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Outdoor Heaters For The Patio – Prolong Patio Time Easily

person covered with a blanket on their patio with a spectacular view of a snow-capped mountain

Introducing Outdoor Heaters For The Patio

Are you tired of freezing? Are you annoyed by having to grab a jacket, blanket, or heavy sweatshirt every time you want to enjoy your outdoor patio? It’s no fun to sit on your patio while eating, watching movies, playing cards, and being cold.  

I find heaters to be an easy fix for this problem. Luckily, I have had a good experience with many over the years. It is easy to choose which heater style you would like for your patio once you know your options.  

Isn’t it great to have a choice? Using the heater-style installation that works best with your workspace is wonderful.   

If you are in the market for a heater for your patio, you have come to the right place. So grab a blanket and have a seat on your patio while reading this updated information. In this article, I will inform you of all the styles and their purpose for each.  

outdoor propane gas patio heater

Installation Styles Of Patio Heaters

To start, let’s get acquainted with all of the styles of outdoor heaters for the patio. I have listed them for you and will describe the pros and cons of each type.  

  1. Wall-mounted
  2. Freestanding
  3. Under the table
  4. On top of the table
  5. Ceiling-mounted
  6. Permanently posted

Wall-mounted Heaters

Let it be known, electricity and natural gas generally power wall-mounted heaters. The advantage of having a wall-mounted heater is it will not be in the way when moving around your patio.  

Having it mounted to the wall gives you the flexibility of turning it on and letting it do its work. Some wall-mounted electric heaters may be infrared. Infrared heat means the heater warms what is directly in front of it. If no one is in the room, it heats the furniture or object right in front of it instead.

Electric heaters can be pretty expensive to operate. It may require a particular 240-volt outlet to work them. However, some plug into a standard 120-volt outlet.  

For years, people have used electric heaters in offices, bedrooms, garages, and other areas.  

If natural gas fuels the heater,  it will require professional installation. Ultimately, you don’t have to worry that you will run out of gas. Also, it is too expensive to operate.  

Natural gas heating is inexpensive and convenient. However, the initial cost for installing a wall-mounted natural gas heater can be pretty expensive. Remember to factor this in when deciding.  

Freestanding Heaters

Freestanding heaters can be electric, propane, or gas-powered. Using propane, you will need adequate ventilation in an uncovered area to be safe. Most propane heaters are portable and easy to move around, making them more desirable in some cases. A propane heater is also relatively inexpensive to operate.

Propane heaters can start at around $200 and go up from there. Also, a 20-pound propane tank can last approximately 10 hours before running out.  

People can purchase electrical heaters for under $100. In all cases, not all of them are under $100, but a decent portable heater is inexpensive. Depending on your local utility cost, the expense is in operating it. 

One advantage of a freestanding natural gas heater is once the expense of installing it is complete, the cost of operating it is pretty inexpensive. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about running out of gas. Besides that, freestanding natural gas heaters will run only around $250 and up.

Under and On The Table Heaters

An under-the-table heater is a misnomer as the heater itself isn’t placed under the table. Essentially it heats persons while seated at a table or on a sofa. Under-the-table heaters are short to the ground. Electric patio heaters run around $30-$40 for a decent model. 

You can use an identical heater on top of the table. For safety, these heaters need at least 2 ft clearance at the top and 2 1/2 ft. on each side to be safe.  

Tabletop heaters are generally propane gas powered. They are miniature versions of the freestanding standard-sized ones.

Further, propane tabletop heaters can also have a heat reflector to direct the heat towards the people at the table. Propane tabletop heaters can start around $125 and up. 

Ceiling-mounted Heaters

outdoor infrared patio heater above a table

In general, ceiling-mounted heaters are most often the electric infrared type. Radiant heat, another name for infrared heat, feels great as it feels like the sun’s rays shining on you from the ceiling.  

Conversely, one disadvantage of ceiling-mounted heaters is that heat rises. It becomes a challenge when trying to push the heat downward. 

Notably,  the heat is not as effective, and it doesn’t always work the way you would expect. It requires an object (like people or furniture) to heat and has inconsistent heating effects. Additionally, you can’t expect it to heat an empty room.  

Ceiling-mounted heaters can cost as little as $70 and go way up from that price point.  

The other types of ceiling-mounted fans are hard-wired and are typically more industrial. Costs begin around $125 and go up from there. 

Permanent Post Heaters

Natural gas is the fuel that powers permanently posted heaters. These need to be installed by a professional and are perfect for a large open patio with multiple seating areas.  

Heaters with a permanent post cost more upfront for the unit because it requires a gas heater kit that a professional installer must do. The beginning cost is around $900 for the product. According to, the cost to install is $608 – $743 per heater.  

Purchasing permanent post heaters is costly, but the return on investment (ROI) is excellent. According to several large corporate dealers, the permanent post heaters are considered luxurious for both homes and businesses and offer a great return on investment. 

scrabble tiles that read, live well

Safety Features For Patio Heaters

Ultimately, safety is the number one consideration companies have for all heaters. Warnings include proper installation, use, maintenance, a safe distance from flammable objects, and adequate ventilation.  

All consumers need to be aware of each feature for safety. Most heaters have auto-shut-off. If they are freestanding, they have features to prevent tipping over. In effect, it is the responsibility of the consumer to follow all safety protocols that are stated clearly in the packaging materials. 

Consumers can expect high safety standards in patio heaters, and as long as people use them as intended, they are deemed safe.  

To Sum It Up

Acknowledging your responsibility to use patio heaters as intended is crucial for safety. I can’t express this statement any more clearly.  

There are three types of patio heaters: electric, propane-fueled, and natural gas. What you purchase depends upon your space. For example, using a propane patio heater would not be safe if you have a covered and partially closed patio because you need a well-ventilated area.  

The features include installation choices such as whether you want a wall or ceiling-mounted, tabletop, or “under the table” type. There are also freestanding and permanent post installations. Coupled with the choices of electric, propane-fueled, and natural gas and how to have your patio heater installed gives you many options.  

The significant factors to consider are cost up-front for the product’s price. Additionally, thinking whether or not you need a professional to install it, the space you want to heat, its ability to ventilate the heated air properly, and the cost of heating your area are all important considerations. 

I have covered the major points you need to consider to make a wise patio heater choice. Leave me some comments below if you have any questions or concerns.  

As always,


2 Responses

  1. Patio heaters are definitely a must have for where I live in Canada. Our summers are so short and we usually want to extend our outdoor time as much as we can until the cold become prohibitive. Paying attention to the safety features of course is so important because the heaters could become a fire hazard.

    The free standing heaters have always been our heaters of choice fo affordability and convenience. However based on your article I will be looking at under the table heaters as we have just moved into a enw house with an extra large patio and think we will need another heater.


    1. Hi Ceci,
      I love having my patio heater. It has made hanging out on the patio a wonderful thing. I genuinely love spending time on the patio, even on the cooler side. Patio heaters are the best!
      Thanks for your comments, Ceci!

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