Can You Use a Propane Heater Indoors?

August 31, 2021 – , , ,

Propane heaters are popular for a number of reasons. They’re reliable (no worries if there’s an electrical power outage), they’re efficient, and they’re portable.

But some people have questions about their safety. Is it really safe to use a propane heater indoors?

The answer is yes! But it’s important to remember that this applies specifically to indoor propane heater models, and to ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for the safe use of all heaters.

Both indoor and outdoor propane heaters create products of incomplete combustion, like carbon monoxide, but they deal with it very differently. This is nothing to be concerned about — anything that creates flame will create smoke, but there are innovations to handle it safely.

Outdoor heaters are made to be used in well-ventilated areas, where the natural air currents waft away any excess carbon monoxide produced by burning propane. (Propane produces so little carbon monoxide that it was approved as an alternative clean-burning fuel in the Clean Air act of 1991!)

Even without discernable wind, outdoor spaces take care of the carbon monoxide issue well enough that outside propane heaters don’t use any failsafe to prevent its buildup. That’s why it’s so important to never use an outdoor heater indoors.

That’s where indoor heaters come in!

There are several varieties for indoor use, like propane wall mount heaters. These are made to be used with the knowledge that carbon monoxide won’t be naturally swept away by open air. These heaters are equipped with automatic shut-off switches to keep you safe.

The switches are attached to oxygen sensors that constantly monitor the oxygen level of the indoor room they’re in. If the oxygen dips too low, the automatic shutoff turns the heater off automatically.

Some models come with carbon monoxide monitors to be used in conjunction with the heater for extra safety. Having these in the room together, but not right next to each other, ensures that your area is safe, warm, and comfortable.

The bottom line is that as long as you make sure to use your model is specifically for indoor use, using propane heaters inside is perfectly safe!

Use the propane safety precautions you would with any other propane product. Only use it when you need it, always store it upright, check for leaks regularly, only keep the container filled 80%, and always follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. You’ll be able to enjoy reliable propane heat that there’s for you when you need it, indoors or out.

4 Comments

  1. Eli Richardson on October 14, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    It really helped when you talked about propane heaters and how they’re an excellent option during a power outbreak. Recently, my wife and I decided we’d like to take the kids on a camping trip. We want to start buying all the equipment we’ll need for the trip, and we do think buying a propane heater would be a good investment, so we’ll look into it. Thanks for the advice on how we must be extra careful when using a heater indoors.

  2. Zale Thomas on November 30, 2021 at 12:25 am

    THANK YOU ALL OF YOUR USEFUL
    INFORMATION TO DO WITH THE SAFETY OF USING A PROPANE HEATER IN DOORS! IT WAS VERY HELPFUL! THANK YOU!

  3. Paul Barbie on April 25, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    I personally got sick, flu like symptoms including vomiting, from a propane fired forklift used inside a warehouse. Why is a heater safe,but a forklift is deadly?

    • Kristen Anderson on April 26, 2022 at 11:53 am

      We’re sorry to hear that happened to you! There may have been other variables at play. In a well-ventilated indoor area, properly serviced forklifts are designed to run without issue.

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