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Outdoor Heating Ideas

When you and your guest want to have a get-together in your outdoor space during the cooler weather of the fall, you may need to keep them warm. In this article, I will give you some examples of how you can keep everyone comfortable with my 5 Outdoor Heating Ideas.

Some of these styles may work better for you with the availability of a power source. Some people will have an Electric, Gas, or Wood supply that is easy to access. Their choice will trend towards the supply of fuel for their heat.

I will give several ideas for each type of heat for your patio area, I hope one will work for you. Use the shortlist below to go to each type of heat.

Propane Heater

Outdoor propane patio heater
Propane heater styles of heat

The most popular propane heater for the outdoors is the standup model. The propane tank will sit inside on the bottom and it will have a burner on the top with a shield to direct the heat back down.

This type is good for about 10 feet of heat around the heater with little or no wind. You can use the patio heater on most deck materials without trouble. Just do not have a roof or overhand above the burner.

Construction workers use a burner that attaches to a 20-pound propane tank. It can have one or two burners to produce heat. This is directional heat that will radiate from the burners in the direction that the shield is pointed.

The size and style that you choose can fit the decor and size of your patio area.

Propane Fire Pit

Better Homes & Gardens Rectangular Tabletop Fire Pit - Gray
See my propane fire pit ideas here

The styles of Propane fire pits are very wide. The shapes are available round, square, and rectangular. The materials and colors are just as varied as you have metal, concrete, and composite. Most propane fire pits are very portable, you can even take the smaller ones to the beach or campground for a quick fire when no wood fire pit is available.

Some sizes that are available will allow the propane tank to be hidden under the body of the fire pit. Smaller or low-profile fire pits will most likely have remote propane tanks with a 6 or 10-foot gas line to feed the fire. When you have a remote propane tank, several styles of tables are available to hide this tank from your guests and can be used as an extra side table to sit your drinks and snacks on.

The big advantage of a propane fire pit is that you can use them on almost any surface, you must still keep at least 10 feet from a wall or ceiling to keep from fire danger or melting your siding.

Most Propane fire pits will last about 8 – 10 hours on a tank of gas in a high setting. This will be enough for 2 or 3 nights of burning.

You can cook hotdogs and Smores on most propane fire pits, just be careful to clean the burner if you spill on it as this will cause your fire not to burn properly or be difficult to light the next time you use it. Some fire pits can be purchased with a cooking grate to do hamburgers or other stuff.

Wood Burning Fire Pit

Mainstays Greyson 30” Square Wood Burning Fire Pit
See many styles of Wood burning Fire pits here

The most popular of the fire pits is the wood burner. They can range from a ring of rocks to more elaborate concrete or building block designs. The smaller metal fire pit can be used in the backyard or tailgating at your favorite game, just be careful to let it cool before loading it to take home. My friend started a fire in his truck bed from coals from his wood fire pit in Daytona one year.

Wood-burning fire pits can come in many sizes and shapes. The chiminea will keep the smoke out of your eyes by letting the smoke go out above your head. Most fire pits will come with a cooking grate that you can enjoy most outdoor meals on,

Firewood is readily available in most areas for a low price, you can get enough for one night or a whole season of fires. Having a storage area for your firewood if you have a bunch is a needed item.

Electric Heaters

Hiland Electric heater for umbrella post
See my selection of electric patio heaters here

Several types of electric heaters are available for outdoor use. Most will need protection from direct moisture like dew or rainfall. Some will come with a shade for this type of protection.

This type of heat will require a power source from an electric outlet. Extension cords are not recommended for most electric heaters as the cord will get very hot and may cause other problems.

A tabletop, under the umbrella, ceiling mounted, or just a standalone style with an upper shade will be available in this type of patio heater.

This will require the proper electrical outlet for proper function. The heat provided will vary depending on the style and wind.

An Electric patio heater can provide a great deal of comfort for your guest with just a little setup work. Once the heater is turned on, you will receive heat until you turn it off. No mess or cleanup is needed.

Outdoor Fire Place

Outdoor Fireplace

Many will have a fireplace built into their patio area. You can choose whether you want to fire it with wood or a gas supply. This type of heat will not be portable or have much adjustment in the heat. You must go to the fireplace to get the benefits.

If you decide on this style of heat for your patio, you can add an oven with a little more effort. This will give you the ability to cook and stay warm at the same time.

Styles will vary to allow you to match whatever outdoor decor that you wish with concrete, stone, brick, or tile styles available.

FAQs on patio heating styles

What is the best source of patio heat?

Gas will give you the best bang for your buck in heat. A fire pit or standing propane heater will give you a lot of heat with little work.

Electric heaters are good, just will need a cord to an electrical supply.

Wood-burning heat will take the most work to keep burning, you will have to cut, store, move, and keep the wood stirred while the fire is burning. After the fire is over you will need to clean up the ashes. It does have the best aroma.

How much does it cost to heat with propane?

With a cost of about $25 for a 15-pound propane tank, and the tank will last about 8 to 10 hours on high settings, it will cost about $10 for a 4-hour heating cycle which will be the average each evening.

Where would an Electric heater work better than propane?

Since the propane gives off some Cabon Dioxide when it burns, an Electric heater will work better in enclosed areas like a sunroom or any area inside.

My closing thoughts on these Outdoor Heating Ideas

I have a wood-burning and electric fireplace that I use to heat my outdoor spaces. The wood burner is easy for me as I also have a wood-burning fireplace in my home. I already have a large wood pile and all the needed stuff to move, store and make firewood for burning.

I can move a small electric fireplace to my side deck so that I can enjoy sitting out on cool nights without a heavy coat. It is portable with wheels to make it easy to move when needed.

What are your ideas? Leave me a note with any questions or comments below and I will get back to you shortly.