If you need a portable heating solution that can be used in or outdoors, you should consider purchasing a propane heater. These kinds of space heaters are highly popular amongst those who need portability with their heating solutions, or for times where it is not convenient to place the heater near an electrical source. Whether you need a heater for your patio, a way of warming an outdoor porch or if you want to add heat in your garage or warehouse, you can find the perfect solution amongst the wide range of propane heaters that are available on the market today.
These propane heater reviews are the perfect place to start if you want to find out what is on offer at the moment. We have also included a buying guide to give you some important buyer’s information. This will help you to remember all the points to consider when you are looking for the best propane heater for your needs.
What are Propane Heaters?
A propane heater is a space heater that heats up the air using propane fuel. The fuel is poured into a tank and is then ignited using an automatic or manual ignition.
The propane heater is a popular choice in areas where it is not practical to have a heater neat an electrical point. Many people use them outdoors as patio heaters or in larger areas such as warehouses and garages to heat up the air without the use of electricity. They are also highly portable, making them convenient choices in areas where the user wants to move the heater around easily such as on construction sites, at events, and even in the home.
These heaters are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit different needs, and you can find propane heaters that are designed for use indoors or outdoors. Some are made to be freestanding and portable, whilst others can be mounted to the wall or ceiling to make them more of a permanent fixture.
Propane heaters output heat in BTU values, and when you are looking for the best propane heater, you should always check the product description to see what the BTU value is before making a purchase. This will determine whether or not the heater will be suitable for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Propane Heater
Using a propane heater is certain to save you money. When you compare propane to electric heat, propane fuel is far cheaper than electricity. If you already have a central heating system in your home, you could also save money by turning off your central heating and using the propane heater to heat just one room in your home.
Propane heaters are also a great choice for outdoor use too. Whether you want to heat your patio area or if you need the heating on a construction site with no electricity supply, you can be sure to find a propane heater to suit your requirements.
Propane heaters can be used indoors or outdoors, although you should be careful to check the properties of the heater to ensure that it is suitable for either outdoor or indoor use. Using an outdoor propane heater indoors is very dangerous.
In areas where natural gas is not an option, it is possible to obtain propane gas. This allows those in remote locations to have heating when they need it.
Unlike many other fuel types, propane is a clean-burning fuel. You won’t have to contend with any odors whilst the fuel is burning, or lingering odors after you have finished using the heater. It is also less flammable than other types of fuels so it is safer to store.
You can also benefit from being able to use this kind of heater in smaller rooms in your home as long as you choose a heater that is designed for indoor use. Indoor heaters don’t produce as many toxic gases as other types of heaters. Ones that are intended for indoor use usually have a low oxygen level detector that will turn the heater off if the oxygen level drops too low. This ensures that you can have complete peace of mind using a propane heater in your home.
Propane vs. Electric Heat Comparing Cost & Efficiency
One of the great things about all appliances that run in the home as that many of them can be run on propane if they need to be. Propane is a cheaper fuel to use in comparison to electricity, so if you choose a propane-powered device, you are sure to save money on the running costs.
As propane is so cheap, it actually costs less to have a home that is heated using propane heaters than it costs to use electricity to power your home’s heating systems.
The way in which the home heating costs can be compared is by using the BTU value of the heater. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it is the leading method of measuring heat output. It particularly concentrates on the ability of a fuel to produce heat.
Using this heat value, it has been determined by the U.S. Department of energy that it costs double to use electricity to produce heat in comparison to using propane.
It’s not just propane heaters that cost less to run either. If you have a propane-powered boiler system in your home, it could cost a third less to run than an electric boiler of the same capacity. This boiler could be used to power a central heating system in your home.
Best Propane Heaters Comparison Chart
Mr. Heater Big Buddy Indoor Propane Heater
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Camco 57331 Portable Propane Heater
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PROCOM Propane Wall Heater
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Mr. Heater F271380 Forced Air Propane Heater
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Dyna Glo RA18LPDG Propane Cabinet Heater
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Best Propane Heater Reviews – (Updated List)
1. Mr. Heater Big Buddy Indoor Propane Heater
For heating indoor spaces of up to 450 square feet, the Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater is a great choice for you. With user customizable options and portable design, you can enjoy great functionality from this heater.
To offer you maximum safety, this heater comes with a lower oxygen shutoff level. Propane can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide if heater malfunction or are not combusting the fuel properly, so this safety switch will keep you safe when you are using this propane heater. In addition, there is a tip-over switch so that if the heater is knocked over, it will automatically switch itself off.
You can choose from low, medium, and high-temperature settings. This allows you to save energy when you don’t need as much heat, or you can turn up the heat when it is particularly cold.
If you have a medium-sized garage or workshop, then this heater will be ideal for your needs. If you have a larger space to heat, however, you will find that it is not sufficient for your needs and you may need to consider a forced-air heater instead as this would be more effective at dispersing the heat around the space.
2. Camco 57331 Portable Propane Heater
The Camco 57331 Olympian Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic Heater is an economic and compact heater that is capable of keeping you warm if you have a smaller room to warm up or when you’re on camping trips. Thanks to the completely portable design of this heater that comes with no electrical power supply, you don’t even need an electrical hook-up to power it.
This is a wave heater that offers 1600 BTU to 3000 BTU per hour. The user-programmable heat control allows you to choose whether you want to use the maximum heat available to warm up the whole room, or if you only need a little heat to warm up a tent.
So that you can enjoy maximum safety, this heater will protect you against any non-ignition fuel that may discharge as it features a safety shut-off valve.
The wave heater itself does not require any fan or blower as it uses a radiant heating method instead. This means that you can benefit from quiet operation and low noise levels.
This heater comes with a 3-year limited lifetime warranty so that you can enjoy peace of mind with your purchase. If anything goes wrong with this heater within 3 years of the date of purchase, it will be repaired or replaced free of charge.
3. PROCOM Propane Wall Heater
If you’re looking for a permanent heating solution for your home, this wall heater from PROCOM is safe and can be mounted to any wall in your home. It doesn’t require any ventilation and it features a blue flame, which gives a gentle glow that is attractive and calming.
A non-adjustable regulator is included in this heater and it will ensure that over-firing is prevented. The regulator also acts as a thermostatic control.
When this heater is on, you can be sure that it will be completely safe for the whole family. The outer casing will not become hot to the touch, so there is a lowered risk of injury from this heater.
You can use the thermostatic controller to set the temperature to the required level and the heater will then ensure that the room is kept at the temperature that you have chosen.
When you install this propane wall heater, you will be able to choose between using propane gas and natural gas. This allows you to attach the heater to your home’s gas supply if you wish so that you have an alternative option to using propane.
The white finish of this heater will allow you to match it to the existing décor in your home.
4. Mr. Heater F271380 Forced Air Propane Heater
This propane heater is one that has been designed for use on construction and work sites. When you’re working in a workspace that has no heating during the colder winter months, you will be able to take this heater with you so that you can stay comfortable and warm on the job. It will heat up larger spaces quickly and keep them warm whilst being cheap to run.
The forced air operation of this heater ensures that you can have instant heat and a constant heat stream. It is also capable of heating large spaces with ease. A 10-foot hose is included along with a regulator so that you can hook up your propane cylinder safely.
To protect the parts of the heater and to provide the best possible safety, this heater comes with a high limit switch and thermostatic valves so that you can use the Mr. Heater F271380 heater on your next job without needing to worry about watching the appliance all the time to ensure that it is safe.
This heater uses only the highest quality parts so that you can be sure that it will be durable and long-lasting. It is also surprisingly quiet considering its powerful heat output. It won’t create an unpleasant noise whilst you are working.
5. Dyna Glo RA18LPDG Propane Cabinet Heater
This is heater is not only a useful appliance for heating spaces when the colder months set in, but it also looks great and can offer you ultimate safety thanks to its innovative design.
This heater generates heat instantly so that as soon as you switch it on, you can begin to enjoy the heat that it produces.
This powerful 18,000 BTU heater can produce heat in a 600-foot radius. This allows you to use this heater in a larger area such as a hall, garage, or workshop if you wish. If you have a smaller space to heat, however, you can still use this heater. It offers 3 different heat settings so if you want to heat a smaller space, you can simply turn the heat setting down to low.
The piezo ignition ensures that you will be able to start this heater whenever you need to without needing to worry about trying to manually ignite the flame. You can also carry it from one location to another with ease using the carry handles that are integrated into the sides of the heater. In addition, you can simply wheel the heater around using the locking casters at the bottom.
6. Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD Forced Air Propane Heater
When you’re on the job, time is always a serious factor. The last thing that you want when you get to a job site is to have to spend a long time trying to set up a heater and then waiting for it to warm up enough for you to be able to start working. If you have a particularly cold worksite or if you frequently turn up to do a job for a customer and find the temperature unfavorable for working, you should try this Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD. As it features a fan-forced heater and an impressive 30,000 to 60,000 BTU heat output, you can be sure that you’ll get instant heat and plenty of power to heat a larger area of up to 1,350 square feet.
To ensure safety whilst you are using this heater on the job, it has an overheat shutoff protection. It is certified as being safe to use both indoors and outdoors, making it great for using on the job or at events and festivals.
You can adjust the angle of this heater easily and it can be lifted and carried from one location to another using the handle that is integrated into the top of the casing.
Buying Guide: Choosing The Right Propane Heater
If you are looking for a new propane heater, you should ensure that you choose the best one for your space. There are so many different ones to choose from that you should do plenty of research before you buy so that you know that you’re getting all the features that you need.
Top 6 Things to Consider Before Buying a Propane Heater
Check out this useful buying guide to find out what qualities you should look out for.
When you turn the propane heater on, there must be some way of igniting the fuel so that the flame can burn the propane, in turn heating the room. Some propane heaters are available to buy online come with an integrated ignition. This kind of ignition allows the user to simply turn the heater on and for the fuel to be instantly and automatically ignited. On the other hand, you can also find plenty of propane heaters that come with manual ignition, meaning that you’ll have to ignite the fuel yourself.
Many people prefer the automatic ignition that is integrated into the heater as it is easier to operate and can be safer. The problem is that over time, the ignition can wear out. You’ll then have to have the ignition replaced manually or you may need to simply ignite the fuel manually anyway. If you do want a heater that has automatic ignition, you should try to choose one that is high quality and that offers a warranty so that you can be sure that the ignition will last for long.
Where are you going to be using the propane heater? It is important that you consider this because the location will make a big difference in the kind of propane heater that you will need. If you want to heat up your patio area, you will need an outdoor propane heater. These heaters are designed in such a way that they kick out a lot of heat and in a certain direction too. When a patio heater produces heat, it has to send the heat straight towards the user to prevent the heat from being lost to the surrounding air. On the other hand, if you want to use the propane heater indoors, you will need to ensure that it will be safe to use indoors.
Look out for heaters that are rated for indoor use. Some require ventilation whilst others don’t, so you should check before you buy so that you can be sure that you will be completely safe when you are using the propane heater inside. Ventilation is required to remove harmful gases from the air such as carbon monoxide, which can be deadly to people if there are high levels of it in the air.
When you are looking at propane heaters, it is important to ensure that you have the highest possible budget that you can afford. Propane heaters are relatively expensive, but if you try to save money by buying one that is cheaper, it is likely to lack some important safety features and other extras.
When you are considering the cost of your heater, you should also ensure that it would not be too costly to run. Check out the price of fuel in your area and work out how much propane you’re likely to use with the heater. Some propane heaters are incredibly efficient, but if the fuel is going to cost a lot to purchase, you may want to consider choosing an alternative kind of heater.
When you purchase a propane heater, it is likely that you’ll be doing so because you want it to be portable and easy to move around. You can also keep the heater in the middle of a room or patio area without needing to worry about any training power cables, as none will be needed. Heaters that have carry handles are very useful. They will allow you to lift the heater over steps and even up and downstairs if you need to. As well as having a heater that comes with a handle, you should also look out for propane heaters that have wheels or castors. This will allow you to simply wheel the heater around, which will be less of a strain on your back than lifting, especially if the heater is filled with fuel at the time.
If you do want to transport the heater around often, you should check the product description to make sure that it is not too heavy to carry. Remember that it will be even heavier if you leave fuel in it whilst you move it, and this could also be dangerous. Be sure to empty any fuel if possible before you move your heater.
Propane heaters have the potential to be very dangerous. Propane is a flammable fuel and whilst it is in the heater and being used correctly it should be ok, but if the heater malfunctions for one reason or another, this is when an accident could happen. For this reason, you should make sure that you choose a heater that has plenty of inbuilt safety features so that you can have complete peace of mind whilst you use it. An anti-tip over switch will ensure that the heater won’t continue to run if it knocked over. If it is knocked over and it stays on, the propane could run out of the tank and cause a fire. When the heater senses that it has been tipped over, it will automatically switch itself off to prevent fires from occurring.
In order to minimize the damage being caused to the internal workings of the heater and for safety, many propane heaters have an overheat protection built-in as well as a thermostat. If the heater becomes too hot, it will automatically switch off and only turn back on again if it is cool enough to do so. When you are considering safety, you should also remember to check to see whether the heater that you are buying will need any special ventilation and if it is intended for indoor or outdoor use. Heaters that are not designed for use inside will be dangerous if you try to use them inside anyway and heaters that are intended for indoor use are not likely to be suitable for outdoor use as they will not be powerful enough.
When you purchase a propane heater, it should be powerful enough to heat the space that you need to heat. You should ensure that you calculate the area that you’ll need to heat before making your decision and then you should make sure that the BTU output of the heater would cover the area that you need to heat. This is especially important with outdoor heaters, where the heat could potentially be lost to the air around them.
Many heaters tell you on the product description what area size they are suitable for as well as giving an approximate BTU rating. You can then decide whether the heater will be sufficient for your needs based on this information. You can calculate how many BTUs you will need by multiplying the square feet of the area by the difference in degrees Fahrenheit between the desired temperature and the current temperature.
Have a look at our radiant floor heater reviews as an alternative.
A Comparison Between Indoor Propane Heaters and Outdoors
When you need to add warmth to your patio, of course, the first thing that you’ll think of is a portable heater. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll have an electric hook-up at the center of your patio conveniently ready to plug an electrical heater in, and this would probably be unsafe anyway. So the only option is to choose a portable propane heater for temporary heat.
Outdoor heaters are often radiant heaters or fan-forced heaters. They are popular heater choices on patios or being used a worksites and football pitches. When they are outdoors, they can be used safely, but if they are brought into an enclosed space, or if they are positioned too close to a window or vent, they can increase the risk of CO2 poisoning. CO2 poisoning is a serious danger to humans and it can lead to death.
On the other hand, portable propane heaters are available for indoor use too. These are designed for short-term indoor use and they usually have safety features such as an oxygen level detector. They are especially useful to have the home ready for a power outage for example.
The best way to know if a heater is made for outdoor or indoor use is to check the documentation that is provided for the product. You will be able to find out at a glance what purpose the heater is meant for. Make sure that you pay special attention to the safety information and features.
If you purchase an outdoor heater, you should never use it indoors. These heaters burn fuel much faster than indoor heaters, which means that they produce more heat and more harmful gasses than indoor ones. For this reason, you should avoid using these heaters in tents, campers, and residential garages or indeed any enclosed space.
Portable Propane Gas Heater Safety Guidelines
After connecting your heater to the propane gas supply, you may be ready for use. Before you begin, you should make sure that you are prepared for maximum safety for the propane heater whilst the heater is on. Propane heaters can be safe appliances, but it is important to understand the basic safety aspects of these heaters.
- You should never leave a propane heater on when you are going to bed or falling asleep. If you notice that you are feeling sleepy whilst the heater is on, turn it off. You should also turn it off before you go anywhere and never leave the heater on and unattended.
- You should keep up with regular maintenance checks of your propane heater so that there will be no gas leaks.
- These heaters use a real flame, so make sure that you keep any flammable sprays away from the heater whilst it is on. Do not spray deodorants or air fresheners for example, near to where the heater is.
- Propane heaters can get very hot. Ensure that you stay away from the heater when it is on and keep a good distance.
- Even if you have a propane heater that is suitable for indoor use, it is still important to ensure that there is adequate ventilation. You should open windows and doors as necessary.
- When you get your propane heater, you should always read the manufacturer’s instructions. Even if you have used a propane heater before, you should still check how the new one works.
- Give your propane heater plenty of clearance on all sides and don’t place any objects on it or too close to it. You should also ensure that all exits are clear.
- Do not use your propane heater to dry clothes.
- The propane heater should never be moved when it is on. If you need to move it, turn it off, wait whilst it cools and then you will be able to safely move it.
Can You Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Propane?
When you purchase a propane heater, it will tell you whether it is designed for indoor or outdoor use. The heaters that are designed for outdoor use should never be used in a confined environment or near to any windows, as they burn the propane in a different way to indoor heaters and can produce a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide.
The heaters that are designed for indoor use, however, are designed to produce an ideal burn. This is the best possible combustion balance and when this kind of burning happens, the carbon monoxide output is kept to a minimum. It is important to have indoor heaters checked and assessed often, however, to ensure that they continue to produce this low level of carbon monoxide.
Whilst indoor propane heaters are usually perfectly safe and often have safety features in place such as low oxygen level detectors to ensure that the heater will turn off if levels of carbon monoxide are detected, you should still take precautions. Having your heater serviced often is a good idea, and you should also consider purchasing a carbon monoxide detector for your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause you to become seriously ill and it could even lead to death.
Propane Heater Maintenance and Servicing
It’s important to keep up with propane heater cleaning and to get it serviced by a professional from time to time too. Servicing your heater will ensure that it is completely safe for you to use in your home.
The first thing that you will need to do when carrying out maintenance on your heater is to turn it off. Although this may seem like common sense, you should always remember to give the heater time to cool too.
Take a vacuum cleaner and vacuum out any dust that may have gathered on the outside of the heater and on the heater grilles.
If there are any particularly tight grilles or areas where dust is congregating, you should use a paintbrush to loosen any dust and then use the vacuum cleaner to remove it. Remember to use the brush in the ignition and the area where the flame is produced.
The heater will have a cover panel that is held in place with screws. Remove the screws and put them on the side. You will then be able to remove the cover. Use a cloth with warm water to clean the inside area of the cover. Inside the compartment where you have removed the cover, you should also vacuum the parts that you can reach before replacing the cover.
1. Is it safe to have a propane heater in a bedroom?
Propane heaters can be very risky to use in a bedroom unless you make sure it’s meant for indoor use, and you have a window open for a source of oxygen. When you are going through a power outage, you still need a heating source, and propane heaters are good because they are meant for this type of situation.
However, outdoor units should only be used outdoors, because they could end up causing carbon monoxide poisoning and put you at risk. There are special indoor devices meant to be used for a short period of time, but they eat oxygen like crazy, so you should not sleep with one turned on while the windows are closed. Otherwise, you put yourself at great risk of asphyxiation.
2. Can I use a propane heater in my garage?
If you need heating in a garage where you don’t have power, a propane heater is indeed a good option. Since garages are, most of the time, not connected to a heating system for safety reasons, you need some kind of heating. However, you must take safety precautions before freely turning your propane heater on. Make sure no flammable material is close to it, and there is enough combustion air to allow it to operate. Also, you’ll be happy to know there are heaters made especially for garage use, so you might want to try one of those.
3. Do propane heaters need ventilation?
Yes, propane heaters need ventilation. Otherwise, they can be dangerous if used inside a home. Since the appliance produces carbon monoxide, it can be risky to anyone in the building – that’s why proper ventilation is a must. Outdoor propane heaters should also be used in well-ventilated areas because they will help the flames be more effective in creating heat.
For fast and effective heat in an indoor or outdoor environment, a propane heater is a great choice. As you can see, there are many indoor propane heaters, whilst there is also a great range of these heaters that can be used as outdoor propane heaters too.
Of course, it is important to observe sensible health and safety protocols when using these kinds of heaters, so make sure that you have read the useful safety information in the buying guide for important details about this. It is especially important to remember that areas should be well ventilated when you are using the heater.
We hope that you have found this guide helpful and that it will help you to decide on the best propane heater for your needs, or that it has simply provided you with some helpful hints about looking after and using your propane heater.