If you desire the comfort of the indoors and as well as the fresh air and beautiful views of the outdoors, a screened porch offers the best of both worlds.
As long as the setting is right and the area large enough for your needs, it’s a place you can spend plenty of time year-round.
“What about the cold weather?” you might ask.
That’s where the right porch heater for covered porch comes in handy. A proper heating system will add the necessary warmth to your porch for year-round comfort.
Better still, some heating systems are designed to add elegance and style to outdoor spaces. They come in weatherproofed materials and stunning finishes that instantly add flair to the area. Bringing one into your screened porch would instantly uplift the mood in the area.
We’ve developed this guide to help you pick out the best heater for screened porch. Among other things, the guide touches on the benefits of investing in a heater for your screened porch, the options at your disposal, and factors to consider when buying a screened porch heater.
Screen Porch Heaters Comparison
Types of Porch Heaters
There are three broad ways to categorize patio heaters: power source, heating method, and design style. Let’s begin with the different patio heater types based on the power source.
Patio Heaters by Power Source
Patio heaters can obtain their energy from several sources. However, the two primary power sources are electricity and propane.
- Propane-powered porch heaters: These heaters depend on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to run. A key advantage of propane over other energy sources is the price. The gas is very cost-effective. Outdoor propane heaters are also generally very clean-burning. A significant downside, however, is the inherent safety risks, including CO poisoning.
- Electric-powered porch heaters: These units run on electricity, a key advantage of which is energy efficiency. Electricity is the most energy-efficient mode of heating. Most electric heaters are 99% efficient or higher. On the flip side, however, electricity is also costly. Additionally, electric cords in the patio create an additional safety hazard.
- Other energy sources: Aside from electricity and propane, propane heaters can also run on natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, or wood pellets. However, the latter three (gasoline, kerosene, and wood pellets) are strongly discouraged for screened porches as they present significant safety hazards.
Also, Check natural gas patio heaters
Patio Heaters by Heating Mechanism
With regard to the heating mechanism, there are two main options to pick from – radiant heaters and infrared heaters.
- Radiant porch heaters: Radiant heaters heat people directly. They are often contrasted with convective heaters that warm the air around people to create a warm feeling. Since they transfer heat to people directly, radiant heaters are incredibly efficient. As long as the positioning is spot-on, very little heat is lost.
- Infrared porch heaters: Infrared patio heaters are also known as radiant heaters. Unlike traditional radiant heaters, they use light rays rather than heat waves to warm people up. It’s the healthiest form of home heating. Infrared heaters are also very efficient.
Patio Heaters by Design Styles
Finally, patio heaters can also be categorized by design style. In this regard, there are at least ten options from which to pick. The most popular of these are;
- Wall-mounted heaters: Wall-mounted patio heaters can be installed on the porch’s wall (or ceiling). The majority are electric heaters and often infrared radiant heaters. They typically arrive with the installation bracket for easy mounting. A sturdy wall is needed nonetheless.
- Tabletop patio heaters: Tabletop heaters are typically the smallest and come in electric and propane varieties. The electric models are the smaller of the two types, while gas-powered models tend to be more powerful. Safety features such as an anti-tip-over switch are essential here.
- Freestanding porch heaters: Freestanding heaters are some of the most popular outdoor heating solutions for several reasons. For one, they are perhaps the most potent outdoor heating solution. Secondly, they can efficiently heat a vast area. Finally, they offer installation flexibilities that other heaters can’t match. Many of them are gas-powered.
- Hanging patio heaters: Hanging patio heaters as opposed to mounting on the wall or ceiling. They are straightforward to set up as the installation process is very straightforward. You can even install the heater on your own. Many hanging patio heaters are electric-powered.
- Umbrella patio heaters: Also known as electric parasols, umbrella patio heaters are like a cross between freestanding and hanging patio heaters. They take up very little space but also very portable.
Other porch heater designs to consider are tables with built-in heaters, fire-pit patio heaters, mobile patio heaters, and smart patio heaters.
Benefits of Outdoor Heaters for Screened Porch
There are multiple benefits of purchasing an outdoor heater for your screened porch. Consider the following;
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Even if you have the biggest home, the house’s space rarely feels like enough space to meet all our needs. It’s why we have porches, decks, etc. in the first place. Porch heaters allow you to spend more time on your porch, this indirectly extending your home.
Extend the Outdoor Season
Unfortunately, even after extending the home via the porch, the winter season’s biting cold can sometimes force you to spend more time indoors.
Outdoor heaters bring warmth to your patio, allowing you to spend time outdoors for a better part of the year. Whether it’s cooking, entertaining guests, or relaxing, you can do it outdoors for a couple more months with a reliable outdoor heater.
Add Style and Color to your Outdoors
Outdoor patio heaters offer versatile placement options, different fuel options, and endless style and finish choices to boost your outdoor living spaces’ aesthetics. From tabletop electric models to freestanding propane models, the possibilities are endless.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heater for Screened Porch
Picking the best heater for screened porch isn’t as straightforward a process as most people think. You need to assess hundreds of units based on multiple factors, including fuel type, style, and heating method, to mention just a few.
If you’re short on time, we recommend that you focus on five priority considerations – size, heating efficiency, cleaning/maintenance, features, and safety.
Sizing an Outdoor Heater
Patio heaters are typically rated by British Thermal Units (BTU), though electric models may also use watts or kilowatts for purposes of sizing. 1KW = 1,000 watts = 3,412.14 BTU.
The exact number of BTUs or kilowatts needed for a particular porch will depend on several factors, including the size of the space, the heater’s location, and the local climate.
However, for reference purposes, a 40,000 standalone propane heater is recommended for a 20-foot diameter space. A 30,000 BTU tabletop heater, meanwhile, is ideal for a 5-8-foot radius space.
Wall-mount heaters generate between 10,000 and 30,000 BTU and should be considered for smaller porches up to 5-feet in radius.
Heating efficiency is a crucial factor when choosing an outdoor heater for your screened patio. Why? Because the heater’s efficiency rating determines how much heat eventually reaches you and how much goes to waste.
An 80% energy-efficient propane heater, for instance, converts 80% of propane fuel to heat energy, with the other 20% going to waste.
Three things to focus on here are the heater’s SEER, AFUE, and HSPF rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, AFUE is short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, while HSPH is short for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. You should also prioritize Energy Star-rated heating systems.
Ease of Maintenance/Cleaning
How easy is it to clean the heater? How much effort does the maintenance process demand? You need to closely consider this factor because some patio heaters are costly to maintain.
For instance, the standard wall-mounted electric heater doesn’t require much maintenance. All you need to do is check it now and then to ensure that it’s functioning normally. Hanging electric heaters are also practically maintenance-free.
On the other hand, freestanding patio heaters require regular checking for damages to the hoses and leaks in the gas tank. You must also check the air holes for blockage and store the unit during the off-season. Propane fireplaces are even more maintenance-intensive.
An excellent patio heater is one that’s easy to set up and assemble. That’s why some manufacturers deliver their units partially assembled so you can set up the heating in an hour or less. Some even arrive fully assembled. If you’re not prepared to assemble the unit from scratch, consider these two options.
Ease of operation, meanwhile, covers two main areas of electronic controls and adjustable flames. Electronic controls allow you to adjust heat levels at the press of a button. Some are even remote-controlled for greater convenience. You also want to be able to change the flame to match your desired ambiance.
Finally, you must acquire a safe heater that doesn’t expose you to health and other risks. As such, ensure that the unit is approved by recognized laboratories and meets safety standards set out by UL, CSA, etc. Also, make sure that it’s equipped with the necessary safety features.
Some essential safety features to consider are automatic overheating shutoff when the heater gets too hot and tilt-over protection that automatically turns the unit off if it’s knocked over. Cool-to-touch surfaces are always a welcome bonus.
Patio Heater Safety Considerations
In addition to verifying the heater’s safety qualities, you also need to take steps to ensure safe heating on your porch. We recommend the following tips;
- Use only outdoor-rated heaters: Never use an indoor heater on the patio, even if it’s a screened porch. It creates unnecessary risk.
- Set the heater on a level surface: Many gas heaters won’t work if the base is tilted, anyway. However, for your safety, always verify that the unit rests on a solid surface in an upright position.
- Ensure sufficient clearance: All outdoor heaters must be positioned at least three feet away from any obstructions. Don’t place it too close to items that can catch fire. Clothes, for instance, should be placed far from the heater.
- Avoid obstacles: Obstructions are any items that may block rays from the heat source from reaching the destination. They reduce heating efficiency because you’re likely to use more electricity to achieve the desired heating levels. Typical obstructions include branches, plants, etc.
- Use the right fuel: This applies to gas and oil heaters. Never attempt to use alternative fuels in the heater without the manufacturer’s permission. For instance, dual-fuel heaters can use natural gas or propane. But, that doesn’t mean that every natural gas heater can run on propane and vice versa.
How to Winterize your Screened Porch
Since the porch isn’t very airtight (compared to the rest of the home), it tends to lose a bit of heat to the surrounding. The following are three winterizing strategies to consider;
- Replace summer curtains with heavy-duty vinyl curtains: Curtains are a simple and inexpensive way to block out cool breezes and leaves without trapping excess heat inside your screened porch.
- Use plastic sheeting or window insulation: Plastic sheeting and window insulation block out wind, leaves, and rain. It’s another inexpensive solution to consider. However, like the curtains, it’s a temporary solution.
- Install acrylic panels: Now, this is a more permanent solution. Acrylic panels are also better at trapping heat inside the porch for warmer winters. The only downside is the installation process – you may need a professional.
- Install vinyl porch windows: Finally, vinyl porch windows are the best solution to winter chills on the screened porch. These thick, transparent vinyl sheets can be easily attached to the patio and immediately block the cold. It’s best to install them in the summer.
- Can You Heat a Screened Porch? Yes. You can heat a screened porch. You’ll need to be even more careful with your heater choice, though. Consider models designed (and marked) specifically for screened porches, if possible.
- Can You Use a Patio Heater on a Covered Porch? Yes. Most patio heaters can be used on a screened porch. It’s important, however, to find the right heater and follow best practices to ensure safety.
- Can You Use a Propane Fire Pit in a Screened Porch? Yes. However, it’s essential to keep in mind the associated safety risk, such as CO poisoning and tip over fires. Installing an ODS may help.
Best Heater For Screened Porch Reviews
1. Dr. Infrared DR-238 1500W Carbon Infrared Electric Heater
- INDOOR and OUTDOOR HEATER - Heater is IP55 approved for both indoor and outdoor use - perfect for home, backyard, garages, open-air restaurant, outdoor patio or deck. Create a comfortable environment for both your indoor activities and outdoor recreation.
- CLEAN and INSTANT HEAT - Clean, instant and odorless Infrared heat with 3 power settings, 900W, 1200W, 1500W. 120V, 60Hz.
- PLUG and GO - uses standard 120V, remote controlled
- WALL and CEILING MOUNTED - Included wall and Ceiling mounting bracket
- EFFICIENT - High level Mirror aluminum reflector with 90% reflectivity, and special design to fit the carbon lamp to bring strong heating efficiency. Made with durable and weather proof aluminum, ETL Listed.
The DR-238 from Dr. Infrared is an indoor/outdoor heater that’s safe, clean, and provides instant odorless heat. Rated at 1,500 watts, it has two other settings (low and medium) rated at 900W and 1200W, respectively.
Despite the high rating, though, it plugs into the standard 120-volt outlet. An easily—visible LED light display allows you to spot the heater from a distance.
Some of the standout features of the heater include timer function and remote control. The heater is designed with an operational timer that takes away the burn of constantly turning your heater on-off.
Set the timer and never worry about turning it on or off again. The remote control, meanwhile, allows you to control the heater from the comfort of your couch.
The heater mounts with immeasurable ease. You can install it on the wall, ceiling or have it working from a tripod stand. The tripod is sold separately.
You may also want to know that the heater features a durable, weatherproof build that protects it from splashing water. The durable aluminum housing also ensures long life.
- Gentle, radiant heating
- Multiple heat settings
- Plug-and-go design
- Mounting brackets included
- ETL listed for safety
- 1-year limited warranty
- The surface can get a bit hot
- Further protection needed from weather elements
2. TrustTech Patio Heater w/3s-Fast Heating & Remote Control
- 【3S FAST HEATING】- TRUSTECH Patio Heater, adopting the most advanced infrared technology, can give you instant warmth in only 3 SECONDS. This outdoor heater for patio, different with like products, is energy-saving & environment-friendly, will save up to 50% energy consumption.
- 【OVERHEAT PROTECTION】- TRUSTECH electric heaters for large room can detect temperature by itself and keep warmth at a comfortable level. If the temperature is excessive high, the wall heaters will shut off automatically, while if the temperature is lower than set value, it will start work again quietly. Putting it on the bedroom can ensure you have a warm sleep every night in winter.
- 【APPLICABLE TO INDOOR & OUTDOOR】- TRUSTECH Outdoor infrared heater is tailored for both indoor and outdoor places. As high as 1500W operating power and wall mounted design make it a perfect heating solution for areas such as patio, bedroom, living room, garage, office and even public place like restaurant. This infrared heater will defend coldness and bring warmth no matter you are staying at home, working or dinning with friends.
- 【EASY TO OPERATE & REMOTE CONTROL】- TRUSTECH wall mounted heater is easy to set up or relocate. With a remote control and LCD display, you can know the temperature at a simple glance, and change the temperature, set the timer from 1 to 24 hours, or turn patio heater on/off by a button press.
- 【QUIET, DURABLE & RELIABLE】- This space heater is working silently. It will not disturb you while you are sleeping or napping. Made by aluminium alloy, the outdoor heater is solid enough to bear accidental collision. Our outdoor patio heater are manufactured under strict quality standards and pass ETL certificate. Please feel free to drop an email through Amazon buyer message, if you meet any problems.
One quality that most people look for in an outdoor heater for covered porch is fast heating. No one enjoys waiting several minutes for the patio to get warm.
This patio heater from Trust Tech is one of the fastest heaters. The manufacturer guarantees that your patio will be warm within just three seconds! As a 1500-watt heater, it also promises a ton of heat.
The unit is a wall installed. The mounting process is simple. Fasten the heater to the bracket with two M16*4 screws and butterfly nuts. Then, drill three holes onto the wall and insert three plastic anchors into the holes. That’s it!
Once installed, the unit remains stable and resists most weather elements. It’s also extremely durable, thanks in part to the aluminum alloy body.
Other key features of the TrustTech include remote control and a timer. The timer is very impressive, allowing users to program heating up to 24 hours in advance. An LCD screen allows you to track indoor heating levels. You’ll also love that the heater is very quiet, even during operation.
- Fast, 3-second heat-up
- Overheating protection
- Easy-use LCD control panel
- ETL certified
- Durable aluminum alloy build
- Remote control + timer
- Most expensive on this list
- It gets very hot
3. Heat Storm HS-1500-OTR Infrared Heater
- This is the perfect outdoor heating solution, featuring a weatherproof rating of IP35
- Safer and cleaner to use. Does not output CO2 like propane or natural gas heaters that burn fossil fuels. No dangerous tanks, no plumbing and no ventilation needed. Mount horizontally or vertically
- 6.5 foot long three pronged cord. This comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty
- NOTE: Will not mount on ceiling or turn on unless black box is mounted vertical. Tip-over safety switch will only allow to turn on when mounted to Heat Storm Accessory or the wall. (no ceiling mounted operation)
- Heat rating (BTU/hour): 5200 Btu/h
This is a patented heavy-duty wall-mounted heater that operates at 90% efficiency. It’s made from stainless steel and delivers up to 1,500 watts.
The bulb is also very durable, designed to last up to 5,000 hours. The durable, weatherproof design ensures protection from rain or other water splashes, while the lightweight aluminum extruded body guarantees long life. It offers a 9-foot blanket of heat.
Also worth noting is that the Heat Storm heater produces no UV rays and is very quiet during operation. It comes with a protective aluminum shield and a 6-foot non-retractable electrical cord for ease of set-up. The unit plugs into a standard 120-volt household outlet. The mounting bracket is included.
The heater can be used indoors or outdoors. However, if you choose to use it outdoors, take extra safety precautions to prevent burn accidents. For instance, you want to install it at a height that the kids can’t reach. The Firesense comes in a gorgeous black finish.
- Powerful 1500-watt heater
- Heat is felt up to nine feet away
- Electrical cord included
- Features a protective aluminum cover
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- It’s one of the pricier models
- Makes the room glow orange
4. Bromac BR-ETNG-20 Smart-Heat Tungsten Radiant Heater
- Sleek contemporary styling with black high temperature ceramic coating over stainless steel
- Single frosted infrared tube heating element emits a low intensity glow for subtle ambience
- Perfect for residential and commercial installations especially under awnings, low ceilings and indoors
- Compatible with switch, dimmer or smart control systems (not included)
- Spectral reflector for excellent heat distribution
If you desire more powerful heating than the first three products on this list offer, this sleek contemporary unit from Bromac would be a good pick.
It’s also an infrared heater that generated gentle, radiant heat. However, the tungsten heater is rated at an impressive 2,000 watts, with some models designed to deliver up to 6,000 watts.
Key features of the heater include an attractive frosted tube element design with a warm amber glow. This allows it to transform the patio into a warm, cozy area where you can spend those memorable moments.
The unit also offers flexible installation options. If you don’t feel like having it on the wall, you can mount it on the ceiling. Installation brackets for wall and ceiling mounting, with adjustable angles, are included.
A spectral reflector for excellent heat distribution, high-quality construction, and a corrosion-resistant finish are other attractive features. The heater’s accessories include a ceiling pole (which you can cut to length) and a recess kit. The hater requires a 230-240V outlet.
- Attractive design
- Flexible mounting options
- Corrosion-resistant finish
- Warms up to 120 square feet
- Smart control ready
- Requires 230/240V wiring
- Smart control system not provided
5. Mr. Heater MH30T Double Tank Top Outdoor Propane Heater
- Portable heat
- Efficient radiant heating
- 1 year warranty
- Quiet operation
- Sturdy construction
The double-tank top heater from Mr. Heater is a unique unit assembled in Cleveland, Ohio. The 10,000 BTU heater, which produces 30,000 BTU at maximum capacity, is constructed from high-quality chrome and stainless steel components to bring you reliable heat on the go.
A high-medium-low heat regulator allows you to choose the level of heating most suited to your needs.
The unit is easy to pick up and even store. A swivel head design allows it to precisely put the heat where you need it while a polished chrome reflector ensures thorough distribution of heat.
The standard safety shutoff switch ensures complete peace of mind. Another safety feature on the unit is tip-over auto-shutoff.
The MH30T directly connects to a 5-20LB bulk propane tank and ignites manually with a match (no piezoelectric ignition). This makes it ideal for multiple outdoor uses, including camping loading docks, and hunting trips. It is CSA certified.
- Powerful 30,000 BTU heater
- Sturdy construction
- Tip-over safety shutoff
- Soft-nose P.O.L
- CSA Certified
- 1-year limited warranty
- Fuel tank sold separately
- Propane heating comes with CO risk
6. PatioBoss NXW-1500R Electric Patio Heater
- [ Advanced Heating Technology ] - PATIOBOSS electric patio heater is equipped carbon fiber tube as heating element. And it has the features of high efficiency, energy saving and long service life. Heating up within 3 seconds, let you feel warm. It is more energy-efficient than traditional heaters, saving you electricity bills. At the same time, you can choose different power modes (500/1000/1500Watt) according to your needs.
- [ Safety& Environment Friendly ] - Adapting automatic overheat protection and IP34 rated water resistant for safety. No Gas or other flammable fuel is required. The infrared heater produce no odors, chemicals or fumes. Super quiet operation will not disturb you when you are resting or working. All you feel is the endless warm without any noise.
- [ Easy Operation by Remote Control ] - The outside electric heater Equipped with a smart remote control. Use the remote control to remotely adjust the 0-24 hour timer and 3 power modes. And you can directly adjust the number on the heater without leaving the bench or sofa. Very convenient, isn't it?
- [ Widely Used ] - This electric patio heater is a kind of space heater. It can heat the area in front of it. Designed to be assembled both indoor and outdoor wall mounted use. It also allows to be installed in garage, courtyard, balcony, porch, restaurants, offices, pet house, living rooms and so on.
- [ Impressive Design ] - The wall mounted hater can adjust the tilt heating angle to bring you warmth from different directions. You can easily know whether you need to adjust the power mode and timer through the clear LED display. Patioboss outdoor electric infrared heaters are manufactured under strict quality standards and passed the ETL certificate. It is indeed an excellent heater for your family or customers.
Finally, the Patio Boss is a wall-mounted infrared heater equipped with a carbon fiber tube as a heating element. Carbon fiber heating elements are extremely efficient while also being long-lasting.
They heat up very fast. This particular model heats up in as little as three seconds. Although it’s rated 1500 watts, two other settings (low and high) allow you to use it at 500 watts and 1,000 watts, respectively.
The unit is remote-controlled for ultimate convenience. It also features a 24-hour timer that allows you to program the heating in advance. This way, you can have the screened patio heated before you arrive. Quiet operation, a clear LED display, and adjustable angles are other standout features of the NXW-1500R.
Since even a screened patio is prone to occasional water splashes, this heater is equipped with multiple weatherproof features to prevent electrocution or damage. Indeed, it is IP34 rated waterproof safe.
Additionally, it features overheating protection. It’s also ETL certified for safety. The package includes a remote control device, mounting brackets, wiring nuts, screws, and wall anchors, among other materials.
- Powerful 1500-watt heater
- Remote control
- 6-foot cord included
- Adjustable heating angle
- ETL certified for safety
- Full installation kit
- No smart controls
- It can get pretty hot
Heating a porch efficiently and safely used to be a significant challenge in the past. Convectional electric space heaters drove up energy bills while propane, though more energy-efficient, present safety challenges.
Luckily, newer heating options have been developed that promise the utmost comfort and are also very efficient and safe. If you want other types of outdoor heater, you can choose glass tube patio heaters or if you want a unit you can move around try portable patio heaters.
The screened porch can be a fantastic place to spend the evenings and perhaps read a book. However, the winter weather’s biting cold often forces people to abandon the area and take “shelter” indoors.
You don’t need to run away from your porch anymore – even in the coldest winter – thanks to modern space heating technologies. As long as you can pick the right-size (capacity-wise) heater that’s also safe for use in a covered porch, you’re guaranteed the good, cozy times all year round.