Are Chimineas Good Patio Heaters?
Yes! Chimineas are great patio heaters because:
- they offer a unique ambience to a garden
- chimineas can be purchased cheaply
- chimineas are safer than firepits
- they can be used in windy conditions
- they are super-efficient wood-burning stoves
- can be used even in small, urban gardens
- far less likely to have stray embers than firepits
- provide an attractive focal point in your garden
For information on cheap chimineas check out this article.
CHiminea Patio Heaters
Fingers crossed the warmer weather is on its merry way soon, and what better addition to your garden than a new patio heater. Out of the options available (without having to re-mortgage your house to afford it) to purchase in the UK, there’s really three main options for you:
- a chiminea
- a firepit
- electric or gas patio heater
I’m going to give you all the reasons why chiminea patio heaters are worth your consideration.
Do Chimineas Give Out Heat?
Yes, in fact, it’s one of the main things we love about them. There are lots of contributing factors to how much heat and over what area but yes, chimineas are great outdoor heating options.
What is the Best Chiminea for Heat?
There are three things that affect how much heat a chiminea will produce:
- The material of the chiminea itself
- The size of the chiminea
- The type of fuel burned in the chiminea
By far the best material of chiminea for heat output is cast iron. The density of the cast iron and the ability for it to heat up, maintain that heat and even keep radiating heat for up to an hour after the fire has died down make it the best choice of chiminea material for heat output.
Perhaps the obvious contributing factor is the size of the chiminea – extra large chimineas will produce much more heat and warm a larger area than a small chiminea.
Different materials burn at different temperatures. When dealing with clay chimineas you are limited to using wood only on your fires. In metal chimineas, however, you can get some charcoal and or coal on your chim and these produce a hotter fire than wood.
Taking all that into account the best chiminea for heat output is an extra-large cast iron chiminea burning charcoal.
You might also like this article on the best fuel to burn in a chiminea.
Is a Chiminea Safer than a Firepit?
Yes, a chiminea is safer than a firepit because:
- Chimineas direct smoke away from the area
- Chimineas keep the fire contained
- Firepits need constant attending, increasing your time spent super close to the fire
- Firepits are much more likely to spit out stray embers
- Firepits are not suitable for smaller patios and porches
In general, a firepit involves an open fire which involves far more safety concerns, particularly for children and animals. Because a chiminea fire is contained in the fire-bowl, it’s protected, more easily manipulated and controlled and a much smaller fire is needed for a similar amount of heat output.
Chiminea Patio Heaters Can be Placed in a Wide Variety of Locations
Similar to electric or gas patio heaters, chimineas can be placed in a wide variety of locations on your garden, simply follow the basics of flat ground, a surface that will not be affected or damaged by heat, not too close to buildings or fences, and with it’s back to the wind.
Firepits on the other hand need a substantial open area where there’s enough space so that everyone doesn’t get their eyebrows singed when gathering around. There also needs to be a large clear area of space above a fire pit that doesn’t involve the likes of plants or vegetation that could catch fire.
This makes chimineas as patio heaters the perfect choice as there are far more locations that are possibilities and although you have to be sensible about direct closeness, it’s easy to get them set up in relatively small gardens. I have a small garden and live in a very densely populated urban area…and I have a great time using my chiminea.
If you choose your fuel sensibly and make sure to only use fully seasoned or kiln-dried wood, after only a few minutes at the start of the fire, you’re likely to produce less smoke than even your neighbour’s burgers on the BBQ! Chimineas are an excellent choice of patio heater for small, urban gardens.
Now that you’re armed with all this terrific new knowledge about how amazing chiminea patio heaters are, I hope you get as much out of them as I do??
Which Chimineas are Not Good Patio Heaters
Things to perhaps avoid if you are focussed purely on heat is a deviation away from a traditional chiminea shape. It is no accident that these little outdoor fireplaces are extremely efficient.
There are exceptions of course of modern shaped chimineas that are designed well and really efficient. however, there are a few things to be mindful of:
- If your chiminea has more than one open side at the firebowl, it is technically more of a firepit/chiminea hybrid. By changing the access to the fire, you mess with the physics that make it so effient.
- If you choose a small chiminea. There is simply not the same surface area to heat up and radiate heat therefore they are not as good as patio heaters.
- Chimineas that are tall and thin. They are a constant topple worry and if you have kids or pets forget it! Or even a drunk person knocking into one – honestly, these give me nightmares! they also likely to be blown over in strong winds, especially if you have them out with a cover on.
Chimineas are excellent patio heaters and if you stick to a few guidelines like making sure it’s a decent size, choose a metal chiminea (preferably cast iron) as they give out most heat, and don’t pick one with a 360 mesh opening.
You might also like STEEL CHIMINEAS – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.