Heat options to extend the months you can use your screened-in porch

A porch outdoor fireplace adds warmth and ambiance

Many people ask us how many months throughout the year they’ll be able to use their Kansas-City area screened-in porch. It would be difficult to provide precise information since every winter is different. We want to share some porch heating options along to provide more insight in answering this question.

There are multiple options for controlling temperature in your screened porch and they each have different costs and levels of effectiveness

Are windows a good option for the colder months?

When in the planning stages, the first thing our clients often ask is whether they should have a room with movable or removable windows. There are different types of movable windows including glass or plastic, to name a couple.

Movable or removable windows have some substantial pros and cons. If you want to simply stop wind and that’s your only objective, windows are a possible option. But in the summer months, almost every kind of window will make the porch hotter which is generally not desirable as you likely look to your porch to enjoy a cool breeze and to escape baking in the sun. Completely removable windows sound attractive on the surface but have their own set of peculiar drawbacks. They are large, bulky, hard to handle, hard to store and can be quite heavy. For these reasons, and because they add heat to the porch in the warmer months, windows are not a very popular option.

How about sliding windows?

If you’re looking at sliding windows of some type, they all increase your cost and usually block 50% of the air flow even when they’re open. Just like windows in your house block airflow, so do sliding windows on your porch. Consequently, with windows of any kind, you’re sacrificing some cooling in the summer to gain more weather control in the colder months and you’re also increasing costs. While we generally don’t advocate using windows for your screened porch, there are great heating options available.

Here are some great heating options.

For heating your porch, there are multiple choices. One option is electric radiant heating using outdoor weather-resistant radiant heaters. These heaters are usually permanently mounted and wired. They work really well but they do have a drawback. Because of the amount of power they use, they generally require their own circuit wired to your main panel which can be inconvenient and costly.

A less expensive option that is quite flexible is propane or natural gas floor-mounted heaters which are portable and come in serval sizes and configurations. They are portable and are not too expensive. They have the advantage that they can be moved around to suit different furniture configurations or moved completely if desired.

The last heating option is an outdoor fireplace which goes far above and beyond because it has aesthetic benefits as well as functional benefits. A gas fireplace puts out a considerable amount of heat and adds ambiance to the porch.

There are also some portable floor-mounted electric heaters that are inexpensive but most are low power, don’t put out a lot of heat and will be less than desirable other than to heat just one small corner of the porch if that’s the goal. They will do a limited amount of heating but they won’t heat up much more than one person in a chair.

As you read above, there are some great ways to achieve a little warmth on your porch allowing you to enjoy it more months out of the year. If you are looking for a Kansas City porch builder, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325, drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net or visit our website to view more pictures and contact us online.

Here are some additional links you may enjoy:

Read about outdoor porch fireplaces
Read about screened in porch ideas
Enjoy our screened porch photo gallery
View our gallery of outdoor fireplaces

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder