Top 5 Propane Wall Heater Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

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Propane Wall Heater Reviews

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Dyna-Glo-GBF30DTDG-2

Dyna Glo GBF30DTDG-2

  • Style: Blue Fame
  • Thermostat: Manual
  • AFUE: 99.9%
  • BTUs: 30,000
  • Coverage: 1,000 sq.ft.
  • Venting: Vent Free
  • Warranty: 1 year
Rinnai-EX38CTWP

Rinnai EX38CTWP

  • Style: Blue Fame
  • Thermostat: Programmable
  • AFUE: 80%
  • BTUs: 36,500
  • Coverage: 1,400 sq.ft.
  • Venting: Direct
  • Warranty: 10/5/2
Mr. Heater-F299730

Mr. Heater F299730

  • Style: Blue Fame
  • Thermostat: Manual
  • AFUE: 99.9%
  • BTUs: 30,000
  • Coverage: 750 sq.ft.
  • Venting: Vent Free
  • Warranty: 1 year
Williams-Comfort-1773511

Williams 1773511

  • Style: Blue Flame
  • Thermostat: Programmable
  • AFUE: 76%
  • BTUs: 17,700
  • Coverage: NA
  • Venting: Direct
  • Warranty: 10/1
Pro-Com-ML060HPA

Pro Com ML060HPA

  • Style: Plaque
  • Thermostat: Manual
  • AFUE: 99.9%
  • BTUs: 6,000
  • Coverage: 150 sq.ft.
  • Venting: Vent Free
  • Warranty: 1 year

#1 Dyna-Glo Vent Free Garage Heater

The Best All-Around Wall Heater

Dyna-Glo-GBF30DTDG-2

An electric garage heater is generally the easiest alternative for most homeowners considering they are ready to go out of the box. If you prefer to use propane in your garage, there several suitable options, but the GBF30DTDG-2 from Dyna Glo is the best propane wall heater for large garages. It’s also a great system to use in other areas of your home as well.

This efficient wall heater makes use of the Dyna-Glo Blue Flame technology to keep your garage or any area comfortable during the winter. As it's black, it won’t show dirt or smudges like a traditional white wall heater, and this one is a dual-fuel system. With the twist of a knob on the back, you can switch this heater from propane to natural gas.

With a BTU rating of 30,000, the Dyna-Glo garage heater can warm spaces up to 1,000 square feet. It has the standard ODS sensor to keep things safe and is vent-free, which makes installation is a breeze. This sleek heater has also has an interrupted spark ignition system and a manual thermostat with five settings that range from 55°F to 118°F.

Dyna-Glo is a leader in the world of propane heating for a reason – they make reliable systems. The GBF30DTDG-2 definitely fits that bill, and while there were a few reports of quality control issues on this model, we didn’t find any major complaints. This heater has an attractive price tag given the fact it’s a dual fuel system as well.

Pros

  • Well-built heater for spaces up to 1,000 square feet
  • Dual-fuel compatible
  • A thermostat with five settings

Cons

  • Nothing significant

#2 Rinnai EX38CTWP Wall Furnace

The Best High-Capacity Propane Wall Heater

Rinnai-EX38CTWP

While the first option on our list is a classic vent free propane wall heater, this one takes things to a whole new level. The Rinnai EX38CTWP is a high-end system that’s capable of heating a small home or simply used as a supplement to your existing heating system.

This heater is a vented system and one of the most high-tech propane wall heaters on the market. It has a full array of electronic controls that let you fine-tune the digital thermostat, set a timer, or access your preset temperature settings. It’s a bit smarter than other heaters as well, thanks to modulating technology and a sensitive thermostat that detects temperature changes less than 1°.

Another reason we’re a fan of the Rinnai EX38CTWP is the fact it’s a kid-friendly system. The body stays cool to the touch, and there’s also a panel lock feature. While large at 36”W x 26”H x 12.6”D and 88 pounds, this wall mounted heater can operate at altitudes up to 10,200 feet. It has a BTU rating between 13,200 – 36,500 and is rated for homes or rooms up to 1,400 square feet.

The price tag of the Rinnai EX38CTWP makes it more of an investment than other heaters on our list, but it’s one you’ll be thrilled you made if you need a large propane wall heater with a full range of features. Homeowners found this system extremely quiet and easy to use, although you will want a professional to install the unit. It’s possible to do it yourself, but a pro ensures you get full advantage of their warranty, which includes 10 years on the heat exchanger, 5 years on parts, and 2 years on labor.

Pros

  • Premium propane wall heater with electronic controls and a self-diagnostic system
  • An excellent tiered warranty
  • Agreat heater for homes with children and pets
  • Capable of working at higher elevations

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Won’t work with the power off

#3 Mr. Heater F299730 Propane Wall Heater

An Excellent High-Capacity System from Mr. Heater

Mr. Heater-F299730

Mr. Heater makes a range of heaters that are ideal for use in your garage or even on the trail if you’re backpacking or hiking. Their line of residential propane heaters includes the F299730, an affordable system built for large spaces.

This heater is unremarkable from a design standpoint with a rather basic style for a wall heater. It comes with legs in case you want to use it as a floor heater but looks good on the wall as well. The Mr. Heater F299730 measures 23.75”L x 11”W x 27”H and tips the scales at around 26 pounds. As with most propane heaters of this nature, the maximum elevation for this system is 4,500 feet.

There aren’t many features to speak of on this wall mounted propane wall heater aside from a dial-based thermostat that allows you to adjust the heat. It’s rated at 30,000 BTUs and for areas up to 950 square feet, which makes it perfect for large rooms. The F299730 has a battery-powered electronic ignition and an ODS sensor for safety.

While you can find blue flame propane heaters with more features or a cleaner design, the Mr. Heater F299730 is reliable and has a nice price point for its size. We didn’t come across any significant complaints about this model aside from several homeowners who highly suggest using the One-Stop Universal Kit from Mr. Heater if you plan to install this heater yourself.  

Pros

  • Simple to use high-capacity propane wall heater with a great price tag for the size
  • An adjustable thermostat
  • Compatible with the company’s blower fan

Cons

  • Nothing significant

#4 Williams Comfort High-Efficiency Wall Mounted Heater 1773511

The Best Digital Direct Vent Propane Heater

Williams-Comfort-1773511

Williams Comfort Products is one of the older manufacturers of HVAC products in the United States that you’ve probably never heard of. Well, it would be a mistake to overlook this company, especially if you’re interested in a high-end system like the Williams 1773511 Surface Mount Propane Heater.

This is a vented or direct-vent propane wall heater with a heat rating of 17,700 BTUs. That number is variable as well, thanks to a programmable thermostat that lets you quickly take the temperature from 50°F to 90°F. While you can’t control this unit remotely, it has a digital display on the front to go along with a full array of electronic controls.

Unlike other gas heaters on our list, the Williams Comfort 1773511 has a built-in blower fan to help circulate the air. It has two speeds at 129 or 94 CFM and can help recirculate the air in the summer as well. The company doesn’t disappoint when it comes to features either, considering this heater has an on/off timer and a programmable set that’s good for up to 7 days.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly wall heater for your home, there are better options on our list. The Williams Direct Wall furnace is best suited for larger areas and homes that need a steady supply of heat but want total control over their system. You won’t find many complaints about his unit when it comes to performance, although the price tag will automatically rule it out for some.

Pros

  •  High-efficiency convection heater with electronic controls and a digital thermostat
  • The Programmable timer, two-speed blower, and a built-in humidifier
  • Excellent tiered warranty

Cons

  • An investment
  • Need to be professionally installed

#5 ProCom Heating ML060HPA Infrared Wall Heater

The Best Budget Vent Free Wall Heater

Pro-Com-ML060HPA

Most propane wall heaters are reasonably priced unless you need something with a lot of features or a high-capacity system like the Rinnai EX38CTWP. If you’re looking for a small propane heater that’s affordable, the ML060HPA from ProCom is a heater we highly recommend.

This is another relatively basic heater when it comes to the design. It has a fine mesh grill in the front to keep fingers safe and vents at the bottom and top of the heater. Like most systems of this nature, the controls are mounted on top and easy to use. The thermostat on the Pro-Com ML060HPA is manual but has five temperature settings to choose from.

The size of this heater at 19”H x 14”W x 6.3”D makes it an ideal choice for smaller rooms in your home. It may not take up much space on the wall, but it does provide 6,000 BTUs of heat, which is enough to warm rooms up to 150 square feet. Safety features on this heater include an oxygen depletion sensor with an automatic shut-off.

There are dozens of heaters fancier than the Pro Com ML060HPA, but none can heat a smaller room as cheaply as this unit. Some consumers complained about the amount of propane this heater uses, but that’s not uncommon for dial-based systems with a handful of settings. This heater is backed by a standard 12-month warranty from Pro-Com.

Pros

  • An affordable compact heater that simply gets the job done
  • Rated at 6,000 BTUs with five heat settings

Cons

  • Feels and looks a bit cheap compared to similar models

How to Find the Best Propane Wall Heater

Whether you aren’t partial to our picks or just want to learn more about propane wall heaters, we’re here to help. In this guide, we are going to discuss some key factors that will help you find the best propane heater while answering some of the most popular questions about this type of heater.

What’s a Blue Flame heater? 

Blue Flame heater

If this is your first propane heater, you may be in for a surprise to find out there’s more than one type of flame. Most homeowners have heard the term “Blue Flame” heater but may not know exactly what that means. While it does tell you what color the flame is, it also tells you what kind of heater the system produces.

Any propane heater listed as a blue flame system is technically a convection heater. This means it heats the air in a room, which makes them ideal for insulated areas. The only disadvantage to this type of heater is the fact they can take longer to heat up a room when compared to their orange flame counterparts.

When a heater has an orange flame, it’s referred to as a Plaque heater and produces infrared or radiant heat. Instead of heating the air, these heaters warm up the objects in a room and can get hot quickly. Unlike blue flame heaters, an infrared system is better suited for areas with sparse insulation in your home or the outdoors.

Both of these heaters have the same basic set of safety features and are efficient. The choice between blue or orange flame heaters simply comes down to personal preference and the area you are trying to heat.

Pros and Cons of Propane Wall Heaters

While you may have heard the virtues of propane or natural gas vs. electricity, it’s not a good idea to purchase a propane heater without weighing the advantages against the disadvantages beforehand. Especially considering these can be permanent additions to your home, not temporary like an electric heating system.

Propane Wall Heater Pros

Emergency Heating – Have you ever had the power go out in the winter? It’s something that happens to millions of Americans with electric heaters or systems that rely on electricity. As mentioned, that won’t be a problem if you use a propane wall heater, as most simply require a battery for the ignition. Some digital heaters are an exception, but standard propane wall heaters don’t require electricity to run.

It’s Clean – This could be the biggest advantage to propane depending on how you feel about the environment as it’s clean-burning compared to petroleum-based fuel sources. These heaters don’t require electricity to run either, which minimized your carbon footprint while opening the doors to the next perk of propane.

Efficiency – Propane is a highly efficient fuel that actually has a higher octane rating than the gasoline you put in your vehicle. While it has a lower BTU rating than gas, it’s ideal for things like hot water heaters, wall heaters and is an excellent alternative fuel source.

Versatility – If your home is already equipped with propane or natural gas, you already understand how versatile these fuels are compared to electricity. From the grill on your patio to the stove in your kitchen, propane can be used for a variety of things inside your home and outdoors.

Propane Wall Heater Cons

Safety – The biggest concern for homeowners considering propane heating is safety, and it’s not particularly close. From carbon monoxide to combustion, there are several factors you should be aware of in regard to propane heater safety. With that in mind, as long as your heater is installed by a professional and you have a carbon monoxide detector, any issues should be minor.

Propane Tanks – Using propane during a power outage may be an advantage, but dealing with the tanks can be a hassle for many homeowners. While this comes down to the size of the tanks and how your system is set up, the cost of deliveries should be factored in along with moving and storing propane tanks.

The Cost – Propane may be cheap to use depending on where you live and your needs, but propane heaters cost more than their electric counterparts. You can find plenty of affordable models, although premium systems with digital thermostats are far more expensive than comparable electric wall heaters.

Vented of Ventless Propane Heater?

This is one of the bigger decisions a homeowner has to make when purchasing a propane wall heater for their home. Ventless systems outnumber vented heaters online and at most big-box retailers locally, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best choice.

Vented Propane Heaters

Often referred to as direct vent heaters, these propane wall heaters require a vent outside of your home. It typically involves running a small pipe through the wall of your home, which directs any fumes outside.

These heaters are generally installed by professionals, which will raise the overall upfront cost of a propane heater. While the venting is permanent, these systems are considered safer, and it’s not uncommon to find vented heaters with advanced features like digital thermostats and timers.

Vent-Free Propane Heaters

As the name implies, a vent-free or ventless propane heater doesn’t need venting outdoors. You won’t have to put a hole through the wall, although the exhaust is released into your home instead of outside. Non-vented systems also release more moisture into the air, which isn’t ideal.

Despite these drawbacks, manufacturers have designed these heaters to be safe for use indoors. They are cheaper upfront, easier to install, and allow more flexibility when it comes to placement in your home. Restrictions on these heaters have decreased in recent years, but it’s a good idea to check into regulations on vent free heaters in your area beforehand.

BTU Ratings

To understand how powerful a propane wall heater is, there is one specification you’ll want to look for. That would be the BTU rating, which stands for British Thermal Units. An easy way to wrap your head around it is the higher the number, the more powerful the heater. That means it can heat up an area more quickly, although buying a system with a high BTU rating isn’t necessarily a good idea.

Choosing a heater too small for a room means it may have to run constantly to catch up, which will cause you to burn through your supply of propane more quickly. A heater too large won’t have to run as much but can cost significantly more upfront than is necessary. That’s where the square footage of the room you’re trying to heat comes into play.

Most, but not all, heater manufacturers provide a room rating in square footage for their wall heaters. If you have that number, you simply need to match it to the size of your room. To find out the square footage of an area, multiply the length by the width of one side of the room. By those calculations, a 10’ x 15’ foot area would need a heater capable of covering a room 150 square feet in size.

Our BTU guide can help you understand more about British Thermal Units and how they are measured in a variety of equipment, but you have to take the room itself into account as well. Factors like insulation, ceiling height, windows, and even the placement of the unit can greatly affect how efficiently it heats a room.

Propane Wall Heater Safety 

This is the part of our guide meant to help alleviate any fears and let you know what to expect when it comes to safety features on vent free and direct vent propane heaters. While there is only one standard safety feature you’ll find on every system, there are a number of other things you’ll need to keep in mind.

ODS Sensor – This feature is found on every propane wall heater on our list, regardless of style or price. An oxygen depletion sensor is designed to turn off the fuel to your heater if the oxygen level in the room drops below a certain percentage. All vent free heaters have been required to have this feature since the 80s, but it’s only half of the equation when it comes to staying safe.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – If you have installed new fire alarms in your home in the past decade, you may have considered or already own a carbon monoxide detector. While you won’t find propane heaters with this feature, you need to have one installed in the room where your heater resides. The ODS sensors may cut off the gas if a problem occurs, but it won’t keep you from being poisoned by Carbon Monoxide.

Cool-Touch Exterior – Do you have pets or children in your home? If so, you’ll want to consider a propane wall heart with a cool-touch exterior. It’s a common feature on high-end systems but can be hit or miss with budget-friendly heaters and mid-range units. The size and strength of the grill on the front is another area that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Tip-Over Switch – This feature is commonly found on electric heaters but incredibly important on any propane heater with legs. While all of the heaters on our list are made to be mounted on the wall, several vent free models have optional feet that allow you to use them as floor standing heaters. If you plan on using those feet, make sure it has a tip-over switch.

Propane Wall Heater Features 

If you’re looking for a propane wall heater that’s decked out with flagship features… you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for them. That’s due in part to how propane heaters function and their design, but also because many are used periodically or as supplemental heat.

The only real feature found on basic propane wall heaters is a one with thermostat. That thermostat is usually a simple dial that can have up to five settings giving you a measure of control over the heat. Electronic ignitions are common as well, so you can leave matches in a drawer when it’s time to fire up your new heater.

Blower fans are an optional accessory that’s available for many wall heaters, although many consumers felt they were underpowered for the price. With vent free propane wall heaters for homes, the system should come with everything you need out of the box aside from fuel. That said, the connections supplied may not be up to par or suitable for your installation.

With direct vent propane heaters, the options are far more impressive but can come at a high cost. You can find systems with modulating technology to increase the efficiency or self-diagnostic systems that can help you solve minor problems quickly. Timers and digital thermostats are options as well.

Propane Wall Heater Warranties 

We may have only covered a few systems in our wall mounted propane heater review, but our research team looked into dozens of models. Whether it’s a small system for homes used for vacations or a large ventless heater rated at 30,000 BTUs, the warranty largely remains the same with heaters in the low to mid-range class.

That means you’re looking at a 1-year guarantee from most manufacturers, which may seem disappointing, but is common across the industry with ventless heaters. There are a few exceptions, but you typically won’t get a good warranty unless you purchase a pricey direct vent heater. These systems have tiered warranties that can be good for 5-10 years and usually include parts and labor for a time as well.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many advantages to choosing a propane wall heater for your home and a wide variety of options to choose from. Just remember to keep safety in mind and rely on a professional to handle the installation of any direct vent system if you want to take advantage of your warranty. If you feel more comfortable with an electric heater in your home, be sure to check out our list of the best large space electric heaters.

Propane Wall Heater FAQ

Q: What is an AFUE rating, and is it important?

A: An AFUE rating tells you how efficient a system is at converting its fuel into energy. While it is important, the rating is always lower on direct vent heaters because of their design than vent free wall heaters.

Q: Will a carbon monoxide detector keep my family safe when using a propane wall heater?

A: It will help, but ventilation is the key to making sure carbon monoxide doesn’t build up in a room. While carbon monoxide detectors are designed to let you know when a problem occurs, batteries die, and they are by no means foolproof.

Q: Can a propane tank explode?

A: While it’s entirely possible, it is also incredibly rare, considering the tanks are extremely thick and designed to prevent such accidents.

Q: What’s the best type of propane wall heater for homes at higher altitudes?

A: Liquid propane heaters that are vented are ideal for elevations up to around 7,000 feet. Ventless heaters can fail to operate at high altitudes above 2,000’.

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