Outdoor Heating: Fire Pits, Fireplaces, Chimeneas, & Radiant Heaters

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Outdoor Heating Products

Demand for outdoor heating products is projected to decrease less than 1.0% per year to $830 million in 2026, from an unusually high base. Sales surged in 2020 and 2021 as consumers and businesses invested heavily in outdoor spaces because of the COVID-19 pandemic; consequently, the growth outlook is subdued as the market returns to more sustainable levels. Nevertheless, demand will remain elevated through the forecast, with the market supported by:

  • high consumer participation in outdoor living, which often involves furnishing outdoor spaces with one or more patio heating products
  • advances in construction of buildings – including both residential and nonresidential – with developed outdoor living spaces and outdoor areas, respectively
  • rising consumer spending, allowing for greater investment in outdoor living amenities
  • increasing interest in higher value heating products such as those with built-in gas lines, Wi-Fi connectivity, and smart home integration

COVID-19 Pandemic Expanded Already Strong Outdoor Living Trends

While outdoor living was already popular prior to the pandemic, the advent of COVID-19 accelerated this trend, with concerns over airborne virus transmission encouraging people to socialize outdoors. Home and business owners invested in outdoor heating products to enable comfortable use of outdoor areas throughout the year.

Going forward, outdoor living spaces will continue to grow more elaborate, involving multiple areas for family or business use. Increasingly, these areas will feature one or more outdoor heating units – such as backyard fire pits, fireplaces to complement outdoor kitchens, and radiant heaters to warm entertaining areas – in order to extend the outdoor living season beyond just the warm months of the year. These trends support not only more intensive use of outdoor heating products, but also higher value products with improved aesthetics and features like Wi-Fi connectivity.

Radiant Heaters to Remain Leading Product Due to Intensive Use in Commercial Markets

Radiant heaters will continue to be the most used outdoor heating product type, supported by their popularity in commercial establishments such as bar and restaurant patios due to the ability of wall- and ceiling-mounted units to provide heating while maximizing the amount of available outdoor space. Radiant heaters have also become increasingly popular for residences, as these products provide an easily adjustable heat source that allows homeowners to use their outdoor spaces in colder weather.

Interest in Higher Value Patio Heating Products Will Continue to Support Demand

Long-term sales will benefit from interest in higher value products, such as those featuring more stylish and/or practical designs (e.g., indoor-quality finishes; units with built-in compartments for gas tank storage) and high-tech capabilities such as Wi-Fi connectivity and smart-home integration. Although restrained somewhat by supply chain issues in recent years, the growing availability of higher end private label products imported from countries such as China and India – which are still typically lower in cost than their US-made counterparts – will support penetration of higher value heating units.

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