A propane heater is ideal for those looking for a portable heating solution that can be used both indoors and outdoors. Equally, propane heaters are a smart choice for those who are not able to place their heating appliances near an electrical power supply. These reliable and sturdy heaters can be used in a wide range of spaces including outdoor porches, patios and garages.
Determining which propane heater would be best suited to your needs can be difficult in an overcrowded marketplace offering so many models. For this reason, we have compiled need to know information for buyers looking for the best propane heaters, as well as propane heater reviews that provide you with a breakdown of different types of heaters on offer, and how to choose the one that meets your requirements.
TOP PROPANE HEATER REVIEWS
- Camco 57331 Portable Propane Heater
- PRICE : $$$$
- HEATS : 130 square feet
- HEAT SETTINGS : Radiant heat transfer
- SAFETY : Safety shut-off valve
- BTU : 3000
- DIMENSION : 5 x 12 x 15
- PROCOM Propane Wall Heater
- PRICE : $$$$
- HEATS : 1000 square feet
- HEAT SETTINGS : Thermostat
- SAFETY : Oxygen Depletion Sensor / Cool-to-the-touch outer cabinet
- BTU : 30,000
- DIMENSION : 28 x 9 x 26
- Mr. Heater F271380 Forced Air Propane Heater
- PRICE : $$$
- HEATS : up to 2,125 square feet
- HEAT SETTINGS : Thermostat
- SAFETY : High-Temperature limit switch, thermoelectric safety valve
- BTU : 50-85,000
- DIMENSION : 21 x 16 x 12
- Mr. Heater Big Buddy Indoor Propane Heater
- PRICE : $$
- HEATS : up to 450 square feet
- HEAT SETTINGS : 4 Pilot/low/medium/high
- SAFETY : Automatic low oxygen shutoff system Accidental tip-over safety shutoff
- BTU : 4,000, 9,000 and 18,000
- DIMENSION : 10.25 x 15.50 x 16.50
- Dyna Glo RA18LPDG Propane Cabinet Heater
- PRICE : $$
- HEATS : up to 450 sq ft
- HEAT SETTINGS : 3
- SAFETY : Oxygen Depletion Sensor, CSA Certified
- BTU : 18,000
- DIMENSION : 16.1 x 17.5 x 23.2
What is a Propane Heater?
A propane heater is a heater that utilises pressurized gas as a fuel source and is typically used in areas that aren’t well insulated such as patios, warehouses and garages. In addition, portable gas heaters are nearly always portable, making them a popular choice for occasions when an electrical power source is not available or located nearby. For this reason, propane heating is not only used in homes, but they are also commonly used on campsites, construction businesses and event planners.
There are a vast array of propane space heaters that vary in size, construction and type, as well as those designed for outdoor use which offers durable features, and others with less durable but more pleasing aesthetic for indoor or home use.
Propane heaters are rated by BTUs, or British Thermal Units, to measure their heating output. The BTU value provides an approximate square footage of the area you’re heating. For example, if you were planning on heating a small space such as 100 sq. ft. (9 sq. meters), you would require around 10,000 BTUs, whereas a large campsite or out building may demand 150,000 BTUs to heat 2,500 sq. ft. (340 sq. meters).
Propane Heaters Buyers Guide
When looking to buy a propane gas heater it’s essential you’re equipped with the best information to make an informed decision. To begin, it’s important to think about the size and type of space you plan on heating and with this, in mind, you ought to consider the following factors:
Location: Indoor or Outdoor?
An essential question you need to ask is where you plan on using your propane heater the majority of the time? This is important since it will determine the type of heater you opt for and which models should be avoided altogether.
For instance, if you are planning on heating a patio or camping area, you will need an outdoor propane heater equipped with all the features designed for outdoor use in mind. These are different to your average propane heater as they offer a highly durable design made to withstand harsh environments and weather conditions, as well as a lack of insulation that is, of course, the nature of the outdoors. As a result, the way outdoor models give off heat is considerably different to indoor propane heaters. Typically, outdoor models are equipped with fans or blowers to ensure the heat is directed exactly where it is required instead of being lost to the environment as would be the case if the heat was allowed to radiate as normal, these features make them suitable as patio heaters.
Conversely, if you want a propane heater for indoor use, then some of the best indoor propane heaters for homes come equipped with all of the necessary safety features. For this reason, it is crucial you select a heater that has been certified for indoor use, which will be made clear by the manufacturer. Common built-in safety features include an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system and a tip-over switch. Many people also opt to use indoor the indoor designs as garage heaters too, since they are safer for such enclosed spaces, even though they may still be well ventilated.
A propane heater demands a form of ignition that ignites the gas and thus burns the propane, which, in turn, heats the desired room of other living space.
There are a variety of ignition systems fitted into propane heaters, some come equipped with an integrated ignition system. This popular system enables hassle-free operation, allowing the user to simply press a button and ignition to happen automatically.
On the other hand, you will find models that don’t provide an automatic ignition, but the traditional manual ignition that requires you to ignite the propane yourself.
While the automatic ignition system is required by many due to its ease of use and obvious safety, you can find that with continuous use it can become worn out and in need of repair. This can mean that eventually, you will need to manually ignite the heater and pay for repairs. However, if the manual ignition is something you definitely want, you should consider a good quality model and check that the supplier offers a solid warranty in the event that you do require an ignition replacement or any other repairs.
One of the major advantages of using a propane heater is that they are typically portable, meaning that they are typically lightweight, equipped with handles and sometimes even wheels. Additionally, since propane heaters are free of cables and are free-standing, they can be placed almost anywhere, including the centre of the room or in an outside patio area.
Propane heaters with handles are also useful for easy transport up stairs and many levels with ease, which is one of the reasons they are so popular in the construction industry.
A heater fitted with wheels can also be useful if you plan on moving your heater on a regular basis, or wish to easily store it away in a cupboard or corner. This will allow you to easily move the heater without any unnecessary lifting, helping you to avoid straining your back.
Lastly, you should always check the weight of the heater to ensure it is not too heavy to lift or carry. Furthermore, it’s vital to keep in mind that it will be heavier when it is fitted with the propane cannister, which isn’t really an issue if you remember to take the fuel out when you plan on moving the heater around.
Propane heaters used pressurized propane gas that is extremely flammable, as a consequence they can be extremely dangerous if used incorrectly. Additionally, if the heater was to malfunction for some reason and gas was to leak, this could lead to disaster and potential harm, as a result it’s important to opt for propane heaters with the best built-in safety features for peace of mind.
Propane fuel produces carbon monoxide; this harmful gas is odorless and can be extremely harmful, leading to fatalities if inhaled in an enclosed area. This is why it’s vital to ensure the propane heater is used as outlined by the manufacturer, for instance, if you want to use your heater indoors, then it’s important to check whether it has been certified for indoor use. Many models also come equipped with an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system, which will, of course, ensure the heater switches off in the event that oxygen levels drop too low in the area of use.
Many models also come equipped with an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system, which will, of course, ensure the heater switches off in the event that oxygen levels drop too low in the area of use.
An anti-tip over switch is also advisable as it will make sure that the heater doesn’t keep running if it is knocked over. This is advisable, as not only is it a potential fire hazard, but the propane could run out of the tank and result in a fire. When the heater senses that it has been tipped over, it will automatically switch itself off to prevent fires from occurring.
INDOOR PROPANE HEATERS AND OUTDOORS
If you want to heat an outside area such as a patio in your garden, then it is likely you will want to you use a propane heater since in most cases there won’t be an electrical supply outside. Even if there was, an electrical supply outdoors isn’t always safe, so a portable solution that is free of wires like a propane heater is a good option.
The outdoor variety of propane heaters are typically equipped with a fan or blower to increase their efficiency and ensure the heat isn’t simply radiated and lost to the external environment. It is important to be aware that although they are safe if used correctly, propane heaters can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious danger to health and it can lead to death. For this reason, it’s important to ensure outdoor propane heaters are not used in enclosed spaces.
Propane heaters for indoor use differ from the outdoor variety as they are fitted with a range of safety features designed for homes and enclosed spaces including an oxygen level detector. In order to know if the heater is suitable for indoor use, it’s important to check with the manufacturer’s instructions, if you are unsure it’s best to contact the manufacturer and ask them directly.
If you choose an outdoor propane heater, it’s essential that you never use it indoors. The outdoor models tend to burn fuel much faster than indoor heaters, and as a result, they produce more heat and more harmful gasses than indoor ones. Therefore, you should avoid using these heaters in tents, garages or in fact any kind of enclosed space.
PORTABLE PROPANE GAS HEATER SAFETY GUIDELINES
After you’ve chosen your desired propane heater you are ready to connect it to the propane gas supply, switch it on and enjoy, but before you do, it’s vital you are familiar with the basic safety guidelines. Propane heaters are perfectly safe to use, as long as you use them appropriately and with safety in mind.
- Never move the propane heater when it is switched on and being used. If you need to move it, switch it off and wait until it has cooled down in order to safely move it.
- These heaters utilise a real flame and so any flammable liquids or sprays should be kept at a safe distance and not stored in the same room or space where you will be using the propane heater.
- Ensure you provide your heater with an adequate clearance at all sides and never place any objects around or near the heater.
- Never leave your heater unattended when it is in use, this includes when you are sleeping. Therefore, if you are starting to feel sleepy switch it off and always switch it off if you plan on leaving your home.
- Even though many modern propane heaters are fitted with safety features, such as oxygen depletion detectors, it’s important to have adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces. Therefore, make sure you open windows and doors as required.
Advantages of Heating with Propane
The first major benefit of heating with propane gas is the financial aspect, as propane gas is considerably cheaper than electricity. Not only that but if you are using central heating to heat your home, you could turn it off and instead aim to heat a single room, helping to save even more money.
Propane is clean burning, meaning it is superior to other forms of fossil fuels and renewable energies. For instance, burning propane will not produce the toxic fumes often associated with the likes of wood, oil and coal. This makes it safer and more environmentally friendly to use, and if there was a leak, the propane gas would quickly vaporize and dissipate into the atmosphere, rather than potentially leading to a hazardous situation in your home.
Propane gas is also advantageous for heating outdoors, as it can be used where there is no electrical or gas supply and since many models are portable, is relatively easy to move to the desired location. That is precisely why they are popular for heating garages, construction sites and other outdoor buildings and spaces.
Propane Heater Maintenance & Servicing
An essential factor of any home or outdoor heating system is ensuring it is safe to use and therefore well maintained. Propane heating is no different to gas or electrical appliances and so ensuring you get your propane heater serviced and checked by a professional every so often is a must.
Prior to getting your heater checked out by a professional, it’s essential you switch it off and let it cool down. Even though this may seem like common sense, it’s important to remember to give your heater plenty of time to reach an appropriate temperature before any maintenance is carried out.
Next, you will want to clean your heater, ensuring any dust or grime is removed, this is quite straightforward and is best achieved using a vacuum to remove dust and residues in any nooks and crannies, and then going over the heating grills and elements with a dry rag.
PROPANE VS. ELECTRIC HEAT
One of the great benefits of propane is that it’s cheap and can be used to power a wide variety of home appliances including everything from cooking ranges and clothes dryers to fireplaces and pool heaters. Although it can vary depending on your location, propane remains considerably cheaper than electricity in many places.
According to the According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating a home in the U.S. with a propane heating system in recent years has cost considerably less than heating with an electric appliance. Not only that, but propane heat produces more heat than electricity, with a typical propane gas resulting in heating air to about 130°F to 140°F and operates in short intervals to minimize operating costs. While an electric heater on average produces heat below body temperature (98.6°F), so the air can often feel cool to the touch.
Another key advantage of propane heaters is that it is more dependable than electricity. Propane can be stored safely in a tank, while electricity can be affected by power outages. This makes propane very reliable in comparison to electric power as it works when and where other energy sources may fail, quite literally.
BEST PROPANE HEATERS COMPARISON CHART
|PRODUCT||PRICE||HEATS UPTO||HEAT SETTINGS||SAFETY||BTU||DIMENSIONS|
|Camco 57331 Portable Propane Heater||$$$$||130 square feet||Radiant heat transfer||Safety shut-off valve||3000||5 x 12 x 15|
|PROCOM Propane Wall Heater||$$$$||1000 square feet||Thermostat||Oxygen Depletion Sensor / Cool-to-the-touch outer cabinet||30000||28 x 9 x 26|
|Mr. Heater F271380 Forced Air Propane Heater||$$||up to 2,125 square feet||Thermostat||High-Temperature limit switch, thermoelectric safety valve||50-85,000 BTU||21 x 16 x 12|
|Mr. Heater Big Buddy Indoor Propane Heater||$$||up to 450 square feet||Pilot/low/medium/high||Automatic low oxygen shutoff system Accidental tip-over safety shutoff||4,000, 9,000 and 18,000||10.25 x 15.50 x 16.50|
|Dyna Glo RA18LPDG Propane Cabinet Heater||$$||up to 450 sq ft||3||Oxygen Depletion Sensor, CSA Certified||18,000||16.1 x 17.5 x 23.2|
For a convenient and cost effective heating solution, propane heaters offer a valuable solution for both indoor and outdoor heating. No matter what your requirements may be, for instance, heating a single room in your home, or a patio in your garden, there is a wide range of indoor propane heaters as well as outdoor propane heaters to meet your needs.
Bear in mind that when heating with propane, you need to be aware of all the necessary and basic safety protocols to ensure hazard-free use. In addition, it is always advisable to ensure you are familiar with the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines to ensure you are using the heating appliance as appropriate.
We hope this guide has provided you with the necessary information and has aided you in selecting the best propane heater for your situation and heating needs.