5 Best Vented Propane Heaters of 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks
Propane heaters are great for staying warm when the temperatures start to drop. However, because this is such an essential piece of equipment, it is particularly important to get the right one. We don’t want your propane heater to die in the middle of a brutal January evening. That is why we’ve compiled a list of six of the best options on the market.
We tested each product featured on the list today to make sure that it succeeds in all of the ways that are important with propane heaters—output, durability, ease of installation, and price. Read on for our vented propane heater reviews!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024:
|Mr. Heater Big MHU80NG
|Empire Comfort Systems
|US Stove AGDV20N
The 5 Best Vented Propane Heaters:
1. Martin 766013 Vent Propane Heater — Best Overall
The Martin 776013 is a heavy-duty space heater that mounts directly onto your wall. It features a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature to the exact degree. The body of the furnace is made from cast aluminum which should fortify it against basic wear and tear, and the installation is advertised as very simple.
Granted, if you aren’t very tool savvy, you will probably need to hire a professional, but some may be able to save money on the cost of installation. Bear in mind that this is a fairly pricey heater, and it also seems to struggle somewhat in larger spaces. Despite this, we still think this is the best overall vented propane heater on the market this year.
2. Heater Big MHU80NG Heater — Best Value
Our runner-up, the Heater Big MHU80NG, is also the best heater for the money on our list today. At roughly half the price of our top choice, it will appeal more to buyers on a budget. The unit is designed to work with propane but can also be converted to natural gas with the help of a conversion kit.
The system advertises that it can heat a room up to 2,000 square feet, though, in reality, it will probably thrive in smaller spaces. Buyers should note that it is a wall-mounted unit that requires a complicated installation. You can attempt to do it yourself, but most will need to hire out, which adds to the cost.
Ultimately, it is not as sophisticated as our top choice, but it is good for buyers on a budget.
3. Rinnai EX08CP Direct Ventilation — Premium Choice
The Rinnai EXo8CP mounts directly to the wall to circulate air in larger spaces. Like our top choice, this unit can be adjusted to a precise temperature (Fahrenheit or Celsius). The control interface is also very simple, making it easy for the layperson to control. Last but not least, it also features a low-power mode. When you are not using the heating element of the equipment, it uses virtually no resting power.
As you may have noticed, we listed this as our premium choice. As you might expect, it is one of the pricier options. Still, if you are hoping for a reliably decent product, this might be a good choice to consider.
4. Empire Comfort Systems Direct-Vent Wall
The Empire Comfort System is a wall-mounted unit that generates 24,500 BTUs of energy. This power level makes it suitable for heating spaces around 1,000 square feet. The unit features an attractive powdered beige coating that ensures it looks decent on your wall. And, with dimensions of 37″ x 11.5″ x 27.75,” it is relatively modest in size, which will be suitable for people trying to conserve wall space.
There are a couple of issues to note. The installation is complicated, which means professional assistance will be required. It is also one of the more expensive products on our list.
5. US Stove AGDV20N Direct Vent
Last but not least, we have the US Stove AGDV20N. This unit generates 17,000 BTUs of heat, making it well-suited for a space of about 350-450 square feet. Its dimensions are 8.4” x 20” x 27.4,” which means it will keep a fairly low profile.
Finally, it also features safety sensors that will shut the equipment off in case of excessive heat or insufficient oxygen levels. There are a few problems that put it at the bottom of our list. It takes a long time for the heat to circulate. Some users also report that it begins to release an unpleasant odor over time. It is ultimately an effective heater, but it suffers shortcomings not found with other units on our list.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Vented Propane Heater
Here are some buying considerations that will make it easier to decide between the options on our list.
Who this is for?
Vented propane heaters tend to be used by people with little to no access to central heating. They may be used in homes or cabins in which retrofitting is an impractical option.
The BTU (British Thermal Unit) is how most manufacturers explain the power capabilities of their heating systems. BTUs refer to the amount of energy required to raise water one degree in temperature.
Here is another way to look at it. Most people agree it takes 5,000 BTU to adequately warm a 100-square-foot space. The bigger the space, the more BTUs you will need. Some of the heaters on our list feature levels similar to those of central heating systems. A higher BTU threshold costs a pretty penny, but it is an effective way to substitute or supplement a furnace.
Some heaters feature onboard thermostats that allow you to control the temperature to an exact degree. In that way, they perform like a miniature version of a central heating system. You aren’t going to find this feature on the cheaper units, but if you’re looking for something to supplement your furnace, it is a handy feature.
Keep in mind that these units are going to be on display in your home. That being the case, it can be handy to have something that looks decent. Appearance won’t impact the performance, but you may prefer an attractive heater over an eyesore.
Gas-powered heaters can be challenging to start. Some units fix this probably by featuring an easy start component. Just press a button, and the motor begins to activate. This is a relatively simple feature that usually doesn’t affect the cost of a product.
Propane heaters come in all shapes and sizes, but often enough they are fairly small. More compact units are great for carrying around, but they can be fairly easy to knock over. A tipped over propane heater can be a major fire hazard, but fortunately, some products have a solution.
Some heaters include a tip-over sensor that immediately cuts off all fuel when knocked down. This feature can prevent catastrophes, so prioritize it as you shop around.
Heaters come in all shapes and sizes. Many users may find it very handy to get a heater that includes wheels or handles.
Heaters produce carbon monoxide. In the case of space heaters, the quantity is usually relatively modest, but it can be dangerous over time. Fortunately, the risk is typically mitigated by the amount of oxygen that it also produces. However, should something happen to the oxygen supply, you may be at risk for dangerous carbon monoxide exposure.
As a result, many space heaters feature an oxygen shut-off component that immediately deactivates the heater if a problem is detected. In larger heaters, this is a mandatory feature, but in any case, it is always critical to your safety.
Some heaters also use a sensor to evaluate the temperature levels of the unit. If the heat gets too high, the equipment shuts off to lower the fire risk. It’s another basic but critical feature that keeps your family safe.
Different Types of Heaters
It is also worth keeping in mind that there are several methods of operation that space heaters will make use of. Here are the two main types that you are likely to encounter:
1. Radiant Heater
Radiant heaters produce waves of heat that only warm things that the rays come into direct contact with. Because they don’t feature a fan, they can only warm a very limited space at a time. However, they are great for offices or bedrooms.
2. Convection Heater
Convection heaters are different from radiant units in that they circulate warm air. Using a fan, they can increase the temperature of a much larger space. In that sense, they operate much the same way as a central heating unit.
Convection heaters are noisy because they use fans. However, if you are trying to heat a larger space, there is no beating a convection heater.
Of course, you should be able to exercise some level of control over your heater. The more settings you have at your disposal, the more comfortable you can make your home. Some units measure their settings in terms of “low, medium, high,” while others may have additional stop points.
Some heaters are sized to fit on tables and desks while others are designed to sit on the floor. However, most of the heating panels on our list are mounted directly onto your wall.
The style of the heater you decide on will depend on several factors. For example, if you have kids in your home, you may favor a wall unit so that it won’t be at risk of getting knocked over. On the other hand, if you are heating an office or bedroom, you might look for a product that fits on a desk or dresser.
As with any product, there are options available for most price ranges. You can get a good product for a fair price, but there are some concessions you don’t want to make. For example, forfeiting a few heat settings will probably be fine. Forfeiting safety sensors will not be.
Which propane heater review leaped out at you? Did you prefer the high level of quality that our top choice, the Martin 766013 Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater had to offer? Or perhaps you are a budget buyer. If you don’t have much money to spend, you can still get a great product from our runner-up, the Mr. Heater F260560 Big Maxx MHU80NG Heater. It includes many of the features we so liked in our top choice, but at a fraction of the price.