Image from Unsplash
If you live in an apartment with a balcony, you know how cold your balcony can get in the winter. Nevertheless, there are ways to keep your balcony warm and cozy so you can enjoy it all year round.
Keep reading to learn our 17+ tips and tricks on how to keep balcony warm in winter with little effort!
In short, how do you keep your balcony warm in winter?
The best way to keep a balcony warm in winter is to enclose it, insulate it, and use a heater. Enclosing the balcony will create a barrier between the outside air and the inside air. Insulating the balcony will help to keep the inside warm and reduce heat loss. A heater provides additional warmth.
Different ways to make a balcony usable in the winter
In the paragraphs below, we have collected and explained different tips and tricks that will prepare your apartment balcony space for the winter and to help keep it warm when the cold arrives.
But before we do a deep dive into each method, here’s a summary of all the tips and tricks:
|Method/Trick||Difficulty of implementation||Price|
|Radiant and infrared heating||Easy||Medium|
|Decorate with warm colors||Easy||Cheap|
|Use outdoor rug||Easy||Cheap|
|Cover balcony furniture||Easy||Cheap|
|Use thick pillows and blankets||Easy||Cheap|
|Store pillows etc. inside||Easy||Free|
|Add winter plants||Easy||Cheap|
|Hang string lights||Medium||Medium|
|Prevent snow and ice build-up||Easy||Free|
Deep clean your balcony before winter comes
The preparational work is essential when learning how to keep balcony warm in winter. One of the best ways to do this is by deep cleaning the balcony space before winter comes. This will help facilitate measures that can keep it warm and also prevent any damage that might occur from the cold weather.
We usually deep clean our balcony in October, but this will vary depending on your geographic location.
So, how do you go about deep cleaning your balcony?
- First, you’ll want to remove any furniture or decorations. This will make it easier to clean and also help keep your balcony from getting too cluttered when you’re getting to the next step of actually making it warmer.
- Next, sweep and vacuum the balcony floor to get rid of any dirt or debris.
- Finally, give the floor a good scrubbing with some soap and water.
If you’d prefer more cleaning instructions, here’s our complete guide to cleaning a balcony.
How to enclose a balcony to keep it warm
There are a few different options for enclosing a balcony to keep it warm, and which one you choose will depend on your budget, balcony space, and your style preferences. To help you find the best option for your balcony situation, we’ll go through each option, one by one.
NOTE: We strongly recommend getting help from a professional when implementing the methods and enclosures below – as doing work on balconies is associated with serious health risks and dangers!
If you’re looking for a cheap way to keep your balcony warm in winter, you may want to consider using heavy plastic. Here are some pros and cons of using heavy plastic as a means of keeping your balcony warm:
1. It’s cheap.
2. It’s easy to find.
3. It’s relatively easy to use.
4. You can reuse it multiple times.
1. It’s not very attractive.
2. It will block views unless it is transparent.
3. It can be difficult to remove once it’s been placed on your balcony.
There are a few things to keep in mind with this method:
- Get yourself some heavy-duty plastic, the thicker the better. You don’t want this blowing away in the middle of winter!
- Your balcony might start to look a bit like a greenhouse – if that’s not your thing, you might want to consider another strategy.
Here are some pros and cons of using plexiglass to keep your balcony warm in winter.
1. Plexiglass is cheaper than some of the other methods of keeping your balcony warm.
2. It’s not very difficult to install – simply cut the plexiglass to size and attach it to the railing with tape or clips – or ask a professional for help (recommended).
3. Plexiglass will help block wind and drafts, making your balcony more comfortable in the winter.
1. You won’t be able to enjoy the view from your balcony as much because the plexiglass will obstruct it – unless it is clear and transparent.
2. The plexiglass may get dirty or scratched over time.
PVC tarps are easy to install and relatively inexpensive. There are a few things to keep in mind before you go ahead and buy a tarp, though. Here are the pros and cons of using PVC tarps to keep your balcony comfy in the winter.
1. PVC tarps are easy to install. You can do it yourself in just a few minutes (but again, professional help is recommended).
2. They’re relatively inexpensive. A good quality tarp will cost you less than $100.
3. They are lightweight and easy to transport.
4. PVC tarps are highly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
1. PVC tarps don’t provide adequate insulation without proper ventilation and may increase condensation if not monitored closely.
2. You won’t be able to enjoy the view from your balcony as much because the tarp will obstruct it – unless it is clear and transparent.
The use of glazing on balconies for insulation during the winter season has both advantages and disadvantages; as such, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons when making a decision about utilizing this method.
However, when looking at the rather “snowy” image below, it becomes obvious that probably only glazing will be sufficient protection in such harsh winter weather.
Image from Unsplash
1. On the plus side, glazing will create an effective thermal barrier for the balcony, trapping warm air and allowing occupants to enjoy the space even during colder months.
2. It looks great! (much better than using PVC tarps…)
3. Glazing may also reduce noise pollution from outside sources.
1. Glazing can be relatively expensive to install and maintain.
2. The increased insulation can result in condensation formation on surfaces due to interstitial moisture accumulation, just be aware of this and monitor your balcony space.
The utilization of waterproof curtains to keep balconies warm in the wintertime is a potential solution to mitigate the effects of harsh weather.
1. Waterproof curtains could prove effective in providing insulation against outdoor temperatures and protecting the space from wind and precipitation.
2. They come in various colors and designs for you to choose from.
3. They are relatively cheap.
1. Typically, these curtains are not designed with thermal insulation as a primary consideration, meaning that their ability to reduce thermal energy loss may be limited.
2. If the outdoor temperature drops too low for an extended period of time, condensation may form on the interior side of the curtain, potentially leading to mold and mildew growth.
3. These curtains need to be replaced periodically.
The use of windscreens to protect balconies from cold winter temperatures can be both advantageous and disadvantageous, depending on the specific circumstances and locations.
1. Windscreens form a barrier to wind chill and thus increase the efficiency with which heat is trapped in the balcony area, making it warmer than it would be without them.
2. Windscreens are a cost-effective means of providing insulation for balconies in colder climates and can help reduce heating costs.
3. They come in a variety of designs to choose from.
1. Windscreens can also limit air circulation which can lead to increased humidity levels in enclosed spaces if not monitored properly.
2. Another disadvantage is that windscreens are a form of passive solar heat gain and thus will create higher interior temperatures during sunnier days such as in spring or summer (if you still keep them up). This can result in increased energy consumption associated with cooling mechanisms such as air conditioning units or fans.
The advantages of utilizing insulation to maintain the thermal comfort of one’s balcony in the cold season are quite evident.
1. Insulation acts as a barrier against heat loss, thus preventing the interior temperature from dropping significantly and remaining within comfortable levels.
2. It can help improve air quality by keeping out pollutants that tend to accumulate during colder months.
3. Insulation acts as a soundproofing agent, blocking out unwanted noise from the outside environment (this is one awesome benefit!).
1. Unless you know how to carry out insulation jobs properly, there will most likely be a significant cost of hiring a professional to insulate your balcony for you.
2. If insulation is not implemented optimally, it can lead to an increase in energy consumption as well as a decrease in energy efficiency. Furthermore, inadequate insulation may result in insufficient thermal protection which could have adverse effects on the physical structure of the balcony (talk to a professional about your specific balcony regarding this issue).
Balcony heater ideas to keep your balcony warm
In this section, we’ll take a look at some balcony heater ideas to keep your balcony warm. These can be a good and effective add-on to your balcony or patio space.
Make sure to keep in mind that heating appliances and systems can pose a security risk, it is therefore recommended to check with your building rules and regulations before installing any heaters on your balcony.
Installing floor heating on balcony
Installing a floor heating system for your balcony is an excellent way to keep it warm during the winter months. Floor heating systems can be customized to fit the size and shape of your balcony. They use electricity or hydronic energy to provide warmth, eliminating the need for bulky heating units that take up valuable space on your balcony.
When installing floor heating on your balcony, it’s important to ensure that any wiring or pipes are properly insulated against moisture damage from outside elements such as snow, rain, and wind.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the system is compatible with your home’s power source and in compliance with local building codes. We recommend hiring a professional for this type of installation!
Radiant and infrared heating for balconies
Radiant and infrared heating can be ideal for keeping your balcony warm in the winter.
Radiant and infrared heaters are powered by electricity, requiring no ventilation or fuel. This makes them great for balconies as they won’t produce any smoke or fumes that could bother neighbors.
These heaters also don’t take up much space, since most models are wall-mounted or free-standing, they won’t intrude on your balcony area too much.
Infrared heaters use electromagnetic radiation to directly warm objects rather than the air around them, which makes them very efficient in terms of energy usage. Furthermore, you can set up multiple units to spread warmth across a larger area if needed.
Electric fireplaces and firepits are easy to install, require no ventilation, and are an efficient way of heating up your outdoor space. Electric fireplaces produce no smoke or ash, making them ideal for balconies without proper ventilation systems.
Additionally, electric fireplaces are incredibly customizable in terms of size and design, allowing you to find one that will fit perfectly into the aesthetic of your balcony.
Once installed, electric fireplaces offer a cozy atmosphere and added warmth on cooler days or evenings. They often come with a variety of features such as adjustable heat settings and remote control capabilities so you can adjust the temperature from inside your home.
Be sure to read up on safety measures when installing an electric fireplace (as with all heating systems) for your balcony; as long as you take all necessary precautions it should provide warmth throughout the winter season with minimal effort!
Portable and tabletop heaters for balconies
Portable and tabletop heaters come in different sizes and styles, making them perfect for large or small spaces. Not only do they provide warmth, but many of them also look stylish and add a touch of ambiance to any outdoor area, such as a balcony.
Tabletop heaters can be moved around easily to wherever you need warmth the most. Make sure to keep the heater away from combustible materials such as furniture and curtains, and never leave it running unattended—especially if you have pets or children around who could accidentally knock it over.
To conclude, these kinds of heaters are not only effective at keeping balconies warm but they’re also relatively safe as long as they’re used properly and with caution.
Decorate your balcony for the winter
To make your balcony warm and inviting this winter, you can add a few cozy touches to give it a seasonal feel. We are decorating with warm colors like deep reds and oranges to create a vibrant atmosphere – and it really does the trick!
Here’s a great video with some inspirational balcony winter decor:
Balcony furniture and accessories
First of all, add an outdoor rug if your balcony is large enough; not only will it add comfort, but also help keep feet off of cold surfaces!
Here are a few simple but crucial outdoor furniture and accessory tips:
- We can’t stress enough to cover your balcony furniture when not used – this will help them endure the cold weather better and last longer. Plus, they’ll be clean and dry when you want to use them.
- When it comes to balcony and patio furniture accessories, look for items such as thicker pillows and blankets that will keep you cozy while enjoying the outdoors.
- Store the pillows and blankets inside when not used, so that they will be clean and warm when you want to spend some time on the balcony.
- Consider treating your wood and/or metal furniture for a longer lifespan – it is both cheap and easy to do! (do this before the winter season).
Add winter plants
If you have plants that are still growing through the winter, such as ferns or evergreen trees, add some festive decorations around them to really make the area come alive.
Other plants that are suitable for balconies in the winter are holly and juniper.
If you have a bird feeder, it will be a great addition to your balcony in the winter as well. Granted, they will not “literally” make your balcony warmer, but they will bring some life to it!
Hang string lights
You could put up strings of lights for an extra touch of cheeriness during the long and dark winter months. The day we put up our first string lights, it changed everything, from a dark and empty space to a well-lit and inviting balcony oasis!
Prevent snow and ice from building-up
Another important thing you can do to avoid frozen balconies is to keep your balcony free of snow and ice (if you have an open balcony). Wiping down the surface of your balcony once a week will help remove any built-up snow and ice, as well as prevent it from forming a layer over the railing which could freeze in winter.
Endnote on how to keep balcony warm in winter
In conclusion, learning how to keep balcony warm in winter and implement these methods is achievable with some simple steps. By taking the time to insulate and block out drafts, use space heaters, etc., you can make a winter balcony more comfortable and inviting.
Balcony warmth comes from understanding how the space works and making the most of it by combining different winter balcony ideas and “warm” home decor. No matter if you have a small balcony or larger balcony or patio space, you can make this work if you want to.
So, take action now and start enjoying your outdoor living space all year round 🙂
PS. Remember to always use caution when walking on icy, cold, and slippery surfaces!
Frequently asked questions
Can you put a heater on a balcony?
It is possible to install a heater on a balcony. However, this is contingent upon many factors, such as the material of the balcony, its size, and exposure to external elements.
Additionally, the type of heater being considered must be in accordance with local regulations pertaining to fire safety and electrical load capacity. Furthermore, any installation should be done under the supervision of a qualified professional to ensure that it is conducted safely and in compliance with regulations, etc.
Are outdoor heat lamps safe?
One must consider the type and quality of the materials used to construct the lamp; for instance, low-grade plastics or faulty wiring may lead to unintended fire hazards. There is also the issue of thermal radiation emitted by the device; depending on its wattage and proximity to combustible materials, the heat generated may increase the risk of unpredictable outcomes.
How do I enclose my balcony on my apartment?
In order to enclose a balcony in an apartment, one must first identify the appropriate materials and techniques that are necessary for the completion of the task. Depending on the dimensions and size of the balcony, as well as the desired aesthetic outcome, a variety of materials may be employed including wood, metal, vinyl, and/or glass.
Additionally, one must consider any applicable building codes and/or regulations in order to ensure adherence to legal standards.
Do I need planning permission to enclose my balcony?
In some cases, it’s necessary to obtain planning permission before making any changes to your property or balcony.
When applying for planning permission, you’ll need to consider whether the change would affect local views or light levels, as well as any existing restrictions that may already be in place.
The type of material used for the enclosure and its intended use will also play a role in determining if permission is required.
Additionally, if you plan on using the enclosed space for storage or other purposes beyond just providing shelter from the elements, then you might need planning approval.