyard. Since there is an open flame, you need a fairly large yard so that you can build it away from anything flammable.

Fireplaces/Chimeneas are available in all shapes and sizes. You can buy one pre-made, repurpose an indoor fireplace or have a masonry fireplace built. Fireplaces and chimeneas are great if you have a stone patio to place them on and give you the smell and crackle of natural fire. Also, chimeneas are a nice alternative to an open fire pit since the smoke gets directed upward rather than blowing out at you and your guests. It is recommended that you put down patio stones or a hearth pad underneath your chimenea to protect the surface of your deck or patio.

Gas fire pits and fireplaces are similar to their traditional counterparts except that rather than burning wood, they use natural gas, propane or even ethanol gel as their fuel. Once again, the shape and size of these fireplaces is limited only by your imagination and your budget.

Outdoor heaters have become quite common on restaurant and pub patios but did you know they are also available for residential use? Heat lamps which use radiant heat are now available at many home improvement stores and online. Radiant heaters allow you to target specific areas, warming only people and objects in their path, rather than heating up the air, which then blows away. They may not give you the same ambiance as a fireplace but they definitely serve their purpose when it comes to keeping you and your guests warm and cozy!

Safety first! Whatever you choose as your heat source, make sure that it is being used safely and away from combustible materials. Have a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or sand handy and never leave your fire unattended. When planning out your deck or patio, talk to your deck builder about using materials that are non-flammable.

Adding an outdoor heat source is a wonderful way to add ambiance and warmth to your outside gatherings. The only thing left to do is call up some friends and enjoy some fresh airĀ  and a crackling fire in the comfort of your own backyard. For more information on heating up your deck, patio or backyard, talk to your local deck builder or home improvement expert.

If you found this blog post interesting, you may also want to read Fall Decks: A Perfect Home Improvement.

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