With all the hoopla over heat pumps this winter, and your cooling options for summer, you’ve probably already turned your attention to the better weather. I know that we have! With the focus on electric heating for inside your home, you may have a natural gas service to your home and now also have less or in some cases, nothing to do with it. Natural gas is still the most efficient and least expensive form of energy for your patio – not to mention convenience. And there are so many things that we can do with it! So many options in the marketplace to create outdoor rooms and atmosphere.
First up, some space planning. What will your outside space do for you? Will it be an extension of your living room? A covered area, with a TV and a fireplace? In that case, you might hang your patio heaters from the roof. Or will it be an intimate lounge space with a luxurious moon bed with tiki torches for atmosphere. You might plan a circle with a fire pit, or a fire table for an al fresco dining experience. My favourite outdoor room set up is definitely the outdoor kitchen. This is as much because I love to be outdoors as because in our family it’s traditionally been a male dominated task meaning I don’t have to cook!
No matter what your design choices and style aesthetic, you’re sure to find a natural gas appliance to make your new patio space welcoming, warm, and efficient!
R&B Plumbing and Heating's Top Natural Gas Recommendations
Natural Gas Fireplaces
These framed or frameless kits can easily be installed to look like a feature or built into a privacy wall. They offer both ambience and heat and come in a variety of sizes and looks. They will have weather protected switches and stainless steel burners, built to last. Check out this outdoor room fireplace by Montigo
Natural Gas Patio Heating
In my opinion, this is the best return on investment for your patio. It extends the season, and your living space, and permanently installed heaters can increase the resale value of your home. You can have all the outdoor appliances you like but if it’s too cold to enjoy, that’s not as good.
There are several types of natural gas heaters on the market and freestanding ones are simple so I’m going to tell you about your permanently installed options. We install Calcana infrared patio heaters. The advantage of infrared is that it’s not trying to heat the air, but it heats the objects beneath it. This reduces the wind chill factor. They come in various lengths and sizes for either a residential or commercial application.
Natural Gas Tiki Torches
These can be strung in a line that’s buried along the yard for a nice trail, or strung along a railing, these can often be teed together to make a string, although the cost of the pieces can add up. A few in a small space can have a large impact, and a certain romance! They are also widely available. Just be sure to pick one that’s for natural gas rather than canisters or propane if that’s your fuel of choice.
Natural Gas Fire Pits
These are a standalone version of a campfire come in endless different styles. With a spark-free flame quality they are often able to be used in places with a fire ban. We often install these with the feeder line under the patio so there’s no trailing hoses to trip over or to spoil the look.
Natural Gas Tiki Torches
Pulling up a chair around the table with the flames dancing down the centre of a dining table can create a candlelight ambience that won’t leave you scraping wax (or going to IKEA for more candles – because we all know you never come out of there with just candles!)
For the firepit and fire tables you’ll often see them advertised with a cupboard that will hold the propane canister. The propane canister won’t be needed with the natural gas hook-up since you’ll be running off of your house feed. Re-purpose that extra furniture or sell it! But first, make sure the one you choose can be converted or used with natural gas.
Natural Gas Barbecue
The natural gas barbecue! Oh, what an invention! Maybe it’s just me but changing out and refilling propane bottles is not my favourite thing. While barbecuing with natural gas certainly is. Barbecues that have the conversion kits are much more readily available, and the entire out door kitchen series by Kerrisdale Lumber is an example of how many features can be incorporated into your outdoor space.
Or if you’re looking for something closer to home, Johnstone’s has an outdoor natural gas kitchen package.
TIP: Make sure when you buy a gas patio appliance, furniture or feature, that it has a natural gas set-up or conversation kit available. With the prevalence of propane as the patio gas for many years, you may have to work a little bit harder to find one with a natural gas ability.
Questions homeowners think about before running planning a natural gas installation
- How many gas-powered appliances do you expect to connect on your patio?
- What sort of permit will you need, and will you need a permit for each of the future appliances you want to connect?
- Will R&B Plumbing and Heating manage the conversion of the propane appliance to natural gas? (YES!)
- How can I tell if my Natural gas service needs to be upgraded?
- Can my old appliances be converted?
- Are the R&B Plumbing and Heating technicians certified installers with a natural gas license? (YES!)
- What maintenance can I expect for any of my patio natural gas items and features that I want?
- How soon can you supply and install my natural gas patio line and accessories?
By having as much detailed information for yourself and our R&B technicians ahead of time, we'll be able to give you better service and peace of mind.
Book Your Natural Gas Installation Today
We’re an outdoor loving population here on the Westcoast, so a little investment in your outdoor space this spring, will extend your season long after Labour Day.
Connect with us to find out more, or to arrange a free estimate for our natural gas services.