How Much Does a Patio Heater Cost to Rent or Buy?

by Team HomeServe
Outdoor Heater

Spending time outside is a joy, but cold weather can put an early end to the patio-sitting season. If you’re planning a gathering but think it’s too cool to host a party outside, consider a patio heater. Patio heaters can extend the usable season of your patio, deck or other outdoor space well into the cold-weather months.

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For homeowners who enjoy outdoor entertaining, a patio heater may be a worthwhile investment. However, if you just want to keep guests warm for a special event, rentals are readily available through outdoor equipment or party supply companies. Whichever route you choose, here’s how much you can expect a patio heater to cost.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Patio Heater?

Floor-standing propane patio heaters are the most common rental choice. According to CostHelper, rentals generally cost about $60 (CAD 81) per day for a standard-size heater, which can heat a space of about 12 feet in diameter. Most rental agencies include a single tank of fuel, which lasts up to 10 hours. If you’ll need to use the heater longer, extra fuel may be purchased at a per-tank cost.

When determining the potential cost of renting patio heaters, consider the size of the space to be heated. Large spaces may require multiple heaters or a commercial kerosene unit, which can be rented in hourly increments and may be quite costly.

When Should You Consider Buying a Patio Heater?

If you plan on using a patio heater regularly, it’s probably worth purchasing one. Prices vary widely depending on the style, size and fuel type, so most shoppers can find a model that fits comfortably into their budget. Smaller tabletop models may be purchased for as little as $100 (CAD 134), according to The Home Depot, while more powerful freestanding models may cost upwards of $1,000 (CAD 1,342).

Types of Patio Heaters

Whether you’re thinking about purchasing or renting an outdoor heater, there are two main considerations: fuel type and design.

Fuel Types

Patio heaters typically use one of four kinds of fuel: electric, propane, wood and natural gas. The one for you depends on your preferences, plus where and how you’ll use the heater.


Because they just need to be plugged in, electric heaters are convenient and may be safely used in enclosed spaces. However, because electricity is typically more expensive than other types of fuel, electric heaters may be costly to run. Units must also be placed near electrical outlets and can be slower to heat up than other types of heaters.


These versatile units can be moved to wherever heat is needed. They don’t have to be professionally installed, and adding fuel is as simple as replacing the propane tank. For safety reasons, however, propane heaters shouldn’t be used in enclosed spaces.


If you’re looking to create a warm, cozy atmosphere, a wood-burning heater may be the right choice. On the downside, you can’t easily control the temperature on a wood-burning heater. These appliances require regular maintenance during use and between uses.

Natural Gas

Because they require professional installation, natural gas heaters aren’t usually available for rental. If you’re looking to purchase one, they come with a hefty upfront cost. They shouldn’t be used in enclosed spaces and can’t be moved because they’re hooked up to your natural gas line. However, for the right space, natural gas heaters are inexpensive to run once installed.

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Patio heaters come in an array of styles, although not all are readily available as rentals. You may also be constrained to a certain style based on the type of fuel you want to use. When selecting the design of a patio heater, you’ll want to consider the size of the space and the style of decor.


Designed to sit on a table or other stable surface, tabletop heaters are compact and affordable, but they only heat a small space. Most tabletop heaters are electric, but some are gas. Aztec Appliance estimates that electric tabletop heaters typically cost less than $100 (CAD 134).


Wall-mounted heaters are almost always electric and give off plenty of heat. They’re ideal for areas with limited floor or surface space. They'll require a little DIY in that you’ll have to hang or install them. Depending on how powerful it is, you can find a wall-mounted heater for between $66 and $1,000 (CAD 89 and CAD 1,342) at retailers, such as Lowe's.


Standing patio heaters are a popular rental option because they emit plenty of heat, don’t require much to set them up and may be moved as needed. Most units are tall and thin, so they don’t take up much space. Electric and propane-fueled models are available. According to HGTV, these cost upwards of $100 (CAD 134) and may cost over $1,000 (CAD 1,342), depending on the model.

Fire Pits and Chimineas

These wood-burning patio heaters add ambiance to any space. You can find them in a range of styles to suit your décor — from metal fire pits to clay chimineas. Price varies widely by design, so expect to pay anywhere from $20 to upwards of $5,000 (CAD 27 to CAD 6,710), according to products available at The Home Depot.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.