Your covered patio is a welcome escape in the summer heat. When the sun is beating down and you need some shade, the covered patio is the place to be. But what about those summer days when the rain is coming down and it’s a little chilly? Or when you’re out on the covered patio in the shoulder seasons or having a holiday party outdoors? You are probably wondering how to heat a covered patio in those circumstances. In this article we’ll review some ways to heat a covered patio that you ought to rule out, as well as the ideal methods that will give you the heat you need.
How You Shouldn’t Heat A Covered Patio
First let’s talk about the methods you should rule out. In nearly every circumstance, using a propane or natural gas outdoor heater is not a good idea under a covered patio. Though it may seem like taking excess precautions, it’s just not a great idea to have an outdoor rated fossil fuel heater operating underneath a roof of any kind. The roof does restrict air flow, and can cause a buildup of combustion gasses, especially if you have a covered patio which is inset into your home, or a covered patio with a vaulted ceiling.
Additionally, a gas or propane heater can tip over. Though the heater should have an automatic shut off valve if it were to blow over, or be knocked over, it is possible for this valve to fail. If it does, the heater can ignite furniture or the house itself. It’s best to keep propane and natural gas heaters out in the open where they belong and where they work best.
How To Heat A Covered Patio
When considering how to heat a covered patio, the infrared patio heater is where it’s at. Infrared patio heaters are simply electric patio heaters. Instead of burning fuel to create heat, these heaters convert electricity into infrared radiation. Though it sounds scary, infrared radiation is perfectly safe to be in contact with regularly. You won’t get a sunburn, but you’ll feel the heat for sure. This is the same technology used for modern space heaters and in-home saunas.
Infrared patio heaters can be floor mounted and portable like indoor space heaters, or they can be permanently mounted to the ceiling or wall of the covered patio. Permanent installation is the preferred method for how to heat a covered patio. This way you never need to worry about someone accidentally knocking the heater over. Furthermore, nobody will be able to steal it off your covered patio. Also, infrared heaters are pretty much the only patio heaters you can use indoors.
Portable vs. Permanent Patio Heater
By permanently installing your covered patio heater, you will ensure a consistent source of heat is only the flick of a switch away. For a successful installation you will need to first figure out a few specifics.
First, how far away will the heater be mounted? You will want to measure the area you want to heat, length, width and height. Heaters have a cone of heat with a specific dimension, you’ll have to read the install manuals. To ensure you heat the area you want to successfully, you’ll need to look at the cone of heat. Next, make sure the heat cone intersects with other heat cones if you find you need more than one heater.
How Many Patio Heaters Do I Need?
Often, if you want to simply heat the space of a single six person table, you can accommodate that with a single heat source from above. However, if you want to heat an entire covered patio area with some outdoor lounge furniture, a dining table, and an outdoor kitchen, that’s another matter entirely. This will require multiple heat sources.
Once you’ve sized and located where you want to place the heaters, you’ll want to contact an electrician to come out and review your electrical system and install the wiring and switching for your outdoor heaters. Expect this to cost $1,000+. Unfortunately we can’t estimate how much your heater electrical system will cost, because every house is different and electrician’s rates vary widely.
Permanently Installed Infrared Heater Providers
How To Heat A Covered Patio Summary
Hopefully this has helped you determine how to heat a covered patio. We believe strongly that an infrared heating system is the way to go. When heating with an electric patio heater you will avoid the pitfalls of fossil fuels. Additionally, you’ll have a much safer heat source for years to come.