6 Types of Patio Fireplaces 6 Types of Patio Fireplaces

There are several types of patio fireplaces that can be used to make your patio more inviting in the cooler months of the year.


A chimenia is a self-contained heater usually made of clay or cast iron. Chimenias burn wood and charcoal and radiate heat from all surfaces. They should be in a position where people are unlikely to brush against them since they can get extremely hot. Although mobile, chimenias should be permanently positioned. Chimenias are both ornamental and functional. They can be used for cooking, roasting and baking.  

Fire Pits

Fire pits are very simple mobile fireplaces. Usually standing on three legs the fire pit is a shallow dish, often made of metal, in which wood, logs or charcoal are burned under a mesh cover. They give off a good amount of heat and also have the benefit of being open fires. Some fire pits have facilities that enable them to be used as barbecues. Fire pits are not restricted to patio use. They can also be used on the beach or at picnics.  

Propane Fireplaces

There are several types of gas patio fireplaces. Usually they are mobile and self-contained. The heaters can be placed for best effect and the amount of heat generated is controlled by the amount of gas being burned. Some propane heaters are catalytic and do not display a flame. A major benefit of mobile propane patio fireplaces is that they can be moved to where they have best effect quite safely, even while burning.  

Space Heaters

Space heaters are like propane gas patio fireplaces except that the heat is radiated from the top of the heater. A propane bottle is housed in the base of the space heater and a burner is mounted in a tube rising from the base and containing the gas pipe. A mushroom like cover helps to reflect radiated heat from the burner downwards and outwards. These heaters are especially effective if positioned centrally on the patio.

Traditional Fireplaces

Some patios have a traditional fireplace built against one wall. These fire places are very similar to those found in the house except that they do not have tall chimneys unless they are built against an external wall of the house. These fireplaces can burn any suitable domestic fuel and add a "homey" touch to the patio.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are popular on patios because of the instant control available. They tend to be used on patios that are closed in so that heat can build up. Often electric heaters with a flame effect will be put into a standard fireplace to give the appearance of a real fire. This is especially effective on warm summer’s nights when the heat is not needed.

A patio fireplace extends the length of the season in which the patio can be used comfortably. It can also add an attractive central focus for the patio.

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