How to Continue Using a Screened Porch in the Winter

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In today’s housing market, few things are more desirable than outdoor living space. And while a deck, patio, or front porch are all nice to have, nothing is as versatile as a screened porch. 

If you have a screened porch on your property, you should take full advantage of it. Unfortunately, you’re probably only using it for a few months out of the year. And when winter rolls around, you take a hiatus. But what if you could use your screened porch 12 months out of the year – including in the dead of winter? We believe you can.

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3 Tips to Keep Your Screened Porch Warm

A screened porch provides shelter from the sun and rain, as well as protection from other elements – like mosquitos and flies. It doesn’t, however, regulate temperatures. For the most part, the temperature that’s outside is the same temperature that you’ll find in a screened porch. And depending on the orientation of the sun, it may even be cooler.

Thankfully, there are some ways to heat up this space so that it’s comfortable and accessible during the winter months. Here are four recommended approaches:

  • Install a Fireplace

If you want to increase the temperature, you’ll need a heat source. There are plenty of products on the market, but we’d suggest starting your search by considering fireplaces. 

For people who have the budget and space to build out an actual gas or wood-burning fireplace, this is a great investment. It’ll add value to the porch and give you an exceptional source of heat whenever you need it. 

A more cost-effective option is to purchase an electric fireplace. According to eFireplaceStore, there are three types of electric fireplaces:

  • Wall-mounted. This option won’t work on most screened porches, but it’s worth a look if you have the space. Wall-mounted models are extremely sleek and stylish. They can also come in large sizes (up to 100 inches in length), which gives you an opportunity to heat a large porch. 
  • Traditional with logs. If you’re looking for something that looks like a traditional gas or wood-burning fireplace, you can find models that closely mimic the appearance. Some of these models even come with mantel and entertainment center setups for a complete look.
  • Traditional with glass. This type is very similar to the traditional with logs, only it uses a bed of crushed fire glass instead of logs. If you’re going for a more modern, minimalist appearance, this is the one for you.

In addition to these three types, there are a number of features. Options include things like remote capability, touch screen controls, backlight colors, and the ability to turn the heater on or off (while still maintaining the appearance of the flame).

  • Use a Heater

Don’t want to install a fireplace, but still need a heat source? There are plenty of different heaters you can purchase and place on the porch. Wall mounted heaters are fine if you have a small porch with an isolated seating area. But if you have a larger porch with multiple seating areas, you’ll want to invest in a patio-style heater that puts off heat in a circular fashion. Even some of the cheaper models can heat a space of up to 200 square feet. 

  • Install Screen Protection

In addition to heating up the space, it’s helpful if you can protect the porch from the wind chill and cooler outside air. There are a number of strategies for how you can do this, including:

  • Install thick curtains that hang in front of screens. This will block out the air and provide better insulation than the screens alone.
  • For even better insulation and protection, consider using clear vinyl or Plexiglas. Cut it into panels that match the size and orientation of your screens. Each winter, you can press them into place using the appropriate fasteners. 

When combined with a heating solution, these sort of screen protectors can help you maximize the heat you create. (Just be sure you have adequate ventilation for any sort of fuel-based heater.)

Bundle Up!

Even with a heat source and/or protection from the wind-chill, your screened porch is probably going to be a little on the cool side. Remember to bundle up and wear socks and shoes, as well as a hat. This will help you retain more heat and enjoy your time outside.