There’s nothing better in the cold winter than relaxing in front of a warm open fire. It not only keeps the cold away but provides a certain type of ambiance only a fire can. Unfortunately having an open log burning fire or a freestanding gas stove isn’t always possible due to the cost of logs, safety and health concerns.
- Indoor Propane Heaters
- 1. Mr. Heater F232000 Buddy – 9 000 BTU Indoor & Portable Propane Heater
- 2. Dyna-Glo RA18LPDG – 18 000 BTU Indoor Propane Cabinet Heater
- 3. Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Big Buddy Indoor Propane Heater
- 4. Dyna-Glo IR30PMDG-1 – 30 000 BTU Liquid Propane Indoor Wall Heater
- 5. Avenger Dual Fuel Vent-Free Heater – 30 000 BTU Indoor Propane Heater
- 6. Mr. Heater Corporation Vent-Free 10,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater
- How Indoor Propane Gas Heaters Work
- Circulating Indoor Heaters
- Radiant Indoor Heaters
- Wall Mounted Indoor Heaters
- Vented and Unvented Indoor Heaters
- Are Propane Heaters Safe Indoors?
- Is Your Indoor Propane Heater Safe?
- Lean Burn
- Rich Burn
- Portable Indoor Propane Heaters
- Permanent Indoor Propane Heaters
Indoor propane heaters give you the benefit of an open fire without the concerns that come along with it.
Indoor propane heaters are characterized by its size (small-ish like the portable ones), weight (they’re also normally under 10 lbs), mobility (you can also move them around) and build (you can normally set them up, down and sideways to point to someone or something, as well as see the flames or heat source).
Indoor Propane Heaters
Low winter temperatures continue to ravage many states across the country. To make things worse, power outages are frequent occurrences during winter storms.
As such, many homes find themselves without heating options. This is why many people get a portable propane heater as a back-up option. Fortunately, there’s a wide array of propane heaters in different sizes and designs to choose from.
Before you pick your propane heater, please be aware of the differences between outdoors-only and indoor propane heaters. Knowing the distinction can be a matter of life and death. To mistakenly have an outdoor heater inside could lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
The 6 Best Residential Propane Heaters To Buy:
Below we have listed and reviewed the 5 best value for money indoor propane heaters currently on the market. We review and update these products on a regular basis.
The Mr. Heater ‘Portable Buddy’ comes with a relatively large porcelain-coated heating surface, which enables it to radiate heat over a larger area (up to 225 square feet). It is suitable for use in garages, tents, workshops, cabins, porches, patios, or hunting blinds.
It comes with two heat settings (4,000 amp; 9,000 BTU/HR), a fold-down handle that reduces storage space, a swivel-out fuel connection (which provides easy LP cylinder and hose installation), and an easy-start four-position control.
The high-temperature wire guard, low-oxygen safety shut-off (ODS) and tip-over safety shut-off all help to ensure that it provides reliable heat while ensuring your safety at any time of the day.
Meanwhile, its ceramic burner tile is mounted with shock absorbing insulation – ensuring durability, longevity and allowing for its easy replacement when necessary.
The Dyna-Glo Delux Propane Cabinet Heater can produce up to 6,000-18,000 BTU’s of heat energy, and can easily heat up any area within 450 square feet in size (within a 600 feet radius). This makes it suitable for heating up workshops, garages, patios, decks, and for use while camping.
It comes with three heat settings, an easy Push Button Piezo Ignition system, and side-carry handles for easy portability. Once you have decided where to place it, the two locking casters help keep it firmly in place.
Meanwhile, the Oxygen Depletion Sensor helps ensure your safety by automatically shutting off the heater whenever oxygen levels dip below the safety threshold.
Dyna-Glo Cabinet Heaters have consistently earned positive ratings from its users – a testament to its makers’ long and storied experience in helping warm construction sites, industrial workspaces, agricultural buildings, and various other ventilated spaces over the years.
Mr. Heater’s Big Buddy Propane Heater is more powerful than the ‘Portable Buddy’, with its capacity to heat up any area within 400 square feet in size. It complements radiant heat with convection heat airflow for maximum heating efficiency, thus providing safe and reliable heat whenever and wherever it is needed.
It is suitable for use in emergency situations, workshops, garages, storage buildings, construction trailers, barns, tents, patios, porches, cabins, fishing shanties, truck caps, and barns.
It comes with multi-position heat settings (pilot, low, medium and high)that allow you to easily adjust heat settings, an easy carry handle for enhanced portability, a heavy-duty safety wire guard, a built-in low oxygen sensor and a tip-over safety shut-off that helps ensure your safety.
The Dyna-Glo IR30PMDG can heat any area within 1,000 square feet in size efficiently (its infrared technology allows it to burn with 99.9% efficiency), economically and safely, and is suited for use in your home, cabin or garage. Since it operates on liquid propane instead of electricity, it can be used in the event of any power outage.
You can manually adjust the heat setting to your desired temperature level, and be assured of your safety with the built-in oxygen depletion sensor.
Avenger’s Dual Fuel Vent-Free Blue Flame Heater comes with a compact frame (with a visually appealing modern profile) and the capacity to heat up any living space within 1,400 square feet in size. It has an upper limit of 30,000 BTU and runs on either natural gas or propane (and can thus be used in the event of a power outage).
The thermostat control automatically turns the burner on and off to maintain your desired room temperature. It comes with a pre-installed blower, base feet, and a wall mounting bracket.
Modern indoor propane heaters are a great way of providing a little extra heat for a chilly room on those cold winter nights. These heaters are designed to be safe, efficient and easy to use when needed. Many models use bottled propane to produce their heat, which is an inexpensive and easily accessible fuel in most areas.
Some of the better models also feature thermostats that allow you to maintain constant temperature automatically throughout the night to conserve fuel. Indoor propane heaters fall into one of two categories and are considered either portable or permanent (wall).
The Mr. Heater Corporation Vent-free space heater comes installed with multiple output valves to get efficient temperature control. You can easily ignite this portable heater thanks to Piezo ignition.
Mr. Heater Corporation can be installed as a permanent fixture, high on the wall, or fastened onto the room floor. The space heater has several burner tiles to cater to the high demand for radiant heat output.
This propane heater is equipped with an ODS sensor to safeguard against CO poisoning.
- It is restricted to low altitudes under 4500 ft
- Heats the room via radiant heat
- Fueled by liquid propane
- Packaged with mounting and fastening components
Note: The heater is not suitable for use in bathrooms or inside camping vehicles. In places higher than 4,500ft altitude, it will not be operational.
How Indoor Propane Gas Heaters Work
Indoor-safe propane heaters differ in BTU ratings, function, size, and ways of disseminating heat to the surrounding.
There are actually several options for transporting heat from the propane heater to the entire room. The following are a few different types of residential propane space warmers classified according to their method of distributing heat.
Circulating Indoor Heaters
You will easily identify a circulating heater when you see one. They are packaged as “blue flame” portable propane heaters.
These models of propane gas space warmers burn with a bright blue flame. They operate on the same principle as central room heaters. The air surrounding the heater is heated and then circulated to the low-temperature sections of the room.
Radiant Indoor Heaters
These are also known as infrared propane heaters. Radiant heaters warm up a room the way the sun warms the earth.
These infrared indoor heaters heat physical bodies in the room, which then radiate the heat to the air surrounding them.
Wall Mounted Indoor Heaters
Any kind of portable indoor propane heater can be installed on the wall following the manufacturer guidelines.
Vented and Unvented Indoor Heaters
Vented propane room heating systems combust using air from the outside, and then expel the exhaust gases outside.
Unvented heaters, on the other hand, burn using the air in the room. These are usually meant for use in one space.
Note: Propane heaters indoor must never be left unattended. When you go to bed, switch it off. This is because it poses serious potential risks to property and lives.
Are Propane Heaters Safe Indoors?
Manufacturers have designed propane heaters that are safe when used only momentarily. For example, they are only to be used in the event of a power outage.
The only way to find out which heater is safe for indoor use is to read the description and the operating manual.
The heaters described as outdoors only are commonly seen at soccer pitch sidelines and some working fields.
When outdoor heaters get inside garages or a room, the exposure to CO exponentially increases. This poses a grave health risk to parties involved.
The problem with CO is that it is virtually undetectable without a carbon monoxide detector. It is a colorless, odorless, and highly potent poison.
CO gas poisons the body by binding with the hemoglobin in the blood. Even a low volume of oxygen is transported by hemoglobin.
Increased exposure results in death by suffocation, as the lungs will not get the required amount of oxygen.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include:
If you experience any of these symptoms while using a space heater, get out for some fresh air immediately and seek medical assistance.
The good news is that indoor-safe propane room warmers come installed with a safety feature known as the oxygen depletion sensor (ODS).
The oxygen sensor’s job is to shut off the heater in the event that the airflow in a room has dropped too low past a safe level.
Is Your Indoor Propane Heater Safe?
When gas appliances hit their optimal level, they give off little to no CO gas. When exposed to sufficient amounts of oxygen, liquid gas burns to produce heat, water vapor, and carbon dioxide.
However, when incomplete combustion occurs, indoor propane heaters will produce CO.
Types of Incomplete Propane Combustion
Incomplete combustion occurs when there is a higher or lower oxygen to propane ratio than the ideal. The ratio for complete combustion is 4 parts propane to 96 parts oxygen.
Incomplete combustion of propane can occur in any of the two ways:
A lean burn occurs when there is less than 4 parts propane to the ratio of air. In a lean burn, the flames seem to flutter away from the burner. The flames may go out.
A ratio of 2.5 propane and 97.5 air will create a lean burn.
It is easy to know when the burner is producing a rich burn. The flames get higher and bigger than they are supposed to be. They will also be yellow instead of blue.
A rich burn is the result of high propane to air ratio. Basically, a propane to air ratio of greater than 4 parts propane is the recipe to get a rich burn, i.e. 8.5 to 91.5 propane to air.
Even though CO gas is not noticeable, other products of incomplete combustion are visible. These include the flame appearances we have discussed above. Soot will form a high film on the heater panel and water vapour will condensate on windows and other cold surfaces.
If you notice the formation of these products, call your registered service provider to adjust your space heater.
Different Styles of Indoor Propane Heaters
Portable Indoor Propane Heaters
A portable indoor propane heater can be moved easily wherever needed and is typically smaller in its heating capability. These heaters are normally used to augment an existing heating system that may need a little help warming an area of a home on a, particularly cold night.
A portable indoor propane heater is also great for providing heat while camping or during a power failure since many models are self-contained and require no external power.
While these two styles of heaters may operate in a similar way, their size and the amount of heat they can produce is different. For most homes, we recommend a portable propane heater, as it’s affordable and easy to move around.
The Benefits of a Portable Indoor Propane Heater
The single best feature of any portable propane heater is that it can be moved to wherever it’s needed for heat. These units contain everything required for operation and can supply warmth instantly, with the flip of a switch. Although they may be smaller than other types of heaters, they can still produce an abundance of heat from a single propane canister.
Their portability also expands their use beyond the home and allows you to take them along when hunting, fishing and camping. They provide the perfect solution when you need a little extra heat to chase away the cold.
Permanent Indoor Propane Heaters
A permanent indoor propane heater is different since it is designed to be mounted to a wall in the home. Some models are attached directly to the wall in the room you are heating and others are installed inside the wall, between the beams.
These permanent indoor propane heaters are attached to a larger tank of fuel that is located outside the home, near the heater. The larger storage tanks are fixed in place for use and filled by a delivery truck.
These permanent indoor propane heaters are larger in heating capacity than a portable model and are intended to heat a bigger room or an entire house. Most models employ a circulation fan inside the heater to distribute the warm air where needed.
Because of their size, these heaters produce a larger volume of exhaust gas that must be vented outside the home for safety.
Larger Models for Heating a Home
This same technology is used on larger indoor propane heaters that are designed to heat your home. These models are permanently mounted to a central wall in the house and can deliver warm air to the entire dwelling.
This type of heater is a great alternative to other heating systems like gas or oil, especially in remote areas where these fuel types are not readily available.
These larger propane heaters are designed to operate as a normal heating system and feature a thermostat that controls the heater’s operation. You can set it to the desired temperature and the system will respond with the required heat to maintain that temperature.
These heaters will vent to the outside of your home for safety and operate so quietly that you’ll almost forget they are there.
Unique Safety Features Used in Indoor Propane Heaters
Indoor heaters employ several additional safety features not typically found on outdoor models. Because of the need for these safety improvements, it is critical that you never use an outdoor propane heater indoors, even for a short period of time. All indoor propane heaters will be certified for indoor use.
These specialized heaters include a collection of safety features like a low oxygen detector that shuts off the heater when the air in the room falls below a safe level. All models of indoor heaters also include tip protectors that extinguish the flame if the heater is knocked over. These protections help to make them safer for indoor use.
A portable propane heater is a great appliance to have when you need to temporarily heat an area. They use inexpensive fuel that is easy to find at a local hardware store and will operate for hours on a single canister.
They produce strong, consistent and clean heat that will keep you warm throughout the night. The latest versions of these heaters are less expensive and more efficient than ever before and provide a very safe heat source for your home.
Ignition Type – Automatic Vs Manual
Manual type ignitions will always be less liked for the very first reason you can think of. It’s manual. At the same time, this brings a lot more safety. Automatic ignition types are also safe and reliable, however, they have parts that break more with time.
This doesn’t mean you should go for either just based on that fact but always go for the best option and highest rated on the market with this type of technology so that it would last longer.
If you don’t feel safe with auto ignition, go for the manual types of heaters. If you feel comfortable spending a few more dollars on a safe automatic ignition heater, do so as well, just make sure to never compromise because this little option can make or break the whole place.
On one hand, you have the comfort of automated responsiveness from the unit and the technology to keep you safe with the ignition and auto safety.
On the other hand, you rely on yourself to manually do these tedious tasks, along with the major safety factor to turn the heater on and off. In any case, the best option would always be to go for the proven brands and the most safety a heater can provide, especially if you will be carrying it around with you most of the time.
When you decide to look for an indoor propane heater consider all the important details we discussed in the buyers’ guide. Know how big of a space you need to heat up and how long you will be spending there.
Know your necessities since you might want a portable heater if you want to have it in your shed or when you go camping get something portable and not too heavy to move.
Don’t cheap out on safety and good materials and always go for the best quality as it will serve you the longest. Whichever one you choose, this article hopefully helped you make a more educated purchase that you would be happy with.
What is The Best Indoor Propane Heater?
After many hours of research and a revision for 2020, we think the Mr. Heater F232000 Buddy is the best indoor propane heater currently on the market. It’s safe, user-friendly, affordable and looks great.