Best Vented Propane Heaters – 2020 Guide

| Last Updated: October 15, 2020

If you need to invest in a vented propane heater, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with what’s on offer. Understanding the advantages of each model and how you can get the most from your choice of heater will save you time in the long run, while keeping you warm through the winter.

We have composed a guide for you that gives you some tips on what to look for as well as which heaters stand out from the crowd.

Check out the pros and cons of these heaters to help you decide what you need to be looking for.

Our Top Picks for Vented Propane Heaters

  • Compact device
  • User-friendly controls
  • Fast performance
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  • Ultra-quiet heater
  • Exquisite blue flame
  • Heavy-duty grill
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  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Environmental-friendly
  • Auto gas modulation
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Comparison of the Best Vented Propane Heaters 

  • Compact device which conveniently fits in any room
  • User-friendly controls and set back features make it easy to operate
  • Fast performance ensures quick heat up of the room
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  • Ultra-quiet propane gas heater which requires very little maintenance
  • Enjoy the exquisite blue flame produced by the efficient burner through the glass ceramic window
  • Heavy-duty grill constructed with die-cast aluminum ensures safety
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  • Ideals for small spaces such as RVs, cabins, trailers, and small houses
  • Environmental-friendly product which conserves both energy and water
  • Automatic gas modulation ensures consistent temperature control
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  • Best Vented Propane Garage Heater
  • Adjustable thermostat for a variety of heat settings
  • Quite easy to assemble and install
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B-vent and Direct Vent Propane Heaters

In your search for a vented propane heater, you’ll find two main types: B-vent and Direct Vent. B-Vent or natural vent heaters need a pipe installed that runs through the home and out through the roof. Their operation utilizes a little room air for combustion, while the fumes are expelled straight to the outside.

Direct Vent Diagram (Source)

They are cheap and easy to install as a replacement, and they tend to run pretty efficiently. If you don’t already have the roof installation sorted, however, you may have to pay a professional to put this in.

A direct vent heater uses a vent designed especially by the supplier. One part of the device works as an exhaust, while the other is used to take in the air. The device is closed up, using no room air for combustion, while exhaust fumes head out of a side wall or through the roof. They tend to be higher in efficiency than B-vents, running at a relatively low cost.

Notable Pros of Vented Propane Heaters

The most prominent advantage of vented propane heaters is the safety aspect. As all noxious fumes are expelled outside, there is a far lower risk of polluting the air, as with a vent-free heater. Equally, as vent-free heaters tend to suck in some of the room air, they pose a high risk of oxygen depletion if something goes wrong. Vented propane heaters don’t tend to exhibit this issue.

Vented propane heaters tend to be quite large, allowing you to aesthetically fill the space of a traditional fireplace. This gives a beautiful scene of a roaring fireplace. And creates a cozy atmosphere.

Powerful devices, vented propane heaters use little to none of the air in the room, allowing them to heat a large space quickly. Unlike many electric heaters, propane vented heaters can pump out enough heat for bigger rooms. This makes them more cost-effective to use.One of the great things about vented propane heaters is that they can be placed on almost any external wall, especially if they’re directly venting. This gives them great versatility in the home.

Additionally, propane heaters work very quickly. When you’re looking to heat a room fast, propane is a great choice of fuel. Overall, as they work at speed, you’ll find that you need them on for less time, reducing your running costs.

Cabin heated using vented propane heater (Source)

Understanding the Heating Efficiency of Vented Propane Heaters

Heating your home efficiently will help to keep costs down. Look for the efficiency rating that demonstrates how well the heater performs. An efficiency rating of 65% shows that the heater is losing 35% of its effectiveness via heat loss from ventilation and combustion inefficiency. Models that display the Energy Star certification are excellent examples of efficiency. And will perform better than the market standard.

You will find that single-pipe vented models are less efficient than two-pipe models. Single-pipe heaters tend to be around 50% efficient, while those with two pipes are around 70%. B-Vent models tend to only have one vent.

Quick Take: Best Vented Propane Heaters

Reviews of the Best Vented Propane Heaters

If you’re on the lookout for the best-vented propane heaters, we’ve provided a quick guide on some of the top models available. Breaking down the pros and cons, you can get an idea of what you need to be looking for and where to find the best value.

Rinnai EX08CP Wall Mounted Direct Ventilation Furnace Propane


  • It is a compact device, able to fit into a smaller space.
  • The controls are very user-friendly, making this easy to operate.
  • Great value for money, this low power device is great for small applications.
  • This heater works very quickly and can heat up to a 15 x 15-foot room in under 10 minutes.


  • You need help with installation, which costs extra.
  • The installation instructions are not clear, limiting you from doing it yourself, even if you wanted to.

This heater has a cabinet style design. A directly vented propane furnace that has easy-to-use controls and setback features. You can choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius for temperature setting and low output. It is ideal for small spaces.

It is hard to install, but once in place, it works effectively to quickly heat small spaces. It is easy to operate and fits in small spaces.

Best Vented Wall-Mounted Propane Heater:
Martin Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater

Martin Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater Furnace Built-in Thermostat 11,000 Btu


  • This model is very stylish, with a beautiful ceramic glass front.
  • The thermostat helps to modulate the temperature in the room.
  • The components are heavy-duty making them extremely durable.
  • It is easy-to-install as a replacement to a previous direct vent heater.


  • It is tricky to install if you don’t already have the venting installed.
  • The unit gets hot, making it unsuitable for those with pets and small children.

This direct vent heater has an adjustable thermostat and a stylish finish. Made from die-cast aluminum, the grill is easy to clean and durable. It has an 11,000 BTU output and can be easily retrofitted to a gas fitter.

With a thermostat for control, this heater is simple to use and creates a comfortable environment. It does get a little hot on the surface though so it may not be suitable for those with kids.

Best Vented Propane Heater for Cabin:
PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater - Wall Vented

PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater - Wall Vented


  • This model has anti-freeze technology built in.
  • It is surprisingly powerful despite being of such a small size.
  • It is a very compact model that can fit into small spaces, making it great for motorhomes.
  • It is remarkably efficient, using up to 50% less propane than other heaters with the same BTU output.


  • The heater itself gets a little hot to touch.
  • Some users have found this heats up too much too quickly.

This heater is engineered specifically for tiny homes and trailers. It takes up half of the space of a 10-gallon tank and only weighs about a third. It has VariFlame technology control for more temperature provision and has 55,000 BTU of heat output.

Very powerful in spite of its tiny size, this compact heater kicks out heat. It has an in-built technology for durability but can get a little too warm too soon!

Best Vented Propane Garage Heater:
Rinnai EX38CTWP

Rinnai EX38CTWP Propane /38k BTU, EX38CTWP-Propane/White


  • Makes no unwanted noise
  • Has an excellent heating output
  • Can detect temperature changes of less than one degree
  • Control panel has a locking feature to avoid unintentional operation
  • Comes with a completely programmable thermostat that needs little attention


  • Price is high
  • Installation is a difficult task

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent customers have shown great satisfaction with product design and function. Its capability to detect temperature changes of as low as one-degree Celsius and to adjust the temperatures accordingly has increased its demand and value for many buyers who were looking for a product as efficient as this one.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Rinnai is a wall-mounting heater that stands out particularly because of its efficient heating capability. It can effectively be used in an average to large-sized room. Its input range is 13,200 to 36,500 BTU per hour, which is considered quite good. Also, a furnace comes included with the unit.

Bottom Line

Summing up, Rinnai has a smart design in white color that makes it look really elegant. It is a quick, ductless heating solution that can help you fight the cold, freezing winters. With a slight improvement in packaging, it might even become the first choice for many people.

US Stove AGDV12L Ashley Direct Vent 11,000 BTU Propane Gas Heater


  • It heats the room very quickly and efficiently.
  • It is cool-to-touch making it safe for children and pets.
  • It has a sleek design to fit into smaller spaces if necessary.
  • It has a safety valve shut-off feature to cut off the fuel if something goes wrong.


  • The igniter is a little flimsy and breaks easily.
  • The installation instructions are not easy to understand.

With cool-to-touch surfaces, this model is suitable for both homes and mobile homes. It can be used in both bedrooms and bathrooms and has 11,000 BTUs of heat output, heating 350 square feet.

Though hard to install, this efficient heater warms rooms quickly and remains safe to brush past. It fits in small spaces and can go in a home or in a mobile house.

What Size Propane Heater Do I Need?

The right size of the propane heater depends on some factors like the size of the room, the height at which it has to be installed, the insulation of the room, and the climatic region. Taking these factors into account can help you select a better product for yourself. 

It can be helpful to remember that ten watts of electrical heat can warm up a square foot of the area. Calculate your room area by multiplying its length with the width. Multiply this area with ten watts and then multiply the answer with 3.41 to convert it into BTUs. The answer you have is a rough idea of the heater size that will suit you best.

How to Light a Propane Heater

While different heaters may have a slight difference in the method of lighting them up, here is what you generally have to do:

  1. First of all, turn the thermostat to the lowermost available setting.

  2. If your appliance has an electrical connection (in case of programmable devices), turn off the electrical power using the ON/OFF button on the control panel.

  3. Turn the manual valve to the off position and wait for a few minutes. Then smell for gas and move to the next step only if you do not smell any gas.

  4. Turn the manual gas valve to the on position.

  5. Some appliances have a pilot, while others have an ignition device that automatically lights the burner. In the case of the former, light up the heater using a matchstick or a lighter. However, in the case of the latter, do not try to light it up manually.

  6. Now, if your appliance has an electrical connection, you can turn it back on.

  7. Using the thermostat, set your heater on your desired settings.

To better understand the process, be sure to refer to the video below for a brief overview of what was described above in detail:


Choosing the right vented propane heater is up to you. Consider where it will go if it will be seen, and whether you have a family to think about. Then consider the upfront costs versus the running costs. Always remember to measure your space to ensure that you find a heater with the capacity to cope with the size of the room. As you don’t want to find yourself in the cold this winter!

People Also Ask

If you have gone through all the different models of vented propane heaters, and you still have some ambiguities that need clearing out, this is the right portion for you. Here, you’ll get the answers to the frequently asked questions customers have.

How Much Propane Does a 30,000 Btu Heater Use?

The weight of a gallon of propane is about 4.2 lbs. The burn rate of a gallon of propane is approximately 100,000 BTUs/hour. From this, we can calculate that continuously running a 30,000 BTU heater can result in the consumption of propane at a rate of about 1/3 gallons per hour.

How Much Propane Does a Tankless Water Heater Use?

The amount of propane required by a tankless water heater depends upon the number of people using it and how intensely they are using it. A family of two people can expect to use approximately 200-300 gallons of propane per year for hot water. That is about 1.5 gallons of propane per day.

How to Start a Propane Heater

To start a propane heat, firstly, turn the thermostat to the lowermost setting. Then turn off the manual valve and smell for gas. If you do not smell any gas, turn on the manual gas valve and light up your heater manually if it does not have an in-built ignition device. Using the thermostat, set your heater as required.

How Long Does a Propane Heater Last?

A propane heater can last on an average of about 10 to 15 years. Its lifespan basically depends on how well it has been maintained. If the cleaning of its parts, including ducts or filters, is done regularly, there is a chance that it might last longer. 

How Much Do Propane Heaters Cost?

Propane heaters come in a wide range of prices, which can be as low as $70 or as high as $3000. Running a propane heater can cost about $0.80/hour, where the price of a gallon of propane is $3, and a gallon can last for a little longer than 3 hours.

How Much Liquid Propane Do I Need For a Wall Mount Indoor Heater?

A gallon of propane can make a wall mount indoor heater work for almost a little longer than 3 hours. Depending upon this fact, you can calculate the amount of propane required for your use. An average household usually uses about 80 gallons of propane per month for gas heaters.

Are Propane Heaters Safe?

B Vent Diagram (Source)

Unlike other fuel kinds, this is a clean-burning fuel that doesn’t give off any foul or putrid smell during burning or after closing the heater. It is also less combustible compared to other fuels. If you’re using an indoor propane heater, it is usually safe, but if you want to use it for outdoor purposes, it is quite dangerous.

Do Propane Heaters Emit Carbon Monoxide?

All kinds of gas appliances, including propane, natural gas, and oil release carbon monoxide and can pose serious health hazards and fire threats if the room isn’t properly ventilated. It is important to keep a close eye on these heaters because carbon monoxide can prove to be lethal.

Do Propane Heaters Need to be Vented?

Propane gas heaters need oxygen to function properly. It is extremely important for the room to be adequately ventilated and filtered so as to ensure that harmful gases and toxins vanish and not harm others. Proper ventilation can reduce carbon monoxide, which is fatal if too much is ingested. 

Do Propane Heaters Smell?

Propane heaters are totally odorless and do not give off any bad smell during or after they are burnt. However, these are because additives make them odorless. If a propane heater leaks, it smells like rotten eggs or skunks, which is when you know something is wrong. 

Are Fumes From Propane Heater Dangerous?

Propane heaters can be dangerous if ventilation is not provided when it is turned on. If ventilation is not given, then the heater will use all of the oxygen, and the fuel will keep burning and emit carbon monoxide instead. This can cause symptoms like nausea, headaches, and dizziness. 

How to Install a Vented Propane Heater

1. Find a good location to prop your vented propane heater

2. Drill the holes where you will mount the heater

3. Mark the spot for the place where the propane hose will go, and then run through the length of the hose in the hole

4. Place the heater on the brackets 

5. Test the heater for functionality

My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.