Updated: Oct 12, 2016
Propane Heater Reviews:
- What is a propane heater?
- Benefits of home propane heaters
- How much do portable propane heaters cost? Which should I buy?
Each winter, we see home heating costs rise and rise. And if our houses could use a bit more insulation, we literally see our money escaping through cracks and crevices. A cost-effective solution to your heating problems may be propane heaters. Whether you want to supply extra heat to the most frequented rooms in your home, warm up a garage so you can work on a project, or have a fun outdoor gathering without freezing, propane heaters will help keep you warm and within your budget.
The top brands include Mr. Heater (they are #1), Coleman, Garden Sun, Reddy, Dayton, and Master Propane. Expect to spend at least $50, although most of the top rated propane heaters we found were all over $100. You can find heaters powered by propane gas in home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes and in regular department stores like Sears. We like shopping online and prefer the wide selection that Amazon.com has on their website.
The video below shows the basic functions of a propane heater so you know what to expect:
How to Choose the Best Propane Heaters
The most important consideration in choosing the best propane heater is the size you need to heat. And the price! Both of these will help you make your decision. Price includes not only the initial cost of purchasing your heater, but also the price to operate it. You don't want to cut down on using your oil-guzzling furnace only to find you've purchased a propane-guzzling heater. Energy-efficiency is key. Get the appropriate BTU rating for your size area and make sure your heater has a temperature control so you can further regulate it. Larger rooms typically need higher BTU ratings, while smaller rooms require lower. If the room is very well insulated, you can cut back on the BTUs and vice versa if the room is poorly insulated.
A lot of people worry about safety when it comes to portable heaters. Space heaters sometimes get a bad name because they have been known to cause fires. Is this true? Sure, some of the older models or ones that were defective or incorrectly used. Today's models have much better safety features, including automatic shut-off if the unit is tipped or knocked over. You can feel comfortable having a propane heater in your home or garage. They typically also have a low temperature surface, so you don't have to worry about your children or pets burning themselves on hot fixtures. Look for complete safety features before you buy anything. Next, think about the type of propane heater you want: forced air, convection, or radiant.
If you are using the heater in your home, you will want radiant heat. Radiant heat is that which delivers heat from a source without losing any energy. They heat rooms or objects directly and usually have high energy outputs. They are very efficient, can be easily monitored, and are usually inexpensive. Convection and forced air systems are better suited for outdoor and construction uses. Propane Heater reviews - We scoured the Internet, magazines, and newspaper articles to see which heaters rated the highest overall by experts and consumers. Consumer Reports does a great job of ranking the space heaters, but they don't have anything specific to propane heaters. Several outdoors/hunting websites feature owner comments on propane heaters which we found useful in our research and Consumersearch.com also has in depth comparisons between the top brands. You can browse the top selling propane heaters online here.
Why use a Propane Heater?
Why not just turn up the thermostat and let your furnace heat your entire home? You could, but you would most likely be wasting a ton of energy. Think about your home: where do you spend the most time? Which rooms would you prefer to be warmer? For instance, you may like to sit in the toasty living room in the evenings but go to bed in a cooler room. If you turn the heat to a uniform 65 or 70, the furnace works to heat all rooms to that temperature, with varying success. But you may not want it to be 70 in your bedroom. You may not need it to be that warm in your pantry or your lesser used rooms. With a portable propane heater, you can reduce your heating bills by warming only the rooms you need. Portable heaters provide a great solution. Turn it on while you're in the living room. Turn it off when you go to bed. Turn on your propane heater in the bathroom before you take a shower on a chilly morning, and turn it off when you go to work.
If you are making frequent trips in and out of the house, place the heater by your entry way so the room doesn't get too cold. There are endless uses for propane heaters in the home, yard, and garage. You are saving a lot of energy and money by only heating the areas you want. In addition, propane burns cleaner than heating oil, and though prices fluctuate, it can be less expensive as well. Portable or wall heaters are not meant to replace your furnace, but they can certainly be handy when temperatures plunge. Often, too, they are more convenient and less expensive than natural gas heaters. Another plus, you can have regularly scheduled fill-ups so you don't run out when you need it most. And what if a storm knocks your power out? If you depend solely on your furnace, you'll be shivering and your pipes will be freezing in no time. A propane heater does not require electricity. Simply turn it on and stay warm or place one near your pipes to keep your water from freezing. See infrared heaters here.
Best Propane Heater:
We found it hard to come up with a single "best selling" propane heater. Many of the ones we found listed on Amazon and other sites had near perfect ratings from consumers and experts. The one brand that stood out was Mr. Heater. Instead of trying to pick one of their popular units, we decided to let you pick the one best for you as they carry all types - for home use, garage, outdoors, camping, backyards, etc. They offer convection heaters, radiant heaters, and forced air heaters - over 60 total listed. Check out the top rated Mr. Heater propane heaters online here.
Some of the top models to consider are the Mr. Heater MH55FAV, Mr Heater MH18B, and the Mr. Heater MH42T. With pricing at $100 to $140, you can buy a high quality propane heater that is proven to heat effectively in all circumstances and they hold up over time as well.
To check out how to use a home propane heater - click the image below to go to video.
Portable Propane Heater:
Lots of households searching for a propane heater just want something that is efficient and portable. The top rated Mr Heater MH18B Portable is really the perfect solution at less than $140. The MH18B is often referred to as the "Big Buddy" from Mr. Heater and we couldn't agree more. With 3 temperature settings (low, medium, high), you can control how hot you want it. There are even wall mounting holes for those that want it used in that manner. The control knobs are large enough that even if you are wearing gloves you can still turn the knob without difficulty (many owners mention this feature). The unit starts up easy and the battery or A/C powered blower fan gives you versatility in how much heat is dispersed around the area. This portable heater will put out 18,000 BTU's and can efficiently heat an area up to 400 square feet. Most popular portable propane heaters here.
Forced Air Propane Heater:
As we mentioned above, the forced air propane heaters are best suited for outdoor use, and the Mr. Heater MH55FAV is the top selling model in this category. It features variable output between 30,000 and 55,000 BTU's and has a heavy duty high output fan. You will need to get a 20 pound propane tank - the 10 foot hose and regulator are included however. The durable steel construction make this unit perfect for any outdoor occasion. The instant heat is both efficient and economical, but do remember that sufficient combustion and ventilation air is necessary. You get a 1 year limited warranty on the MH55FAV propane heater. We read positive owner comments from hunters, those that work in their garage, and people who use the heater in larger rooms with proper ventilation.
More videos and resources are here on our Propane Heater Resource Page.
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