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The best patio heaters for your garden

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Looking for a way to prolong your garden soirée? We have rounded up the best patio heaters that mean you can stay outside as late as you want, regardless of the weather.

B ritish weather is notoriously unstable. A slightly sunny day barbecuing and lounging in the garden can quickly turn into an evening huddled in a pile of blankets and, as the months grow colder, it’s even less predictable this time of the year.

But that doesn’t mean you should rush for the warm comfort of your living room. A patio heater will ensure you can enjoy a night outdoors while remaining cosy and comfortable.

Which heater is the greenest?

No patio heater is fully green – the most eco-friendly way to stay warm, of course, is to wear a jumper. But if you are after a patio heater, it’s worth considering the eco credentials before doing so.

According to Heat Outdoors, gas heaters are far from the greenest alternative out there. They can be costly and “extremely wasteful in terms of both heat generated, the energy consumed and CO2 emissions.” The carbon footprint of an electric patio heater is just 15pc of a gas model, and costs less to run.

L og burners, which are in fashion, are not wholly eco-friendly either. Earlier this year, the Government announced a ban of stoves that fail to meet environmental standards. This is because wood- and coal-burning stoves are responsible for over a third of particulate matter air pollution, which the Government is trying to combat. Check the environmental standards of a wood-burning patio heater before buying, and look for wood that’s dry.

See our guide to the best garden parasols and umbrellas, for those sunny summer days.

Electric patio heaters

If you want to heat your garden quickly and with minimal fuss, an electric heater is the one for you. They are easy to turn on and off, and typically reach the desired temperature quickly.

They come in different shapes and sizes and, depending on the model, can either be placed on the floor, on a raised surface such as a table or bench, or even mounted on the wall.

Electric heaters are typically radiant heaters which heat objects directly – as opposed to convection heaters which circulate warm air to heat up the surrounding area.

Radiant heaters are generally better for large gardens as you can choose what area you’d like to be heated directly.

Fire pits

F ire pits are a great way of cultivating that campfire feel at home while warming the space immediately around you. They are usually made from from steel, clay or cast iron and many also come with cooking grills so you can enjoy a cook-up too.

They’re fueled by either charcoal or wood and can be even be used as an incinerator.

F ire pits are great for creating an ambiance in your garden and many come with a protective lid for peace of mind – particularly handy if you have small children.

Gas patio heaters

Another option is a gas-powered patio heater. They’re expensive to run at £1.20 per hour on average; the average running cost of an electric heater is just 15pc of a gas version.

They can also take a while to heat up. However, they do often provide very wide-ranging heat, making them a good option for bigger areas, and can be cheaper to buy.

Whatever your preference, here is our hand-picked selection of the best patio heaters you can buy now:

1. La Hacienda Copper Series Hanging Halogen Electric Heater

W ell-designed and unobtrusive, this La Hacienda heater is ideal for a garden party or long nights spent on the patio. The infrared heating makes it silent, safe and efficient, as it heats as soon as you switch it on.

F eature-wise, the patio heater comes with a chain, soft-touch light switch, and a halogen bulb that can provide up to 5000 hours lamp life, plus a IP24 waterproof grade.

Looking for ways to spend more time in your garden without feeling the chill? We've found the best patio heaters.

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