Heating with propane can warm you up during the winter without costing too much or needing any electricity. Know what to get in this handy guide to propane heaters and some other things to consider in your
The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Heating With Propane
Benefits of Heating with Propane
One of the main benefits of propane heaters is their cost – since they don’t use any electricity, you don’t get the shock of a hefty electric bill after running the heater all day.
It’s also one of the cleanest fuels out there, making it safe for the environment.
Because it doesn’t use electricity, you can still use your heater when the power goes out in the middle of the winter. You can also use a portable heater for camping in cooler months (as long as you can carry it around your heater).
Types of Propane Heaters
Propane heaters can be classified under three types:
- Convection: Convection propane heaters circulate hot air in every direction, just like convection ovens. This makes it perfect for warming up a small room.
- Forced-Air: Forced-air propane heaters blow out hot air towards the direction you point the heater to. It’s the right kind of heater when you need large amounts of direct heat.
- Wall-Mounted: Wall-mounted heaters do as they say – they mount to a wall. While not as powerful as other types of heaters, they offer the benefits of propane heaters while saving a ton of space.
Things to Consider When Heating with Propane
Before going out to buy your first propane heater, here are several things to consider before deciding which heater is the right one for you.
- Build Quality: Your heater should be built to last and built to withstand the elements. Look for heaters that come with a solid warranty for parts and service.
- Size: It’s a matter of striking the right balance between size and power depending on where you plan on using it. Smaller heaters allow you to carry it around, but larger heaters also come with larger-capacity tanks.
- British Thermal Unit (BTU) Rating: A propane heater’s BTU rating determines how much heat the heater can produce. Higher isn’t necessarily better – a heater with a higher BTU is more powerful, but when used in a smaller space can heat up a little too quickly and make the area too hot and too humid.
- Portability: If you intend to take your heater for a winter camping trip, look for heaters that don’t require a power outlet. They should also ideally have a carrying handle so you can pick it up and bring it wherever you go.
- Location: For outdoor use, make sure the heater has enough power to compete with the rapid heat dispersal that happens in an open area, or opt for a forced-air heater that intends to blow air in your direction. If you plan on mostly using it indoors, make sure it has multiple safety mechanisms that reduce fire hazards and carbon monoxide emissions.
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Safety Features to Look For when Heating with Propane
Many heaters come with features that ensure safety when in use. Look for heaters that come with the following safety mechanisms:
- Oxygen-Depletion Sensor: the ODS measures the environment’s oxygen levels. If the ODS detects low oxygen levels, it automatically turns the heater off to prevent the buildup of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the air
- Overheating Protection: This sensor measures overall temperatures and shuts off the heater if it reaches a certain threshold. This shields the heater from damage from operating at too high temperatures.
- Tip-over Protection: Tip-Over protection protects you in case your heater falls over. The protection activates on impact so it doesn’t ignite fires on contact.
Of course, you should still take basic safety precautions when using propane heaters. Make sure to have proper ventilation when you use your heater and store your propane tanks properly.
Heating with propane, when used correctly, can heat you up in various situations both in your home or on a camping trip. We hope this guide lets you make an informed decision before shopping for your new propane heater.
Do you use a propane heater? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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