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In this article, we will compare electric vs propane heaters in terms of their efficiency, cost, and safety. We will also provide a buying guide to help you choose the right type of heater for your needs. Our top pick is the Mr. Heater F232000.

When it comes to heating your home or outdoor space, there are two primary options to choose from: electric and propane heaters. Both types of heaters have their benefits and drawbacks, and the decision between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs.

Electric heaters are a popular choice for indoor heating because they are easy to use and require no fuel storage. They come in a variety of styles, including portable and wall-mounted options, and can heat a room quickly and efficiently.

Electric heaters are also generally safer than propane heaters because they do not produce any carbon monoxide or other harmful gases.

Propane heaters, on the other hand, are a popular choice for outdoor heating because they provide a significant amount of heat and are often more portable than electric heaters.

They are also less expensive to operate than electric heaters, especially in areas where electricity rates are high. However, propane heaters require a fuel source, which can be expensive and inconvenient to store.

When choosing between electric and propane heaters, there are several factors to consider.

The size of the space you need to heat, your budget, and your heating needs will all play a role in your decision. Additionally, safety should always be a top priority when using any type of heater.

Electric vs Propane Heaters

When it comes to heating your home or outdoor space, there are two main types of heaters to consider: electric and propane. Electric heaters are a popular choice for indoor use, as they are easy to use and require no fuel source other than electricity.

On the other hand, propane heaters are often preferred for outdoor use, as they provide heat quickly and efficiently without the need for an electrical outlet (check out the best patio heater).

In this article, we will be comparing the best electric and propane heaters on the market to help you make an informed decision for your heating needs.

1. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

If you’re looking for a portable and efficient heater for enclosed spaces, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is a great option.

Pros

  • Portable and easy to move around
  • Efficient heating for spaces up to 225 square feet
  • Safe to use indoors with oxygen depletion sensor and accidental tip-over safety shut-off

Cons

  • Requires propane gas, which can be expensive to refill
  • May shut off at altitudes over 7,000 feet above sea level
  • Can be noisy when running on high heat setting

This heater is perfect for emergency heat, camping trips, workshops, job sites, and more.

Its compact size and fold-down handle make it easy to transport, while its swivel regulator allows you to use it with a disposable cylinder or a remote gas supply with the purchase of a hose and filter.

The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is also very efficient, with a heating range of 4,000 to 9,000 BTU per hour and the ability to run for up to 6 hours on the low heat setting.

It’s also safe to use indoors, thanks to its oxygen depletion sensor and accidental tip-over safety shut-off.

However, this heater does require propane gas, which can be expensive to refill. Additionally, it may shut off at altitudes over 7,000 feet above sea level, which could be a concern for some users.

Finally, the heater can be noisy when running in a high heat setting, which may be a problem for some people.

In summary, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is a great portable propane heater for enclosed spaces.

Its efficiency and safety features make it a reliable choice for heating up to 225 square feet, while its portability and ease of use make it a convenient option for a variety of settings.

2. BILT HARD 85,000 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater

This portable propane heater is a great option for those looking to heat large areas, such as construction sites, patios, factories, and barns. With a variable 50,000-85,000 BTU output, it can heat up to 2,125 sq. ft. and has an adjustable heat angle to provide versatility.

Pros

  • Economical, efficient, and clean-burning
  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Can be noisy
  • Requires a propane tank (not included)
  • Not suitable for indoor use

This propane heater is designed to be economical, efficient, and clean-burning, running up to 8 hours on a low setting with a 20 lb. propane tank (not included).

It’s also 50% quieter than traditional forced air heaters with quiet burner technology. The heater comes with overheating auto-shut-off protection and auto-cut-off protection to avoid gas leakage.

Constructed with a light and compact design, this torpedo heater is versatile and sturdy enough to handle a variety of outdoor spaces. The continuous electronic ignition makes it easy to operate, and it’s ready to use once plugged into a 120V outlet and hooked up to a propane tank.

While it’s a great option for outdoor use, it can be noisy and is not suitable for indoor use. It’s important to use this heater in a ventilated environment to avoid any safety hazards.

Overall, the BILT HARD 85,000 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater is a reliable and efficient option for those looking to heat large outdoor spaces.

3. ProCom ML100TPA-B Ventless Propane Gas Infrared Space Heater

If you are looking for a compact and stylish heater for your home or office, the ProCom ML100TPA-B Ventless Propane Gas Infrared Space Heater might be a good option.

Pros

  • Produces 10000 Maximum BTU using Liquid Propane and heats up to 500 sq. ft. area
  • Thermostat control offers High/Medium/Low Thermostat Control; Ideal for greater heat flow
  • Slim & modern profile to effortlessly fit in your room; Mount on a wall with included hardware or place on a floor with Base Feet (Included)

Cons

  • Requires a minimum of a 100 lb propane tank which is not mentioned anywhere on the Amazon listing
  • Might not be suitable for larger rooms or open spaces
  • Some users reported difficulty in finding the right regulator for the heater

This heater is a great option for those who want a portable and easy-to-use heater that doesn’t require electricity. It’s perfect for power outages or any in-house emergencies. The heater is also stylish and can fit in any room without compromising on function.

The ProCom ML100TPA-B Ventless Propane Gas Infrared Space Heater is easy to install and operate. The thermostat control offers High/Medium/Low Thermostat Control, which is ideal for greater heat flow and could add a warm atmosphere as a small space heater.

The heater also comes with a slim & modern profile, making it easy to fit into any room. You can mount it on a wall with included hardware or place it on a floor with Base Feet (Included).

However, it’s worth noting that the heater requires a minimum of a 100 lb propane tank, which is not mentioned anywhere on the Amazon listing.

Some users reported difficulty in finding the right regulator for the heater. Additionally, the heater might not be suitable for larger rooms or open spaces.

Overall, the ProCom ML100TPA-B Ventless Propane Gas Infrared Space Heater is a good option for those who want a portable and easy-to-use heater for their home or office.

However, it’s important to consider the size of the room and the availability of a 100 lb propane tank before making a purchase.

4. Hotdevil Tent Heater

This portable propane heater is a great option for outdoor activities like camping, picnicking, hiking, and more. It features an adjustable temperature knob and safety mesh guards for added safety during use.

However, it is important to note that this product is sold without propane cylinders and tanks.

Pros

  • Efficient heating up to 6200 BTU
  • Portable and lightweight design
  • Durable construction for all weather conditions

Cons

  • Sold without propane cylinders and tanks
  • The screen may burn easily
  • Igniter may not work effectively

This heater is a great investment for those looking to stay warm during outdoor activities. The adjustable temperature knob allows for personalized comfort, while the safety mesh guards provide added protection.

The portable and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and set up, and the durable construction ensures reliable performance in various outdoor environments.

One thing to keep in mind is that this product is sold without propane cylinders and tanks. Additionally, the screen may burn easily and the igniter may not work effectively, so it is recommended to have matches or a lighter handy.

Overall, the Hotdevil Tent Heater is a great option for those in need of a portable and efficient propane heater.

5. Hotdevil Outdoor Propane Tank Heaters

This propane tank heater is a reliable and durable heating device designed for outdoor use.

Pros

  • Powerful and energy-efficient
  • Perfect for RV and campers
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • May take some time to heat up
  • Low heat output
  • No heat control

This outdoor propane tank heater is certified by CSA with a maximum heat setting of 13,000 BTU, making it powerful and energy-efficient. It is heated by a ceramic radiant panel for fast heating and more stable efficient output.

The USA standard 20-pound propane tank can continuously operate for 30 hours, making it perfect for garage workshops and outdoor camping sites. With a large space heating capacity, it can quickly warm up to an area of 400 sq. ft, qualifying for commercial-grade applications.

The Hotdevil propane tank heater is perfect for RV and campers as it doesn’t require electricity. You can easily install and run it on USA standard 20-100 lb propane LP tanks.

It is also easy to assemble and disassemble, making it a perfect portable heating device for family outdoor camping and RV tailgate homes. You can easily install and use this propane heater on your daily cooking appliances’ LP fuel tanks.

This outdoor space heater is equipped with piezo automatic ignition, so there’s no need to ignite it through matches or lighters. It starts with just one click.

It comes with an adjustable regulator and pressure control, so you can adjust the temperature seamlessly from low to high and easily change the heat output as needed.

This propane heater is designed with various protection measures. In the event of the gas heater being knocked over, the tip-over switch will deactivate the gas flow, ensuring your safety.

Moreover, when the flame extinguishes, the auto shut-off valve will halt the fuel supply. The zinc-plated steel support leg further enhances stability.

Made with commercial-grade case aluminum and Zinc alloys, this propane heater is heavy-duty and designed to stably work in severe conditions. It is shock-proof and wear-proof, has no rust, and can work in rain and windy weather.

It is reliable and durable for garage workshops, campsites, patios and porches, tailgating homes, hunting, ice fishing, auto/truck repair shops, thawing & heating purposes, construction sites, animal comforts, and more!

This propane tank top heater is certified by CSA US and comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty. Buy with confidence!

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Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing between an electric heater and a propane heater, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key features to look for when choosing the best product for your needs:

Heating Capacity

The first thing to consider is the heating capacity of the heater. This is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) and determines how much heat the heater can produce. The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the heater.

When choosing a heater, consider the size of the area you need to heat and choose a heater with a BTU rating that matches your needs.

Energy Efficiency

Another important factor to consider is the energy efficiency of the heater. Electric heaters are generally more efficient than propane heaters, as they convert almost all of the energy they use into heat.

Propane heaters, on the other hand, can lose some of their energy to the environment. Look for heaters with high energy efficiency ratings to save money on your energy bills.

Safety Features

Safety is always a top priority when it comes to heating appliances. Look for heaters with safety features such as automatic shut-off switches, overheat protection, and tip-over switches. These features can help prevent accidents and ensure that your heater operates safely.

Portability

If you need to move your heater from room to room, look for a portable option that is lightweight and easy to move.

Electric heaters are generally more portable than propane heaters, as they don’t require a fuel tank. Look for heaters with built-in handles or wheels to make them easy to move.

Cost

Finally, consider the cost of the heater. Electric heaters are generally less expensive than propane heaters, but they can cost more to operate in the long run.

Propane heaters require a fuel source, which can add to the cost over time. Look for heaters that offer a good balance of affordability and energy efficiency to get the best value for your money.

By considering these key features, you can choose the best heater for your needs and enjoy a warm and comfortable environment all winter long.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cost differences between using an electric heater and a propane heater?

The cost of using an electric heater is generally lower than using a propane heater. The initial cost of purchasing an electric heater is also lower than that of a propane heater.

However, the cost of electricity varies depending on the location, time of day, and season. The cost of propane, on the other hand, is more stable and predictable.

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Which is more energy-efficient for heating: propane or electric systems?

Electric heating systems are generally more energy-efficient than propane heating systems.

Electric heaters convert all the energy they use into heat, while propane heaters lose some of the energy they produce through exhaust gases. Additionally, electric heaters do not require a vent, which can cause heat loss in propane heaters.

What are the pros and cons of electric heating compared to propane heating?

Electric heating systems are generally cheaper to install and maintain than propane heating systems. They are also safer to use, as they do not produce harmful gases or require ventilation.

However, electric heaters are less powerful than propane heaters, and they can take longer to heat up a room.

Propane heating systems are more powerful and can heat up a room faster than electric heaters. They are also more reliable in areas with frequent power outages.

However, propane heaters are more expensive to install and maintain than electric heaters. They also require ventilation, which can lead to heat loss.

Can you calculate the long-term savings of using electric heat over propane?

The long-term savings of using electric heat over propane depend on the cost of electricity and propane in your area. However, electric heaters are generally cheaper to operate than propane heaters, and they require less maintenance. Over time, the savings can add up significantly.

What are the common drawbacks of using a propane heater for home heating?

The common drawbacks of using a propane heater for home heating include the high cost of installation and maintenance, the need for ventilation, and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Propane heaters also produce exhaust gases, which can be harmful to the environment.

How do electric space heaters compare to propane heaters in terms of performance and safety?

Electric space heaters are generally safer to use than propane heaters, as they do not produce harmful gases or require ventilation. They are also more energy-efficient and cheaper to operate than propane heaters.

However, electric space heaters are less powerful than propane heaters and can take longer to heat up a room.

By Robin M


Robin remains an active participant in the skilled trades community. His hands-on involvement in projects, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for helping others succeed in their home improvement pursuits, reflects his commitment to empowering readers with the knowledge they need to tackle projects confidently.

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