Extending the Season

Extend the Season

Natural gas creates warm, inviting atmosphere for outdoor holiday gatherings

The crisp cool fall weather doesn’t have to mean an end to outdoor holiday celebrations. Natural gas provides a reliable, comfortable, and environmentally friendly fuel source for outdoor spaces of all sizes.

“Natural gas provides flexibility for large or small spaces,” said Justin Merritt, business development manager for Superior Radiant Products Ltd. and IR Energy Inc. “It is also historically much cheaper in the long term to use natural gas compared to electricity.”

Superior Radiant Products designs and manufactures energy-efficient infrared heating solutions. Located in the United States, Canada, and China, the company offers a complete range of gas-fired low and high intensity infrared heaters for industrial, commercial, agricultural, hospitality, and residential applications worldwide.

Heating up

The key to enjoying an outdoor living space during cooler weather is a natural gas patio heater. Heaters can be permanently installed in-ground, deck-mounted, or hung from a roofline or on a wall. Other heaters are freestanding and portable to allow for greater flexibility in use. Smaller heaters can provide spot heating for an outdoor grilling spot, while larger heaters can warm a large space to create a cozy atmosphere for a party or small gathering.

“Natural gas can lend itself to any kind of application and gives you a range in solutions so you can consider the aesthetics,” Merritt said. “Do you want something on the floor that blends in with your furniture accents or would you like to get it off the floor and on the wall or ceiling to keep the patio nice and open? Natural gas allows for different comfort ranges so you can have a low-fire setting or on those colder evenings, you can use a higher setting to increase comfort.”

Infrared radiant heaters can offer even greater comfort and better fuel savings for outdoor spaces. Infrared heaters operate much like the sun, with heat passing through the air and heating solid objects rather than blowing warm air into a space. Infrared heaters provide heat and warmth quickly without requiring significant preheating time, reducing energy use.

“We’re trying to direct as much of the energy to heating the floors, the tables, the people, the furniture,” Merritt said. “We’re not blowing hot air that can be compromised by a gust of wind. You’re not having that heat blowing out of the space.”

A cozy atmosphere

Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits offer both warmth and ambiance. Because there are no sparks or hot embers flying about, gas fire pits and fireplaces can be located almost anywhere – even near patio furniture or wood decks.

Natural gas grills provide precise temperature control and more consistent cooking results. Grills can be freestanding and modestly sized or large permanent structures. Gas grills ignite quickly, and unlike propane grills, there’s no chance of a tank running out during a cookout. Because natural gas grills connect directly to your home’s existing natural gas line, the fuel is always available and ready to go.

Gas-fueled lights and tiki torches add a finishing touch to outdoor spaces and offer a reliable light source, even during a power outage. Lights can be mounted on exterior walls, porch ceilings, or lamp posts. Light sensors and timers can help reduce fuel use by ensuring that lights are only on when you need them.

With natural gas, outdoor living spaces can offer an inviting atmosphere for gatherings long after the chill of autumn comes around.

This article originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of Natural Living, and was authored by Tonya McMurray. To read more articles about utilizing natural gas in your home in Natural Living, click here.