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Heaters and firepits to warm up your leisure space - outdoors or in!

Make the most of your outdoor leisure space, conservatory or spare room with a variety of cost-effective gas, electric and solid fuel heaters and firepits to fend off the cooler air. Here are a few of the contenders for countering the autumn and winter chill.

Patio Heaters – one of the simplest ways of stretching your in-the-garden time into the chillier evenings, traditional patio heaters usually use the same kind of Bottled LPG Gas as gas-powered barbecues – useful if you already have a gas BBQ as you can perhaps share one gas bottle.
They’re usually quick to light, most having electronic, twist or push-button ignition, and give off a fair amount of localised heat (4 to 13 kW, dependent on the size you buy). Because they come in a number of different heights and designs, you have the choice of the table-top variety, which connect to your gas bottle through a table’s sun-umbrella hole so that the gas is out of the way. Or, get a taller version if it’s a wider space or stand-around party situations you have in mind. These types tend to be bigger and give off far more heat, often incorporating a gas-bottle cover into their design for a neat finish. 
With either type, for safety, look for models with anti-tilt switches and other flame-failure devices that cut off the gas if the flame's blown out by a gust of wind. Other good features are snap-connectors for quick and easy hose disconnection and weighted bases to stop them getting knocked over.
Tip: As with gas barbecues, when you switch your gas heater off, turn off at the gas bottle first so that there’s no unburned gas left in the hose. This prevents the hose gradually clogging up, thereby restricting gas flow / heating performance.
If replacing gas bottles isn’t in your plan, stylish Electric / Halogen versions are available, though their heat output tends to be lower than with gas versions, typically only reaching 1.5 to 2kW - and there’s obviously the need to run an extension lead out to their power cable. But, for the real party animal, built-in lights and integrated Bluetooth speakers are a feature of some models too. (Useful to stop your prized free-standing Bluetooth speaker becoming an expensive drinks mat as the evening wears on!) 

Chimeneas – traditionally let you burn wood in them as an enclosed alternative to an open fire or firepit, radiating heat out and providing a warm glow for a convivial atmosphere. You can also get versions with cooking grids to grill steaks, sausages etc at the same time – yet another reason for a gathering outdoors! Traditional fired-clay chimeneas were first used 400 years ago by Spanish settlers in Mexico, hence the hand-made, ethnic style of some models, though minimalistic, modern styles are also available.

Tip: If you want the real thing though, be careful to follow the manufacturers’ instructions about warming them up and being sure not to cool them down too quickly as sudden changes in temperature may cause them to crack. Those with a little less patience might prefer the more durable cast-iron chimeneas - often with a bronze-coloured finish - which perform in exactly the same way, though will discolour and rust with usage.
Wood-Burning Firepits & Firebowls – give you an outdoor experience that’s closer to the traditional 360-degree open fire, housing the burning logs to stop the scattering of hot embers, so maintaining a good fire for longer. Firepits come in all shapes and sizes, some very basic, others pretty ornate. They can be made from heavy-gauge steel, black-painted steel, cast iron with ‘industrial-look’ rusted finish – even recycled steel to achieve individual objects of real hand-worked interest. This complete variation in style and scale lets you find something suitable for a small courtyard or decked area, or for big spaces with larger gatherings of people. With the easy availability of kiln-dried and seasoned logs, firepits and firebowls have certainly done a lot to bring the humble bonfire back into fashion.

Gas Firepits - For those after the warmth and looks of an open fire, but minus the smoke, sparks and ash that automatically comes with them, a gas-powered firepit is worth considering. Although more expensive to buy, they give you real convenience and control, with plenty of heat and none of the ash or smoky smell on your clothes afterwards. With a solid build - often composite stone or similar - they typically use a stainless steel burner hidden by ceramic wood-effect logs or lava rocks that serve to absorb and radiate up to 20kW of heat – an impressive output from such compact units.

Grill & Firepit Tablesfor the best of both worlds and the height of luxury in your outdoor space, firepit tables provide a comfortable place to keep warm while dining outdoors. Better still, grill your meal on it - it's a bit like gathering around your barbie to eat outdoors in warmth, style and comfort.  Comfortable full dining sets with integrated firepits for informal outdoor dining are designed to give a different dimension to outdoor entertaining. With a highly luxurious look and feel, they're really worth considering if you’re into small, intimate gatherings with family and friends.
Indoor Heaters -                             
Conservatory or chilly indoor spot
need a little lift in temperature? LPG gas cabinet-style heaters are a cost-effective and convenient way of warming indoor space up quickly - and they're wheeled, so can be easily moved around to cover different areas. Gas-powered heaters typically weigh around 8.5KG and generate up to 4.2Kw - which is sufficient to warm 60 cubic metres of air, or a decent-sized room. Safety mechanisms include ignition systems, atmospheric sensing devices for oxygen depletion and flame supervision/gas cut-off devices (in the unlikely event of the heater being knocked over.) 
Outdoor heaters are perhaps as much about perceived style and lifestyle choice as they are about heat generation and comfort in your outdoor leisure space. If you’re that traditional ‘camp-fire’ type of person, maybe with fond memories of camping out with the Scouts or Guides etc, the crackle of logs on an open fire has an appeal all of its own. But, if you’re more after a stylish piece of equipment to keep your gatherings going into the evenings, providing a welcoming warm glow and some extra heat, but without the smoke and ash that makes you feel like you’ve been fire-fighting all day, there are lots of convenient gas and electrically-powered options to choose from. Either way, these heaters and leisure fires can really help you to make the best of your extended time in garden rooms and the great outdoors!  


Norwich Camping & Leisure's superstore in Blofield, east of Norwich, Norfolk, has a wide range of outdoor, indoor and camping / caravanning heaters in stock, one of the UK’s largest outdoor displays of tents and awnings, plus indoor showroom displays of camping & caravanning equipment, outdoor clothing, garden furniture & garden arbours, a fully-stocked garden centre, barbecues,  pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens.

Norwich Camping & Leisure also has a farm shop, coffee shop,  new & used campervan sales and hire and a professional-standard car, camper & caravan hand-wash station. With over 50 years of experience and practical, friendly advice – plus FAST, FREE DELIVERY on orders over £100 (Terms & Conditions apply) and our Best Price / Price Match Policy and low-rate finance terms why not find us online or come along and see us!    Tel: 01603 717600    [email protected]    Follow us on X - formerly Twitter!