What you Need to Know Before Shopping for Propane Heaters

What you Need to Know Before Shopping for Propane Heaters

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Topics: Propane Heaters

Trying to make sense of propane heaters and how they can be best used to heat your home or business, but aren’t sure where to start looking? With a few basic guidelines and some quick facts, you’ll be armed with the know-how you need to buy the right propane heater for you.

One of the best features of propane heaters is that they generally don’t require electricity to heat. They run on (unsurprisingly) propane gas, and heat the area by burning that fuel. This makes your average propane heater pretty efficient at heating, since all heat is created from the combustion of the fuel, unlike electric heaters where plenty of energy is wasted through the resistance of the heating elements. More often than not, these heaters are radiant heaters — they produce heat like the sun by warming objects rather than circulating warm air.

Since no electricity is required, you can use propane heaters outdoors, on patios, garages, decks, even at campsites. However, because propane is burned during the heating process, carbon monoxide is emitted. Just be sure to only use propane heaters in an area with ample ventilation. You’ll likely never want to use propane in a bedroom or living room, instead keeping them to ventilated garages, porches, etc.

Lately, the patio propane heater has become very popular. These large torch-like heaters radiate heat incredible well, and can heat a large area very efficiently. Even when used in an outdoor area, such as an outdoor kitchen or eating area, patio heaters can be highly effective.

Figuring Your Propane Heater Fuel Usage

You’ll obviously have to keep your propane heater stocked on propane fuel, but this is relatively cheap fuel source and can be cheaper (and greener) than heating via electricity in some applications.

To figure out the potential propane usage for a heater, first check out the heater’s BTU rating. For example, a patio propane heater may be rated at 30,000 BTUs per hour. A gallon of propane fuel is able to produce 91,500 BTUs of heat, so simply divide 91,500 by 30,000 to discover that your heater will run a bit over 3 hours before needing to be refilled.

If you spend about ten hours a month on your patio in the cool fall months, you’ll need 3 or 4 gallons of propane to adequately heat your patio. This quick calculation can help you to determine the cost effectiveness of a particular model of heater, and allows you to anticipate your fuel costs.

Keep in mind that smaller propane tanks hold 80% of their rated capacity — thus, a 10 gallon tank would only provide 8 gallons of propane fuel. It never hurts to overestimate your fuel purchase, to be sure you don’t run out on a chilly night!

So, if you’re looking for a efficient, portable heater for outdoor or well-ventilated areas, check out propane heaters — Just be sure to do your math first!

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