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Can Outdoor Heaters Be Left Out in The Rain?

Can Outdoor Heaters Be Left Out in The Rain?

Patio heaters are no doubt a necessary luxury. Their benefits are so undeniable. These well-styled and shaped heating devices can help to prolong the outdoor season. 

Your guests will no longer have to remain in the cold outdoor when you have patio heaters. But as with other devices, proper use, understanding and maintenance are crucial to your patio heater’s longevity. 

Since patio heaters are outdoor devices, most people may see nothing wrong in leaving them outside in the rain. But the question is, should you leave your patio heaters outdoor under the rain? Keep reading to know the answer and more about patio heaters.  

Can Patio Heaters Be Left Outside in the Rain?

No, patio heaters shouldn’t be left in the rain. They can handle one-time drizzling but not a heavy downpour. Leaving patio heaters in the rain will give room for avoidable wear and tear. It can also affect the performance of the device. 

So, if you’re fond of leaving your heaters outside, be ready to face the consequences that may result. The wear and tear, including a reduced performance of the device, might not happen immediately. But chances are it will over time. 

A Pro Tip: Endeavor to protect your electric infrared heater from rain. Water and electricity aren’t the best of friends. 

Now, let’s break down the various patio heaters and know how they fare when left in the rain.

1: Fixed gas patio heaters

Most people may argue that the patio heater is an outdoor device and so can withstand the elements. Such individuals are right for thinking in such a manner. But leaving patio heaters out in the rain is never the best decision. 

Now, let’s focus on fixed gas patio heaters. These heaters are designed to provide heat outdoor. And as the name implies, gas patio heaters are typically fixed

You’ll find these patio heaters mounted close to the line supplying the natural gas powering the device. So, they’re immovable

Being immovable would make many think fixed gas patio heaters should have the capacity to withstand the elements. Their manufacturers have to ensure the patio heaters can withstand the elements, such as rain and snow. 

Sincerely, fixed gas patio heater producers always have this in mind when creating the product. But the truth of the matter is exposing such a patio heater to rain and snow is not a wise move. 

If you want your fixed gas patio heaters to last longer and look appealing for a considerable period, consider protecting them from rain and snow. 

Tip: Fixed gas patio heaters are solely for outdoor use. Using them indoors can be detrimental to one’s health. 

2: Portable gas heater

The portable gas heater is the second on this list. Now, the question is, should you leave this heater in the rain? The straightforward answer is no. Though the portable heater can withstand the rain, it’s not advisable to leave it outside when it’s raining

This heater uses a gas such as propane. And it’s portable. Thus, moving it to a covered area shouldn’t be a significant issue. The portable gas heater is a breeze to move around. 

Besides, no one would like to remain outside when it’s raining. So there’s no point leaving your portable gas heater outside for any reason. Therefore, if you feel it will rain, move your gas heater to a covered area where the rain won’t reach it.  

However, there are two things you should consider when moving a portable gas heater. One is the hotness of the device, and another is the weight.

If your gas heater has been in use for a while, give it some time to cool down before moving it to a safe location. You’ll get burned if you decide to carry a hot gas heater. 

On the issue of weight, it’s essential to know that our portable gas heater isn’t of the same weight. Some makes are heavier than others. The super heavier ones are unarguably challenging to move around with ease.

3: Electric infrared heater

Nothing should entice you to leave your electric infrared heater outside in the rain. It’s risky and detrimental to the device’s performance. 

Water and electricity don’t blend. So exposing your electric heater to the elements (rain and snow) is not a good decision on any level. 

The good thing about having electric infrared heaters is their weight. It makes them super easy to move around. Electric heaters aren’t fixed to a natural gas line or have a propane cylinder or gas tank. All these make the heater super lightweight

The electric infrared heater is lighter than fixed gas patio heaters and portable gas heaters. 

Can You Put a Patio Heater Under a Covered Patio or Porch?

Yes, you can use an outdoor patio heater under a covered patio. Contrary to many claims, it’s a safe practice. But you need to choose the right patio heater and ensure the heat fits the patio dimension perfectly

You must understand that each patio heater would require a certain amount of clearance when used under a covered patio.

Let’s consider the mushroom-style patio heaters. These types of heaters would require a two feet clearance, as they’re large. The largest also implies that you need to cover them 10 feet from the ground. 

Understanding how outdoor patio heaters work is another crucial thing to consider. It would help foster proper use of the heater. You have to realize that the patio heater isn’t like an air heater. 

The Air heater blows hot air, while the outdoor patio heater only heats the objects around. It tends to generate radiant heat. That’s an excellent way to put it.    

So, how outdoor patio heater works shows that they could be more effective in open space outdoor. However, using a patio heater under a cover offers a unique opportunity to protect it from the elements (rain and snow). 

Does The Patio Heater Need to Be Covered?

Let’s rephrase this question. Do you need to cover a patio heater in use? No. That’s the straightforward answer. Remember, these heaters need adequate clearance even when used under a covered patio

So, if your heater is on and red hot, don’t mistakenly cover it. Rain is the reason one may want to cover a patio heater in use. But that’s just a careless move, by every sense. 

You would not be outside when it starts raining. Therefore, you don’t need your patio heater to be working. Please turn it off, and conserve energy. 

Now, here’s another question. Is there a need to cover a patio heater that’s not in use? Yes, there is. Though manufacturers may have done their bit to ensure patio heaters can withstand the elements, covering them would be beneficial.

The cover would help prevent water, insects, and debris from entering the heaters, extending their lifespan. Don’t forget that debris can increase the risk of fire outbreaks and cause the heater to stop working. 

A Handy Tip: Never attempt to carry or cover the patio heater, which is still hot. You could get burned or damage your cover. Allow the heater to cool down before moving or covering it. 

Can You Put a Patio Heater Under a Tent?

Yes, you can. Though patio heaters are made for outdoor use, you can use them safely under your party tent. But keep in mind that clearance is going to be a big deal. The tent could get burned if it touches the heater. 

So, you need to ensure the roof and sides of the tent are far away from the heater. Your heater must also be stable at all times. Don’t forget to pay attention to this too. 

Which heater may have stability issues? You guessed right; it’s the propane gas heater. And it’s all because the cylinder is located at the base of the heater. 

When the cylinder is filled, the heater will be stable. It would only become unstable when the tank is empty. 

How can you make your propane gas heater stable? It’s simple. Get a sizeable container, fill it up with sand, and place it at the bottom of the heater. 

What To Do If It Starts To Rain While in Operation?

When the rain starts falling while your patio heater is in operation, a wise thing to do is to turn it off. But be careful. You could get burned by touching the heater. 

Give the heater some time to cool down. And don’t worry about this taking long, as the rain would help speed up the cooling process. Once it’s safe to carry, move the heater to a covered area. However, if you can’t move the heater, endeavor to cover it appropriately. 


Can outdoor heaters be left out in the rain? Yes, you can leave them in the rain. But this isn’t the best advice or way to treat your heaters. These heaters are waterproof but don’t forget they’re prone to wear and tear. 

Protect your heaters from the elements by moving them to a covered area if it rains. You can also cover your patio heaters. Covering prevents heaters from debris, insect, and water damage.