Cooler weather shouldn’t mean that you need to close your patio. A commercial patio heater is ideal for extending the outdoor dining season at your restaurant or bar. Picking the right heater for your patio can be confusing though. That’s why we wrote this guide on buying the perfect patio heater for your business. Whether you’re looking for a free-standing, mounted, or pit patio heater–Central has a variety of commercial-grate patio heaters to suit your needs.

Pyramid style patio heater

Types of Commercial Outdoor Patio Heaters


Pyramid-style heaters are an attractive solution for heating your patio. These heaters feature a tall flame that adds ambiance as it warms up the surrounding area. These aesthetically pleasing patio heaters are perfect for smaller outdoor spaces. And since these commercial patio heaters run on propane tanks, it’s easy to find fuel.


  • Stylish
  • Flame adds ambiance
  • Sturdy
  • Easily to replace fuel
  • Average of 175 sq. ft. heating area


  • Needs ample ventilation

Best for: Outdoor event spaces, restaurant and bar patios

Mushroom style patio heater


This type of commercial propane patio heater is designed with a base that contains the fuel and a mushroom-shaped top that provides a circle of warmth. These units are conveniently self-contained for safety. In general, mushroom-style heaters are easy to transport and run on propane tanks, making them versatile enough for most patios. 


  • Portable 
  • Easy to store 
  • Average 20 ft. radius of heat 
  • Easy to change fuel 
  • Adjustable heat output 


  • Needs ample ventilation; can’t use with low roofs or indoors 

Best for: Restaurant and bar patios

Fire bowl

Fire Bowls

Fire bowl heaters are designed for small groups of people to gather around for warmthThese outdoor patio heaters feature a square base and a top area for cozy flamesMany fire bowls can be covered with an included top and converted into a table for dining or placing drinks. This type of heater often uses liquid propane gas for fuel. Consider a fire bowl for lounge seating in your restaurant, bar, or hotel. 


  • Cozy ambiance 
  • Encourages gathering 
  • Compact 
  • Doubles as functional furniture 


  • Typically seats four or less people 
  • Smaller area of heat distribution 

Best for: Restaurant, bar, or hotel patios 

Mounted patio heater


Mounted heaters are ideal for patios without the floor space necessary for large heaters. These compact heaters mount to external walls to distribute heat from above. Mounted units can be used to heat large areas while only taking up a small amount of space. 


  • Small footprint 
  • Large heat area (average 150 to 200 sq. ft.)


  • May need a heat deflector for mounting near walls/ceilings 
  • Typically needs gas or electric connection for power source 
  • Requires installation 

Best for: Bar, restaurant, hotel, or event center patios

Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater Resources

Safety is the most important consideration when buying and installing an outdoor patio heater. Be sure to read the owner’s manual, as well as any other included documentation for key safety features. Commercial patio heaters are not designed for indoor use. Check out our Outdoor Patio Heaters and Coolers section to browse Central’s inventory of commercial-grade patio heaters. 

Outdoor Patio Furniture

Create the Perfect Patio Space

When building a better patio, the right outdoor furniture, temperature-control systems, and shading are all important to consider. Read more on how to create the best patio space possible for your guests.

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