How to heat a gazebo in winter – electric, gas, or propane heater?

How to heat a gazebo in winter?

For a lot of people living in the UK, the thought of spending time in the garden during winter doesn’t exactly bring a smile to their faces. Even with a nice fire pit to sit around, there can still be the chilly winds to deal with, and this puts a lot of folks off.

A good way to keep those winds away, and to give yourself a chance to enjoy the crisp air without freezing to death, is to get yourself a gazebo with wall panels, and then use one of the many varieties of garden heater to add an extra level of comfort.

But which type of outdoor heater is the best choice? In this article, we will take a look at the available options and try to point you in the right direction, and you’ll be safe to set up your gazebo for the colder months; unlike this guy from last year who might have gt his timing wrong 😂.

Should I get an electric, natural gas, or propane heater?

There is no straight and clear answer for this as each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, so we thought we would just do a quick pros and cons outline of each one here, so you can make up your own mind.

Electric outdoor heaters

As there are no flames involved with electric heaters, they are probably the safest for use in enclosed spaces like a gazebo. In addition to this, pretty much every style of heater will be available as an electrically powered model and this gives you a lot of choices.

The downsides to these heaters are that some of them can take a while to heat up, although newer models are getting better all the time for this, and the fact that you’ll need to connect the heater to your mains electrical supply via extension cables if you’re using one in your gazebo.

Natural gas

These heaters will most likely need to be connected to your mains gas supply, and unless you want to risk your life, and everyone else’s within a large radius, your hater will need to be professionally installed, which obviously adds to the overall cost.

Once installed though, gas heaters are reasonably low- maintenance and can supply you with a good deal of heat while being fairly economical. Natural gas heaters also tend not to produce any noticeable fumes.


Propane heaters are very mobile by nature as the fuel source, a gas tank, can be moved around with the heater, thus giving you a lot of freedom when it comes to placement. Again, there are a lot of options available with these heaters, so you should be able to find something to suit your tastes quite easily.

As well as being one of this type of heater’s strengths, the fact that it runs off a propane tank is also a weakness of sorts. These tanks don’t last forever, and you will need to keep an eye on when they require refilling or replacing.

if you’re still not sure about which fuel source would suit you best, take a look at this video that goes into the subject-

What are my options for heating a gazebo in winter?

As your gazebo will most likely have wall panels, and even if it doesn’t it will certainly have a roof, the open flames and smoke generated by a traditional, log-burning, fire pit make them unsuitable for this task, but I have included gas-fueled versions. Below, you will find our opinions on them as well as the other top options for heating a gazebo

Tabletop heaters

For gazebos, a tabletop heater is not a bad choice at all. They are generally compact, although some models can be quite large, and can kick out enough heat to keep the people sitting around that table feeling nice and snug.

However, if you have a large gazebo and you want to provide warmth for all inside, they are not the right option as the heat distribution does not stretch all that far. There is also the danger of the heater being knocked off the table, and if it is a heater that has open flames, it could be a safety issue, but there are models out there with anti-tipping designs to counter this issue.

Wall-mounted heaters

Wall-mounted heaters are ideal for solid-framed gazebos. You can set them up at the height and angle of your choosing, and the better models can produce a lot of heat that will carry a long way. Another good feature is that they are mounted upon a wall and out of the way, saving you space in the gazebo for you and your guests.

Most wall-mounted heaters are electric, and so you’ll have to think of a way to connect to a power source, and also to keep the power cables out of the way to stop people treading and tripping on them. Although a lot of modern wall-mounted heaters are relatively lightweight, larger models could still be too heavy for use with a pop-up gazebo or similar. You don’t want to bring your gazebo crashing down on everyone now, do you?

Freestanding heaters

With a huge variety of styles, sizes, and fuel sources available, free-standing heaters are incredibly popular with people who want to heat their patios, decking, and gazebos. They are usually quite easy to move around, and there are more than a few models out there that can create enough warmth for a gazebo.

As with tabletop heaters, there is always the risk that someone will knock the heater over, or get too close and burn themselves, but thankfully this risk is reduced by design features like weighted bases, and protective guards around the heating elements.

In this tweet, you can see that someone has decided to use a tabletop heater as a freestanding one for their deck. it’s not a bad idea if you’re struggling for space.

Hanging heaters

Due to the fact that they hang overhead, hanging garden heaters tick two of the main boxes that people look for in a heat source for their gazebo. The first is that it doesn’t take up space that could be used for people to stand or sit in, and the second is that the warmth is spread out well and over a good distance.

Of course, having a hanging gazebo heater is only realistic if you have a permanent structure with a roof, or at least roof beams, on which to hang the heater, and this limits its practicality for a lot of people. However, if you do have such a structure, this type of heater should definitely be something to consider.

Mobile heaters

When I speak of mobile patio heaters, I’m referring only to the products that have a good-sized set of wheels that are actually useful, and allow you to move the machine wherever you want to, quickly and easily. There are plenty of heaters out there that have wheels but a lot of those wheels are tiny, fairly useless, things made from plastic that is far from durable.

However, there are a few gems out there and even if you have to pay a bit more for them, they are certainly worth it. This is particularly true if you have a pop-up gazebo, or some other kind of temporary gazebo, as you can wheel the heater from the garage or shed where you keep it to the site where your gazebo is set up.

Fire pits

I would never recommend a traditional, log-burning, fire pit for the type of gazebos that most people have these days, as I stated earlier, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on that classic aesthetic that these types of heaters bring to your home.

There are electric and gas versions of fire pits, some with amazing designs, and others that double up as tables, and even cooking platforms. Fire pits of this kind are usually quite large though and will take up a lot of space, and you might have to shell out quite a bit for a really good one.

This video clip features a really nice-looking gas fire pit that still gives you a traditional feel, but with modern style ease of use. check it out-


Although chimineas are generally wood-burning and therefore have open flames, ash, and cinders; I think of them as being safe for a gazebo due to the fact that you can close the grated door on the front and keep it all contained.

This doesn’t stop the problem with smoke though, and if you don’t have open sides to your gazebo, you could quickly find that your family is being asphyxiated due to the lack of ventilation. Used in the right way, Chimineas can give you a very stylish way to heat your gazebo, but you do have to use a bit of common sense.

Table heaters (built-in heater)

A table that has a built-in heater underneath, what a great idea. This design really helps get over the whole taking up space issue, and transforms your gazebo heater into something very practical.

These are usually electrical devices and will keep anyone around the table feeling nice and toasty, but the drawback is that people away from the table won’t benefit from the heat produced, and most of it will be blocked by those around the table.

What is the best heater for a gazebo?

I think, generally speaking, a free-standing electric heater or a mobile patio heater is the best choice for pop-up gazebos, as the structure of these gazebos can’t take the strain of a hanging or wall-mounted heater.

I would go with electric heaters because they don’t emit fumes and there are no flames, but that doesn’t mean you should count out natural gas and propane, it just depends on what kind of gazebo you have.

If you are lucky enough to have a fixed, solid structure gazebo, then I would recommend going with hanging or wall-mounted heaters, and if you have a really large space and will be having quite a few guests around, a heater table here and there would certainly help them to feel welcome.

Whichever type you decide to go for, don’t forget the essential extras; I think this lady knows exactly what I’m talking about 🥂-

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message:

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