A lovely fire can make your patio entertaining areas that much more enjoyable to use, but you may not want the hassle of dealing with a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Fortunately, electric fireplaces are an option, even outside. Generally, outdoor electric fireplaces are not designed to provide heat as much as they are designed to provide ambience and beauty. The following are a few ways that you can incorporate one of these fireplaces into your patio layout.

Pass-Through Fireplace

Pass-through fireplaces work well for larger patios where you may have multiple seating or usage areas. The fireplace is installed in a central location, usually inside a brick or stone housing, and the fire can be viewed from either side. Even when not in use, the fireplace is the central focal point of the space and defines the movement and usage of the patio. You can also install a pass-through fireplace near the edge of a patio so that the flames can be enjoyed whether you are reclining in a chair on the patio or sitting in the yard.

Wall-Mounted Fireplace

The main benefit of wall-mounted fireplaces is that they are some of the quickest and simplest to install. Some models are slim enough that installation is only slightly more involved than hanging a picture; you just need an electrician to hook them up unless you happen to purchase a model that can be plugged into a standard outlet. There are also more involved installations, such as those actually set into the masonry of the wall. One attractive choice involves combining a wall-mounted and pass-through fireplace — you can enjoy the flames from both the patio or from inside in the comfort of your home.

Freestanding Fireplace

Freestanding fireplaces can be a cost-effective option that does not require any involved installation. These fireplaces come as complete units within their own housing, which could be made of wood, metal, or stone depending upon your design preferences. Many of these fireplaces require nothing more than setting them in the desired location and plugging them in. Of course, there are custom options available. You can have a freestanding fireplace built so that it better matches your home, such as by using the same type of brick for the housing as that used for your home's walls.

Contact an electric fireplace dealer in your area for more help in choosing the best model and design for your patio.