Freezing in the cold season is not a fun experience which many of us would like to endure. Most of us already have some kind of heating solution inside the house, but sometimes it may not be enough.
Moreover, you may also be looking for a heating solution for your outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or hunting and need something quick to warm you up.
In these use case scenarios, having the best propane heater can be a lifesaver. You can use it as a standalone option or use it in conjunction with your central radiator.
7 Best Propane Heater For Indoor and Outdoor
Our Top Pick
Mr. Heater Forced Air Propane Heater is a vent-free propane heater that is ideal to use in any kind of cold weather. The blue flame provides heat which is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s uniquely designed Blue flame burner burns fuel efficiently providing more heat and less harmful gases.
You can conveniently control the heater temperature with an inbuilt thermometer. It comes with lots of safety features such as ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensors) which warns you when the oxygen in the room gets too low. Overall, this is the best consumer-grade propane heater that you can use both indoor and outdoor.
What to consider when buying Propane Heater
A steel-made blade is durable and won’t rust. For greater strength, a forged steel blade is the best option.
For a trenching job, pick a long handle. It gives you better leverage when digging dirt but is also not very portable.
A cushioned grip handle protects your hand while digging. It saves your hand from getting blisters or you can use work gloves.
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Best Propane Heater Reviews
1. Mr. Heater Forced Air Propane Heater
Best For Outdoor And Worksite Use
This forced air propane heater from Mr. Heater is a heavy-duty propane heater suitable to use for the indoor or outdoor worksite. Depending on your heat requirements, this propane heater comes in three different models with heat ratings ranging from 38,000 BTU to 85,000 BTU.
You can confidently use a 38,000 BTU propane heater to heat room up to 950 Sq. ft in size. When connected with a 20 lb. tank capacity, it runs uninterrupted for 12 hours.
For larger areas up to 1,500 Sq. ft, you can pick a higher heating capacity propane heater. It has 30,000 to 60,000 BTU heating ability. At its lowest setting, the heater can run up to 14 hours on a 20 lb. tank.
For a large workspace area up to 2,125 sq. ft, you can choose a 50,000 to 85,000 range propane heater that generates a large amount of heat. At its lowest heat setting, you can run the heater for up to 8.5 hours on a 20 lb. tank.
All heater comes with a 10-feet hose and regulator to connect with the propane tank. As for safety measures, the heating unit comes with a high-temperature limit switch and thermoelectric safety valve. This means you don’t have to worry about getting the heater to overheat and damage the unit or cause a fire.
This is a well-designed heater that looks good with its black exterior finish. To make it easy to move around the handle is at the top and is well insulated. The handle doesn’t feel too hot even after extended use. This makes it quick to move as you don’t have to wait for the whole unit to cool down.
Mr. Heater is a well-known brand, and the parts are made from high-quality material and have excellent workmanship. It’s quiet compared to other propane heaters of similar heating power. This means if you are using it outdoor or at the worksite, you can work without getting distracted by the loud noise.
See More information on Mr. Heater Forced Air Propane Heater
2. Mr. Heater Vent Free Blue Flame Gas Heater
Best For Indoor Use
Mr. Heater’s Vent Free Blue Flame is a 30,000 BTU natural gas heater. It can quickly heat 750 sq feet of room in no time. It’s an independent propane gas heater that doesn’t rely on electricity at all. This makes it be the best propane gas heater for outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, or using in an RV.
The heater has a slim profile which saves precious room space, and there is an option to wall mount it. All the mounting supplies such as brackets and screws are included with the unit. But if you don’t want to wall mount, then you can make it stand on its feet.
The blue flame is a convection type heater as compared to the infrared heater which produces radiant heat. The main benefit of the blue flame heater is the multi-directional warming of a room. This means the flame warms the air, which rises up to the ceiling. It then flows to the rest of the room.
The infrared heater provides more directional heating which means you have to keep the heater face in your direction. The side which is directly at the front gets warm while the back remains cold.
The electronic ignition makes turning on the heater a simple flick of a switch. It runs on natural gas which is useful in heating small to medium size rooms. For safety, the unit has an automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS) which turns off the heater if there is little oxygen in the room.
The outer heater casing is well built and remains cool on the touch. This makes it safer to use even around kids and pets in the house. The built-in thermostat shuts off the heater when it reaches its predetermined temperature and turns it back on when the room starts getting colder.
See More information on Mr. Heater Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater
3. Dura Heat Tank Top Heater
Best Patio Propane Heater
Dura heat tank top heater fits directly on top of the propane tank. This means it’s very portable and you don’t have to find a space to place your heater and propane tank.
The heater attaches conveniently on top of the tank which allows you to move it 360 degrees to get the heat. The heater is right to use on patios due to its compact and portable design.
If you are on the quick move, you can simply tuck it in your car or camper for a quick trip. Once you run out of propane gas, simply take out the heater and attach it to the new tank.
The heater is designed for outdoor use only which makes it ideal to use on camping, working site, garage, or in workshops. The regulator is easy to connect to the tank, and the heater runs for approximately 14 hours on a 20 lb. propane tank.
The build quality is quite good as the grill is coated with chromium which prevents rust. The use of high-efficiency stainless steel reflects heat to the targeted area. It’s easy to control the temperature by regulating the fuel and heating the place in 5 to 10 minutes.
Overall, this heater works quite well in cold weather with its robust design and high-efficiency heater. The simple design of the heater makes it easy to maintain as its tiny unit, which is easier to clean.
See More information on Dura Heat Tank Top Heater
4. Mr. Heater Radiant Cabinet LP Heater
Best Portable Propane Heater For Small Room
Mr. Heater Radiant Cabinet LP heater is a lifesaver for those cold days when a single house furnace is not enough to warm the room. It’s a portable indoor propane heater that you can move to any place where you don’t have enough warmth.
So, whether you are working on your backyard shed or unheated garage, you can have peace of mind that you will not be freezing as long as this little heater is with you.
For better control of heat, you can choose three different temperature settings. Many people have reported that even at low temperatures, it provides enough heat that you don’t have to go any higher.
It’s a standalone propane heating unit and doesn’t need any electricity to operate. This makes it ideal to use outdoor activities such as camping or traveling in the RV.
As a safety measure, it has automatic low oxygen shutoff sensors which turn off the heater when it detects low oxygen levels inside the room. This prevents the generation of fatal toxic gases.
Operating this heater is easy as it’s easy to start. You simply connect the hose with the propane tank and slightly turn the gas knob on. In a few seconds, the gas pushes the air out of the tube and gets ready to provide heat.
The build quality of the heater is excellent as the black finish makes it look attractive and also prevents it from getting rust. Just keep in mind that at first use, you will smell little paint burning which is quite reasonable and happen with most of the heaters.
This happens as the new paint coating gets burned near the heat source, and this is a one-time process. During a second or third use of the heater, there is no burning smell.
At maximum heat setting, the heater runs for 24 hours. In a low heat setting, you can use it for up to 72 hours.
For increased portability, there are four small wheels that allow you to move it around from one place to another. It’s designed to heat 450 square feet area and is CSA certified.
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5. Camco Olympian Wave-6 Catalytic Heater
Best Propane Heater For RV
This is the best propane heater for RV and camping enthusiasts. The heater is powerful and portable enough to warm up to 230 square feet of space.
The slim profile of the heater allows you to place it in any corner. This is quite helpful when space is limited, and you don’t want to put a more prominent and bulkier heater on the path.
This is a low-pressure operated propane gas heater, and you have an option to wall-mount it. Wall mounting saves the ground space, or you can keep it on the floor.
As a safety measure, the heater comes with a 100% safety shut-off valve to prevent accidental non-ignition fuel discharge. This means you don’t have to worry about leaking the fuel and causing the fire.
The automatic sparker works quite well and is long-lasting (up to 20,000 clicks). You don’t need any electricity to use this heater. There are multiple heat settings, and you can easily adjust them as per your heating needs.
The heat produced by Camco Olympian RV wave is a catalytic type that can provide 99.98% more heat than flame type heaters which waste up to 45% of all heat produced. This means you get more heat with lesser fuel consumption.
The design of the unit is simple and is taller than full. This helps utilize more vertical space than horizontal. The grill at the front prevents accidental touching of the hot inside surface and is made of rustproof steel.
The release of radiant heat means you don’t have to wait for the whole room to get heat up to feel the warmth. When you turn the heater on, it radiates heat directly to people or objects which makes heating quick.
To make the most use of radiant heat, you should move the heater in the direction where you want the heat to pass. The heater works quite well at a higher altitude where the oxygen is low. This is helpful during hiking or camping in hills or mountains.
Like other propane heaters, there is always a risk of generating toxic gases. When using it in RV or any small enclosed area, make sure you have a small vent or window open to let the fresh air circulate inside. You may lose some heat doing that, but it will provide you with extra safety assurance.
See More information on Camco Olympian Wave-6 Catalytic Heater
6. Mr. Heater Little Buddy Indoor Gas Heater
Best Portable Propane Heater For Apartments
Mr. Heater Little buddy is a uniquely looking heater design that is very portable and suitable to use in any small size area. The heater stands on a stable base, and you can move it around in any direction you want.
There are two different heat settings, low and high, which allow you some flexibility in heating. Although this does not give you much flexibility in heat control, it keeps the operation of the device simple.
Due to its small size, it’s easy to store and move it around. Once you connect it with the propane fuel tank, the heater quickly turns on and provides direct radiant heat.
There are four positions you can choose for the heater and has a built-in Piezo igniter that lights up the gas when turning on. The swivel regulator makes it easy to connect with the hose and easily install with the cylinder.
As a safety measure, the ODS (Low oxygen safety sensor) turns off the heater when the oxygen level in the room turns below a minimum threshold. The tip-over safety shut off, turn off the unit if it falls down. This prevents accidental fires and saves lives and property.
See More information on Mr. Heater Little Buddy Indoor Gas Heater
7. Mr. Heater Corporation Convection Heater
Best Portable Propane Heater For Garage
Mr. Heater Corporation convection heater is the best propane heater for a garage or large workspace. It provided 75,000 to 200,000 BTU per hour heating with propane gas. You can efficiently heat up to 5,000 sq. ft area, and it works for 29 hours on a 100 lb propane tank.
The design of the heater is quite unique and has a good build quality. It comes fully assembled, so it’s ready to use when you receive it. The safety feature includes a thermo-electric safety valve, which shuts the gas flow if the flame goes out. This prevents gas leakage.
The unit comes with a 10 ft hose to hook up with a propane tank. It’s a standard hose size provided by most of the heater manufacturers. You can easily connect the hose and regulator assembly to the propane tank without any issue.
To light up the heater, it comes with a Piezo igniter which burns the flame as soon as gas hits the burner. Unlike other electric heaters which use fans or other heat distribution parts, this heater does not have such parts which make it virtually silent to operate.
This helps when working in a workshop or in a garage. As you don’t want much noise so you can focus on the task. The outer metal covering on the heater has an attractive design, but it gets scorching hot after use.
So be careful and wait for it to cool down if you have to move the heater after use. It also means you have to be extra cautious when using it and don’t let kids or pets roam around the heater.
You can also use it with a regular 20 lb propane tank to heat the place. Due to the vertical design of the heater, the heat goes straight up. Make sure that there is enough vertical clearance and your ceiling is not low as it may pose a safety risk. Plus, due to its open flame design, it’s not recommended to use in small indoor room use.
Overall, this is a very efficient propane heater for a larger space with a higher ceiling and an adequately ventilated area. This newly designed heater provides a wide range of heating capacity which is great for the garage, patios and workspace heating.
See More information on Mr. Heater Corporation Convection Heater
Best Propane Heater – Buying Guide
Before you buy a propane heater, you need to know your requirements first. There are different types of propane heaters available that are suitable for various purposes.
In this buying guide, we provide you with some of the most critical factors to consider to find the right heater for you.
How To Choose The Right Propane Heater
You should consider the heating location where you want to use the propane heater. Based on the size of the room or the area you want to heat, you should decide on the power rating of the propane heater.
When heating outdoors, you may need to have higher heating power than when warming indoors. Propane heaters are specifically designed to be used either outdoor or indoor based on their heat distribution and heating efficiency.
The outdoor propane heaters are also designed to withstand outdoor temperature and harsh weather conditions. For example, indoor propane heaters are designed to evenly distribute heat to warm up the room, whereas outdoor heaters come with a fan or blower which directs the temperature in a specific direction.
Another example of the difference between indoor and outdoor heaters is the safety features such as a tip-over switch or carbon monoxide detector. These are more commonly present in the indoor heater than the outdoor.
You should consider buying a portable propane heater if you need to move around to different places and you don’t want to purchase multiple heating units. Look for the following features in a portable propane heater:
1. Carrying Handle
The carrying handle makes it easier to hold the heater and move it around. It safely allows you to move the heater even when it’s hot.
Some portable heater models have plastic or rubber casing to make it easier to grip the handle and lift the heater. The right quality material used in the carrying handle makes it more comfortable and hold to move the heater.
2. Castor Wheels
The large and more powerful heaters become very heavy. The heater with a castor wheel makes it easier to move large heaters with ease. This also makes it safe to move without hurting your back.
3. Overall weight
If portability is your prime requirement, then choose a lightweight propane heater. The weight of the heater depends on the type of construction material and the heater type.
Consider the overall heater size based on the room size or area you are planning to heat. For a small room size, don’t choose a bigger and higher-capacity heater. It may not only become too large for the room but also may pose a safety issue.
Based on the design of the heater, some may need more maintenance than others. It includes the cleaning of the heater and replacing any burnout parts.
Also consider the overall design of the heater, smaller grill size and narrow curve design of the heater may make it difficult to clean than a broader and open grill.
A fuel-efficient propane heater provides more heat without wasting too much fuel. This is essential if you are planning to use a propane heater during travel or camping as carrying extra fuel may not be the best option.
When comparing propane heaters, look for the heat rating denoted in BTU (British Thermal Unit). The BTU indicates the heat produced by the heater to warm up the area. For example, a propane heater with a marked rating of 5,000 BTU will be enough to heat up to 300 Square feet area.
Buying a higher power rating of heater for a small area means more wastage of heat. Consider your needs and the areas you will be heating then decide which rating heater to buy.
Safety is paramount when using a heater, and the more safety features heater has, the less chance of accident can happen. It’s more important if you plan to use the heater in small spaces such as in RVs during camping.
As an extra safety precaution, I use a White Surface LP Gas detector in my RV to provide additional peace of mind.
Some of the standard safety features which you should look for are:
- Automatic tip-over shut off
- Overheat protection
- Build-in Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide sensors
These safety features prevent accidental fire which saves life and property.
Heater Ignition Type
Propane heaters need an ignition source to burn the fuel when you turn it on. There are two main types of ignition sources in propane heaters.
Integrated Ignition: The integrated ignition automatically ignites the fuel when you turn over the switch. There is no extra step involved to burn the fuel. This is the most convenient ignition type. However, on the downside, you have to replace it once it’s worn out.
Manual Ignition: The manual ignition involves turning on the gas and then using a secondary source such as a match or lighter to ignite the fuel. The main benefit is that you don’t have to replace the burnout or malfunctioned integrated ignition.
These days, most of the higher to medium range propane heaters come with integrated ignition options as these are convenient to use and safe to handle. Check out the integrated ignition manufacturer warranty so you can get it repaired if anything goes wrong with it.
Like any other heater, the propane heater will produce noise either from an attached fan or the heater itself burning fuel. Depending on the location where you want to use the heater, consider the maximum sound produced by the heater.
For use in a bedroom or even in a living room, you should choose a quiet heater, so it doesn’t bother you. This is also true when you are doing camping or hunting.
Should You Buy A Propane Heater Or Electric Heater?
Whether you should buy a propane heater or an electric heater, depends on how reliable your power or fuel source is. If you get an uninterrupted power supply and it’s very stable, then I recommend that you use an electric heater.
For places where you may not get a reliable electrical power source such as during camping, traveling, or even in a workshop, a propane heater may be the better option.
The second factor is the cost. Usually using a propane heater is far cheaper than using an electric heater. When you use electricity to warm the place, not all electrical power gets converted into heat. Plus, in many places, the price of electricity is far high than the cost of propane.
Another big difference between the propane and electric heater is the heat generation efficiency. For the same size heater, the propane heater usually produces more heat than the electrical heater.
The downside of a propane heater is the production of harmful residual gases such as carbon monoxide. The most reputable propane heater comes with a safety feature to detect these gases.
As an extra safety measure, make sure that there is proper ventilation when using a propane heater. Electrical heaters don’t produce any gas, so when using it, the smoke and gas are not a problem to deal with. But the propane heater produces residual gases and uses oxygen to burn the fuel.
Portability and form factor is another advantage where electrical heater ace the propane heater. Some of the electrical heaters come in a slim and wall mount installation which saves space, especially if you have a small size apartment.
As a general rule, if your primary purpose of buying a heater is to heat a room indoors and you have a reliable source of power then choose an electrical heater.
But if you want to heat place outdoor during camping, hiking, or hunting where the electrical power reliability may be an issue then choose a propane heater.
Why Should You Buy A Portable Propane Heater?
There are different types of portable heaters available in the market for both indoor and outdoor use. The main benefit of a propane heater is its portability. As you can swiftly move it around without worrying about finding the electrical power outlet.
A portable propane heater is a standalone unit that is ideal to use for an unreliable or limited power source such as during camping or doing some outdoor activities. Moreover, it’s convenient to store and carry the fuel and use it whenever needed.
How To Safely Use Indoor Propane Heater
Here are some common ways you can use a propane heater safely indoors.
Prevent Harmful Gases
Propane gas, when burned, produces a high level of toxic gases. Poor indoor ventilation may cause low oxygen levels, which results in the generation of highly poisonous carbon monoxide gases.
These gases are not easy to detect but can be fatal. Most of the common symptoms of getting exposed to carbon monoxide gas are feeling dizzy, headache, or nauseated.
If at any time you feel these symptoms, you should immediately open the windows and come out to get some fresh air.
Check For Cracks And Gas Leaks
Regularly check your heater for any cracks or gas leakage. Periodically checking the heater for wear and tear is essential to keep the heater functioning safely and adequately.
Pay close attention if you hear the sound of gas escaping, or you can smell gas in the air. There is a much higher chance of failure if the heater has been exposed to extreme cold weather.
Any time you suspect a gas leak, don’t ignore it. Shut the heater off and close the gas valve to prevent any gas from leaking. Then check for the wear or tear to the unit or take it to the reputable repair shop to get it checked.
Maintain Safe Distance
Whenever you are using a propane heater, keep it away from the reach of children or pets. Don’t place the heater where people move around a lot. Keeping it away from the high traffic area will reduce the chance of someone tipping it off accidentally, which could result in fire.
Always keep the extra fuel tank far away from a functional propane heater. Placing extra fuel too close to the heater may result in accidental fire or blast, which can damage property or cause injury.
Regular maintenance of the propane heater increases the life of the unit while making it safe to use. When cleaning, take out any exterior panels and adequately clean the dirt or combustible particles on the heating plate.
Use a compressed air can to blow out the dust and use a wet cloth to clean the outer surface. Pay close attention to cleaning the safety sensors and air intake so the heater can run at full heating efficiency. Check for any loose hose and replace it if there is any sign of crack or cut.
Always turn off the heater and give it enough time to cool down before you start the cleaning process.
Over to You
Propane heaters are the best choice when it comes to a hassle-free portable heater. These are reliable to be used in outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, or in an RV where the electrical power source may not be available or is unreliable.
You can use these propane heaters as per your need. For example, you can use it to heat a single small room, heat up your garage, or place it on a patio outdoor.
Follow the required safety precautions and keep it well maintained. Look for the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper use. Unless there is a clear indication that it can be used indoor, you otherwise use it outdoor.
Following the required safety precautions and with proper maintenance, the propane heater will provide you the warmth in any type of cold-weather season.
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