With winter on the way and the air already getting a bit nippy, perhaps you’ve started to wonder whether your body heat alone will prove sufficient to keep the ladies warm on your bachelor pad balcony during the colder months of the year.
Any bachelor pad with a decent-sized balcony is first-rate party real estate, though balconies have a tendency to get chilly during the colder months, especially when you’re blessed with an unobstructed view that looks fantastic but exposes your balcony to the brutality of the elements.
Decking out your bachelor pad’s balcony in readiness for winter is therefore something to get busy with before winter really kicks in, and unsurprisingly, you’ve a number of decisions to make regarding the heater you’ll purchase to warm that balcony and make it the most inviting spot in your neighborhood to hang out in the evenings.
Image credit: Steve Parker
The amount of space you have to heat will determine, to a great extent, the size of heater you’ll need, though you also need to take into account other considerations, for instance the body corporate rules of your apartment block, because management in some blocks won’t allow gas heaters, so check with them before hitting the shops.
Measure the area on your balcony that you need to heat. For areas of 8-12 square feet a tabletop or portable heater will likely suffice, though think about where you’ll place it as you should be aiming for an even distribution of heat that warms everyone fairly equally, rather than scorching some whilst leaving others freezing.
For areas larger than 12 square feet, up to and including 25 square feet, which is quite a decent sized balcony that would certainly lend itself to entertaining guests, you should focus your attention on commercial or full size heaters.
Portable and Tabletop Heaters
Don’t mistake ‘portable’ for something small that will warm just you and a friend, portable means not permanently fixed, i.e. it can be moved about, and will certainly do the trick for you and your guests on your balcony this winter.
Portable heaters are a great choice for balconies because they can be moved about quite easily, though you’ll have to give some thought to the layout of your balcony and the size of the portable heaters you’re looking at, because some of them take up quite a bit of floor space and you might need to look at ways of raising the heater up off the floor.
If your balcony is already pushed for space for you and your guests, you should maybe look at options like wall or ceiling mounts, perhaps with brackets that allow you to adjust the direction of the heat, because you might find that due to the limited amount of space on your balcony, a freestanding heater might get in the way.
A tabletop heater would likely suffice for a small balcony with limited space, and if you reside in a region where you only require an outdoor heater for a few months of the year, this would prove an astute choice because you can pack it up and store it out of the way during the warmer months of the year when its services aren’t required.
Due to their smaller size, tabletop heaters lack the power of freestanding portable heaters, so you’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons here between having more balcony space with less heat and vice versa.
Gas Vs Electric
If you’re in the clear to have a gas outdoor heater in your bachelor pad you’ll have to make a decision between the range of gas and electric heaters on the market, both of which have their pros and cons depending on your budget, your balcony and a range of other factors that you’ll need to weigh up in order to make a decision.
Electric heaters are seemingly more fashionable at the moment, though gas heaters are certainly not without their charms and there’s a lot to be said for the aesthetic appeal of a gas heater with its visible flames, not to mention its radiant heat output which many believe feels more natural and more akin to the sun’s rays.
Electric heaters are the more convenient of the two as you don’t need to worry about refilling gas bottles or having them run out in the middle of a winter’s night when you’re entertaining friends; just plug it into the nearest electrical socket and it gets going immediately.
Another benefit to electric heaters for balcony areas is that they don’t emit carbon monoxide, which isn’t a problem provided there’s adequate air circulating, though some people tend to fret and worry about such considerations.
Additionally, they’re more affordable to run, depending on energy prices in your local area of course, and they’re also unaffected by the wind when in use, though most modern gas heaters now boast an impressive wind resistance factor due to design improvements.
In addition to their radiant heat output which feels more natural and their aesthetically appealing qualities, there are a number of advantages to choosing a gas heater to warm your bachelor pad balcony during winter, including lower maintenance costs – the element on electric heaters may need replacing from time to time, a reason in itself to insist on a quality heater – and the instant heat they provide upon ignition.
The physical safety of yourself and your guests is an important consideration to take into account when deciding upon a heater, and although you won’t come across many heaters that could be considered inherently ‘unsafe’ – due to government regulations and standards those days are very much a thing of the past – you should take note of the safety features that some outdoor heaters possess and also think about the safest spot to place a heater on your balcony.
A sturdily constructed outdoor heater isn’t difficult to find at a reasonable price these days; however, keep an eye out for features like an automatic shut-off function, just in case the heater gets tipped over by an intoxicated party guest or the heater is left on for too long and begins to overheat, something that’s no longer so commonplace, though bear in mind that it isn’t uncommon for people to forget to switch off the heater before going to bed, which is one thing you should never forget to do.
Timers and thermostats aren’t safety features per se, though having a timer will come in handy if you’re worried about falling asleep with the heater on, plus features like this enable you to get more from your purchase despite costing more.
If you’re planning to mount the heater on the wall be sure to use the brackets and mountings that it came with – they’ll be designed with the heater’s specific size and weight in mind – and consider having it installed by a professional; as you can well imagine, should a wall-mounted heater come unfastened it poses a particularly serious threat to the safety of those present.
There’s a lot to consider when buying a heater for your bachelor pad balcony; however, deciding upon a suitable heater is most likely much easier than convincing local ladies to warm themselves beside it with you.