Patio Heater Overnight: Is It Safe to Leave Them On?

Can you use a patio heater overnight?

A log-burning heater should never be left unattended, even for a short period of time.

On the other hand, it is generally safe to use an electric patio heater overnight provided that it has features like an anti-tip shutoff, a timed thermostat, or protection from tipping over.

It is also advisable to use these heaters regularly and accurately, taking into account safety measures and manufacturer instructions.

Outdoor heaters are a great solution for heating outdoor areas that can get too cold in the colder months, especially when you want to socialize outside.

You may also find yourself using an outdoor heater inside your home during the really cold times, and this can be done safely with specific models.

Sometimes, we can use an outdoor heater to keep areas of the garden from frosting over, maybe because you have outdoor animals you want to protect or delicate flowers that would be destroyed in the colder temperatures.

Leaving a heater on all night will increase your fuel cost and pose safety risks. Different models/fuel sources have pros and cons.

Heating element of a infra-red heating unit is an example of what patio heater overnight to use.

Related Reading: Halogen vs. Infrared Heaters: Which One is the Best for You?

Patio Heater Overnight-Which is Most Efficient?

If you desire to relish your garden even in the chilly months, a patio heater can be a splendid option. Nonetheless, selecting the most efficient one can present a challenge. Outdoor heaters come in three fuel types: electric, gas, and wood.


The wood option is the cheapest when it comes to fuelling your heat but it can only give up to an hour of heat before having to replace the wood.

If you want to spend more time relaxing with friends and not have to continuously get up to add more logs, this option is not for you.

Wood burners can be the greenest option providing the timber is sourced from areas of replantation.

Natural Gas or Propane

Gas heaters are a traditional choice, however, they can be quite costly when used for extended periods of time.

Not only do they emit CO2, but their filament area also results in a significant loss of heat immediately.

You need to check with your local supplier for the hourly cost of a gas burner, including the cost of a gas canister and transportation.


If you have access to a power outlet in your garden, you may be tempted to use an electric heater to keep warm.

Nevertheless, this method is far from being the most effective way to heat your outdoor area, and it can quickly become costly if you leave it running for extended periods, like a few hours or overnight.

Electric heaters filled with oil or water are now highly efficient, producing minimal CO2 emissions, and are environmentally clean.

This heater emits heat and can efficiently warm up a spacious area. It operates by utilizing an element or reflective panel, eliminating the need for ignition.

Merely plugging it in and switching it on is all that is required. This is also the best for patio heater overnight use.



Things to Remember When Using a Patio Heater Overnight

When using a patio heater overnight, you should always be extra cautious and read the manufacturer’s guidelines, located with your purchase.

You should always ensure that your heater is in a well-ventilated area, especially if you use a wood burner or gas heater.

These particular heaters give off poisonous life-threatening gases, including CO2. 

When using an electric outdoor heater, ensure the cable is securely fastened to prevent tripping hazards.

Electric heaters should be checked for anti-tip mechanisms and/or chained or fixed to an immovable object to help keep the heater in the upright position.

Electric heaters can be cheaper to run, but easily waste energy if left on.

Make sure to never leave your heater unattended and keep it cordoned off if there are children or pets in the area, as heaters can become very hot around the flame or elements.

If using a fire pit or wood burner, you should never put anything into the flame other than what is appropriate for the burner.

Wood, paper, card, and chippings are okay to use as fuel but never put in aerosols, plastics, electronics, or anything else that could cause serious injury or toxicity.

Never leave an electric patio heater overnight if there is any wet weather forecast; electric heaters should never be operated in wet conditions.

Related Reading: National Fire Protection Association-Outdoor Heater Safety

Electric Infrared Outdoor Heater – Learn how it works

Protect Your Patio Heater

Outdoor heaters need to withstand very high temperatures; to be able to do this, they are mainly made from metal.

This helps with the heater’s rigidity and the heat’s conductivity.

Unfortunately, metal is prone to rust, deterioration, and rotting, but this can be avoided by taking care of your heater.

You should always bring your heater indoors during adverse weather conditions or store it in a dry, damp-proofed area.

It is crucial to disconnect propane or gas canisters and store them in a secure location that is out of reach of children.

In addition, it is recommended to avoid exposing these canisters to direct sunlight.

To ensure maximum safety, it is best to store them on a high shelf in a garage or cupboard.

If you are unable to store your outdoor heater, you may purchase a heater cover.

However, be sure to let the heater cool down before covering it to avoid damaging both the heater and the cover.

If you happen to live in an area where you don’t get adverse weather conditions, you should still make sure to clean and maintain your heater every year.

To clean your heater, if electric, you should first make sure to disconnect it from the main supply.

You can then use a steel/wire brush and detergent or a pressure washer to get rid of any baked-on grime or dirt.

Whilst maintaining your heater if you do come across any defects or damage, you should contact the manufacturer to check if they can repair it under warranty or find you a specialist who can come and repair it.

Continue Reading: Sleeping with a Propane Heater: Safety Precautions You Must Follow

Final Thoughts

Using an electric patio heater overnight is safe and convenient for various reasons.

It is important to equip your outdoor heater with the safety features mentioned previously.

Furthermore, when not in use, it is crucial to store your heater appropriately to maintain its good condition for years.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can relish the advantages of your outdoor heater for an extended duration.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!

Related Reading: 7 Common Patio Heater Problems and How to Best Fix Them