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Heater Hire for Outdoor Events and Marquees

Date posted: 11 December 2014

If you're planning an event outdoors or in a marquee, you will need to think about how to heat the space safely and effectively in order to keep your guests warm and comfortable – and here we take a look at how to achieve this.

In the spring or summer you may only need heating later in the day when temperatures drop, but during autumn or winter you may need heating throughout the event – and you will probably need to start heating the space for a period before the event starts so that it has reached a comfortable temperature by the time your guests arrive.

Heater types

Some of the most popular types of heaters used to heat marquees include:

  • LPG blowers or space heaters are available in different sizes and are ideal for heating marquees quickly and effectively. They are generally fitted with wheels so that they are fully mobile and easy to position exactly where you need them. They run on gas bottles, are capable of heating large areas very rapidly, and are readily available to buy or hire at reasonable rates.
  • A more expensive option – but far more affordable if you opt to hire one – are ducted heaters. These also use gas bottles but they are placed outside of the marquee and then the warm air is ducted in to the side of the marquee. They usually incorporate a thermostat so that you can set it to your optimum temperature and the heater will then reach that and maintain it.
  • Indirect oil-fired heaters deliver high volumes of clean, fume-free heat safely and economically, and are also usually positioned outside the marquee – with warm air ducted in to the side of the structure. However, these heaters usually run on oil / diesel rather than gas. Again, they can be very expensive to buy, so hiring is often the best option unless you are running events very frequently.

Some of the most popular types of heaters used to heat outdoor spaces include:

  • Portable gas patio heaters for small areas of decking or patios, such as at barbecues or smaller functions
  • Indirect oil-fired heaters (as for marquees) positioned at a safe distance from where your guests will be gathered.

Preparation & use of marquee heaters

The aim is to welcome your guests in to a warm space from the start of the function – otherwise if they get cold they may not warm up for the entire duration of the event.

Marquee and outdoor heaters are readily available for hire and are generally easy to use. It is preferable to buy or hire multiple smaller heaters rather than using one big unit, as this generates a more consistent temperature across the whole marquee. Try to direct one of the heaters towards the marquee's entrance if possible, as this will help to keep out the cold air and maintain the temperature inside at a constant level (just as you generally experience when you walk in to a shop on the high street and feel a 'blast' of hot air at the entrance!).

Try to choose heaters that have a powerful fan, and always test them out several days before your event – at approximately the same time of day as it is due to take place – to ensure your heaters are effective and adequate for the space. This also gives you the opportunity to work out how long before the function you will need to switch on your heaters in order for the space to warm up properly before guests arrive (usually at least an hour beforehand during winter months). Remember to avoid positioning heaters too close to any surfaces or objects, and to avoid using cabinet heaters, halogen heaters, or any other type of infra-red heater without a fan – as these will simply not be powerful enough to heat larger marquees.

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