As temperatures drop, spending time in your outdoor space may begin to seem far less enticing compared with a balmy summer night. However, when time and energy have been or are to be invested in creating a beautiful outdoor area, maximising use of the space throughout the cooler months becomes important. The two fundamental elements to keeping warm in your outdoor space are having the appropriate heat source and containing the heat. Firstly, you should analyse the space itself. If you have more than one outdoor area, consider which space best lends itself to retaining heat. A fully contained outdoor room will create the best protection against the cooler weather, but there are numerous solutions to keep you cosy. Even if the area is not ideally positioned, creating shelter will greatly enhance heat retention. Shelter can be created using hardscaping, for example fences, balustrades and screens. Or soft scaping such as hedging or shrubs. Heat also escapes in to the atmosphere above, so creating an enclosed space which limits upward heat loss is vital. This can be as simple as a well-positioned umbrella or awning or alternatively a more permanent option such as a louver or roof. Once you’ve considered the design of your space, you can then decide which heat source will work best for the area. Outdoor fireplaces Modern outdoor fireplaces are permanent structures which can burn wood or gas. Whilst a more expensive option, the ambience created by an outdoor fire will ensure a warm welcoming environment. The design of the outdoor fire is important, it should contribute to the aesthetic of the space whether in use or not. Firepits Firepits burn gas or wood and are a convenient and portable option, radiating heat in a full circle. Advice should be obtained on whether a firepit is suitable for your specific area – many are considered unsuitable for use on wooden decking. Chimineas A chiminea has a large clay or cast iron bulbous pot with an open side which contains the fire and a small funnel which acts as the chimney. Electric There is an array of outdoor electric heating options available. Heat lamps are versatile and portable. Electric radiant heaters have become very popular and are a very efficient and discreet heating system for outdoors. These heaters can be contained within your roofing and provide instant and energy efficient warmth at the push of a button. Gas Gas heaters also have the advantage of instant heat. The ‘patio heater’ style has the convenience of manoeuvrability and comes in a range of sizes and heights, including smaller table top options. O U T D O O R L I V I N G 8 | 9 O U T D O O R H E A T I N G Whatever your plans are for your outdoor space, keep form and function in mind when selecting style, ensuring you have a beautiful, usable and liveable outdoor space to enjoy, all year round.
2017 LPS Magazine Issue 2
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