If you have a large patio that doubles as an outdoor living space, decked out with stylish all-weather furniture, you can enjoy that space nearly year-round if you install outdoor heating. Instead of looking longingly at your patio area during the fall and winter, you should explore your options for heating the area.

Fire Pits

If you love the visual of a roaring fire, you can build or purchase an outdoor fire pit. Building a pit enables you to design a structure that perfectly matches the decor of your outdoor living area. You can construct a pit over the weekend after completing a shopping trip to a home improvement store.

Follow online home improvement guides to help you build the pit. If DIY projects are not your strong suit, you can buy a fire pit kit for your patio.

Make sure to install the pit at least ten feet away from flammable objects including tree branches. Keep a fire extinguisher, a water hose and a supply of sand nearby to extinguish any fire that gets out of control.


An outdoor fireplace will not only keep you warm on chilly nights, it also looks great. You can stargaze while sipping wine in front of a cozy fireplace.

Building a fireplace is more complicated that constructing a fire pit but if you love DIY projects, it can be a satisfying endeavor. However, you can also hire a contractor who can deal with tasks such as building a firebox, chimney and flue for your fireplace. A licensed heating contractor can also provide you with advice on the best placement for an outdoor fireplace, and can also run a gas line out so you can have a gas powered fireplace.

Outdoor Standalone Heaters

If you want to use the same type of heaters used by restaurants and nightclubs to heat up outdoor spaces, you can install natural gas, propane or electric outdoor heaters.

Propane heaters come with tanks that you need to refill with fuel. You can also purchase tabletop propane heaters that you can secure using the hole usually reserved for an outdoor umbrella.

With a natural gas heater you do not have to worry about filling fuel tanks. You can hire a heating contractor to connect the device to your home's gas line. Electric heaters are convenient because you do not have to worry about purchasing fuel.

Generally, standalone heaters have heavy mounting plates and safety mechanisms to shut the heater off in case it tips over.

Outdoor Heating Systems

If you have a covered patio with walls, you can install an outdoor heating system that includes ceiling panels for distributing radiant heat. While this is a more expensive option that requires professional installation, it provides a permanent and unobtrusive solution for keeping your patio warm.

You will also be able to control the heating system with wall controls for managing the amount of heat emitted by individual heating panels.