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Ways to Heat Your Outside Deck AreaDecember 23rd, 2022 | by Admin Deck Experts | in Outdoor Living Space | 0
There are many ways to heat your outside deck area, and in today’s blog article, we are going to address some of the most common possibilities.
There are many types of fire pits, but in British Columbia, wood burning fire pits or fireplaces are banned outright in many jurisdictions, and building codes often prohibit them anyway on a wood or composite deck. However, natural gas and propane fire pits are typically allowed.
You will have to familiarize yourself with the building codes and bylaws in your jurisdiction to find out what is possible in your area or rely on the expertise of professional deck builders (like us) to help you. Some types of fire pits or fireplaces might be allowed in the yard or on a stone patio, but not on a wood or wood-composite deck.
If you are already piped for natural gas, then using that is the simplest solution. With natural gas, there are no tanks requiring refilling, and the hardware is simpler. There are fire pits, fire tables, and wall-mounted fireplaces that would all add heat and ambiance to your deck area.
Wall and Ceiling Mounted Heaters
There are a variety of wall- and ceiling-mount fixtures available for heating, that can be electric or powered by natural gas or propane. Electricity will be cleaner energy, but probably more expensive than using natural gas or propane. Both electricity and natural gas will be simpler to operate with just the flick of a switch. It is even possible to have like this on a table that people sit at.
Infrared heating uses electric heating units that heat objects in front of them with electromagnetic radiation. These heating units can be free-standing, or wall- or ceiling-mounted, and are very effective. They do not heat the air like other heaters that radiate heat. So, for example, you would aim the infrared heater at the chairs where people would sit or the table where people would be eating. This is a clean energy and effective heating source.
Free-standing heaters are most commonly propane. They are usually large units that can be moved around as needed. It is possible to have natural gas or electric ones, but the use of propane adds to their portability. These are usually shoulder or head high—or higher—and point down toward where individuals would sit or stand.
Radiant Floor Heating
We are starting to see radiant floor heating on patios that are made of stone or pavers, but it is rare to see it in a wood or composite deck. This type of heating is inside or below the flooring, such as inside a house in a kitchen or bathroom. There is technology coming that will allow for radiant floor heating inside special hollow-core composite decking.
A simpler and less expensive option would be electric heating mats on the surface of the deck. Since heat rises anyway, heat that originates near the ground is not a bad idea.
In case you are wondering, one candle emits about 80 BTU of heat. However, before you run out and by a bunch of candles, note that, in comparison, one free-standing propane heater might put out 40,000 BTUs. And your candle or candles may not stay lit outside in a winter wind, and if they do stay lit, they might be a serious fire hazard. We do not recommend seriously considering candles as a heat source.
If you are wanting to add some heat to your deck, give us a call on the Lower Mainland at (604) 626-7100 and let us help you. Decks are our area of expertise. We can help you design and build or retrofit a deck that meets all your needs.
Deck Experts, based in Surrey, BC, are professional deck builders with a long track record of success. We offer free estimates and long warranties and can build or fix any deck around. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about decks, please call us at (604) 626-7100.