A tank-top propane heater is a gas-powered heater that emits heat through the burner heads attached over a propane tank. Tank top heaters are efficient at providing comfort when outdoors in a cold region. These portable devices utilize propane gas to convert it into relaxing heat, which makes it ideal for camping, outdoor gatherings, etc.
Several factors can impact your choice for the best tank top propane heaters. Some of these include safety, size of the heating head, heat dissipation, gas drainage, and the number of people it can warm efficiently (Source).
Tank-top heaters usually consist of a burner head or heads that have heating coils in them. The head has a clamp that can be attached to a propane or LPG tank in an upright position. It also has a gas pipe with a gas valve that can be connected to the plug on the container.
To activate the burner heads, you need to open the gas valves and insert a lighter tip from the side hole (present on the burner head). While lighting, make sure to keep the safety shut-off pressed.
The gas reaches the head, and upon interacting with the sparks from the lighter, the burner headlights up to provide the heat (Source). Tank-top heaters mostly have different designs for burner heads. Some comprise of multiple heads, while others have a 360-degree, single burner head.
In this guide, we’ll review the top tank-top propane heaters that will provide you with the best heating experience.
How Much Do Propane Tank Heaters Cost?
Tank top propane heaters cost between $30-$100, depending on the BTU of the model. The Mr. Heater model is over $70 but delivers 45,000 BTUs. That is three times as much as the World Marketing DH model delivers.
The World Marketing DH will keep things under $50, as will the Dyna-Glo. If you want to go with the Mr. Heater brand but stay under $50, you’ll need the Sunrite model.
Also, the 360-degree output head helps to keep a larger group of people warm at the same time. It’s a bit more cost-effective than buying 2 of the World Marketing DH heaters.
What Is The Most Efficient Propane Heater?
The Dyna-Glo BF30PMDG is the most efficient propane heater, given that it carries a 99.9% efficiency rating and has no loss. This is due to the heater being operated with liquid propane only.
Comparison of the Top 5 Products
|World Marketing DH|
|Dura Heat TT-360|
|Sunrite by Mr. Heater|
1. World Marketing DH – The Most Flexible Propane Heater
It’s easy to set up. Connect it by hand without using any tools at all. The ignition will require a match or piezoelectric start.
While it claims to be wind-resistant, there can be some problems with the wind putting out the propane source and disconnecting from the heater. If you plan on using this liquid propane heater in conditions that involve an amount of wind, you’ll need to figure out a way of blocking it.
You can even simply stick it in a cooler with the lid up to block the direct wind! It’s also protected from rain so that you don’t have any hazards or lost flames from the weather.
The heater only weighs three pounds, and easily stores, with dimensions of 12.2 x 8.9 x 7.7 inches.
2. Mr. Heater – The Safest Liquid Propane Heater
The 360-degree head makes sure that a few people can crowd all the way around the heater without crowding each other out.
Plus, you’ve got some options. You can move around easily or even mount it to a wall or fasten it to the floor. It even includes the brackets and fasteners that you’d need to do it!
The blue flame tube burns cleanly so that it uses the natural burn to circulate the warm air. There’s even a factory standard oxygen depletion sensor to prevent any dangerous funny business in the case where oxygen runs low in the room.
Piezo ignition is built into the heater itself so you can activate it with the simple turn of a knob.
3. Dyna-Glo TT15CDGP – The Most Efficient Portable Propane Heater
No products found.The steel heat reflector is a hi-efficiency model, maximizing the amount of reflected heat and improving the radius of the heat that is reflected. The chrome emitter guard is also rustproof, making the model built to last even out in the rain.
Furthermore, this Dyna Glo heater has a double mesh covering for the burner, zinc plated steel support leg, porcelain-coated back and a safety grill in the back, and a switch that automatically turns it off in the event that it is tipped over.
Goes up to 15,000 BTUs over three different heat settings. It can heat up to a 15 ft. radius, covering about 700 sq. ft. in total.
This heater is built to last and costs under $40, making it a very affordable heating option. The coverage is just fine, and it won’t sound super loud when you start it up! Great heating coverage for not a lot of money.
4. Dura Heat TT-360 – The Most Durable Compact Propane Heater
360 degrees of infrared heat keep everything warm and toasty. The automatic shutoff valve keeps everything safe. It can operate up to 14 hours on a 20-pound propane tank. The chrome emitter guard is rust-resistant.
Of course, you’ll have to use matches to light and start the heater. This can be a bit more annoying than an electric ignition.
The connection is super easy to put on and remove. It’s great for times where you expect to be burning through a lot of propane in a short amount of time. Plus, the infrared heat is super quiet and avoids the loud wind sound that other heaters can have.
5. Sunrite by Mr. Heater – The Most Affordable Tank Top Propane Heater
No products found.If you love the quality of the Mr. Heater brand but don’t want to pay $70 for the regular one, you can get the Sunrite model for under $50.
The 15,000 BTUs are sufficient to keep you and a friend warm, and the high, medium, and low settings will let you remain comfortable even when really close to the heater.
As a safety measure, the heater shuts off in a low oxygen environment to prevent draining the oxygen for people in the room. It also shuts off if accidentally tipped over.
On medium, it can last up to 50 hours on a 20-pound propane tank. That’s enough to get you through an entire vacation without ever changing the propane tank!
The long-lasting construction is also great for people who want to save money on propane. A cheaper model that will definitely do the trick if you’re avoiding large rooms and extreme conditions.
Tank Top Propane Heater Brands
World Marketing is a heating company based out of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Based on the east coast in the cold Pennsylvania winters, they know a thing or two about what it takes to keep people warm.
They were founded in 1982 with the mission of providing better solutions for heating in North America. They quickly became a trusted brand for reliable, low-cost heating solutions.
They’ve now got products in more than 12,000 retailers and online retailers. They do everything from indoor kerosene heaters to gas appliances.
World marketing also makes and sells the Dura Heat brand, which is their slightly fancier version. The dura heat model is a more expensive version of the world marketing heater that is on this list.
Mr. Heater is sold by Enerco, a heating company that has been operating out of Cleveland, Ohio since 1957. They specialize in infrared combustion technology and build commercial and construction level heating products.
Mr. Heater itself was started in 1984 as a way of delivering great, low-cost heating solutions to individual consumers. Contractor series heaters from Mr. Heaters have also become the industry standard to create workspaces in winter months.
Dyna-Glo is made by the GHP group, a company that specializes in fireplace sets and then branched out to portable heating products. They sell products all over North America.
They pride themselves on senior management with hundreds of years of industry level experience. They care about their customers and produce rigorously tested high-quality products. Dyna-Glo products are built to gain lifetime customers who keep coming back.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Tank Top Propane Heater
The Size of the Space
If you want to heat a large space you’ll need the higher output heaters. Then again, if you’re outside, you have no chance of heating the outdoors itself against the cold tides of winter rolling in.
But if you expect to be in a high-cold environment, you’ll need the more powerful heater to work against the cold. Don’t overpay for heat. Don’t get something that is a lot hotter than you’ll actually need unless you know that you need it.
The Use Case
Need the heater aimed at your body or hands to keep warm outside or for a short time in a specific situation? Get the cheaper heaters that have a directional heating element to them.
If you want to heat a larger room or move around in a heated space, the 360-heater placed near the center will do the trick better.
The Number of People
Unlike a forced air propane heater, the 360 model works great if you have a ton of different people that will need to share the heater. Need a personal heater for tailgating? Grab the directional version. Want to heat the whole crew? Go for the 360 models.
Remember that getting a more expensive model with a high heat output doesn’t merely cost more in the short term for the acquisition cost–it also costs more in the long run as you’ll have to buy more propane.
The higher the heat, the more the propane will drain from the system. Getting something that drains a lot of propane is expensive in the long run. You can use a propane tank heater blanket to help the unit maintain pressure and decrease the propane drain.
How to Use a Tank Top Propane Heater
First, make sure the heater is properly installed on the propane tank. Most of the heaters include simple instructions on how to tighten it. Place the tank and heater upright and ensure that the connection isn’t loose. If you’ll be using the tank for two different appliances, having the greatest propane tank splitter will make is easier for you.
Next, open the valve to the propane tank and get a gentle flow.
Then, light the heater. All of the models on this list are a bit different. The easiest one is the Mr. Heater main model that includes an automatic ignition built into the heater itself. Simply turn the knob and you’ll be fired up and good to go.
For any of the other ones, you’ll need a piezo lighter or good old-fashioned matches. See the directions to be sure you know exactly where to stick the lighter or flames. And obviously, don’t open the propane tank until you’re actually ready to light the thing.
Using a Tank Top Propane Heater
Ready to Buy a Tank Top Propane Heater?
Tank top propane heaters, like Mr. Heater or Dyna Glo propane heater, can make cold spaces a lot more bearable. Going on a camping trip that needs a little extra heat away from the fire pit? Attending a tailgate that would be too cold to stand without some extra juice? Doing work in a small garage or construction site that needs heat?
A tank top propane heater can keep everything toasty for a low cost. All the heaters on this list are less than $100. If you want to keep the cost low, you can score one of the under $50 models that are also really good at burning propane slowly.
You can run one of those models for up to 50 hours on a single propane tank. Need more power to heat the garage or workshop in the winter? Go for the model that gives you 40,000 or even 45,000 BTUs. Finally, make sure to get a regulator so you don’t run out of propane.
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