During cold seasons, or when there’s a cold weather approaching, it is likely that you’ll want to consider several options to make the colder rooms in your house more comfortable to live in. However, centralized heating may lead to a spike in utility bills and possibly lead to a more severe climate. Hence, a good alternative is to consider indoor propane heaters to keep you warm this winter.
Not only are propane heaters cheaper to run than electric heaters, but they can even easily heat up a room faster. In fact, propane heaters are versatile and portable enough for you to bring along on camping or outdoor use to keep warm.
Considering how useful they are, it is not surprising to find thousands of the best indoor propane heaters available on the market. In this article, we will be looking at the different types of indoor propane heaters as well as how to safely handle them. We also have included a list of our top picks of the best indoor propane heaters for you to consider.
Different Types of Indoor Propane Heaters
There are two types of indoor propane heaters: portable and permanent.
Portable indoor heaters can be easily moved around to wherever you need them to be and they’re also typically smaller in terms of heating capability. Portable indoor propane heaters are normally used to supplement an existing heating system which may be inefficient to warm certain spaces in the house by itself.
Portable indoor propane heaters are also great for providing heat while camping or during a power failure. However, they generally do not provide extra ventilation.
Permanent indoor propane heaters, on the other hand, are usually mounted to a wall in the home and are attached to a larger fuel tank located outside the home. Storage tanks are fixed in place and filled by delivery trucks as and when required. The good thing about these permanent heaters is that they’re larger in heating capacity compared to a portable model.
Permanent indoor propane heaters are also designed to heat a bigger room or even an entire house. Most models employ a circulation fan inside the heater to better distribute warm air where needed. And because of their size, these heaters do produce a larger volume of exhaust gas that must be vented outside the house for safety purposes.
Comparison Overview – Propane Heaters vs Kerosene
While comparing fuel types for indoor heaters, you need to keep in mind the efficiency as well as the cost of the fuel being used.
Kerosene is known to be highly combustible that produces a lot of heat whereas propane burns very effectively and provides a clean source of heat. Although kerosene is more efficient than propane heaters, the latter is much cheaper and makes up for the difference in terms of efficiency.
Other than that, propane can also be used in a closed room or tent for heating since it does not emit any soot or smoke thanks to its low carbon content. Kerosene, on the other hand, has higher carbon content than propane and produces a lot of fine particles. Some of the compounds include carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide.
Indoor Propane Space Heater vs Electric Heaters
The major difference between propane heaters and electric heaters is their heating source. As the name suggests, propane heaters use propane fuel whereas electric heaters use electricity. Propane heaters or gas heaters can seldom be used in a completely confined place with no air outlet whereas electric heaters can be safely used in a closed space.
Another significant difference between the two indoor heaters is the cost price and running price of these appliances. While electric heaters are cheap to buy, they’re very expensive to run since they rely on electricity. Propane heaters or gas heaters have a higher cost price but are cheaper to fuel in the long run.
Safety Features to Consider when Buying the Best Indoor Propane Heater
Indoor heaters typically involve the use of dangerous and poisonous gases and other emissions, hence it’s important for them to come with several additional safety features. Because of the need for these safety improvements, it is critical that you never use outdoor propane heaters indoors, not even for a short period of time. You must check that all indoor propane heaters are certified for indoor usage.
While the safety features offered by each manufacturer will differ, most of them will have a few common features. All indoor propane heater models include tip protectors that will extinguish the flame if the heater gets accidentally knocked over. Another safety feature is the oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that automatically shuts off the heater when it detects that the oxygen in the room falls below a safe level.
Most will also have an overheat protection that will instantly turn off the burner and gas when the unit overheats or when the propane gas continues to flow in while the burner is inactive. Another nifty innovation is the one-hand piezo ignition that lets you not have to bother with lighting up the pilot whenever you want to use the heater. All these protections will help make the best propane heaters safer for indoor use.
Top 7 Best Indoor Propane Heaters in 2021
An indoor propane heater is a great idea to help you efficiently and cost-effectively heat up colder rooms in your home. Here’s our round-up of the best indoor propane heaters to help you out.
1. Best Overall – Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater
This 4000 – 9000 BTU Mr. Heater radiant heater is powerful enough to help you heat up spaces that are up to 225 square feet big. It even comes with numerous safety features which include automatic shut-off if the pilot light goes out or if it tips over. It will even shut off if it detects low oxygen levels in the room.
This remarkably effective and powerful heater even has a fold-down handle for easy portability to transport from room to room. This is a versatile heating solution that’s suitable both indoors and outdoors. But do take note that this cannot be used for higher altitudes.
- A versatile heater that can be used both inside and outside your home
- A portable propane heater that’s easy to carry around and simple to use
- Very fuel-efficient and cheap to run
- Includes plenty of safety features to combat carbon monoxide poisoning and fire risk
- Not suitable for high altitudes of 7000 feet above sea level
- The exposed flame is a safety risk for children and pets
2. Best Portable Indoor Propane Heater – Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BR
This radiant 4,000 – 18,000 BTU Liquid Propane heater from Mr. Heater is directly connected to two 1 lb. cylinders and is the perfect solution for heating and warming up enclosed spaces and cabins that are up to 450 sq. ft.
This portable propane heater also includes an integrated fan that increases the unit’s heating capacity by using both radiant and convection style heating. The built-in Piezo sparking mechanism will also take care of the rest. Featuring an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off, this portable propane heater is safe to operate in the comforts of your home. Similar to the propane heater reviewed above, this is an extremely effective and powerful heater that’s suitable for both indoors and outdoors but isn’t recommended for higher altitudes.
- Nearly 100% efficient
- Convenient operation of just pushing and rotating the knob
- Low, medium, and high heat level control knob for steady heating temperatures
- Auto shut-off if tipped over, the pilot light goes out, or low oxygen levels detected
- Not suitable for high altitudes of 7000 feet above sea level
3. Best Wall Mount Indoor Propane Heater – Mr. Heater F299730 MHVFB30LPT
Unlike most indoor propane heaters, this Blue Flame heater by Mr. Heater uses convection to warm the air instead of infrared. This indoor propane heater can also be installed in a narrow area since the heat rises and warms the area from the ceiling down.
This best propane heater can also be automatically turned on using the electronic ignition and can be wall-mounted using the hardware included or you can choose for it to stand on its own. This powerful blue flame propane heater is capable of producing up to 30,000 BTU of heat and is able to warm up spaces that are up to 750 square feet in size.
This portable propane heater also uses convection instead of infrared to heat up larger areas. This product is effective for indoor use but not outdoors and in high altitudes of over 4,500 feet above sea level.
- Built-in low oxygen shut-off ODS sensor to keep you safe
- Generates plenty of heat to sufficiently heat up areas of 750 square feet
- Can be wall-mounted to keep out of the way of pets and children
- Not suitable for high altitudes of 4500 feet above sea level
4. Best Safe Indoor Propane Heater – Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy
This Mr. Heater indoor propane heater comes with a low-oxygen sensor, automatic tip-over, overheat shut-off, and even a cool-to-touch exterior to ensure a safe and effective operation in your home. This indoor propane heater is able to heat up rooms of up to 95 square feet and has a simple on/off button that’s easy-to-use.
This best indoor propane heater is a great little device to keep indoor or outdoor areas warm. It is surprisingly powerful for its small size. However, the heat output is not adjustable.
- Provides good heat for a small heater
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Suitable for both indoors and outdoors use
- The heating surface is coated in porcelain for even distribution of heat
- No temperature control
- It may be difficult to clean
5. Best Small Indoor Propane Heater – Dyna-Glo IBF10PMDG
This Dyna-Glo propane heater provides users with absolute freedom of movement anywhere you want. This fuel-tank based heating system is reliable and can help amid emergencies. It is also useful for camping trips when there are no other means of heating available.
Featuring a vent-free technology and advanced heating system based on the central heating systems used in homes, this Dyna-Glo propane heater is one of the best indoor propane heaters that can provide up to 300 sq. ft. of healing radius.
If you’re searching for moveable best propane heaters with high-efficiency heating systems, then this little Dyna-Glo device is the perfect solution for you. This portable propane heater does not require a venting system or a gas supply to operate, making it a very reliable and easy-to-use appliance that can be counted on when you’re camping or away from home.
- Small and compact size that does not demand a lot of space
- Features the most advanced vent-free technology
- Built-in ODS for enhanced safety
- Compact and sleek design for a modern household
- 99.99% efficiency
- May rattle at high heat settings
- Does not include feet to place it on the device on the ground
6. Best Vented Indoor Propane Heater – Martin Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater
This is one of the more stylish best propane heaters available with a sleek design, making it extremely aesthetically pleasing for modern interiors. Aside from the looks, this propane heater does not fall short in terms of efficiency either. It provides nearly 80% efficient heating to your home compared to other similar products in its class.
This best indoor propane heater has proven to live up to the expectations of recent buyers with many being very satisfied with its quick and easy installation. The propane heater can even be adjusted without expert supervision. The high efficiency also makes it a great substitute for electric heaters.
The bottom line is that this propane heater offers easy installation procedures and great efficiency. On top of that, it even adds beauty to your home decor without compromising the system’s heating efficiency.
- Durable and designed according to the safety laws in the USA and Canada
- The propane heater is attachable to a gas outlet on your wall for quick installation
- Comes with a built-in thermostat to adjust the heat according to your needs
- Large grill with a high flow of warm air embedded in die-cast aluminum
- Stylish design that gives you a combination of modern and aesthetic look
- Might product slight noises on pilot mode
- Not able to fit in corners and needs to be installed on a plain wall
7. Dyna-Glo, RA18LPDG Propane Cabinet Heater
This portable Dyna-Glo little propane heater comes with side carry handles and locking casters to make it easy to move around. It has the capability to heat up to 600 feet radius, meaning it works well in large rooms. The propane heater can produce 18,000 BTUs of heat and features adjustable heat settings.
In terms of safety, this propane heater has a built-in oxygen depletion shutoff (ODS) and is even CSA certified for Safety. It features a piezo igniter for convenient lighting and comes included with a 1-year limited warranty to protect users against manufacturing defects.
This little Dyna-Glo indoor propane heater is both effective and energy-efficient. It also comes with plenty of safety features to keep you and your family safe during operation. However, do keep in mind that there have been some complaints that the tip switch may be too sensitive.
- Easy to light with piezo lighter
- Comes with built-in safety features like ODS
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
- Heats up a large area of up to 450 square feet
- Sensitive tip switch that may create issues for some issuers
- The heater may give off a nasty smell initially, but this will go away after a while
How to Light Indoor Propane Heaters
Already bought a suitable propane heater for your home but not sure how to light one up properly? Here are a few common steps you will need to do to light up your indoor propane heater to keep warm:
- Ensure that the supply lien is well-placed and hooked up with your heater with no leakages.
- Check the heater’s igniter that is required to light up the pilot as well as the incoming gas from the valve
- Turn on the supply line valve and turn the knob at the heater’s upper side to pilot mode. Once in pilot mode, you’ll need to keep pressing the knob for 20 seconds. This may take longer if the propane heater has not been used in a while.
- Turn the knob counterclockwise to your desired temperature and the heater will automatically light up
While operating a propane heater or space heater is rather safe to use, there are a few steps you can take to ensure better safety. The first thing you can do is to ensure ventilation by cracking open a window. Though this may seem strange since you want to heat up the place, you also need to make sure to avoid filling up the room with poisonous gas, especially if you plan on staying in it for long periods of time.
High levels of carbon monoxide released from a propane space heater can be fatal. Early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu symptoms like a headache, dizziness, and nausea. If you’re feeling these symptoms and suspect that your space heater is not working properly, it is best for you to get some fresh air right away.
Another safety tip is to check for gas leaks regularly. Every time you connect your heater to its fuel supply or propane tank, do take note to check the connection points and hoses for any damage and/or potential gas leaks. If you’re able to smell gas, try applying soapy water to the connections between the hoses, unit, cylinder, and propane tank to inspect for bubbling.
Aside from that, you can also carefully listen to the hiss of gas escaping and touch the cylinder to feel for extreme cold. If you suspect the connection or cylinder is leaking, make sure you do not light up the space heater as it needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
When running propane space heaters, you need to keep them out of reach of pets and kids and well away from foot traffic. Place it away from flammable materials and do not store extra LP or propane tanks near the heater while the propane space heater is in use (fuel cylinders must always be stored outside). Also, make sure that your propane space heater is not too close to your carbon monoxide detector to ensure a more accurate reading.
The best propane heater should be both convenient and effective for heating up the colder spaces in your home. Whether you’re planning to heat up your garage or to stay warm on a camping trip, a portable propane heater will certainly come in handy.
Do keep in mind that indoor propane space heaters need to have several essential safety features to ensure safe use indoors. This is critical to prevent gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and overheating. Always ensure that the propane space heater you’ve purchased is rated for indoor use. In case you’ve not found the perfect propane gas heater for your house, you can consider our top picks above as they’re proven products that will deliver great performance as the perfect heater for indoor purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much propane does a propane indoor heater use?
The amount of liquid propane that space heaters use will depend on the heat settings you’re using for your heater. A gallon of propane gas has a burn rate of approximately 1,000,000 BTUs, meaning if you run a heater at 30,000 BTUs, you can expect your propane to deplete by ⅓ part of gallons per hour.
Do I need electricity to run an indoor propane space heater?
No, no electricity is needed in a propane heater. Most propane space heaters are completely reliant on propane gas as fuel and do not require additional electricity to work.
How does a vent-free propane heater work?
Ventless propane space heaters do not require a vent to take in air from the outside for combustion purposes. Instead, they use the air from their surroundings. Propane produces clean heat and no by-products while burning, so no vent is needed to expel any dangerous gases.
Are propane heaters efficient?
Yes, propane heaters are indoor-friendly, however, you need to check the properties of each heater and ensure it’s rated for indoor use. Propane space heaters indoor come with an automatic low oxygen depletion sensor and an automatic shut-off feature to ensure user safety.