Patio heaters serve as indispensable companions for outdoor enthusiasts, offering warmth and comfort in chilly weather conditions. From cozy garden gatherings to vibrant restaurant terraces, these outdoor heating devices ensure that outdoor spaces remain inviting and hospitable year-round.


Patio heater suspended from the outdoor patio ceiling.

What are patio heaters?

Patio heaters are outdoor heating devices designed to provide warmth and comfort in outdoor spaces such as patios, decks, gardens, and terraces. They are especially popular in regions with colder climates or during cooler seasons when outdoor gatherings or dining are still desired.

With heat right in your backyard, you’ll be able to extend your outdoor season. Patio heaters are a must-have for restaurants, venues, and bars with outdoor seating options.

Outoor patio with heaters recessed into the ceiling.

What is the best type of heat for a patio?

The best type of heater for you will depend on several things, including how you want to fuel or power your heater, how large a space you are heating, whether that space is partially enclosed, and options you have for installation.

Start with the basic types of patio heaters to start narrowing down your search. Then consider the features and designs that you prefer.


Outdoor patio with wall hung electric heaters.

Types of Patio Heaters

Propane Patio Heaters

These are among the most common types and are fueled by propane gas. They typically have a base, a pole, and a radiant heating element at the top. Propane patio heaters provide instant heat and are portable, but they require refilling or replacing the propane tanks periodically.

Natural Gas Patio Heaters

These heaters are connected to a fixed natural gas line, offering a continuous fuel supply. They are more convenient for permanent installations but may require professional installation.

Electric Patio Heaters

Electric patio heaters are powered by electricity and are often mounted on walls or ceilings. They are convenient, easy to use, and don't require fuel refills, but they need to be near a power source.

Infrared Patio Heaters

A type of electric heater, infrared heaters emit infrared radiation that heats nearby objects and people directly, rather than heating the surrounding air. They are efficient and can provide targeted warmth.



Outdoor patio with freestanding patio heater.

What designs are available?


Looking a bit like a lamppost, the freestanding patio heater is on a vertical pole with a heat reflecting umbrella over it to ensure the heat stays down with you on the patio. They are generally propane or gas but there are also some modern looking infrared versions as well.

Choose a portable version if you’d like the flexibility of bringing the heat to you, wherever you are on the patio.

Wall Mounted

Wall heaters mounted on a wall but stand separate from the wall. These are also generally electrically powered with infrared heating elements. You can mount them with a bracket that allows you to adjust the angle of the heater so you can point the heat right where you want it.

Ceiling Mounted

Much like on wall heaters, ceiling mounted patio heaters are attached to the ceiling with a bracket or mounting kit. These can be adjustable so you can angle the unit as you wish. There are also mounting poles that hang the unit from the ceiling like a pendant light. Electric infrared is your best bet for the ceiling but there are also gas models available.

Ceiling heaters can also be recessed into the ceiling so they sit flush. Order a recess kit to successfully mount heaters in the ceiling.


Make heating the patio that much better with the right features and accessories.


A remote control adjusts the heat quick and easy. One remote can control multiple heaters and can be programmed to your customized preferences.

Mounting Accessories

Select poles and brackets to install your heater with ease. Choose from models that tilt, swing, and telescope.

Recess Kits

If you wish to flush mount your wall or ceiling patio heater, you’ll need the casing and everything that goes with it in order to recess your heater.


Link your outdoor patio heaters to your smart home with an automation system. Control from the wall panel or any home automation system.

What outdoor heater gives off the most heat?

When it comes to producing heat, both electric and gas do a great job, but they work very differently. Electric infrared patio heaters heat objects and people the same way the sun does. Gas and propane heaters heat the ambient air.

The amount of heat any given unit produces is measured in BTUs. Gas and propane kick out more BTUs when compared to similar electric units. 

A good rule of thumb is to multiply the square footage of your patio, or the space to be heated, by 20. That will give you the ideal BTU output to keep your patio comfortable. For example, if you have a 1,200 square foot patio, you’ll want to aim for about 24,000 BTUs. You can achieve that with a couple of electric heaters or one small propane unit.

Overall, patio heaters are valuable additions to outdoor spaces, providing warmth and comfort for outdoor activities and gatherings even in chilly weather. Start your outdoor season earlier or extend it further with outdoor patio heaters.


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