Best Heaters for Screen Porch and Patios

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Written By Charl Jooste

The seasons are a part of life, but the colder months mean being stuck indoors for many. With the best outdoor patio propane heater, you can still enjoy your outdoor space in comfort all year round.

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Spending time outside can become less comfortable when it’s cold out. However, with the right heating solution, you can extend your outdoor living season and enjoy your screened-in porch, patio, or outdoor seating areas all year round. This article will discuss various heating options to heat a screened-in porch or patio. We’ll also review the best propane Heaters for your screen porch, our choice of heaters.

Different types of heaters for screen porches or Patio

One of the most popular porch heating options is infrared heating systems. These heaters use radiant energy to heat objects in a specific area rather than heating the air. Infrared heaters are ideal for outdoor spaces because they don’t waste energy trying to heat the air, which can quickly dissipate in an open environment.

Electric Heat:

Electric heaters are efficient and effective at heating small to medium-sized spaces. They are straightforward to install and can be mounted on the wall or ceiling or used as a freestanding unit. Electric heaters are also an excellent option for heating a screened-in porch.

Consider Gas Heat:

Gas heaters like propane heaters are another option for heating outdoor spaces. Gas heaters are powerful and can quickly heat up a large area, but they emit carbon monoxide. As a result, they require proper ventilation and should not be used in an enclosed space without adequate ventilation.

Consider an infrared or electric heater if you’re climate sensitive and looking for a more eco-friendly option. These heaters do not emit carbon and are an excellent option for those conscious of their environmental impact.

If you want to create a cozy ambiance, fire pits are an excellent option for outdoor heating. They provide a warm and inviting atmosphere and can be used for cooking. However, fire pits are less effective at heating an ample space than other heating options.

Space heaters can be a good fit for a more focused heating solution. These heaters are designed to provide heat to a specific area and are perfect for outdoor seating or dining spaces.

No matter what type of heating you choose, it’s essential to ensure that it can provide a comfortable temperature for your outdoor space. Whether you’re using an infrared heater, electric heater, gas heater, or fire pit, follow all safety precautions and manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

your outdoor space in comfort all year round. We have done extensive research and looked at all the best models on the market. 

While we review only those that really excel the Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] was a clear winner. It is a well-priced heater with exceptional heat and a fantastic design. It is also well made from quality materials so will not fall apart after a few winters. 

The 5 Best Selling Propane Patio Heaters:

For your convenience, the below list shows the 5 best selling propane patio heaters on Amazon.com. The list is automatically updated once a day.

Bestseller No. 1
Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels, Commercial & Residential, Havana...
10,874 Reviews
Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels, Commercial & Residential, Havana...
  • SOOTHING WARMTH: Outdoor gas heater for cozy warmth when sitting outside; ideal for cafes,...
  • EASY TO USE AND MOVE: One-touch ignition button for quick start ups; wheels for maneuvering into...
  • POWERFUL HEAT: 46,000 BTUs for heating up to a 9 foot radius; adjustable temperature knob for...
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Tilt safety auto-shut off valve; water box for weighing down the base and wheel...
  • DURABLE EXTERIOR & REQUIRES: Powder-coated finish in Havana Bronze for lasting strength; 20 pound...
Bestseller No. 2
Patio Heater, EAST OAK 50,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater with Table Design, Stainless Steel Burner,...
2,203 Reviews
Patio Heater, EAST OAK 50,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater with Table Design, Stainless Steel Burner,...
  • ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฌ,๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ ๐—•๐—ง๐—จ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ ๐—›๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ - Our gas unit...
  • ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฐ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—น...
  • ๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐——๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ป -...
  • ๐—”๐—ฑ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ง๐—ถ๐—ฝ-๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ...
  • ๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—œ๐—ด๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐˜†๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—บ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ...
On Sale Bestseller No. 3
Cuisinart COH-500 Portable Tabletop Patio, 11,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Heater with Safety Tilt Switch...
579 Reviews
Cuisinart COH-500 Portable Tabletop Patio, 11,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Heater with Safety Tilt Switch...
  • 11,000 BTU OUTPUT: This small but mighty heater has 11,000 BTUs, the round aluminum heat reflector...
  • ROTARY DIAL CONTROL: Simply set to your comfort level with the dial knob. Works with 1 lb. propane...
  • SAFETY TILT-SWITCH: Automatically shuts down the heater in case it is accidentally knocked over....
  • PORTABLE DESIGN: Lightweight and small, this heater can be easily taken anywhere and set on a table.
  • LONGER USE WITH 20LB TANK: The propane heater can also be connected to a 20-lb. propane tank for...
On Sale Bestseller No. 4
Hykolity 50,000 BTU Propane Patio Heater with Reflector, Stainless Steel Burner, Triple Protection...
383 Reviews
Hykolity 50,000 BTU Propane Patio Heater with Reflector, Stainless Steel Burner, Triple Protection...
  • ใ€50,000 BTU Outdoor Gas Heaterใ€‘The propane patio heater provides you with steady comfortable...
  • ใ€Extended Heat Range and Save Propaneใ€‘Come with light and convenient Reflector, extended heat...
  • ใ€Simple Operationsใ€‘All parts of the patio heater are present, the unit well packed and...
  • ใ€Protable Patio Heaterใ€‘With wheels, you can move it easily, very suitable for patios and...
  • ใ€Safety Waterproof Designใ€‘The outdoor heaters for patio not only has high heating efficiency but...
On Sale Bestseller No. 5
Golden Flame Outdoor Propane Patio Heater | 46,000 BTU | XL-Series | Anti-Tilt and Safety Shut-Off |...
227 Reviews
Golden Flame Outdoor Propane Patio Heater | 46,000 BTU | XL-Series | Anti-Tilt and Safety Shut-Off |...
  • IMPRESSIVE 46,000 BTUโ€™S: With Golden Flameโ€™s XL-Series propane heater, you can enjoy being...
  • EASY PRESS, EASY START: Featuring a rapid spark electronic ignition system, one press brings on the...
  • SAFETY FIRST: This heater comes equipped with an automatic tilt sensor that shuts of the burner if...
  • STYLISH DESIGN: In addition to providing comforting warmth, this heater features a Matte-Mocha...
  • DIMENSIONS 89โ€ H x 32โ€ W (Top) 20โ€ W (Bottom)

The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Propane Heaters:

We look at five of the very best outdoor patio heaters available and how to select the best one for your needs. We then give you the answers to a few frequently asked questions that came up often during our research. 

1. Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] Patio Heater

Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] Patio Heater
Dimensions28 x 17 x 17 inches
Weight10 pounds
BTU46000
ColorMatte Black

This heater has a simple yet elegant and classy design. It is built for function but will still look great in your outdoor space. The customer feedback on this heater is nothing less than spectacular. For what you get, it is a well-priced unit. 

With a 46000 BTU output, it is sure to keep everyone warm and cozy. The reflector hood, patented by Golden Flame, increases the effectiveness of the unit. This not only improves the heat but also saves on propane costs. It is effective yet economical to run. 

The “Rapid-Spark” electronic ignition system makes it quick and easy to fire up. It is a safe unit and has a sand reservoir at the base to give it stability. It also makes use of a “Pilotless” Burner System. This reduces propane wastage and increases safety. It also makes it more effective in windy conditions. 

This heater has a lot to offer and is great value for money. You get a safe and powerful heater that looks awesome and performs well. It will also last many years thanks to the quality materials and build. 


2. Fire Sense Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater

Fire Sense Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater
Dimensions33 x 33 x 89 inches
Weight45 pounds
BTU46000
ColorStainless Steel 

One of the most highly rated outdoor patio heaters is this model from Fire Sense. It is a top-seller and receives heaps of positive feedback. 

Part of the reason for this is the commercial-grade steel that is used as well as the copper finish. The result of this combination is a heater that looks spectacular while also being tough and durable. It is built to last. 

It has a user-friendly push-button start and wheels to make it easy to reposition. Heat is impressive and sure to warm your guests or family with a 46000 BTU output. Heat is delivered quickly and effectively.  With a 20-pound propane tank, you can expect around 10 hours of use at full power, more if it is not on maximum output.  

The base is weighted for stability and it has all the safety features you expect in a quality outdoor propane heater. These include tip-over protection in case it gets knocked over. 

There are many reasons this is such a popular outdoor patio heater. It is the perfect balance of style and functionality. It has good power, a great design, and is easy to use. 


3. Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater

Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater
Dimensions29.15 x 18.1 x 18.1 inches
Weight38.6 Pounds
BTU48000
ColorSilver 

If serious heat is what you want on your patio or outdoor area this is a top choice. With 48000 BTU it is one of the more powerful outdoor or patio heaters and ideal for larger venues or those really cold nights. It will warm an area as large as  200 square feet. 

It has a sleek modern design that will not look out of place in any environment. Hampton Bay is a popular and trusted brand and this unit is well rated by many happy customers. 

Getting it going could not be easier thanks to the Piezoelectric ignition. You can adjust the heat according to conditions and your needs. The build and materials make the unit durable and with the correct care, it should last a long time. 

Also Read:   The Best Battery Powered Heaters Alternatives

This is one of the more powerful outdoor heaters on the market and it still manages to look great. It has a robust design and will do a good job of keeping your friends and family warm outdoors.  


4. Hiland HLDS032-B Table Top Portable Heater

Hiland HLDS032-B Table Top Portable Heater
Dimensions20.87 x 37.8 x 20.87 inches
Weight1 Pound
BTU11000
ColorStainless Steel

This compact tabletop heater is ideal for small intimate gatherings on those chilly evenings. Rather than be stuck indoors you can enjoy a meal or simply some company outdoors without freezing. It is not practical for large areas but perfect on the table for a couple of hours of relaxation and enjoyment. 

It stands 38-Inches tall and is light and portable. While keeping you warm and comfortable it will not spoil the look as it is well designed and looks good in sleek stainless steel.  It is compact, modern, and attractive. 

This outdoor Propane heater delivers 11000 BTUs so is ideal for a small group around the table. It is safe and has an anti-tilt, a burn guard, and a thermocouple for peace of mind. For added stability, it has a study weight plate. The unit is CSA-approved. The Hiland HLDS032-B comes with a 1-year warranty. 

This is a quality product that performs well. After-sales service is good and it should last you for many years. 


5. Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater

Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater
Dimensions 33 x 18 x 89 inches
Weight37.9 pounds
BTU46000
ColorCharcoal

Amazon Basic has a fantastic model that is affordable, durable, and offers more than enough heat for your outdoor comfort. With a BTU of 46000, it will make a 9-foot radius warm and toasty. It is made from quality steel, aluminum, and durable plastic. This not only looks amazing but means that it will last for many cold winters. 

It has a Piezo ignition so getting it going is a breeze. A water box will ensure it is heavy enough to not fall over but if it does, it has an auto shut-off for added safety. It also has wheels making it easy to position for perfect comfort and warmth. 

The heater comes with a 1-year warranty. This is a durable product that offers exceptional value for money. It is user-friendly, effective, and economical to run. Not only does it get the job done it looks great at the same time. 

It is suitable for home outdoor use or commercial use. 


What to look for in outdoor patio propane heaters

Here is what you know before you part with your money and invest in an outdoor patio heater. 

Heat output

An outdoor heater has a lot more to contend with than an indoor heater. It is not in a comfy room with curtains and carpets. It needs to deliver more heat and project it correctly. In general, you will need more heat from an outdoor heater for it to be effective. 

Heat output on a propane heater is measured in BTUs or British thermal units. The higher the number the more heat it will deliver. A table-top unit need not be too powerful but if you want to warm a large outdoor area you will need decent power. 

The design and materials are also important in heat delivery. Some heaters allow you to direct the heat to a specific area while others are more effective at warming a larger radius due to their design. 

Design

If you want to create a warm cozy mood outside for family or guests you do not want an ugly-looking heater in the middle of the gathering. Looks are important. Stainless steel always looks good but in some environments, a black heater might blend in better. 

The size, shape, and structure are all important. Find one that will work well in the space you intend to use it. 

Most outdoor heaters are large freestanding units but you get table-top options and some with more funky or unique designs. 

Durability

If you are going to layout money for an outdoor patio propane heater you want to invest in something that will last a decent amount of time. Look at the reputation of the company that makes it, the materials used a swell as the build quality. 

Consumer reports and a warranty are also good indicators of the durability of the product. 

Safety

While it is a bit safer to use a propane heater outdoors one still has to have the necessary safety measures in place. Anything with a flame that produces heat poses a potential risk. 

The first thing that you want is to ensure that the heater is sturdy and stable. Some come with a sand or water base that gives them additional weight and stability. You do not want something that is top-heavy and easy to tip over. 

Furthermore, it should have tip-over protection so that if it does get knocked over it will shut off automatically. 

Price

The price of the heater has to be taken into account. Outdoor patio heaters are more exposed to the elements than indoor heaters. They also need to be more powerful and often larger to generate enough heat. These factors tend to make them more expensive than the average indoor propane heater. 

You do not want to spend too little on an inferior product that will not last long, not produce enough heat, or both. That being said, you do not have to spend a fortune. There are many affordable outdoor patio propane heaters that are durable and deliver exceptional heat. 

Size

We will talk about the different styles and designs in the FAQ section below but give some thought to the size of the unit. If you have limited space a large heater might not be practical. Generally, the more powerful heaters need to be rather large. If space is limited you can look for a smaller model or opt for a table-top option. 

FAQs

Is propane a good fuel source for an outdoor patio heater?

Absolutely, yes. It is affordable, convenient, and easily available. It is safe and makes the heater portable so that you can move it to where it is needed. You can always keep a spare tank on hand in case you run out and they are easy to store even for a long period. 

The main alternative is an electric heater. This is normally a bit more costly to run, especially for the power you need outdoors. It also limits where you can place the heater as you need to be close to an electrical outlet. 

What BTU do I need? 

This will depend on the ambient temperature (how cold it is) and the size of the area you wish to keep warm. A table-top heater around 10000 to 12000 BTU is sufficient for a small group around a table but for a larger space you will need something in the 45000 BTU plus range. 

By the way, if you are not familiar with the term BTU, it stands for British thermal units and is the measurement of the heat output of propane heaters. As you would expect, the higher the number, the more heat the unit produces. Note that operating at a higher BTU will consume propane faster than a lower BTU output. 

What BTU do I need?

A: This will depend on the ambient temperature (how cold it is) and the size of the area you wish to keep warm. A table-top heater around 10000 to 12000 BTU is sufficient for a small group around a table but for a larger space you will need something in the 45000 BTU plus range.

By the way, if you are not familiar with the term BTU, it stands for British thermal units and is the measurement of the heat output of propane heaters. As you would expect, the higher the number, the more heat the unit produces. Note that operating at a higher BTU will consume propane faster than a lower BTU output. 

Can my outdoor patio propane be left outside?

Yes and no. The good ones such as the models we have reviewed are made from quality materials and designed to handle outdoor conditions. They are, however, not bulletproof.

The best idea is to clean them after use (see below) and cover them or store them in a dry area. Many companies sell custom-made covers that will fit perfectly or you can buy a generic cover that is the right size for your heater. 

Doing this will prolong the life of your investment in an outdoor propane heater. 

How do I keep my patio heater clean? 

Again, doing this will extend the life of the heater. It will keep it looking good and performing well when you need to use it. 

Use soapy water and a  sponge or cloth and give it a good wipe down. Put some elbow grease into any tough dirt that may have accumulated. Do not use anything too abrasive.  Be sure to dry the heater after cleaning. 

Do I need to do maintenance on my heater? 

All you need to do is check that all the fuel lines and connectors are in good repair. They are inexpensive and easy to replace if they get damaged over time. Ensure the thermocouple, regulator, and pilot tube are clean and free of corrosion. The user guide that comes with the heater should have instructions on these aspects if you are unsure. 

Where do I position the outdoor patio propane heater? 

This will depend on where you wish to gather, the power of the heater, and the size of the party. You want to ensure it is on a solid stable area so that it is less likely to tip over. Most designs project heat in a 360-degree radius while others allow you to direct the heat. Take this into consideration. 

With powerful heaters, you want to keep a fair amount of space between the heater and walls or furniture. 

What are the outdoor propane heater types? 

The three main options are free-standing, tabletop, and mounted. Each has advantages and disadvantages. It will all depend on the space you have and the area you wish to heat. 

Freestanding will deliver more heat for larger groups while a tabletop option is better for smaller groups. A mounted heater is out of the way but will not be quite as effective in larger areas. 

Will my outdoor heater work if it is windy?

While some perform better than others most will battle with strong winds. You might just need to find the ideal position so that the wind does not affect it. 

Do propane heaters smell bad? 

No, you are unlikely to notice any odors from your outdoor propane heater. If you do notice any smell it is likely that there is some sort of problem. You should shut it off and check all the lines and connections immediately.  

Final thoughts

Investing in the right outdoor patio propane heater will allow you to enjoy the outdoors in comfort throughout the year. Rather than being stuck indoors, you can still enjoy your outdoor space without discomfort. 

Consider what you need and your budget. We have reviewed the very best outdoor patio propane heaters and there is something for all needs and budgets. It will give you the freedom to venture outdoors and enjoy a cozy environment even on the coldest nights. 

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