Choosing the Right Patio Heater

Summer evenings can be a brilliant time to host outdoor parties and gettogethers. However, as the sun goes down, the chill can begin to bite and sometimes you want to use your patio space at other times of the year. Electric patio heaters are a brilliant way of providing warmth for outdoor spaces during these times, keeping the area comfortable and pleasant even as the night draws in.

However, there are a quite a few options to choose from when selecting an electric patio heater and choosing the right one can ensure you make the most out the heat it produces and the cost of running one.

Think about your patio space

A key point to keep in mind when choosing a patio heater is the space you want if for. Is your patio large or small? Is the space enclosed or open? Do you have tables and other surfaces on or around the patio?

All these factors play an important role in your choice of a patio heater as they dictate the style, fitting and power of the heater needed. To begin with, in large open areas, with few surfaces, it is perhaps best to choose a standalone heater or ‘parasol’ heater. These free standing and tall patio heaters are great for either placing at the centre of your patio or using multiples of them around the perimeter of particularly large space. Using their height and reflective metal interiors, these patio heaters can spread their infrared energy across large areas in equal amounts.

Smaller enclosed spaces can also benefit from these tall heaters; however it is more cost effective to invest in a smaller, less powerful patio heater. If you have surrounding buildings around the patio, wall mounted heaters, positioned high above the patio, make a brilliant alternative to parasol heaters. Similarly, if there are any overhead features going across your patio, you can install hanging heaters above the space, however always make sure these are well above head height.

Finally, the need for adjustability needs to be considered. If you have a large patio space that is of asymmetrical design, you might want a patio heater which is easily adjustable and controlled to keep the entirety of the patio space warm.

How much power do you need?

To prevent wasted energy and expensive running costs, always keep in mind the amount if heat you actually need for your patio space. Is the space large or small? Do you use it often or occasionally? How many people do you regularly have on your patio?

Typically, if you are trying to provide heat for a lot of people over a wide space, then a higher wattage heater is likely to be required, usually between 2000W and 2970W. Conversely, in a smaller space with lots of people, a much smaller energy output is needed, preferably around 1500W. If you use your patio space for only a few individuals then a similar wattage, or an even lower one should suffice.

Remember, electric patio heaters allow for instant infrared production and can be easily turned on and off which means they should always be switched off when not in use to save energy. This is particularly true if you only use a patio heater infrequently and it is a high wattage for either space or occupancy reasons.

The IP (ingress proof) rating is also something that should be taken into account when assessing the need for a highly powered heater or a lower one. IP 24 should usually be enough for most patio spaces and occupants and the use of control systems on some heaters can greatly enhance the efficiency and power conservation of a patio heater whilst still keeping the area warm and comfortable.


If you want to browse our range of outdoor, electric patio heaters, you can click the link below to find the right heater for you:

How to light a multi-fuel stove with coal

Lighting a multi-fuel stove with coal is pretty similar to light any fire, only with the addition to the wood needed to start it. This easy, step-by-step guide will show you how to light your multi-fuel stove in no time at all and show you how easy it is to achieve.

Step One: Prepare the stove

First of all, clear out any excess debris at the bottom of the stove, such as ash and charcoal, including the ash pan below the grate. Make sure to leave a thin layer at the bottom of the fire box however as this will help insulate the fire when you start it. Finally, open up the Air wash and Primary Air control system to allow air into the firebox and keep the stove glass clean.

Step Two: Building up a base for the fire

Before doing anything, you will need a base upon which the fire can take hold. This is done by first placing a firelighter or two at the centre of the fire box. Make sure this is behind the log guard at the front. Around the firelighters build a small pyramid using kindling, leaving plenty of gaps to allow air to fow to the fire.

Step Three: Lighting the fire

With the firebase built, use a match or a lighter to light the firelighters. Allow these to burn and for the kindling to catch alight and, when burning vigorously, carefully add more kindling to the firebase. Make sure you do not smother the fire however and only begin adding larger pieces of wood when the blaze has taken hold. At this point, close the stove door but making sure to leave a small gap to allow the fire to breathe.

Step Four: Adding coal

When the fire seems to be burning well and white embers begin to form at the bottom of the fire, you can start adding coal to the fire. Carefully open the stove door using a heat proof handle or a thick cloth and then gently begin adding a few small coals to the firebase. Be careful not to collapse the firebase at this point as this could smother the fire.

As the first few coals begin to catch fire and glow you can then start adding more and larger coals on top of these, making sure to stack them with gaps in between the coals. Now you can enjoy a glowing coal fire inside your multi-fuel stove, topping up the coal when needed.

How to clean a log burning stove

Wood burning stoves should be cleaned at least twice a year and three times if used regularly. Whilst the process can seem daunting and messy, this simple step-by-step guide will get your wood burning stove looking as good as new with as little hassle as possible.

To get cleaning, you will need:

  • Some metal scoops/small fire spades
  • A metal bucket/container
  • A fire brush
  • Lots of newspaper and old towels/dust mats
  • Paper towels
  • Stove polish/paste
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • Some old bags and rags
  • Two plastic containers (one with filled with water, the other with your chosen cleaning product
  • Either a paste made of ash and water or a commercially available log burner glass cleaning paste/spray.
  • A solution of one part vinegar, three parts water

Step One:

The first thing to do is light a small fire to loosen the soot inside the log burner. When the fire is out and the stove has cooled, then you can begin cleaning it. Placing the old towels or dust sheets around the log burning stove, put on the rubber gloves and then place some newspaper around the immediate area beneath the stove. Using the fire brush and metal scoop/spade, clear out any ash or pieces of wood inside the wood burning stove and place them in the metal bucket or scatter them out across the garden after 24hours (ash is very good for plants).

Step Two:

With all the ash and debris cleared out, rub some damp rags across the interior to get rid of some of the soot and then dry the interior with some paper towels. With the interior finished, you can then move on to the glass door. To begin with, use a wet rag to apply the ash paste or glass cleaning paste to the inside of the glass door, making sure you cover the whole surface of the inside glass. If you are using a spray instead, take the stove door off, if you can, and spray the inside of the glass door, leaving the liquid to soak for a couple of minutes.

Step Three:

When the interior of the glass door has been covered with your chosen paste or soaked in the spray, take a clean damp cloth and begin rubbing off the product, making sure to get rid of all the black patches on the glass. When it looks like most of the soot has been removed from the glass, scrunch up some balls of newspaper and begin wiping off the murky paste mixture until the glass looks clear.

Step Four:

Taking another clean cloth, dip it into the vinegar solution and wipe off any streaks left in the interior of the glass door, giving the glass a final wipe with a damp cloth just soaked in water and a dry one to finish. You can use a window cleaner on both sides of the glass door if you wish at this point however this is not necessary.

Step Five:

With the interior done you can now look at the exterior of the wood burning stove. This step is optional as the exterior of the stove will need cleaning far less frequently than the interior. However if you do want to clean the outside metal surfaces of the stove, get some more old rags/cloths, some warm water and the stove polish or paste. Wash the exterior once with a damp cloth soaked in the warm water. Clean the damp surfaces with paper towels/or rags until reasonably clean and then apply a very thin layer of the stove polish or paste all over the exterior metal.

Step Six:

After the polish/paste has been applied to all the metal surfaces on the outside of the stove, take an old rag and begin rubbing it into the surface. Wipe off any excess and then light a small fire to seal the polish on the stove and then you’re finished.