What Are The Best Propane Heaters in 2017?

Whether you are camping, doing construction, spending your weekends in the garage getting that classic in mint condition, or looking for a source of heat during an emergency, propane heaters might be your answer. Easy, portable, and clean, the heat from propane heaters can be used in a variety of places for comfortable, effective heating for you and your family.



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Mr. Heater Portable Radiant Heater


Dyna-Glo Forced Air Heater


Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater


Dura Heat Tank Top Heater


Heatmaxx Indoor/Outdoor Convection Heater

General Information about Propane Heaters.

Propane heaters come in a huge variety of models, each suited a variety of purposes. Generally, they attach to liquid propane tanks or gas propane tanks, either directly or with hose attachments. They are often small and flexible, and most models can be used both outdoors and indoors. Before choosing the right propane heater for you, there are several things you should consider.

Where will you be using your heater?

Before choosing a propane heater, you’ll have to know where you plan to use it, particularly if you need an indoor heater, an outdoor heater, or one that can be used in either place. You may be looking for a heater for your garage or outdoor workspace, in which case you’ll want to choose a model that is safe for indoor use. If you plan on using your heater for working outside, on your back porch, or for camping, you may be okay with an outdoor only heater. And if you will use your heater for construction projects, you may need one that is safe for both indoor and outdoor use.

If you will be using your heater in a space where small children or pets may be such as an RV or a tent, you’ll want to think about the dangers an exposed flame poses. If you think your dog might catch his tail on fire or a toddler may put a hand where it isn’t welcome, opt for a flame free model.

Do you need a unit that is portable?

Portability may be a consideration when you are choosing the right propane heater for you. If you have one location in mind and don’t plan on moving your heater around, portability won’t be an issue. But if you do plan to use your heater in different locations such as a garage and for camping trips, in a golf cart or in a chilly attic, or if you want to keep that option open for the future, you’ll want to choose a model that can easily be transported from one place to another.

How long will you run your heater?

Length of use is something to consider when you are choosing the right heater for you. Will you need it for an eight hour workday in your outside work space? Or will you only need it for short periods of time for warming up the deck while you grill out or look at stars with your friends? Different heaters have different run times before you need to refuel, so keep in mind how long you plan on running your model before you make your decision.

Will you use liquid propane or gas?

Propane heaters come designed to run on both liquid propane and gas, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when you choose the right heater for you. Liquid tanks tend to be smaller, often one pound cylinders, and are great space savers for camping and similar activities. If you want a longer run time for a construction site or another day long (or more!) project, you might want to consider using a gas heat model.

Gas propane tanks come in twenty, forty, and one hundred pound sizes and are therefore good choices if you want to use propane heat for long term without having to change out your tank every few hours.

How much space do you want to heat?

Some propane heaters are designed to heat single rooms while others will heat larger areas. You’ll want to think about how much square footage you want to heat so you can choose the right model for you. There’s no need to opt for a heater that covers over a thousand square feet when you will only be heating an eight by eight tent.

How much heat do you need?

Depending on the space you intend to heat as well as the temperature outside, you can calculate how many BTUs (British thermal unit, a measurement of heat) you will need. Determine the cubic footage of the space you want to heat (length of the room x width of the room x height of the room). Then determine the temperature difference between outside and inside by subtracting the outside temperature from the desired inside temperature (desired inside temperature – outdoor temperature). Then calculate the needed BTUs with one of the following formulas.

Cubic feet x temperature increase in F x .133 = required BTUCubic feet x temperature increase in C x .2394 = required BTU​

For example, if I had a 10’x10’x10’ area that I wanted heated to 70 degrees and it was fifty degrees outside, my calculations would look like this.​

10x10x10 = 1000 cubic feet70 degrees indoor – 50 degrees outdoor = 20 degree temperature increase1000 cubic feet x 20 degree temperature increase in Fahrenheit x .133 = 2660 necessary BTU

The 5 Best Propane Heaters.

Here is some information on some popular propane heaters to help you decide which model is right for you.

#1 - Mr. Heater Portable Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater Portable Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater’s portable radiant heater will comfortably heat 225 square feet with up to 9,000 BTU both indoors and outdoors. It includes several safety features including auto shut off in case the unit tips over, shut off for low oxygen levels in the area, and auto shut off if the pilot goes out. The unit runs on liquid propane and connects to a one pound cylinder. It offers two heat settings and four position control, emitting even radiant heat at just the level you are looking for.

You’ll need to purchase their extension hose and filter kit to hook this model up to a propane tank, so keep that in mind when you are determing the best purchase for your wallet. Another point to consider is the exposed flame in the element. If you are planning to use your heater around small children or animals, an exposed flame heater may not be the best choice for you. This unit is designed to heat individual rooms and not entire houses, so it’s also best for use in personal spaces rather than large work sites.

#2- Dyna-Glo Forced Air Heater

Dyna-Glo Forced Air Heater

Dyna-Glo’s Forced Air heater is a gas propane model that you will need to attach to a propane cylinder to operate. The model fits twenty, forty, and one hundred pound cylinders. Dyna-Glo’s forced air heater includes several safety features such as an overheat auto shut off, a tip-over shutoff that will turn the unit off if it gets knocked over, and back pressure switch.

You can adjust the angle of heat to target higher or lower spaces. This unit is professional grade and will heat up to 1350 square feet with up to 60,000 BTUs. It includes a carrying handle and can be used both indoors and outdoors. This is a good choice for you if you want to heat a large area for a long period of time.

#3 - Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

Texsport’s Portable Outdoor Propane Heater heats an outdoor space with up to 2890BTUs. It attaches directly to a one pound disposable liquid propane cylinder and comes with a plastic paddle foot base for increased stability and safety. The unit is small and can easily be set up for a tailgate, campsite, or even a golf cart if you purchase a cup holder to keep it in the upright position. However, though the attachment does make the unit more stable, it is still not the best choice around animals and small children.

In addition, it offers an auto shut off feature if the flame goes out but does not have any other safety features that can be found on other models. You cannot adjust the angle of the head which means the angle the heat coming off this unit is predetermined and less flexible than other models. You can expect to get six to eight hours of heat from a one pound cylinder with this model.

#4 - Dura Heat Tank Top Heater

Dura Heat Tank Top Heater

Dura Heat’s Tank Top Heater packs a toasty punch with up to 15,000 BTU heating power and can keep an area up to 700 square feet comfortably warm. It is designed for outdoor use and is great for use in construction settings. This is not an ideal unit for inside use, in garages, or with tents, so keep that in mind before choosing this unit. If you plan to heat indoors, choose a unit that is approved for both indoor and outdoor use.

The unit does have a tip over shut off safety feature though the valve can be sensitive. It attaches directly to a twenty pound propane tank without additional tubing or filters necessary, which makes it portable and easy to set up. You can also purchase a plastic base to use under your tank for additional stability. The unit does not have an electric ignition, so you’ll have to light it manually.

#5 - Heatmaxx Indoor/Outdoor Convection Heater

Heatmaxx Indoor/Outdoor Convection Heater

Heatmaxx offers an Indoor/Outdoor convection heater that can keep your space up to 1250 square feet warm. Because the flame is encased in a circular housing, it offers 360 degree radius heating. You can use this unit both outdoors and indoors with the proper ventilation. There is an open flame within the unit, and the metal casing does get very hot, so this is not a good model to use around children and animals who might bump into it.

You can adjust the heat the unit puts out with the three heat settings and by sliding the burn chamber either up or down to increase or decrease the heat output. Three simple screws keep the burn chamber where you want it so your heat level remains constant. You can attach this unit to a twenty, forty, or one hundred pound gas propane cylinder with the ten foot hose and regulator that come with the unit. It does not have an electric ignition, so you will need to light it with a match or BBQ lighter to get it started.


Propane heaters can be effectively used for many different purposes, and that is why there is so much variety in the products. You can be sure to get the best heater for you by thinking about where you want to use your unit and how much heat you want it to put out. If you are looking into getting your first propane heater, consider the Mr. Heater Portable Radiant Heater. Since it is approved for both indoor and outdoor use and has several safety features including a shut off for low oxygen levels, it is a flexible model that can suit many different needs.

Dorthy Robinson

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