Can You Leave Patio Heaters Outside?

If you wish to enjoy relaxing on your patio during the cooler seasons, then you need to take good care of your patio heaters. Patio heaters are efficient and thus have replaced fires in the modern world. When comparing the two, patio heaters have shown greater resilience to the outside weather conditions. 

Outdoor patio heaters are meant to be used outside. So, the manufacturers take into consideration snow, rainstorm, wind, and other weather conditions when designing them. Even with a heavy storm, you can be sure to have a nice time on your patio because of the heater unit.

Outdoor Patio Heaters and The Rain

Outdoor patio heaters are generally designed to withstand outside weather conditions exposure. Exceptions include the electric and infrared heaters as electricity does not go well with water. It is therefore advised to never leave the electric heaters out in the rain.

The propane and natural gas heaters will withstand the rain but there are adverse effects caused by the rain. The rain affects how the heaters work and increase the rate at which they deteriorate. The time your patio heater serves you will now be reduced.

Why leave an outdoor patio heater outside? Sometimes the patio heaters can be heavy and you cannot carry them inside alone. You can also be far from home when the rains start and thus cannot get the patio heaters inside. This is where a patio heater cover comes in handy. 

Types of Outdoor Patio Heaters and the Rain 

Here we will look at the three main types of patio heaters and how well they fare when exposed to the rain. 

  1. Gas-Based Fixed Outdoor Patio Heaters

The natural gas outdoor patio heaters are designed to operate outside but in a fixed position next to a gas supply pipe. For this reason, you cannot move it out of the rain’s way. Manufacturers always consider such circumstances and thus they are snow and rain resistant. 

However, the heater units may often be built with materials that wear due to frequent exposure to the rain. This affects the lifespan of your heater and may eventually break down. The wise solution is to get a patio heater cover to offer protection from excess snow and rain. You will then have a heater that lasts long and serves you for years.

  1. Portable Outdoor Patio Heaters

Portable gas heaters include those that use tanks like the propane gas heater. Such are designed to withstand the effects of snow and rain. You can always move them inside when it starts raining or snowing to a sheltered space. Remember to not burn yourself while trying to move it inside; let it cool down first.

Portability is the main consideration by the manufacturer when designing this heater unit. It should thus be an easy task moving such patio heaters from one place to another. For example, the pyramid gas-based heaters are made a bit too heavy. With such, you should consider getting a patio heater cover for them.

  1. Electric Outdoor Patio Heaters

These include the heater units that use electricity. Electric appliances should never be exposed to rain as it can cause a hazard. The main upside with such is that they are not too heavy as the gas-based heaters are, hence easier to move around. You can always provide cover on the areas that you do not wish to come into contact with the rain.

Using a Rain Cover for Your Outdoor Patio Heater

Going out for a patio heater cover will help you extend the heater’s lifespan. Most of the outdoor patio heaters are heavy thus the best option is to leave them outside rather than carrying them around. Also, you cannot always plan to be available during the bad weather.

A patio heater cover comes in handy in such situations. The ideal cover should be resistant to high temperatures and cover the necessary parts of the patio heater. Often, people allow the heater to cool down before covering them, however, the cover should withstand any residual heat on the heater.

Can Outdoor Patio Heaters Work When It Is Windy?

Most outdoor patio heaters work well until the wind speeds exceed 10 miles per hour. This affects how the heat is distributed in the patio thus rendering the heater units ineffective. Also, stronger winds increase the risk of patio heaters tipping over and causing a fire. It is therefore recommended not to use patio heaters when there is a strong wind blowing. 

Placing an Outdoor Patio Heater Under a Covered Patio

Joyful emotions are aroused when you think of a warm and cozy patio. The challenging outside weather conditions have forced people to operate in a covered patio. However, when using the outside patio heaters in such patios, you need to observe high levels of safety. 

You should have the following tips in mind when positioning outdoor patio heaters in a covered patio heater;

  • Clearance

You have to leave enough clearance between the heater and any flammable material. The patio cover and the heater’s head unit should be 2 feet apart at least. Even the lightest of sparks can ruin your best evening by starting a fire. 

  • Patio’s Ventilation

If your covered patio has a large ventilation space, you can then use the propane and gas patio heaters. Little ventilation spaces limit proper heating and allow the accumulation of carbon monoxide which is harmful. For you to continue with your night party, you can use an electric patio or provide more ventilation spaces.

  • Construction Materials

Materials you decide on making the outdoor patio have a huge impact on the patio heater. Using easily flammable materials prompts you to be more cautious when using the patio heaters. The best alternative is using materials less prone to fire.

Outdoor patio heaters that produce smoke risk staining your patio cover. You may start to notice black spots after a few months and decide to change the cover. Try to control the soot from the heater for a better and more comfortable covered patio heater.


We will all be happy with a product that serves us for a long time. From above, you can see that most outdoor patio heaters can withstand the outside weather conditions but their lifespan is reduced. So, get a cover to help you care for your outside patio heaters and have a nice time on your patio.