Angie’s List Report: Patio heating for cooler months

We’ve all probably spent a little more time out on the porch this year while staying at home social distancing, even if we needed a secluded spot for those Zoom calls.

As we head into fall and winter, you can still have a safe and cozy space to use with the help of a patio heater. 

Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List, has tips on the three most common options. 

“Gas heaters use either propane or natural gas and are a very effective way to quickly warm your space,” Angie said. “Propane heaters come in many portable options, while natural gas heaters do require professional installation.”

If gas isn’t for you, there are other options

Electric heaters

“Electric heaters are very convenient to use,” Angie said. “Most times, all it requires is plugging in and they’re ready to go!”

Fire pits and fire tables

Fire pits or fire tables are another fun alternative if you’re a bit more traditional.  And they’re practically maintenance-free.  

“There are drawbacks to each option, so do your research to determine which solution is best for you and your family,” Angie said. 

Gas heaters require regular maintenance and proper ventilation of CO-2 emissions. So be careful using them, especially in enclosed areas. 

“While fire pits can be a lot of fun, this might not be the best solution if you have small children or rambunctious pets, because of the open flame,” Angie said. “Electric heaters are the easiest to set up, but if you use it frequently, you should expect that your electric bill will go up as well.”

Keep in mind that the average electric heater or fire table won’t be able to warm as large of an area as a gas heater. Whatever heater you decide on, make sure you have enough open space around it. 

“Be sure to read the manufacturer’s safety standards to ensure you have a safe clearance around your heater to avoid causing a fire,” Angie said.  

If you have any questions or hesitations about finding the right heater for your porch or patio, call a professional. 


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