To heat or not to heat?
Your outside area can be a year long asset to your pub, especially for smokers, and as such there will be times when you will want to heat some or all of your outside areas.
Different settings require a different heater configuration. Some outdoor patio heaters will circulate the heat in a circular motion whilst spot heaters will focus heat in the direction in which they are pointed. Each type of patio heater also comes in different types of options. Spot heaters may be portable or mounted by brackets. Outdoor Patio heaters are available in a variety of configurations including tabletop, ceiling mounted or permanent in-ground mounts.
Outdoor patio heaters will provide roughly 20-foot diameter heating areas with heat circulated evenly over that area. Spot heaters provide heat directly towards an object without heating the surrounding area. Spot heaters are sometimes mounted above an area or can be placed on the floor.
Portable patio heaters can be moved from place to place and do not have a fixed fuel or power line that they attach too. These heaters will also radiate heat in a 20-foot diameter and come with a compartment designed to house the fuel tank.
Tabletop heaters are usually compact, portable and inexpensive. They are the perfect option for providing warmth in a small circle with the base also serving as the compartment for the fuel tank.
Wall Mounted heaters are the perfect option when space is limited. Spot heaters and gas heaters are available in a ceiling or wall mount but these types of models are permanent and require a permanent power source such as an electricity or gas supply.
Power Rating – All power ratings are stated in British Thermal Units, otherwise know as BTUs. Like most scales, the higher the BTU rating means the more power or heat this model will provide.
Most patio heaters are constructed from steel with the quality of the steel, weather resistance, etc varying by price. A very important feature not to overlook on any heater is the way the “dome” is constructed. A heater “dome” with a large diameter distributes heat more effectively than smaller domed heaters. The majority of patio heaters are single dome.
Most patio heaters use propane tanks for their fuel source some are designed with a concealed tank while others are connected to an outside fuel line. Other models use electricity to power their heat source.
Most gas powered models are available with a push button ignition system, the ignition produces sparks, which is then combined with the fuel and results in a constant flame that provides warmth.
Patio heaters are designed with safety in mind and many will automatically turn off when tilted. “Auto tilt shut off” is very important in case the heater falls over to prevent them accidentally igniting other objects. Other features include automatic shut-off switches that prevent leaking gas.
The most popular heater accessory is a cover that protects against dust, dirt, insects, etc, whilst some tabletop models are also available with a clamp so that they can be clamped down onto something.
Most spot heaters are designed to be hard-wired to an electrical source.
Power is rated in wattage while propane or gas sport heaters are measured in (British Thermal Units) BTUs. The higher the wattage or BTU rating is, the more heat it will produce.
Timer switches are the best way to ensure that heaters are not left on consuming energy when not needed. Most systems will come with an option for a timer switch, which, the customer will need to reset from time to time to get the heater to function. (Especially useful if you are providing heating to any smoking shelter you may have at your pub).
As with other items of your property being used or stored outside you should check your pub insurance policy to make sure you’re covered.