Outdoor Heaters and Fireplaces: Customizing Comfort At Home

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Comfort at home is as important in your outdoor living space as anywhere. It’s best secured by seeing to the basics, like heating. Here’s how you can enjoy your outdoor spaces at any time of year with an outdoor heater or fireplace.


When you’re looking to add comfort to your patio, an outdoor heater or fireplace is the way to go. Outdoor patio heaters and fireplaces can do more than just provide some extra warmth to your outside spaces. They’re also a great way to add additional style and design to your backyard. Learn how outdoor heaters can help you customize your space and increase comfort and control in your backyard.

Patio time: no limit

In recent years, patios have stepped out from being separate spaces apart from the home, and have graduated to being an equal “room” of the house. The fact that they’re outdoors doesn’t matter quite as much these days. After all, they’re ideal for spending time with family, entertaining guests, and cooking. However, when the weather starts to cool we’re sometimes forced to move things inside sooner than we’d like.

Yet, with an outdoor heater or fireplace, you can still enjoy your time outside, even when the seasons change. Patio heaters and fireplaces offer a blanket of radiant heat that allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space for a couple of extra months, or even year-round.

outdoor heater and fireplace

Design options for every space

It doesn’t matter if your outdoor living space is big or small, modern or rustic, or what fuel type you have available. There are outdoor heaters that can meet your needs. When you’re dealing with patio heaters, you have three different fuel types available: electric, propane, and natural gas. If you’re using natural gas as your fuel source, your outdoor heater will be a little more permanent. These styles are typically available in hanging, in-ground, or standing models.

On the other hand, if you’re using propane or electric for your outdoor heater, you have a variety of options from which to choose. These types of heaters include tabletop and portable styles, along with hanging, standup, wall mount, and ceiling mount styles.

Placement options to suit your needs

If you have a small outdoor space, a tabletop heater is an ideal option. These heaters are inexpensive, compact, and portable. They provide warmth over a small amount of space, so they’re perfect for balconies or small patios. Many tabletop heaters have bases that hold propane tanks for their fuel source.

On the other hand, if you have a little more space to work with, you might want to consider a portable heater. These full-sized patio heaters offer a good source of heat, yet they have no fixed fuel line, so you can move them from place to place if you need to warm different areas. Most portable heaters also have a compartment to hold their fuel tanks.

outdoor heater and fireplace

Finally, if you’re designing a large outdoor living space that’s meant for maximum entertainment, you can look into in-ground heaters. These heaters are permanently attached to the ground, so they need to use an existing natural gas supply. However, they’re stable and produce a heat radius that’s larger than any portable model.

Safety for families with Children and pets

Outdoor heater manufacturers develop their products with safety in mind, so even your children or pets can enjoy the heat they provide. The only part of a patio heater that gets hot is the dome at the top and the emitter screen.

Otherwise, patio heaters do not have an open flame, and the base stays cool to the touch. Additionally, most patio heaters come with a safety tilt valve that will automatically turn off the unit if it falls over or tilts beyond a certain degree while it’s heating.

For other outdoor spaces

Patios aren’t the only places where you can use outdoor heaters. Garages and workshops are two other spots where outdoor heaters are ideal additions. While you want to use these areas year-round, if they’re not insulated or heated, it can become too uncomfortable to work there in the winter.

One good option available for these places is a ceiling or wall mounted heater. This type of outdoor heater offers all of the heating capabilities you need to keep your area warm, but it won’t get in the way of your work. Ceiling and wall mount heaters are built for permanent installation. Therefore, they’re usually powered by either infrared or natural gas.

Fireplaces for more than just heat

For homeowners who are looking for outdoor heaters that do more than just provide heat, an outdoor fireplace is an excellent choice. These features have become a popular landscaping element because they provide warmth, ambiance, a place to cook, and a focal point in the backyard. Just like patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces also have different fuel types and different styles.

outdoor heater and fireplace

The source of the fire in outdoor fireplaces is either wood or gas. Some choose to go with a wood fireplace because they enjoy the look and feel of an open flame, while others will choose a gas fireplace because they like how easy it is to maintain. Additionally, you can choose between a fire pit or a traditionally styled fireplace with a full chimney.

Fully enclosed units are made from a variety of materials including concrete, brick, stucco, and stone. They can be built into a landscaping feature like a wall, or they can stand alone. Fully enclosed fireplaces are a popular choice because they tend to be better for the environment and they’re safer.


Another option for an outdoor fireplace is a fire pit, which is open on all sides. A built-in fire pit is dug directly into the ground and bordered with fire-resistant materials such as tile or stone. There are also raised fire pits made from stone or metal and raised off the ground on supportive legs. While built-in fire pits are permanent structures, raised fire pits are portable and can be moved around.

No matter which style of firepit you choose, it’s recommended you use a screen to cover the fire pit and prevent sparks from spreading.

Enjoy your patio anytime

Enjoy your patio even when those warm summer days are gone with a cozy outdoor heater or fireplace. They’re perfect for customized comfort for yourself and others, and they give you the freedom to take advantage of your outdoor spaces all year long.







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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.