Be Aware of the Risks
It is significantly important to know which propane heaters are suitable for indoor use versus the ones that are only for outdoor use before you purchase one. The reason why the two are not completely interchangeable is because propane heaters that are meant to be used outside can give off Carbon Monoxide, which can be toxic when inhaled from the confined space of your room. Always read the labels and manufacturer’s warnings, because they are not something that should be ignored when it comes to propane heaters.
Why Outdoor Heaters Must Stay Outdoors
Heaters that were designed to be used outdoors burn fuel at a higher rate, thus causing the risk for starting a fire if brought indoors, or poisoning you with Carbon Monoxide. It is not worth the risk to ever bring an outdoor heater indoors. This includes tents while camping, garages, trailers, and any other enclosures. By closing off the airflow, you are putting yourself at a bigger risk of danger, which these outdoor propane heaters were not designed for. They operate on fuel-combustion which requires fresh air as a component of operation, not possible to receive when brought into a closed space.
Indoor Heater Features and Uses
A feature that deems propane heaters safe for indoor use is the ODS (oxygen depletion sensor). It is an automatic shutoff feature that will turn the heater off when it senses that the airflow has been reduced below a safe level. Even with this feature in place, it is not a guarantee that the heater will be 100% safe, so be aware if it starts to burn or overheat. It is not recommended that you leave the heater running for extended periods of time without shut off in between. For nighttime, an alternative would be to run the heater for a few hours in your bedroom, then shut the door and turn the heater off to lock in the warmth.
Mounted Vs. Portable
When you decide to purchase an indoor heater, you will be faced with the option of something portable or something that must be mounted to your wall. If you live in a climate that gets regularly cold, mounting the heater would probably be in your best interest. If you live in a warmer place and will only be using the heater from time to time, a portable option would probably suit you better. Some units are versatile and come with the option to move it or mount it at a later time. Depending on what you will find most useful, you can make your selection. There are also ultra compact units available for small spaces or for the purpose of warming up your feet after a day out in the cold.
Consider Kids and Pets
The best propane heaters work well to quickly fill your home with heat, but are they safe to the touch? It is likely that with any model you purchase, the answer to that question will be no. So think twice before you purchase one if you have a toddler who is just learning how to walk or a cat who likes to jump up on surfaces because there will be a burn risk involved. Of course, there are ways to safeguard your heater if you still opt for one. A simple safety gate or a wall mount option to put it out of reach should be enough to ensure that no one suffers from a burn.