Safest Indoor Propane Heaters and Safety Considerations




Last Updated on June 26, 2021

As the cold weather sets in, keeping your home warm and comfortable can be challenging. While you can always crank up your thermostat and take out all the electric heating devices you have, this can be very expensive real fast. So to help you keep down costs while staying warm and safe, consider getting one of these safest indoor propane heaters.

A propane heater is a great alternative to an electric heater. It is highly effective in warming up an area, is cheaper to run, and doesn’t get affected in case of a power outage. A portable propane heater is also great for outdoor use, including patio or porch heating and camping. 

Now, the problem is, there are lots of propane heaters in the market – and not all of them can perform as well as they claim to be. So to make sure you only end up with a good and safe unit, we did the job for you and listed the best propane heaters you can use indoors. We also included a list of the safety features you need to look for when choosing an indoor space heater. 

Our Top Picks At A Glance

Best Overall
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
Best For Small Rooms
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
Best For Large Areas
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
8,000 - 22,000 BTU
20,000 BTU
30,000 BTU
Convection Heater
Radiant Heater
Convection Heater
Best Overall
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
8,000 - 22,000 BTU
Convection Heater
Best For Small Rooms
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
20,000 BTU
Radiant Heater
Best For Large Areas
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
30,000 BTU
Convection Heater

Understanding the Different Types of Indoor Propane Heaters

Before we proceed to our top picks for the best and safest propane heaters, let’s first discuss the different types of space heaters. When shopping around for a vent-free indoor space heater, you’ll usually come across the terms “Radiant” and “Convection“. These are the most common types of heaters and they are very different in how they can keep you warm. 

Radiant Heater

A radiant heater, or also called an infrared heater, warms objects and people in a room. If you are sitting near it, you will immediately feel its effects. So if you are looking for a unit that can heat an area faster, then this is your best option. Radiant heat is also more ideal for uninsulated areas, including unfinished basements and garages. 

However, keep in mind that radiant heat presents a fire risk when positioned close to combustible or flammable material. This means you can’t put it near your curtains, bedding, and furniture. Also, such units can be very hot, so keep them away from your pets, kids, and foot traffic. 

Convection Heater

A convection heater, or also known as blue flame, is similar to your central heating unit. Instead of people or objects, it keeps you warm by heating the air inside a room. Thus, it will take longer for you to notice its effects. However, if you want to warm an entire room in your home, this is a better option. 

5 Safest Propane Heaters for Indoors

Considering British Thermal Units (BTU) rating, heating capacity, efficiency, customer reviews, and most importantly, safety features, here are our top picks for the best indoor propane heaters:

ModelBTUTypeHeating Area (Square Feet)Customer Rating
Rinnai FC824P8,000 – 22,000Convection331 – 1,6004.6 out of 5 stars
Enerco MHVFRD20LPT Propane Heater20,000Radiant5004.8 out of 5 stars
Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P30,000 Convection1,000 4.6 out of 5 stars
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy4,000 – 9,000Radiant225 4.7 out of 5 stars
GASLAND MHA18B18,000Radiant4504.6 out of 5 stars

Top Pick for the Best Indoor Propane Heater: Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater

Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater
  • Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Space Heater - Propane
  • Input range 8,000 to 22,000 BTU/hour
  • Ideal supplemental heating solution for room additions, basements, and sunrooms
  • Tilt Switch - Push-Button, Electronic Ignition

Our top pick for the best and safest indoor propane heater is the Rinnai FC824P Vent-Free Propane Gas Heater. It is flexible, easy to install, and highly effective in rooms and spaces that are hard to heat. Moreover, it is designed for indoor use only, so it will work well for homes, apartments, condominiums, and other residential or commercial settings. 

The Rinnai FC824P has a BTU rating of 8,000 to 22,000, which is enough to cover 331-1,600 square feet of space and keep you warm even in the coldest days of winter. It also has a programmable thermostat so you can control the heat output you desire. You can use it for your room addition, basement, cabin, or sunroom. The only drawback is that the Rinnai is a lot more expensive than most propane heaters in the market. But if you believe in the saying, “You get what you pay for”, then this is the perfect heater for you.  

Safety Features:

  • Cool-to-the-touch cabinet
  • Child-safety lock
  • Electronic ignition (no pilot light)
  • Tilt switch
  • Overheat switch
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS)
  • Flame failure device

Top Pick for Small Rooms: Enerco MHVFRD20LPT Propane Heater

Recent Price Drop!
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 18,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi
  • 18,000 BTU Liquid Propane heater to heat spaces up to 500 sqaure feet.
  • Radiant heat burner
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). CSA Certified
  • Operating this heater at altitudes over 4,500 FT above sea level could cause pilot/ODS to shutdown the heater.

The Enerco MHVFRD20LPT Propane Heater is a great supplemental heater for cold rooms, sunrooms, cabins, and additions. With a high BTU output of 20,000, this unit can provide you the warmth you need even on the coldest days. You can install it on your wall or floor with ease since all the mounting hardware is included. 

Like most propane indoor heaters, the Enerco Ventless Heater is equipped with a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature in your space. It also has a battery-powered electronic ignition for quick starting. 

Safety Features:

  • ODS
  • High Limit Safety Shut-off (HLS)

Top Pick for Large Areas: Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P Blue Flame Heater

Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Thermostatic Vent Free Wall Heater, White
  • Liquid Propane Ready (Fuel conversion not permitted)
  • Blue Flame Technology works by convicting heat to warm the air the same way as a central heating system
  • 24, 000-30, 000 BTU's/hr. adjustable heat output for up to 1, 000 sq. ft.
  • Thermostat control knob automatically maintains your ideal heat level

For large rooms and areas, the Dyna-Glo BFSS30LPT-2P Propane Heater is your best option. It has a high BTU rating of 24,000-30,000, which is enough to warm a 1,000 square feet area. It also features a built-in thermostat control knob, which automatically maintains your ideal heat level. To top it all off, this unit is upgradeable. You can purchase an additional fan to improve circulation or legs for floor mounting. 

Safety Features

  • ODS or auto shut-off when it detects low or lack of oxygen

Top Pick for RV and Tent: Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Recent Price Drop!
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black
  • 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
  • When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
  • Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr
  • Fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to propane tank (not included); Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU): 3 Hours

Here’s a portable heater that you can take just about anywhere. You can use Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Propane Heater indoors, on your patio, porch, garage, shed, barn, workshop, and even inside a tent. It will also come in handy during a power outage. This unit provides enough warmth with heat outputs of 4,000-9,000 BTU, covering up to 225 square feet of space. 

Safety Features:

  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
  • Automatic shutoff if the pilot light goes out
  • ODS

Top Pick for Garages: GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater

GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater, 18,000 BTU Warm Area up to 450 sq. ft, Portable LP Gas Heater for Garages, Workshops and Construction Sites, Ultra Quiet Propane Radiant heater with LP Regulator Hose
  • ☀【Cut Down Your Electricity Bills】With Gasland Portable Cabinet Heater, No electricity required. All you need is a 20lb liquid propane cylinder and you will have plenty of warm. Never worry...
  • ☀【Safe & Reliable】Our propane radiant heater is equipped with Tip-Over and Low Oxygen Shut-off for safety concerns. Since our small space heater is easy to move, they may be easier to kick down....
  • ☀【Mobile & Space Save Design】The Gasland portable propane radiant heater features a handy, mobile and sapce save design intended to be used in the ventilated garage, office and workshop. Take...
  • ☀【3 Heating Modes】 Freely customize the heating mode (High/Medium/Low) to maintain a pleasant warmth in your room. Outputs up to 18,000 BTU of heat to warm rooms up to 450 square feet.

If you are looking for a propane space heater as the source of heat for your garage, workshop, or construction site, then consider the GASLAND MHA18B. With 18,000 BTU, this unit can heat a 450 square feet room in no time. You can also choose from 3 different heating modes to achieve your desired warmth. 

What makes the GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater unique is its mobility. Built with wheels, this is a handy and portable propane heater that you can take from room to room with ease. So aside from your garage, you can also use it for your patio, office, and other well-ventilated areas. 

Safety Features:

  • Tip-over protection
  • ODS
  • Protective guard in the back 

Safety Features to Look For When Buying Propane Heaters

Safety is the most important factor people consider when buying an indoor heater – and for good reason. While a propane heater is considered safe to use for home heating, there are instances when it caused accidents and injuries.

In 2017, for example, an RV caught fire because the owner’s dog knocked over a propane heater. Luckily, no one got hurt during that incident. But this shows how important it is to use propane heaters properly and to buy products with safety features to prevent such accidents from happening. So to help you with that, here’s a list of what you need to look for in a propane heater. 

  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS): Also known as an oxygen shutoff sensor or oxygen sensor, this is a feature that disables the gas supply to the propane heater when oxygen levels in the area drop below a preset limit. 
  • Tilt Switch / Accidental Tip-Over Safety Protection: This feature will stop the gas supply if the heater gets knocked over. 
  • Overheat Switch: This will automatically turn off the appliance when it exceeds a predetermined temperature.
  • Flame Failure Device: This will automatically shut down the unit if the burner flame is extinguished.
  • Child Lock: Since kids have a way of pressing almost every button they see, try to look for an indoor space heater that has a child lock feature. This will prevent any unintentional operation, which can lead to failure of the unit, damages, or accidents. 

Safety Precautions When Using Propane Heater for Indoors

To ensure your family’s safety, you should also make sure that you are using a heater properly. Here are some of the most important precautions and safety tips to remember when using a propane heater indoors: 

  • Make sure to use propane heaters that are rated safe for indoor use. Using outdoor-only propane heaters at home and not having proper ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Keep the unit away from flammable items, including beddings, doors, curtains, and furniture. 
  • Ensure ventilation and always crack a window open. This will normalize oxygen levels, expel any unwanted byproducts, and protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Check for gas leaks every time you connect the heater to the fuel tank. You can use your nose to smell gas or ears to hear a hissing sound. If you suspect anything, try applying soapy water to the connections to see if there’s any sign of bubbling. 
  • Always store the fuel tank outside.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) has no color, taste, or odor. So to protect you and your family, make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector. For an accurate reading, do not put your heater too close to the detector. 
  • Check your local codes if ventless heaters are permitted in your area. 
  • Recognizing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning is key to preventing more serious problems or even death. So watch out for nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness, and weakness when using a propane heater. 

Kerosene vs. Electric vs. Propane Space Heaters Comparison 

When choosing a space heater for your home, your main options include an electric heater, propane heater, and kerosene heater. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each type, including the factors to consider. 

TypeCostFuelEnvironmental ImpactDisadvantage
ElectricCheaper upfront cost but more expensive to operateNoneEco-friendlyYou will have no heating in case of power failure
KerosenePricier upfront cost; cheaper to run More difficult to find; pricier fuelHigher levels of carbon and emits strong smell and harmful fumesNo temperature control Produce many fine particles Requires frequent maintenance
PropanePricier upfront cost, cheapest to runEasily accessible; cheaperEco-friendly; does not emit CO2 or greenhouse gases A propane tank is difficult to store If not used or installed properly, can cause a gas leak

Electric heaters are a great choice for an indoor space heater. However, as a supplemental heater, it may not be the most practical choice. For one, during a power outage, you’ll be left cold and uncomfortable since all your heating systems rely on electricity. Secondly, adding an electric heater to your central heating system can get very expensive. So if power outages are common in your area or you want to save a little on your utility bills, then consider buying a kerosene or propane space heater.

But what is better? Kerosene or propane? This depends on what you are looking for. If you are merely considering the price, then choose a propane space heater. Not only is its fuel easier to find, but it is also cheaper. Additionally, propane does not emit ash, smoke, or soot. It has low carbon content as well, making it a better option for enclosed spaces or tents. 

However, if you want a heater that can deliver the most heat output, then kerosene is a better option. Since it is a highly combustible substance, it can produce a lot of heat at a much faster time than propane. 

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