An outdoor dining space surrounded by lush green plants and trees with a portable gas patio heater nearby.

Gas vs. Electric Patio Heaters:

Which One is Right for You?

Gas and electric patio heaters can allow you to enjoy your outdoor space for a longer part of the year. But which heater type is right for you? Read on to find out.


Gas patio heaters can use either Natural Gas (NG) or Liquid Propane (LP). Both have similar heat outputs, and the choice between them is usually determined by what fuel is available in your area. Gas heaters are also often sleeker in appearance than electric heaters.

Gas heaters can never be installed in a fully enclosed patio, because they can cause carbon monoxide buildup. They also require proper clearances to combustible materials, as determined by the manufacturer.

Natural Gas (NG) Patio Heaters

If you have NG available, you can hire a certified professional to connect your NG patio heater to your home’s gas supply. Once it’s connected, you’ll never have to refill your heater. NG heaters are cheaper to run than LP and electric patio heaters, though they might cost more up front. They’re a great choice if you’re looking for simplicity and convenience after the initial installation.


Liquid Propane (LP) Gas Patio Heaters

Some LP gas patio heaters are completely portable, with their fuel source being a propane tank hidden in their base. Other LP models come in small sizes that can be placed on a table. While LP might be more expensive than NG, LP heaters can be a great choice if you’re looking for portability and easy installation.

Electric Patio Heaters

Electric patio heaters offer plenty of options for custom heat coverage. They come in sizes ranging from only a couple feet wide, all the way up to about 63 inches—so you’re sure to find something that will fit perfectly with your space.

They also offer capacities for every situation—from 1500W up to 6000W—and their controls include switches, timers, dimmers, motion sensors, and remotes.

The strongest advantage of electric patio heaters is that you can create different heating zones by connecting multiple heaters to one control panel. The exact number of heaters that you can control depends on your setup.

When installing electric patio heaters, it’s important to hire a professional. Improper wiring can lead to a fire hazard.



Woodland Direct can help you design the perfect heating plan for your outdoor area. Just call our Master Hearth Professionals at 800-919-1904.


Head over to our Patio Heater Buying Guide to learn even more about patio heaters!

Read all about electric, Propane, & Natural Gas patio heaters to find the best heater for your space!

Read our Patio Heater Spotlight to find out more about our brands and product offering!