How to Choose a Portable Gas Heater for Your Home

Posted on: 27 February 2017

A portable gas heater can be just what you need for keeping you warm when you want to sit outside during the cooler months, for when you're working in the garage, or for when you want a little bit of heat in the basement, rec room, or other area of the home. When you do start to shop for gas heaters, you may be surprised at your many options; note a few tips to ensure you get the right type for your needs.

Fuel type

First note the fuel type and what would be easiest for you to work with personally. A propane heater typically just gets connected with a hose to the valve on a propane tank, and this is somewhat easy for any homeowner to do on their own. A kerosene heater needs to be filled with kerosene, and this can be more difficult and result in more dangerous spills. If you're not accustomed to working with gas, propane may be a better option.

Also, note the availability of gas types in your area. Many locations will sell propane tanks, so you simply bring in an empty one and trade it. Kerosene may be harder to find; you also need to ensure you have a safe place to store the kerosene on your property, without having it spill.

Indoor versus outdoor

Outdoor heaters should never be used indoors, so always be sure you get an indoor heater even for working in a large area like the garage. Outdoor heaters will usually create more fumes and emissions that will need open air ventilation. An indoor heater may be smaller and less powerful, but they are typically designed this way to ensure they don't create dangerous levels of pollutants.

How the heat is directed

It may seem like a small thing, but note how the heat is directed from the heater. A radiant heater will have a full circle dispenser, so you can put it in the middle of a space and have heat come out from all sides. An umbrella heater will be tall and push heat out from a heating element at the top, so it can heat a larger area such as a patio. However, since heat rises, an umbrella heater may not be as effective for when the patio or basement floor gets cold, and you may notice some discomfort with cold feet and legs. A directional heater will blow heat out one side or through a type of funnel, much like a hair dryer. This is better for when you'll be in one spot and need heat, such as when working in the garage or just sitting in the basement.