Keep autumn chill at bay with these outdoor heating options.

By Jacquelyne Froeber
September 20, 2005
Casual Convenience
Courtesy of Smith and Hawken

Transform a cool open-air space into a cozy oasis with outdoorheating. Luxurious fireplaces, stylish heating lamps, and cozy firepits add flare to patio decor while prolonging outdoor living intothe sweater season.

The size and style of outdoor rooms influence heating choices.For small, casual settings, fire pits offer portable ambience.These wood-burning basins can be simple or feature elaborate tilesand decorative stands. For homeowners who spend a considerableamount of time entertaining in a fairly large open-air area, abuilt-in fireplace creates an inviting atmosphere. "It's an idealway to heat outdoor space," says Jim Buckley, co-owner of theBuckley Rumford Company. From innovative indoor/outdoor designs totraditional masonry construction, outdoor fireplaces have becomeincreasingly popular in recent years. "I think for people who wanta real wood-burning fire, it's easier- regulation-wise-to put thefireplace outside," Jim says. To keep your outdoor space toasty andsmoke-free, construct the tallest chimney possible, or add achimney pot to an existing structure.

After deciding between a gas or wood-burning model, look for abrand that meets UL (Underwriters Laboratories) test standards toensure safety, quality, and protection from the elements. If afireplace or pit doesn't suit your space, consider tabletop andfree-standing propane heaters, which warm a 20-foot diameter.Choose any of the following heating options to help chase away thechill.

Casual Convenience
The Backyard Firepit ($179) has a copper basin andwrought-iron stand. At 29 pounds, this model travels easily andoffers a place to toast s'mores on the beach or just beyond theback door. Call 800/981-9888, or visit

Personal Style
Design your own fire pit ($1,795) with your choice of tilesand colors. This model, from BBQ Island, comes with propane ornatural gas. Call 877/474-5669, or visit

Perfect for coastal dwellers, the Orchid Chiminea ($349) ismade from Cast Aluminum Alloy that promises not to rust in saltair. This model has a grilling area and can be purchased with apropane or natural gas kit. Call 800/303-4312, or

Lamp of Luxury
The Stainless-Steel Outdoor Heater ($495) warms within a15-foot radius. Built-in wheels make it versatile, while a weightedbase keeps it stable. Call 888/263-9850, or

Traditional Fashion
The HWB700OD outdoor/indoor fireplace ($1,778) has stainlesssteel construction to protect against the elements. The designallows for your choice of marble, tile, or brick to finish thedesign. Call 800/867-0454, or visit