Patio heaters

Natural gas patio heaters provide comforting warmth when nights get chilly. They use radiant heat to raise the temperature of an area by a few degrees. Radiant heat is a little like sunshine: it keeps you warm by reflecting off nearby walls and other objects.

Contact a licensed gas contractor to have your gas line extended into your yard or onto your patio.


  • heat your patio quickly with a flick of switch
  • connect to your home’s natural gas supply and never run out of fuel
  • burns cleaner than propane, producing less greenhouse gas 
  • safer for wooden decks than firepits
  • use your patio longer in the evening and later in the year
  • heat different areas of your patio, pool or backyard with a portable heater

Getting the most out of your patio heater

Setting it up

Patio heaters are intended to raise the temperature of an area by a few degrees to make sitting outdoors more comfortable.

To do this best, keep your patio heaters in a sheltered area (like a walled or fenced backyard).

Contact a licensed gas contractor to have your gas line extended into your yard or onto your patio.

Caring for your patio heater

  • Greasy fingerprints and cleanser residue will burn into the surface of the reflector. When the heater is cool, clean outside surfaces with non-flammable cleanser and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.
  • Do not use any type of abrasive materials when scrubbing.
  • Ask your retailer about a cover to keep insects out of the heater, so you can prevent nesting in open burners and blockages.

Like all natural gas appliances, check the manufacturer's recommendations for care and repair.

How patio heaters work

Natural gas heaters use radiant heat to warm the people and objects close by. Radiant heat is a little like sunshine: these heaters don't heat the air, but reflect off nearby walls, objects or the standing heater's "mushroom dome".

This heat is measured in British thermal units or Btu. The average patio heater can radiate 35,000 to 40,000 Btu to heat an area of about 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) in diameter.

Tip – You can expect about a 10 foot (3 m) diameter of heat for the average standing heater. You can use several heaters and overlap the areas, or upgrade to a commercial model if you use your heater for several hours or more every day.

Buying patio heaters & lamps

To choose the patio heater or lamp that's right for you, consider these factors first:

  • What activities do you most use your patio area for?
  • How often do you use your patio, and for how long?
  • What is the size of the area you want to heat or light?

These questions will help you and your retailer determine the style, model and price range that work best for you.

Setting the mood

When choosing a lamp, decide if you'd like very bright light, or a subtle, ambient glow. A lamp with a mantle will provide a steady white light and tiki or torch style lamps will have the warm light of an open flame.

You can also choose between overhead or wall mounted and totem or floor models.

Choosing the finish

Dark finishes keep your appliance looking clean, hiding dirt and carbon build-up from the open flame. Stainless steel can be more expensive, but it is longer lasting and more resistant to long-term weather wear.

Choosing the style

Natural gas appliances are connected to a constant gas supply–this may limit where you can place your heater or lamp. Standing or floor models can be moved as much as the hose allows. Choose a standing model if you think you'll change your floor plan in the future. If you have limited floor space or young children, you may prefer a mounted model–either on the wall or overhead.

Heat and power

An average non-commercial standing heater gives off 20,000 to 40,000 Btu (a measurement of heat). This will heat an area 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) in diameter around the source.

An average priced, good quality standing heater will heat about a 10 foot (3 m) diameter. For more flexibility and coverage, buy several and overlap the heated areas.

If you will be using your heater frequently (a few hours on most days), consider upgrading to a commercial grade, like you'd find on a restaurant patio. They last longer under constant use.

Safety first

Look for a model that includes these features:

  • Sturdy construction: the base should be heavy and solid glass should be double-strength rated.
  • Push button ignition: safer, easier and more efficient than using a match.
  • Automatic shut-off: for safety if the heater or lamp tips or falls.

And remember:

  • Never use your patio appliances indoors—for example, if your power goes out—because dangerous carbon monoxide will build up quickly.
  • Keep children, pets and combustibles away from hot surfaces.
  • Call FortisBC if you suspect a leak or notice any abnormal odour from the heater.

Important: All appliances approved for sale in Canada have been certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) – never use any gas appliances without a CSA seal.

Patio lamps

Natural gas patio lamps offer a stylish, convenient way to light up your patio or backyard for entertaining, and for safety.


  • enjoy a beautiful glow, with no harsh glare
  • connect to your home’s natural gas supply and never run out of fuel
  • illuminate dark corners or pathways for safety
  • use your patio longer in the evening and later in the year

Types of patio lamps

Both mantle and tiki (or torch) style natural gas patio lamps can be used to illuminate walkways and patios in a safe and stylish way.


A mantle-style patio lamp is like a kerosene lantern but connected to natural gas. It burns with a bright, steady light.


Tiki (or torch) style patio lamps have an open flame. They provide an ambient, natural glow for your garden party or dinner.

Like natural gas patio heaters, both mantle and tiki lamps are available in mounted and standing styles, and will add style and practical lighting solutions for your outdoor space.