With the weather hard to rely on especially during the Summer months, it's no wonder patio heaters remain so popular in the UK.
Choosing the right one, however, can be a minefield in itself.
According to Simply Patio Heaters.co.uk the key is narrowing down your requirements right from the start.
"Sometimes overlooked but think about the space you want heated. Also have you got a place for a full-size commercial heater?
A 16kw gas patio heater, for instance, has an 80cm," John Mitchell from the internet retailer advises."Those heaters would generate warmth for an area of around 9 metres in diameter."
John adds that a tabletop patio heater might be more suitable if you are only having small gatherings. A wall mounted heater might be better if you have pets or small children.
As well as the difference in size, potential customers also need to decide on whether to buy gas or electric. Electric heaters do not need gas cylinders but do need to plugged in. This means the heater has to be near a socket and there is a potential for wires to become a trip hazards.
Gas patio heaters can however be moved around but cylinders need changing. How frequently depends on use but a typical gas patio heater could use between 0.4 - 0.9kg of gas per hour Safety
Patio heaters are very safe, according to John. They often come with sturdy safety features but it makes sense that you purchase one with an automatic shut-off in case they become overheated or are tipped over.
"That all said they are unlikely to tip over unless there are high winds and it would be sensible then to take inside. Some retailers will sell spares for the patio heater if it becomes damaged."
There is also another difference to look out for - whether you can regulate heat.
"It's certainly one to watch - some patio heater do not allow you to turn heat up or down. Some will only reach a certain output, typically 13KW but it makes sense to buy one which produces 16KW, which allows you to regulate heat. After all you can't turn up heat if it's already at maximum."
The key is to find a patio heater to suit your requirements. Consider how much space you want to heat and whether you want electric or gas. More information on patio heaters can be found at http://www.simplypatioheaters.co.uk