Propane heaters are one of the most convenient ways to heat a room. They are not only easy to install but also cost-effective. The problem is, people think propane heaters can’t be used indoors.
Is that true? What if there is a way around it? In this article, we discuss how to use a propane heater inside. If you are interested, keep on reading!
Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Propane Heaters
Most of the confusion around propane heaters comes from the misconception that you can’t use them indoors. But there are two different types of propane heater: indoor-safe and outdoor.
Outdoor heaters are called torpedo heaters because they use kerosene or gas as fuels. As we know, kerosene heaters are not safe to use indoors. When these types of heaters are brought inside, they can eat tons of carbon monoxide gas. The risk of CO poisoning becomes very high.
Indoor heaters on the other hand come with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) which turns the heater off if the average oxygen level goes below a certain degree. This means you can use these heaters safely at home.
More expensive models have other safety features as well. Find an indoor propane heater with a thermostat as they are better.
Can You Use a Propane Heater Inside?
Of course, you can. Propane heaters are extremely useful especially if you live in a very cold climate. But you can not use just any propane heaters.
There are indoor propane heaters built specifically to be used inside of your house. Only use those otherwise you run a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
This is why spending time on research to find the correct type of propane heater is worth it in the long run.
One of the advantages of having a propane heater indoor is how affordable they are. They heat up faster and super high without using too many fuels in the process.
To avoid any type of risks, check the manufacturer’s guide before buying a propane heater.
Propane Heaters Indoor Safety Guide
- Don’t store the propane tanks indoors. The tank should be outside of the house and only a hose should connect the tank and the heater inside. This is more secure and safe.
- Make sure that the tank is not under direct sunlight. Put a shade or a cover on it to keep it within a certain temperature. The tanks should not be too hot or too cold.
- Keep it away from flammable things. This means not putting it in a wooden shed or anything that can spread a fire.
- Select the right propane heater for you based on its size and the size of your space.
- Don’t put anything on top of the heater. A lot of people put plants, books or decors on top of it to make it look better. But this can result in serious issues if someone knocks something over.
- Pay attention to the color of the flames. If the flame color is yellow instead of blue, turn off the heater and contact the manufacturers.
- Keep the heater at a safe distance from all your furniture and fabric items.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines on how to use your propane heater.
- Check for features like the low oxygen sensor, safety guard, and overheat protection before purchasing a heater.
- Fill it to 80% capacity.
How to Clean a Propane Heater
Propane heaters accumulate a lot of dust and dirt that can be a hindrance to their overall performance. If you are struggling to light up the indoor safe propane heater, maybe it’s time to give it a proper cleaning:
- Turn off your propane heater and let it cool down completely.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Don’t forget to vacuum inside the vents and grids too.
- Use a small dusting brush to dust away into tricky crevices. Make sure to dust away from the igniter and the flame areas too.
- Remove the screws of the cover panne of the heater and use a wet cloth to wipe the inside. You should use warm water. Let the newly cleaned area dry properly
- Vacuum inside the propane heater too. There is an oxygen sensor near the gas line tubing. Make sure to clean it too.
- After you have dust away all the different parts, put the cover back on and tighten the screws.
And that’s it. Your propane heater is thoroughly cleaned.
Propane Heater Safety Tips
If you want to use your propane heater carefully, certain things need to be kept in mind to avoid any possible accidents or issues. Here are some of our propane heater safety tips:
Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector:
If you are planning to buy or install a new propane heater at your house, put some extra effort into installing a carbon monoxide detector too. Not many people do this but it makes life extremely easy.
What a carbon monoxide detector does is it keeps an eye on your CO levels. So if the levels are increasing or decreasing drastically, it will give you an alarm to make you aware of this.
We like the Kidde AC Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm. This works similarly to a smoke alarm. The advantage is, you don’t have to think about it as the Carbon Monoxide detector eases your worries.
It’s also important to buy an indoor propane heater with a thermostat.
Have Proper Ventilation:
This might seem counterproductive but try leaving the window open when you are trying to heat a room with propane heaters. We are not saying you need to open all the windows.
A wall-mounted propane heater is a good option to avoid accidents.
What we mean is, keep a few inches of the window open in case gas leaks. The carbon monoxide will have a path to get out of the house. It’s a simple step that does not affect the heating but keeps your home safe.
Beware of Any Smells:
With propane heaters, any type of strange smell is a matter of concern. If you can smell gas it means the tank is leaking somewhere and it can be disastrous. If you smell carbon monoxide in the air. Immediately turn off the heater and open all the windows in the house.
Keep an eye on it!
You should never leave a propane heater unattended as anything can happen. Children and pets can easily get in touch with the heater so make sure to childproof it. It’s better to run your heart when you are inside the room.
Not all propane heaters come with a safety switch but the premium ones do. It might cost you a few extra bucks but it will be worth it in the long run. Most propane accidents happen when the heater accidentally tips over and creates a huge fire hazard.
Having one with safety switches ensures that it won’t be able to move even if someone knocks it over. This switch grips to the surface the heater is standing on and you can’t move it without unlocking first.
Imagine having an unlocked propane heater right in the middle of an earthquake! Who wants to take that risk anyway.
Check for Leaks:
If the propane tank or hose has any leaks, carbon monoxide can spread everywhere and make the house a matchstick away from burning. Don’t worry as you can easily handle this by doing regular safety checkups. Check for leaks at least once a week.
Maintenance of the propane heater is necessary. Check for leaks, cracks, or anything that can cause the gas to come out. To check leaks easily use soap water.
If you are unsure if a certain part of the heater is leaking or not, wipe the soap water with a cloth on that area. If it’s leaked, you will start noticing bubbles forming around it.
Store It Properly:
Storing your heater properly is very important. Make sure to store it upright and somewhere dry. It shouldn’t be crowded with other things. The heater and propane tanks should not be around anything flammable. We also recommend storing them somewhere with proper ventilation.
How to Choose the Right Indoor Propane Heater
Choosing the right indoor safe propane heater is the biggest task to do. Once you have done that, the rest becomes super easy. Here’s what you should look for in a good propane heater:
Depending on where you live, checking the heating capacity is crucial. As the goal of a propane heater is to heat a room, you have to make sure it can reach high enough to do so.
Most indoor propane heaters range between 8000 BTU to 68000TU. That’s a big jump but you have to keep in mind that not all houses are the same size nor are they in the same climate. But the great thing about that is, there is something for everybody.
It is better to go for a compact size instead of a bulky one as the bigger pens stand out more in a room. Compact heaters can be easily blended with the room furniture so they don’t feel like an eyesore all the time. As much as we want a well-heated room, we don’t want to feel like we are cluttered with a massive device.
The downside of smaller indoor propane heaters is that they are not that powerful. They do not heat up super high so if you live in a super cold climate, there might be no compact option for you to choose from.
Even if it costs a few extra bucks, it is ideal to invest in a sturdy and durable heater. There are certain household items that you shouldn’t compromise on. Heaters are one of them as they are directly linked to our safety.
Reliability is a huge factor while choosing a heater. Go for renowned brands with high ratings. Make sure your heater has a solid warranty system. These things are a sign of quality and assurance.
If you want to move your heater around the house depending on where you are, choosing a portable option becomes a priority. You might have to sacrifice the heating strength but it becomes very convenient to take the heater with you. These heaters are also good for people living in a rental and might change the house soon.
How to Light an Indoor Propane Heater
If you don’t know how to light an indoor propane heater, here’s what to do:
- The supply line should be properly hooked up with your heater and well-placed to avoid any safety issues. If that’s done, we can move on to the actual steps.
- Before lighting up the propane heater, always check the heater’s igniter.
- Turn on the supply line and put the heater in pilot mode. Keep dressing the knob for 20-39 seconds or until the heater is ready.
- Then turn the knob counterclockwise to adjust to your preferred temperature level. After that, the heater will light up.
If you’re having trouble understanding the process, check out this video to have a clear demonstration.
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Frequently Asked Questions
01. Can Kerosene Heaters be Used Indoors?
You can use a kerosene heater indoors but we don’t recommend it. Kerosene heaters need a well-ventilated room. Otherwise, the whole room feels suffocating as it becomes filled with carbon monoxide.
Kerosene heaters also tend to create a lot of smoke which can damage the walls of the room. There is a reason why people stopped using kerosene heaters.
Not only are they high in carbon monoxide, but they also emit a lot of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. All of these are bad for our lungs and health.
If you have asthma or anyone in your family does, it’s not recommended to use a kerosene heater indoors.
02. Do You Need Ventilation for a Propane Heater?
Yes, you need ventilation for a propane heater of any type of heater that uses gas or oil.
Propane heaters can emit carbon monoxide which is not good for our health. So keeping the window a few inches open is a great way to keep the room airy and open.
Propane heaters need oxygen to breathe. So if you close all the windows and vents, the fire will die soon.
03. Are Propane Heaters Safe in Garages?
If your garage is not well ventilated as it has no windows, it’s not ideal to put a propane heater in there. You can install carbon monoxide detectors in the garage to make sure the CO level doesn’t go too high.
04. Can You Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from a Propane Heater?
Carbon monoxide poisoning is no joke as it can affect someone within a matter of minutes after being exposed. Oil, gas, and propane heaters emit a lot of CO that can cause health and breathing issues.
The only way to not get carbon monoxide poisoning from a propane heater is by having proper ventilation inside the room. It’s ideal to keep a window open or to put the heater around air vents.
What to Do Next?
It’s very important to pick the right heater for your home. Now that you know everything about propane heaters, hopefully, you can pick the right one for you.
Be careful and stay safe!