Patio heaters extend your outdoor season and are one of the best investments you can make for your outdoor living space.
They can provide ambiance and a focal point for gatherings and parties but more importantly, a patio heater will allow you to extend your outdoor season by several months.
There are many styles and types of patio heaters available such as infrared patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, fire pit tables, and even tabletop patio heaters.
What type you choose will depend on your preferences, the amount of space available, and how you plan to use your patio or deck.
There’s a variety of fuel types available too. Electric patio heaters can certainly be used to warm your patio and require little more to install than an electric outlet.
However, where aesthetics are important they probably are not your best choice.
Wood burning fireplaces and fire pits are pleasing to the eye and nothing can match the look and appeal of a real wood fire.
However pleasing, they do have some drawbacks. You will need to have storage space for wood and they can smoke and give off sparks and some folks have a hard time starting a fire.
Many fireplaces and outdoor fire pits can run on propane or natural gas. This eliminates most of the problems associated with maintaining a wood fire and looks almost as good.
A third alternative is burning biofuel. There are attractive indoor/outdoor fireplaces that use biofuel.
These are generally smaller units and are best suited for tabletop use or simply providing some added ambiance.
They are ideal for this and they can be used indoors as well. I would not really consider these as major heat sources outdoors.
Fire Pits Can Make Great Patio Heaters
Fire pits are attractive and most come with a cover to keep sparks at bay. They are generally wood burning.
If you have a deck and want to use these you will need to place these on pavers or a hearth pad to provide clearance and prevent the chance of fire.
There are many variations of this basic type of fire pit and many have decorative patterns or school logos cut into their sides.
Fire pit tables are a more advanced version of your basic fire pit. Many of these are available to run on gas or wood.
They are really a piece of furniture with a built-in fire pit. The added height makes them ideal to use in conversation areas because you can pull a seat up to around them.
The firelight adds ambiance and the table border makes a handy place to set a drink.
Fireplaces are more stationary designs whereas most fire pits can be moved around if needed.
You will want to therefore plan out your patio or deck to choose the most appropriate place for them.
These can be built on-site or prefabricated fireplaces can also be purchased.
Again you will be able to choose from gas or wood-burning models.
Outdoor Patio Chimineas
One option that provides the best of both worlds is a chiminea. These can generally be moved if desired and are much less expensive than building a traditional fireplace. See chimineas on Amazon here
They are designed for burning wood or gas. Do not waste time buying one of those cheap terracotta chimineas as they are unsafe and not suited to damper climates.
Your best bet is cast iron or preferably cast aluminum. These make great patio heaters that are easy to light, burn nearly smoke-free, and put out an incredible amount of heat.
Patio Heaters Extend Your Outdoor Season Final
Patio heaters are a great way to extend your outdoor season by several months. There are many different styles and types of patio heaters available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Electric patio heaters are a good choice if you’re looking for something easy to install, but they may not be the best choice if aesthetics are important to you.
Wood burning fireplaces and fire pits are pleasing to the eye, but they can be difficult to maintain and may smoke or give off sparks.
Many fireplaces and outdoor fire pits can run on propane or natural gas, which eliminates most of the problems associated with maintaining a wood fire.
Another option is burning biofuel. Biofuel is a renewable energy source that is environmentally friendly and produces little to no emissions.
If you’re looking for a small patio heater that is easy to move or even bring indoors these might be a good option.
A chiminea might also be a great option for you. Chimineas are usually made of cast iron or aluminum. They run on gas or wood and have a high heat output.
No matter what type of patio heater you choose, you’re sure to enjoy many warm evenings outdoors with family and friends.