Cooler weather shouldn’t mean that you need to close your patio. Commercial patio heaters are ideal for extending outdoor dining season at your restaurant or bar. Encourage social distancing during off-seasons with the right commercial patio heater. Picking the right heater for your patio can be confusing. That’s why we wrote a guide on buying the perfect patio heater for your business that will fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a free-standing, mounted, or pit patio heater – Central has a variety of heaters for different sized patios.
Types of Patio Heaters
Pyramid style heaters are an attractive solution for heating your patio. These heaters feature a tall flame that adds ambiance while heating up the surrounding area. Add these for an aesthetically pleasing heater that is perfect for smaller outdoor areas. Patio heaters run on propane tanks for fuel, making it easy to find replacements.
- Flame adds ambiance
- Easily change fuel
- Average of 175 square feet heating area
- Needs ample ventilation
Best For: Outdoor event spaces, restaurant and bar patios
This style of heater is designed with a base that contains the fuel and a mushroom-style top that provides a circle of warmth. These units are conveniently self-contained for safety. Mushroom style heaters offer easier transport and run on propane tanks, making them versatile for most patios.
- Easy to store
- Average 20 ft. Radius of heat
- Easily change fuel
- Adjustable heat output
- Needs ample ventilation – can’t use with low roofs or indoors
Best for: Restaurant & bar patios
Fire bowl heaters are designed for gathering and add ambiance to your patio. These heaters feature a square base and a top area for cozy flames. Many fire bowls can be covered with an included top to eat and drink on. This type of heater often uses LP gas for fuel. Consider a fire bowl for lounge seating in your restaurant, bar, or hotel.
- Cozy ambiance
- Encourages gathering
- Doubles as functional furniture
- Typically designed for seating four or less people
- Smaller area of heat distribution
Best for: Restaurant, bar, or hotel patios
Mounted heaters are ideal for patios without space for large heaters. These compact heaters mount to external walls to distribute heat from above. Mounted heaters can be used to heat large areas while only taking a small footprint of space.
- Small footprint
- Large heat area (average 150 to 200 sq. Ft.)
- Use with heat deflectors for less clearance required
- May need a heat deflector for mounting near walls/ceilings
- Typically use gas or electric connection for power source
- Requires installation
Best for: Bar, restaurant, hotel, or event center patios
More on Patio Heating
Safety is the most important consideration when buying and installing a patio heater. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s owners’ manual as well as any other documentation for key safety features. Commercial patio heaters are not designed for indoor use. For all available commercial patio heaters at Central, see our Outdoor Patio Heaters and Coolers section.
Create the Perfect Patio Space
The best patios are well-equipped with the right furniture, shading, and even temperature control. Read more on how to create the best patio space for your guests.
Kelsey Moriarty is a Content Specialist at Central Restaurant Products. Her focus at Central is in the Food Prep and Furniture areas. Kelsey’s background is in technology and marketing with particular experience in SEO and E-Commerce. She enjoys helping customers make better decisions as well as working on her copywriting skills!