If you are looking for the best vented propane heaters, you should take some time on understanding the advantages of the different types of models out there. You should be able to then decide how you can get the most out of your choice of heater which will, in turn, save you time in the long run while still being able to keep you warm in the winter.
We have compiled a guide for you that helps provide some tips on what you can look for as well as which are the best vented propane heaters out there.
Types of Vented Propane Heaters
When searching for vented propane heaters, you will generally find two types of heaters which are the B-Vent and Direct Vent. A B-Vent or also known as a natural vent heater will require a pipe to be installed that runs through the home and outside through a roof.
This operational setup requires a small room that is used for air combustion and the fumes created are expelled straight to the exterior.
These vented propane heaters are cheap and easy to install if a replacement is needed and tend to run pretty well and smoothly without many problems. However, you will have to have a roof installation sorted, if you don’t you will need to pay a professional to set the roof installation in.
A direct vent on the other hand utilises a vent that is specially designed by its supplier. One part of the device works as an exhaust to expel fumes while the other part of the direct vent is used to take in air. This device is closed up and does not utilise any room air for combustion while its fumes head out through either a side wall or through the roof.
Comparatively, most direct vented propane heaters work better compared to B-vents and simultaneously running at a lower cost.
Advantages of Vented Propane Heaters
One of the main advantages of vented propane heaters is how safe they are. This is because all noxious fumes are expelled outside so there is an extremely low chance of polluting the air-similar to a vent-free heater. Vent-free heaters do tend to suck in some of your room air so it might pose a high risk of lack of oxygen if something does go wrong. Vented propane heaters on the other hand do not exhibit this issue.
On the aesthetic side of things, due to how large some vented propane heaters are, you could potentially fill the space of a traditional fireplace which results in a beautiful scene of a roaring fireplace and creating a cozy atmosphere.
Vented propane heaters are very powerful devices that do not use any air in the room and allows them to heat a large space quickly. One notable difference between these types of propane heaters and electric heaters is that vented propane heaters can emit enough heat for larger rooms.
This makes vented propane heaters more cost-effective and another great thing about them is that they can be placed on almost any external walls and even more so if they are directly venting. This allows greater options of versatility at home.
Furthermore, vented propane heaters work quickly to heat up your room since propane is a very effective heating fuel. Overall from a heating speed point of view, you will find that they will run for less of the time and thus reduce running costs.
Heating Efficiency of Vented Propane Heaters
You should aim to source out effective home heating in order to help keep costs down. One way to do this is to look at efficiency ratings on vented propane heaters that would demonstrate how well these heaters perform.
For example, if a vented propane heater has an efficiency rating of 65% it shows that the heater is losing 35% of its effectiveness via combustion inefficiency or heat loss from ventilation.
Make sure to look out for certain propane heaters with an Energy Star certification. This means that they are excellent in terms of efficiency and will be able to perform better than the normal market standard.
Another point to look out for is that single-pipe vented models will be less efficient compared to models that are two-piped. This is because single-pipe heaters would be around 50% efficient whereas two pipes will be around 70% efficient. Most B-Vent models are only single piped.
What to take into account before purchasing a vented propane heater
Heat Output (BTU)
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is a way of measuring energy being output.
One BTU would refer to one load of energy that is required to increase one pound of water by one degree. How this relates to your heater is that the BTU rating would be a measurement of how powerful your direct vent heater is and how much energy it is processing in order to heat every square foot of your room. In layman terms, the higher the BTU rating of your direct vent heater, the more powerful it is.
How much heat output in BTU you would require depends on how many square feet you are planning to heat. If you are planning to heat a large space with high square feet, you would want to get a direct vent heater with a higher BTU rating.
So with that in mind, you will then need to calculate the area that you will be using your direct vent heater will be heating up before making your purchase. This way, you will be able to make a judgement on whether or not the BTU output of the heater will be able to cover the area you require to heat.
Most heaters will provide information concerning the area size that they can accommodate while also providing their BTU output.
How to Calculate Your Heater Size
The most basic formula that you will require is (0.133 x to total cubic feet of space x desired temperature change). Using this formula, you will be able to get the total BTU’s you require per hour.
You can calculate the total cubic feet of your space by multiplying its length, width and height of the room you want to heat up. So for example, if you have a 12x12x12 room, your area will be 1,728 cubic feet.
Now that you have the cubic feet of your room, you will need to configure out the desired temperature increase by subtracting the cold outdoor winter temperature from your preferred indoor room temperature. This way, if your winter temperature is let’s say, 10 degrees Fahrenheit, while you prefer a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, then you will require a temperature increase of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will then need to multiply the figure of 0.133 by your desired temperature change and also the total cubic feet of area that you have calculated previously. You will then need to round off this figure to determine the total BTU or heater size that is appropriate for your space.
So, as a simplification, our total BTU will be 1728 x 55 x 0.133 which will give us 12,640. After rounding off this number, it means we will need a heater of 12,000 BTU’s to provide us with the temperature we require indoors.
Safety Features of the Best Direct Vent Heaters.
A heater could potentially be hazardous since the fuel, propane is flammable and any slight malfunction of the heater will trigger an accident and you would want to avoid this.
If you want to enjoy a piece of mind with a propane gas heater, we suggest you select an indoor propane heater as they mostly come with plenty of inbuilt safety options such as tip over safety – which means that there is an anti-tip switch that allows your heater to turn off on its own if it is accidentally knocked over.
Other safety features would include an inbuilt overheat protector and this means your heater will shut off if it begins to overheat. A heater with an oxygen depletion sensor leads to the deactivation of the heater if the surrounding oxygen levels become dangerously low.
Your propane gas heater would most likely come with a thermostat that allows you to accurately control and adjust your home’s heating temperature. What this does is that it allows for a more comfortable and worry-free ambience and eventually might reduce your overall energy costs as well.
Of course, not all propane gas heaters would come with a thermostat even though it would be especially rare to come across a modern vented heater that does not come with one.
If you were to check the prices of the best direct vent heaters out there, you would realise that those with programmable thermostats will cost more.
However, you should know that in the long run, you will be able to save up on electricity bills as you will have the option to reduce heat output whenever it is not needed. As such, it is highly recommended to get the best direct vent heaters that come with a thermostat.
Types of Heat Production on Direct Ventilation Heaters
There are a couple of ways heat is produced depending on the type of heater being used
Radiant heating system
Some heaters do not need to directly warm the air. Instead, they produce heat waves that only warm objects that their rays will come into contact with. These kinds of heaters are great as they produce no noise and will be great bedrooms.
Convection Heating System
A convection heating system works by circulating your room with warm air using a fan. They are more effective at increasing the temperature of larger spaces than a radiant heating system can, however, they are noisier.
Difference between the two types of systems
However, since a convection heating system works by slowly warming the air around the heater before starting to transfer heat, they are slightly less efficient compared to radiant heating systems because the surrounding air usually absorbs heat quite poorly and the resulting generated heat might be lost if the insulation in your home is poor.
A radiant heating system provides concentrated rays of heat that will definitely be absorbed by the objects they are targeting very quickly so these kinds of heaters are more efficient.
However, they are only effective at heating small spaces so if you would prefer a sustainable heater over a larger space and to be used for an extended period of time, a convection heating system will probably be the way to go, if not, it is suggested to stick with a radiant heater.
How much your heating will cost on your electricity bill will depend on BTU per hour on the heater as well as the size of your space you want to heat up. After you manage to get the market rate of propane gas, you will be able to easily calculate the monthly cost of heating your home.
The general unit price of one gallon of Propane is about USD 2 and we have already previously come to the conclusion that about 100,000 BTU is used to exhaust one gallon of Propane.
So, with this in mind, you have a heater that produces 10,000 BTU per hour for 5 hours a day and it costs $2 per hour to operate, you will be paying $1 a day
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Some of your heaters might not come with a carbon monoxide detection sensor which will detect when oxygen levels get too low (carbon monoxide levels get too high). As such if you are planning to get an indoor heater, it would be much safer if you were to get a carbon monoxide detector in small spaces.
Best Vented Propane Heaters In 2021 – Editor’s choice
1 Martin Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater Furnace Built-in Thermostat 11,000 Btu
The Martin Direct Vent Propane wall heater possesses adjustable heat and so you will be able to keep most living spaces or workspaces heated with direct vent propane that comes with a room thermostat that allows you to monitor the heat dispersion. This vented propane heater comes with a built in thermostat with a low-high dial.
It possesses an exclusive glass ceramic window that is only available for 11,000 BTU and 20,000 BTU units. The exterior is aesthetically pleasing, exhibiting stylish and clean energy as well as a sleek fireplace design.
This direct vent propane heater is also safe and produces clean energy that is both economical and possesses safety features such as a heavy-duty grill made with die-cast aluminium as well as being certified in both the USA and Canada.
This vented propane heater is quick and easy to install and all you need to do is just connect this propane heater directly to a gas fitter and it will start heating your living space effectively with low maintenance.
- Stylish model with a beautiful glass ceramic window front
- Thermostat helps to modulate temperature in the room
- Propane heater made out of heavy duty components
- Easy to install
- Tricky to install if don’t already have venting installed
- Unit gets hot
2. PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater – Wall Vented
This model of propane heater is more suitable for smaller living spaces such as a cabin or trailer and will be able to conserve both water and energy weighing in at 32 pounds – which is comparatively lighter compared to a full 6-10 gallon water heater.
This propane heater is safe and it only operates when a water tap is turned on while simultaneously only using up to 50% less propane. This vented propane heater has true automatic gas modulation which means that it is self-adjusting and able to change the gas usage based on variations of the water flow and also incoming water temperatures.
This would result in consistent temperature control without overheating the water in the summer or not heating enough during the winter.
- Possess safety features such as an anti-freeze technology built into this model
- Powerful despite being compact and portable
- Can fit into small spaces
- Energy efficient, will use up to 50% less propane compared to other heaters with the same BTU output
- Heater itself will get a little hot
- Heats up much too quickly
3 ProCom Heating INC ML060HPA 6,000 BTU Liquid Propane Gas Infrared Wall Heater
This Infrared Plaque Liquid Propane heater would help to make supplemental heating quick and easy. All you need to do is just press one button for it to ignite and just stand back and enjoy your dependable and affordable heat.
This propane heater comes with infrared plaque heaters which work similar to a sun’s radiant heat and will warm all objects in the room it is in, providing a comfortable and affordable heating source.
This propane heater also comes with manual on/off settings and an easy push-button for ignition. The product comes with a wall mounting bracket and can be attached to the back of this propane heater which allows you to hang it on the wall for better circulation.
This is one of the best vented propane wall heaters that you can find due to it being designed, engineered and tested in the USA while also featuring an Oxygen Depletion Sensor with automatic shut off for safety assurances.
- Come with cool touch cabinet
- No electricity required
- Best vented propane heater that is energy efficient
- Automatic shutoff with Oxygen Depletion sensor
- Longevity issues
- Some users have experienced ignition issues
4 Rinnai EX08CP direct vent wall propane heater
This Rinnai direct vent propane heater will be an efficient and simple way for you to bring heat and comfort to drafty rooms. If you have a basement or cool rooms in your home, the Rinnai EX08CP direct vent propane heater will reliably heat your room by evenly distributing heat without utilising too much energy.
This direct vent propane wall heater is a plus if you are looking for one that is small and cool to touch which allows them to be placed anywhere along the wall without worry.
The Rinnai EX08CP also comes with a bunch of safety features which includes a standby power of less than 1 Watt, self-diagnostics with error code indicator, sealed combustion, child safety lock, a cool to touch exterior as well as variable speed inducer motor with pressure switch monitors and controls.
- Great for smaller spaces
- Child-Safety lock
- Programmable Thermostat
- Might require professional help with installation
5 Ashley Hearth DVAG11N 11,000 BTU Direct Vent Natural Gas Heater, Cream
The DVA11GN heater from Ashley Hearth Products will provide you with the perfect solution for zoned heating. This direct vent propane heater is designed with space saving features and is easy to install and also mounts to an exterior wall with an adjustable vent assembly that adjusts to fit walls from 4-½ inches to 10 inches thick.
This direct vent propane heater will be able to produce clean and comfortable heat whenever you want it with safety features that help keep the gas flame completely combustible while still being sealed inside – away from the contact with all room air.
The air that is necessary for combustion of this direct vent wall furnace is drawn into its chamber from outside your home through the vent and combustion side products will be vented directly to the outside to ensure that only clean, gentle heat in continuous circulation is being delivered into your room.
This is one of the best vented propane heaters as you can ensure your doors and windows stay closed since no room air is being used for combustion and this direct vent heater is designed to heat up to 375 square feet.
- Perfect for zone heating
- Direct vent wall furnace with thermostat
- No fan
Whether or not which is the best vented propane heater will largely depend on you. This is because you will need to consider where the best vented propane heater you have selected will be placed and whether or not you have a family to consider. After that, there are upfront costs to think about versus the running costs.
Before purchasing your vented propane heater, you should consider also measuring your space so that there are enough square feet around to place a heater with the capacity to cope with the size of the room.
Q: How much propane is used by a 30,000 BTU heater?
The average weight of a gallon of propane is about 4.2lbs. The burn rate of propane in one gallon is around 100,000 BTUs per hour so that from this information, we can calculate that a 30,000 BTU heater that is continuously running will result in consumption of propane at approximately ⅓ gallons per hour.
Q: How much propane does a water heater without a tank use?
This would depend on how many people are using it and how intensely they are using it. Two persons could approximately use about 200+ gallons of propane a year just for hot water and that is equivalent to about 1.5 gallons of propane per day.
Q: How do I turn on a propane heater?
The first step to turn on a vented propane heater will be to adjust the thermostat to its lowermost setting. After that, you will need to turn off the manual valve and smell for any gas. If there is no gas, turn on the gas valve again and light up the heater manually if it does not come with an in-build ignition device. You can then adjust the thermostat as your heater requires it.
Q: How long does a propane heater last?
On average, a propane heater lasts about 10-15 years and its lifespan depends on how well it is usually maintained. If maintenance and cleaning is done periodically including ducts or filters, there is a chance this may prolong its life.
Q: How much propane is needed for a wall heater?
One gallon of heater would work for a wall heater for about 3 hours or more. As such, using this information, you can calculate the amount of propane required for your uses. The average American household uses about 80 gallons of propane a month for a wall heater.
Q: Is a vented propane heater safe?
Propane is a fuel that burns cleanly and does not give off any off-putting smell during burning and on top of that it is also less combustible compared to other fuels. So with this in mind, using an indoor propane heater will usually be safe and easy to install but might be slightly more dangerous for outdoor purposes.
Q: How long will a heater with propane last in small spaces?
Every heater has an average lifespan of about 10-15 years and is subject to how well you maintain this device through regular cleaning and servicing.