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7 Декабрь 2011

This Fall Extend the Outdoor Season with the Addition of Heat

When the chill of fall forces you inside long before you are ready, extend your outdoor living by adding warmth to the area with an outdoor fire pit, fireplace or heater. Create an inviting sense of warmth and welcome to your outdoor living space by the addition of a heat source. Determining the selection to meet your requirements can be confusing. There are many styles and designs available.

The wide selection of a heat source includes; Fireplaces, Fire Pits using wood or propane, Chimenias, and Heaters using electric or propane as the fuel. The construction varies with your design choice from stone, tile, ceramic, clay and marble to stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum and copper.

A fireplace built on your patio or in the garden can be functional and attractive. Similar to ones built inside the home, the outdoor fireplace may be space and cost restrictive. A fireplace is usually not a do-it-yourself project but takes an experienced builder to construct a fireplace that burns and draws properly so that it will burn the wood efficiently. Stone and brick fireplaces used for cooking and for warmth are a beautiful addition to your outdoor living space. As with indoor fireplaces, an outdoor fireplace requires cleaning and maintenance, this will keep the fireplace looking attractive and in optimal working condition.

Fire pits have been in existence for a long time and the versatility of a fire pit continues to make it a popular choice for outdoor warmth. A fire pit can vary from a temporary pit dug into the ground surrounded by rocks or stones to one of the popular pre-made commercial models available in a wide variety of styles and designs.

To make a fire pit, create a suitable hole that can contain a fire safely or build one by carving out a brick or rock pillar. The pre-made models are mostly made of metal and can be wood or gas burning. Often these fire pits are portable and can go from the backyard to the patio or to the beach. A fire pit constructed of stone or concrete is usually locked into a specific location. The common feature of any fire pit is to contain a fire and prevent it from spreading. Fire pits are also available built into a decorative table usually with a tile top and a compartment under the table for the propane tank or as a freestanding feature for your outdoor living space.

Chimenea is a freestanding front-loading fireplace or oven with a bulbous body and usually a vertical smoke vent or chimney. Chimeneas are available in the original clay design or an updated version is available in cast iron or aluminum. Metal chimeneas are much more durable than ones made of clay but are more expensive. Clay chimeneas may experience cracking, flaking glaze and crumbling of the clay if exposed to thermal shock such as heavy rainfall. Usually Chimeneas have a total height of about five feet and are about two feet across the firebox.

Chimeneas have a long history in Mexico as the primary source of heat and cooking. Fires start very quickly after ignition with paper and small pieces of wood. In full burn after just 15 minutes, they give off tremendous heat. The design allows a considerable amount of air to be drawn in maximizing the warmth with a minimum amount of fuel and time. Commonly, pinonwood is burned for its aromatic scent and its bug repellent qualities.

Chimineas have become a popular backyard and deck accessory and are often acquired as garden ornaments. This may meet your requirements for warmth at a minimum amount of cost.

Propane and Electric Infrared Heaters provide warmth directly onto people and objects. These heaters are rated by the BTU heat output and the radius of warmth provided.

The term “BTU” is used to describe the heat value (energy content) of fuels, and to describe the power of heating and cooling systems, such as furnaces, stoves, barbecue grills, air conditioners and outdoor heaters. A BTU is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by 1 ?F at a constant pressure of one atmosphere. A BTU can be approximated as the heat produced by burning a single wooden match or as the amount of energy it would take to lift a one-pound weight to a height of 778 feet.

Outdoor heaters usually stand between 6 and 7 feet high while some models are available with a telescoping pole to adjust to the desired height. The heaters provide intense warmth that radiates out from the heater to create a circle of radiant heat. It is important to review the manufacturer specifications to determine the BTU output and the circle of radiant heat. A reflective shield on the top of the heater intensifies the heat. Push button ignition and adjustable heat control are necessary features in making your selection of an outdoor heater.

Electric or infrared heaters are plugged into a standard electrical outlet to provide fast efficient warmth in a matter of seconds. Electric heaters usually cost less to operate than propane heaters and produce no harmful UV rays. Electric heaters have an efficiency rate that is usually in the 90% range. It is important to review the manufacturer?s specifications to determine the rate of efficiency of the selected heater. If your outdoor living space has a limited electrical supply without extensive electrical extension cords, this may not be a good choice for you for safety reasons. Children, pets and even adults can experience injury from falls as a result of tripping over an extension cord.

Patio heaters are often seen at outdoor restaurants and cafes to extend their outdoor dining hours but have recently become popular with homeowners wishing to extend their outdoor living time.
Propane tanks usually are not included with the heaters.

Safety first always

Regardless of the design or style of warmth added to your outdoor living space, it is always most prudent to take safety measures. When using a fire pit or chimenea caution should be taken to prevent the escape of very hot materials from its confines. One safety measure is to place a screen over the source of your heat which not only contains sparks underneath it, but also reduces the wind’s impact on potentially enlarging the fire. When using electric heaters, regularly check your extension cords for any broken or cut wires and make sure that the cord is not in the primary path used in the area.

Remember the fun of a campfire when you were young, adding a heat source to your outdoor living space can bring those memories back and help create new memories with friends and family. Keep warm with your choice of heat and extend your time enjoying your outdoor living space.


Источник: www.articlealley.com,
получено с помощью rss-farm.ru

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