It seems that this winter there has been a lot more interest in using the propane heater, both for outdoor heating and indoor and garage heating as well. This is understandable, as propane or LPG heating is actually very cost effective and propane heaters these days are much safer to operate than they have ever been. I have been a bit surprised though at the interest generated in propane heaters, but nicely surprised as I have always been quite fond of using propane heaters as they are just so handy to use especially the smaller ones with the attached propane gas tanks or gas cylinders.
I have also received quite a few questions regarding propane heating in general, and this has prompted me to write another post which will hopefully try to answer or at least give some input on the different (and varied) questions people have posed these past couple of months.
While propane heaters have been used for a good while now to heat up patios and outdoor areas as well as garages, and of course they are great to use when camping as well, they are now becoming more popular to use indoors as well.
The gas fires up quickly and propane heaters are able to generate a nice lot of heat fairly quickly if you use the right type of heater. This is why they are perfect to use in garages or other work areas where you need fairly instant heat in the middle of winter. Propane space heaters are the choice of heater for heating up a smaller work space quickly. These small portable propane heaters turn on right away, begin generating heat as soon as they are on and can very effectively heat up a smaller space. If you are heating up a larger area, a living room for example, you may need to make sure the propane heater you buy has a fan on it to propel the warm air around the room.
The main pro with propane heaters is that they can be used in areas where there is no electricity. They can also be used when the electricity goes off, which is great for those moments when something like that does happen. I have always had a small propane heater around for times just like that and it has come in very handy. Incidentally, living in an area that uses predominantly electricity for all energy sources, we have also always had a little barbecue that runs off propane as well. They are great to heat up water for a cup of tea or coffee when the electricity is out, and you can even cook a simple meal on it too. Of course, electricity does not go out nearly as much as it used to, but there have been times in recent years when we have had to resort to a barbecued dinner.
It goes without saying that whenever you use propane gas for heating or for cooking, you need to make sure that the room has sufficient ventilation. Propane gas, when burned, gives off dangerous carbon dioxide fumes which can lead to death if they build up too high in a room. Every year you still hear of propane heater deaths even though people have been warned about this. Modern propane heaters, at least the more expensive ones, come with an automatic shutdown feature that will shut off the heater if it senses that carbon dioxide levels are getting too high in a room. That is a very good feature to have if you plan on using a portable propane heater in inside enclosed spaces without proper venting.
Best Propane Heaters for Indoors
Of course it all depends on the size of the area you are wanting to heat. If you are planning on heating a living room or a larger area, or even a spare bedroom, you should look at the forced air versions which have a fan that will propel the warm air out into the room. There is a large range of these, with sizes varying greatly to the point that there are some that could quite comfortably heat up a large sized living room or kitchen. You are also able to easily vary the heat on propane heaters as most of the better sized one come with a thermostat and temperature controls.
If you just want to heat up your campervan a small radiant heater should work quite nicely and it would be a good deal less expensive to buy and operate.
A good tip when buying heaters is to always estimate a little on the high side. It is much easier to turn down a heater or to lower the thermostat than to cope with a heater that just is not big enough to do the job.
Best Propane Garage Heater
There is a lot of differing of opinion when it comes to deciding what are good propane garage heaters. Personally I like the bigger, vented units that sit up high on the wall and look a bit like a window unit air-conditioner. They are great space savers, and you do not have to worry about moving them around or tripping over them as they are up out of the way. Of course, I use my garage a lot as a work area, I am constantly in there and I do need good heating so that I can work with my hands free of gloves.
One model that is very popular, that can be wall mounted is the Dayton G73 model. It is big enough to heat up a double sized garage and can cover up to 500 square feet. The thermostat is accurate and there is also an automatic safety shut off feature that will turn the heater off if it starts to overheat. It is touted by many as being the perfect garage heater. A unit will set you back over $250, but that is really very little when you consider how good a heater it is and how long it will last you.
If you are installing a garage heater you need to be aware of garage propane heater ventilation. Usually, with garages, ventilation is not such a big deal as most of the garages I have been in are drafty at best. However, a lot of people are now insulating their garages in order to keep the cold out better. If you have insulated your garage and you end up installing a propane gas garage heater make sure that it is either vented or that you have good ventilation whenever you are working in there.
Propane Golf Cart Heater
Well, I suppose golf must go on, even in the dead of winter. I do not play myself, but I have received quite a few questions about the best propane golf cart heaters. It makes a lot of sense to me to use propane heaters in a golf cart as you are out on the course, away from all other sources of energy.
You will be pleased to note, if you are a winter time golfer, that there are quite a few good propane golf heaters on the market, designed specifically to be used in the golf cart. Coleman make a range of very good golf cart heaters. The Coleman 5036-850 GolfCat Catalytic Propane Heater seems to have received the best reviews, although there are several other models sold by Coleman that looked to me like they would work quite nicely. Overall this did seem to be the best brand when it comes to golf cart heaters.