8 Steps to Having an Outdoor Entertainment Space That’s Warm in Any Season

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Phil Puccio

Family and friends having dinner outdoors

While there is little scientific research on the subject, there are literally generations of anecdotal “data” supporting the benefits of spending time outdoors. It usually started with an angry parent saying, “You kids need to go outside and play now!” That was a clear signal that it was time to go to the park, the secret fort, the basketball court, anywhere while it lasted it was outside. This admonition to “go outside” was firmly anchored in our collective psyche.

Then came COVID.

The health and emotional stress caused by the pandemic, driving almost everyone “insane,” further amplified the “call of the wild,” at least as far as the backyard can be called “the wild.” People around the world, and in America in particular, have discovered the simple grandeur of spending time at home in their homes own backyard, all Seasons. Recent research into American spending patterns on outdoor entertaining spaces and landscaping tells an interesting story.

Has the cold winter weather kept you from enjoying your outdoor fun? It doesn’t have to. Talk to Acme Brick about the Bromic outdoor heaters. They are the hottest thing for any backyard.

Homeowners invest in outdoor spaces

Americans are moving outward with a vengeance. A recent study found that three-quarters of homeowners in the US say their outdoor space has been critical to their mental health during COVID-19.

consequently items, “The survey of 2,000 homeowners with some kind of outdoor space analyzed how people have found solace during the pandemic. The results show that respondents spend 14 hours a week outdoors – an increase of three hours from days before the pandemic. 73 percent of homeowners said spending more time outdoors has been therapeutic for them. Seven out of ten added that improving their spaces has become a new hobby of theirs.”

The “One Poll,” conducted on behalf of lawn care company TruGreen, added that “respondents have spent an average of $1,910.99 on their outdoor spaces during the pandemic. Specifically, the average homeowner has spent $414.67 on new patio furniture and $377.49 on outdoor entertainment equipment BBQ equipment. Four out of 10 have also bought or rented a fireplace outdoor fireplace and new lawn care products.”

Outdoor grilling

With this amount of investment, it is safe to assume that these homeowners will continue to use this outdoor gear even when the weather is cool. This has led many to consider purchasing another essential accessory for outdoor living – a patio heater.

The challenge of heating the great outdoors

Often the designers and architects who create outdoor entertaining spaces lean more towards the aesthetic than the practical. This has led some to specify old-fashioned fire pits or fire rings for the colder seasons. Even if they look good, they cannot heat an outdoor area efficiently. Better technology is required. The use of outdoor engineered heaters is necessary to keep the outdoor entertaining space usable all year round.

“The best way to heat an outdoor space is by radiant heat,” says Acme Brick’s Britt Stokes. “Radiant heat warms objects, not the air, just as the experience of the sun warms your skin. This is fundamentally different from traditional outdoor fire sources.

“Because of this focus on objects and not on air, radiant heaters are wind-resistant and can still warm people even in mild wind conditions. With this method, infrared heat radiation is projected onto people instead of directing warm air into the outdoor patio.

“Radiant heating is the basis for everything Bromine heaters. Properly specified, this principle allows Bromic to heat any outdoor space more effectively than many competitors.”

Bromic outdoor heater

The 8 step outdoor heating planning guide

Whether the outdoor area to be heated is a residential building backyard or a commercial space like a restaurant, outdoor engineered heaters are required to keep the outdoor entertaining area usable year-round. One of the best of this type of heater is Bromic.

this items states, “Because an outdoor area is not a space bounded by walls and roof construction, forced air systems are not effective at controlling ambient temperature. In an outdoor environment, hot air rises and quickly dissipates. Even the slightest breeze reduces the effectiveness of the heating system, making an outdoor forced air heating system ineffective.

consequently guideThere are eight steps to preparing an outdoor space for bromic heaters.

#1 Define the outdoors

Outside areas are at least 30% open (front, back or side walls). When a patio is partially covered, it can trap heat within the structure, also known as a heat cloud, and a convection heat effect. Understanding the structure in design and engineering will help dictate the type and amount of heating required.

#2 Understand the types of heat

Manipulating the direction of heat is a crucial factor when designing your outdoor heating solution. The most effective heaters use directional heating elements for efficient use of energy and to prevent guests from overheating.

Bromic outdoor heater

#3 Choose the power source

There are three traditional types of fuel: natural gas, liquid propane, and electric. Bromic heaters work on either gas or electricity. While each fuel has its own advantages and disadvantages, here are three main factors to consider:

  1. Space limitation and design
  2. Availability of utilities
  3. operating cost

#4 Choose a heat wave

This graphic shows the differences in the types of heatwaves.

types of heat waves

Long Wave Low (Unit generates 572˚F) Least Efficient: 40% radiant heat and 60% convection byproduct Vulnerable to wind propagation 5 minutes average

Medium wave Moderate (unit produces 1652˚F) 60% radiant heat and 40% convective byproduct Limited susceptibility to wind 30 seconds average

Short Wave High (Unit generates 3992˚F) Efficient: 90% radiant heat and 10% convection by-product Warms people and objects directly Instantly

#5 Identify long-term needs

ESTIMATED COST FOR 200 FEET OF OUTDOOR PATIO COVERAGE

natural gas propane electric
$0.40 per hour $8.00 per hour $0.88 per hour

These illustrations are a basic reference guide and will vary by location and application. Different regions have different ambient temperatures and may require more or less heaters depending on ambient variances. Proper incorporation of geography, application and seasonality into the specification is critical to long-term effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

#6 Comply with building codes

It is a legal requirement to have heaters that meet US building code standards and regulations. These standards address issues such as: where heaters can and cannot be installed, the requirements for various power supplies, airflow, ventilation needs, and the required clearance from combustibles.

#7 Consider assembly and installation costs

The installation of a heater is as critical to the aesthetic design as it is to the functional performance of the heater. Bromic have created a variety of different mounting options for seamless outdoor integration and heat dissipation to maximize heat dissipation.

#8 Choose controllers and accessories

Bromic heaters can be combined with several optional accessories and controls. For example,
These home automation systems can be used with Bromic heaters:

  • Lutron
  • Crestron
  • control 4
  • nomad
  • UCS

Working with Bromic’s design specialists, Acme Brick offers free design assistance for these heating products. Our design specialists can assist you in evaluating your design and application to recommend the most appropriate heater configuration including product selection and placement and provide you with technical cover drawings. Click here for more information.

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