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Heating marquees or outdoor spaces

Date posted: 15 December 2014

When you're organising or hosting an outdoor event, or a function in a marquee, you will need to buy or hire heaters to ensure your guests are warm enough. It is vital to choose the right type of heater for the setting in order to keep guests safe and comfortably warm.  Here we take a look at some of the best outdoor heating options.

Obviously in spring and summer months you may not need continuous heating throughout your event, but since the weather is unpredictable and temperatures often drop later in the day it is always worth putting heaters in place for when you do need them. In autumn and winter you may need them running continuously from before the function starts until it ends.

General considerations when choosing heating solutions

Some of the heaters used in marquees are also suitable for use in general outdoor spaces, but it is always worth talking to experts at a heater hire company to find out which products will be most efficient in heating your specific space.
Most types of marquee and outdoor heaters can be hired rather than bought, and most are easy to set up and run.

Try to opt for several smaller heaters rather than one large heater because this will deliver a more consistent temperature across the entire space.

It is also a good idea to point one heater in the direction of the marquee door / entranceway so that it blasts away the cold air and helps to maintain constant temperatures under the canvas.

The best marquee heaters incorporate powerful fans, so always look for a product that specifically mentions this and the heater's suitability for warming marquee spaces.

Try out the heaters a few days before your event, at around the same point in the day as you will be hosting your event. This gives you an idea of how long it will take to warm up, and therefore how early you need to turn out the heaters before guests are due to arrive. In the winter you may want to turn the heaters on about an hour before your guests descend on the marquee so that they are comfortable from the start of the function – otherwise they may not warm up properly all day!

Keep heaters away from objects and avoid halogen heaters, cabinet heaters and any other kind of infra-red heater with no fan because these won't be capable of heating bigger marquees.

How to choose a heater

If you are hiring a heater, the company you go to should be able to advise you on the best type of heater for your specific marquee or outdoor space. Provide them with detailed information about the size of the space, the type of event, and the number of guests in order for them to find the best heating solution.

Even in bad weather a marquee can provide a warm refuge for guests as long as the heating is well-planned. If you are using a large marquee you may need several high capacity mobile heaters such as indirect gas-fired heaters – offering economical, fume-free heating with the units placed outside and the hot air ducted into the area to create a comfortable environment inside.

LPG blowers or space heaters in various sizes are also used for marquee heating as they warm up the space very quickly. Ducted heaters are another option, with the unit sat outside the marquee and the warm air directed inside using ducting. When fitted with thermostatic controls these are excellent because you can set the desired temperature and then let the heater do its job in maintaining it.

If you are hosting a small-scale outdoor event such as a family gathering you may only need to hire one or a few gas patio heaters – these are ideal if you are only heating a patio or decking.

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