When you have a gorgeous patio, all you want to do is use it all year round. But during winter when it’s just too cold to stay outside, chances are you’ll spend more time indoors, leaving your patio unused for a while.
But that won’t be the case if you have proper heating in your outdoor patio.
To heat your patio, put up a patio heater or heater lamps. You can put in a customized fireplace or even a fire pit.
If you have a sufficient budget, you can also install a patio cover for added protection and insulation. On the other hand, if you have a deck, you can go for heated floors to keep you warm on your toes.
Whichever direction you go, you can always benefit from a professional consultation here at TNT Home Improvements.
But just to give you an idea of how these outdoor heating solutions pan out, keep reading as we look closer into the details.
How Do I Make My Patio Warmer in the Winter?
You get the most of your patio when you have a heater around. Whether it’s a heating lamp, furnace, or patio heater, the warm air becomes inviting for those who long to spend more time outdoors.
Naturally, since sunlight is either limited or overshadowed by the cold, you will have to rely on the above-mentioned devices to keep your patio warmer.
Likewise, you need to prepare your patio or deck for the winter season by having the right furniture and items that promote insulation.
If you’re planning for a patio or deck renovation, this would be the right time to add support structures that could invite more heat to the outdoor space.
In the meantime, check out these heating solutions for your patio during winter.
Put in a Fireplace or Fire Pit
If you want something traditional for heating your backyard space, go for a furnace or a fire pit.
A furnace or fire pit is often seen indoors. But you can have one customized in your deck or patio. Outdoor furnaces are designed with resistance against wind and other elements that can interfere with fire.
An outdoor fireplace can burn wood or be run off of gas and come in a few different shapes and sizes including the fireplace, fire pit, fire table, fire column, fire bowl, and chiminea, just to name a few.
You can gather around the fire to keep you warm during those cold nights.
Pros and Cons
Having either a fireplace or fire pit is a perfect conversation starter. Aside from getting more heat, you can gather around these structures and get even closer with friends and family. You can have smores and hot cocoa outside.
Also, with a fire pit, you can use it not just for warmth but for grilling barbeque as well. It can become a fun place to have treats like cooking smoors.
One downside of a firepit or a fireplace is that they may not provide enough heat for a larger group of people.
Moreover, the heat will most likely be concentrated in a smaller area. So, you will have to get closer to keep yourself warm.
Furthermore, an open fire can be hazardous without supervision.
Add a Patio Heater
If you’ve been dining in outdoor restaurants or hanging out in an outdoor bar, you may notice these mushroom-type patio heaters in the vicinity.
But patio heaters are not just for commercial use – at least not anymore. You can get one for your patio.
It’s highly effective as a heating device, considering the heat travels evenly in the air. Plus, it’s perfect for keeping your patio warm during social gatherings or group hangouts.
Pros and Cons
One clear advantage of a patio heater is convenience without sacrificing its effectiveness as a heating device.
Whether you have a large-size free-standing patio heater or a wall-mounted one, you can easily place and operate the appliance without much assistance. In addition, their mechanism is pretty straightforward.
For example, if you have a propane-fueled patio heater, you simply make sure that the tank is in place inside the base. Then simply turn on and ignite the heater, and it gives off heat within your patio area.
It’s even more incredibly simple with electrical patio heaters since all you have to do is plug it into an outlet.
On the other hand, patio heaters are sometimes regarded as unsustainable, considering the level of combustion involved in producing high BTUs of heat.
When propane and natural gas patio heaters operate, they derive the energy to power the device by burning gas. Unfortunately, this process leaves carbon that can accumulate in the atmosphere.
Also, it produces carbon monoxide that can be deadly when trapped in an enclosed area. This is why it’s recommended never to use a patio heater indoors.
Nevertheless, if you regulate your use and follow exactly the manufacturer’s guide, you can still enjoy using your patio heater. If you want to produce less carbon footprint, you can go for electrical heaters instead.
What Are the Different Types of Patio Heaters?
If you look into local and physical shops for patio heaters, you’ll see different options based on your needs.
Patio heaters are mostly recognized as mushroom or umbrella-type devices emitting heat in the air through radiating heat methods.
The principle is the same throughout all the types, but the scope, BTUs, or the amount of energy needed for heat production, size, and purpose vary.
Nevertheless, patio heaters provide heat in the form of infrared, which is not far off from the heat produced by the sun.
Check out the different types of patio heaters based on form and power source.
- Free-standing patio heater
The free-standing patio heater is very distinguished because of its form and design. A typical structure for this heater contains the basic parts, which include the base, pole, heating source, and reflector.
The base is larger than the other components. It provides a foundation for the free-standing patio heater, but it also keeps the tank hidden so as not to distract people with a free-roaming tank of gas.
The pole supports the heating source or heater and connects it to the tank. This is the typical setup for mushroom patio heaters. With other designs, the heat source and the pole merge as one.
Naturally, the heat is dispersed through the heat source. Then, a reflector above the heat source prevents heat loss by reflecting the upward moving heat back down.
However, not all free-standing patio heaters have reflectors. But for those who do, it’s an efficient component.
- Tabletop patio heater
The tabletop patio heater is similar to the free-standing patio heater, only it’s smaller and intended for table use. You may even see some of these heaters looking like a lamp. As a result, they are also used as a centerpiece.
A tabletop patio heater provides heat for people conversing around the table. Hence, it’s a perfect heat source for small gatherings.
- Wall-mounted patio heater
A wall-mounted patio heater is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a heater you install on the wall with adjustable brackets.
Unlike the other two, this patio heater is electrical, considering the potential flame hazard near the wall.
But since it produces less heat, it would not be enough to warm a crowd. Nevertheless, it could be enough to provide heat for the family, depending on how many you install.
You can buy patio heaters that need the following power source to operate:
Propane-fueled patio heaters are perhaps the most common type. You simply have to secure a propane tank and place it inside the base of the heater. Then, once it’s empty, you can have it refilled or exchanged for a full one in the grocery store.
Larger patio heaters sometimes use natural gas if an outlet is available at home. With this power source, you don’t have to worry about running out. Instead, as soon as the ignition cues in, the gas flows continuously, providing high amounts of heat.
Electrical patio heaters are becoming a trend in many homes. If you have a small patio or deck and only need to entertain a few people, this patio heater may be enough. Just plug it in and enjoy your patio in the winter.
Install a Patio Cover
The structure of your outdoor space matters as far as heating is concerned. For example, if you have a patio, you get better insulation and protection from the snow if you have a patio cover.
A patio cover is essentially a roof covering for your patio, which allows you to use the area even during slight weather changes. But of course, this would depend on the cover you have
The patio cover becomes even more useful during winter as it adds a thin blanket of warmth by entrapping the heat from your heat source.
Pros and Cons
If you put up a patio cover, not only will you get additional protection from the snow or rain, but during summer, you also get the necessary shade against the sun.
Moreover, patio covers can significantly improve the aesthetic of your overall outdoor space. With that, it increases the house’s value if ever you decide to sell it in the market.
On the other side, putting up a patio cover means you can’t move the patio elsewhere anymore. It’s there to stay unless you reconstruct in another area. Likewise, patio covers can be high maintenance due to their susceptibility to moisture damage.
Nonetheless, you can avoid accelerated deterioration if your patio covers are built using quality materials and fine work. Leave it to experienced patio cover builders to construct the cover so you can get the assurance that the structure will withstand multiple winters.
Types of Patio Covers for Winter
If you want a patio cover that could give you extra protection during winter, choosing the materials is a critical step. Here are some of the patio covers you can consider that suit the winter weather.
Aluminum Patio Covers
Aluminum is a reliable material when it comes to roofing and patio covers. It is highly resistant to corrosion and other critical damages. However, you may have to consider a fitting design for this patio cover to ensure that it matches the look and appeal of your outdoor space.
Acrylic Patio Covers
If you want something low maintenance but still does the job, perhaps the acrylic patio covers are for you. Acrylic is resistant to damage, typical with wood and other materials. You also get different choices when it comes to color and patterns.
Wooden Patio Covers
A wooden patio cover is a classic one that you can design and embellish according to your outdoor theme. While wood is prone to damages caused by moisture, insects, and molds, given the right amount of annual maintenance, you could have the patio cover around for a long time.
Add Heated Floors
If you have a deck, then you would benefit from items that encourage and provide heat in your space.
To start with, if what you have is a composite deck, you’d be pleased to know that composite materials can absorb heat which makes the deck comfortable to walk around on. But during winter, it may not be adequate. So, one alternative is using outdoor heated floor mats.
On the other hand, if you renovate your deck, you can opt for extra insulation underneath the floorboards. Likewise, you can go for radiant heating or outdoor hydronic systems.
However, this may cost you lots of money considering the elaborate design of the system. Nevertheless, if you have the cash to spare, then by all means, go for it.
Pros and Cons
If you have a deck with heated floors, it becomes easier to spend time there during winter.
For one, having heated floors can ensure equal heat distribution. If ever you have a social gathering on the deck, you can rest assured that your guests are kept warm in the area.
A huge downside of heated floors is that they are incredibly expensive. In addition, the installation will have to be done by a professional if you want everything to be in place.
Likewise, if something gets damaged, there goes another bout of expenses for repair.
Moreover, heated floors can also take time to warm up, so you will have to schedule your deck use after the floors are entirely heated.
Nevertheless, if you are adamant about renovating your deck and installing heated floors, it’s best to consult with expert deck builders first. That way, you can get the best plan that suits your budget.
Use Heater Lamps
Winter heater lamps are a cheaper alternative to patio heaters. They are relatively smaller, but they use infrared lighting, which gives off the necessary heat the same way that patio heaters do.
They are portable, so you can bring them in and out of the house if necessary.
A heater lamp may be enough for a small patio or deck, especially if you’re only a couple in the house. But for larger families, you may need to add more lamps to supply adequate heat.
Pros and Cons
Heater lamps are less costly than other heating devices or structures.
Likewise, it’s electrically operated, so you don’t need to exert much effort to set it up. Instead, just plug it in and enjoy the warmth.
Also, since you don’t use any gas in heater lamps, you can use it indoors without risking your health.
On the other hand, a heater lamp may not be enough if you are hosting a large party outdoors. Your guest will remain cold and would prefer to stay inside if that’s the case.
Heating your outdoor patio during winter is not a complicated task as long as you know your options. And now that you do, consider other factors such as your budget, the number of households members you have, and the intensity of the cold weather in your area during winter.
If you wish to renovate your patio or deck, don’t forget to consult with experts to help you out in ensuring quality and safety all the way.
If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our home page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.