When it comes to garage heating, few heaters do the job better than ventless propane heaters. These heaters have two things others don’t – power and efficiency.
Propane is one of the most reliable energy sources today. It is cheaper than natural gas and even electricity. More importantly, it’s an environment-friendly fuel that burns very efficiently, with few if any exhaust gases.
It gets better; the vent-free design makes the burning process even more efficient. Vent-free heaters lose very little heat. Most of them are 99% efficient or higher.
Combine these two features, and you have potent heaters that deliver lots of heat while costing you very little money compared to similarly-rated options.
This guide reviews some of the best ventless propane garage heaters to consider and factors to prioritize when making your comparisons.
Ventless Propane Heater For Garage Comparison Table
Vented vs. Ventless Propane Heaters – What’s the Difference?
The first step is to understand the difference between vented and vent-free gas heaters. Vented heaters, as the name suggests, have vents or venting systems. A venting system is an opening, usually via a pipe, within the heater that allows any exhaust gases to escape the heating unit.
The vent pipe attaches to the heater and passes through the wall on which the heater is mounted, allowing exhaust gases to flow out of the house and into the atmosphere. Ventless heaters don’t have this opening.
Advantages of Ventless Propane Heaters for the Garage
The lack of the venting system may immediately appear like a drawback, and it is to a degree. But, it also comes with a few cool benefits.
For one, a common problem of venting is that the vent pipes also provide an escape route for heat. As a result, vented heaters tend to be less efficient. Additionally, installing vented heaters takes a lot more effort, especially since you need to drill a hole through the wall. Often, you’ll need an HVAC specialist for the installation.
By comparison, ventless propane heaters are far more efficient. Better still, installing a ventless heater for the garage is a straightforward process that you can do on your own (DIY). Some can be wall-mounted or freestanding. Check wall-mounted garage heaters for options.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Ventless Propane Garage Heater
There are endless factors to consider when shopping for a ventless heater for your garage. Aside from budget, we often stress four points;
- Heating Capacity: The heating capacity of a propane heater is determined by its British Thermal Units (BTU) rating. The higher the BTU, the better. The best propane heaters for garage heating are rated between 18,000 BTU to 40,000 BTU. Ideally, you need around 40 BTU per square foot.
- Method of Ignition: There are two broad ways to ignite a propane garage heater; manual and automatic electric ignition. Piezoelectric ignition that comes on automatically as long as the heater is operational is more convenient and easier to use. But, beware that automatic ignitions wear out over time. Manual ignition or a hybrid manual-automatic design is more reliable in the long run.
- Style Factors: Style is all about how the heater fits into the rest of the room. Even though you’re buying a heater for the garage, you’d still prefer that it blends nicely into the rest of the room. As such, color and build choices, as well as size, become vital. There are some modern stylish kerosene heaters for garage to try if you don’t want to use electricity.
- Safety Features: Finally, make sure to check out the unit’s safety features. These may include automatic cut off to avoid overheating and low oxygen detection. Some propane heaters also feature cool-to-touch surfaces, meaning that the entire unit can’t burn you if you touch its surface even during operation.
How to Install a Ventless Propane Heater in a garage
Vent-free propane heaters are a lot easier to install compared to their vented counterparts. But, since these heaters are considered a bigger safety risk, you need to approach the installation process with extreme caution. Here’s how to proceed;
- Size your heater correctly: You’re advised first to determine the amount of heat produced by appliances already in the room and buy a smaller heater if you already produce a significant amount of heat. Alternatively, find a way to admit extra air into the room.
- Choose the mounting surface: This is another crucial step when installing a vent-free propane heater. First off, considering the inherent risks, the propane tanks must be located outside the garage. This means that the heater’s location will also be affected by the site you choose for the tank. Additionally, you want the unit far from you for safety reasons. For these reasons, most experts recommend the back wall of the garage as the ideal location for installing an unvented propane heater.
- Mount the heater: Once you’ve determined the right heater size and mounting location, the installation process is easy. For wall-mounted heaters, all you have to do to vent a garage heater through the wall is screw the mounting brackets onto the selected wall (at the right height) and slip the heater into the bracket. For standing heaters, simply place it on its legs at one of the corners of the back wall. Once you’re done, plug or hardwire the unit as appropriate, and you’re ready to start using it.
Safety Tips when Using a Vent-Free Gas Heater
Working with a ventless propane heater comes with dangers. Consider the following tips to keep yourself and your family safe;
- Ensure that the heater you’re buying has been thoroughly tested for performance and meets the standards set out in your state/country.
- Since ventless heaters don’t come with an in-built venting mechanism, it’s your duty to ensure that the garage has sufficient venting to push out exhaust gases.
- Never use candles or other flames near a ventless heater. Why? Because it causes the levels of oxygen to deplete even faster.
- Install and maintain a carbon monoxide monitor to help you track oxygen levels in the garage. An alarm that triggers if dangerously low oxygen levels are reached may also help.
- Ensure regular maintenance. In addition, at least once a year, the heating system must be professionally inspected and maintained as appropriate.
Above all, keep the propane tank outside. Never store a propane tank indoors. It creates a serious yet preventable safety risk.
The following are five exceptional vent-free propane heaters to consider when shopping for a garage heater;
5 Best Ventless Propane Heater For Garage Reviews
1. Mr. Heater Vent-Free 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Garage Heater
- 30,000 BTU Natural Gas heater to heat spaces up to 1000 square feet
- Blue flame burner for even convection heat. Maximum Elevation (Ft)-4500. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr)- .030 MCF
- Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). CSA Certified. Heater Type: Unvented
- Operating this heater at altitudes over 4,500 FT above sea level could cause pilot/ODS to shutdown the heater.included.Theromostat, legs and wall mounting hardware
- Fuel Type:Natural Gas.Not for use in bathrooms, bedrooms, or recreational vehicles
- Thermostat for automatic temperature control
The Mr. Heater F299741 is a 30,000 BTU vent-free heater that also works excellently in both workshops and garages. The glass on standard vent-free units has been replaced with a metal heat shield to extend the unit’s life.
The heater is also equipped with a thermostat for easy control of temperatures. The F299741 uses piezoelectric ignition and comes with a pair of batteries included.
The unit can be permanently mounted on the wall. The necessary mounting equipment, including a mounting bracket and fasteners, are included in the package. Alternatively, you can install it on the floor.
Once installed, the heater produces a clean, blue flame and uses natural convection to circulate the heat around the room. An industry-standard oxygen depletion sensor gives a warning in case a dangerously low level of oxygen is reached.
- Generates 30,000 BTU per hour
- Heats up to 1,000 square feet
- Has an inbuilt thermostat for temperature control
- Legs and mounting hardware included
- Backed by a one year warranty
- No safety tip-over switch
- Hose & regulator not included
2. Mr. Heater F299740 30,000 BTU Propane Garage Heater
- 30, 000 BTU per hour
- For use with Liquid Propane
- Heats up to 1000 sq. ft.
- Automatic low oxygen shut-off system
- 4500 ft high altitude restriction
If the 741 above feels a little expensive, the F299740 is significantly cheaper while offering near-similar performance. It’s a wall-mountable blue-flame indoor heater that works very well in the garage as well as other indoor spaces. It also packs 30,000 BTU and is equipped with an inbuilt thermostat to help with temperature monitoring.
The F299740 uses piezoelectric ignition, making starting the unit a breeze. You’ll find a pair of batteries in the package. It’s also important to mention that this is a corded electric heater.
The unit requires a 20-gallon propane cylinder (minimum), which runs for about 14.39 hours when full. It comes with several safety features, including an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that automatically shuts off when low oxygen levels are detected. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
- 30,000 BTU of raw power
- Heats up to 1,000 square feet
- Features an in-built thermostat
- Features multiple safety features
- Backed with a one-year warranty
- Propane tank sold separately
- High-limit safety shut-off not present
3. Dyna-Glo GBF30DTDG-4 30,000 BTU Thermostatic Garage Heater
- Dual fuel technology allows the unit to be operated with Liquid Propane or Natural Gas
- Blue Flame Technology works by convecting heat to warm the air the same way as a central heating system
- Up to 30, 000 BTU's/hr heats up to 1, 000 sq. ft.
- Thermostat control knob automatically maintains your room's ideal heat level
- No electricity required allows for reliable back-up heating incase of an emergency situation
An ideal choice for safe, indoor supplemental heating, the Dyna-Glo GBF30DTDG is a dual-fuel garage heater that packs 30,000 BTU of raw power. It operates on either liquid propane or natural gas and burns with a 99% efficiency.
The GBF30DTDG uses a special Blue Flame technology to burn and circulate heat energy. Blue Flame works by converting heat to warm air, similar to how central heating systems work. It doesn’t need electricity to operate, making it a reliable backup option in case of an emergency.
The unit also doesn’t need a fan to operate. But, you’re free to purchase one separately if you desire more vigorous heat circulation. A WHF100 fan is recommended for this purpose.
- 30,000 BTU of power
- Heats up to 1,000 square feet
- Dual-fuel technology (propane or natural gas)
- Innovative wrong-fuel shut-off
- Thermostat control
- Oxygen depletion sensor
- One-year warranty
- Legs sold separately
4. Bluegrass Living Natural B30TNB-BB Vent Free Space Heater
The Bluegrass B30TNB-BB is another great vent-free heating option for those looking to add supplemental heat to their garages. The 30,000 BTU heater is ideal for up to 1,400 square feet (the highest capacity on this list) and features an in-built thermostat that allows you to control indoor temperatures as you desire. It burns with 99% efficiency.
The heater comes with a pre-installed, in-built blower to help spread warm air throughout your room. It is primarily a wall-mounted unit and even comes with the required mounting equipment, including a mounting bracket that easily attaches to the unit’s back. However, it can also be floor-mounted. Base feet are included in the package.
The B30TNB-BB is designed, engineered, and tested in the USA. It features an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and an automatic shut-off system for safety assurance.
- Generates 30,000 BTU
- Ideal for spaces up to 1,400 sq. ft.
- Push-button piezoelectric ignition
- Automatic safety shut-off
- Wall mounting equipment included
- One-year limited warranty
- Propane-only (fuel change not allowed)
5. Rinnai FC824 22,000 BTU Propane Vent Free Space Heater
- Perfect for emergency heating or zone heating of rooms up to 380 square feet
- The large capacity 1.2 gallon/4.5 liter fuel tank will keep you warm for up to 14 hours on one fill
- Features an automatic safety shut off, easy push button start (no matches or electricity required), EZ Flame adjuster, tip over switch, and protective safety grills.
- This heater is also great for outdoor usage on patio, deck, gazebo and other recreational areas
- It’s new burner design protects from the wind and ensures proper performance.
- Ideal for both everyday supplemental heating and emergency situations
- Portable 10,000-BTU kerosene heater for rooms up to 380 square feet
- Automatic push-button ignition; 1.2-gallon fuel capacity provides 12 to 14 hours of heat
- Ideal for both everyday supplemental heating and emergency situations
- Fuel gauge; automatic safety shut-off; siphon pump and batteries included
Rinnai makes some of the most beautiful heating systems, and the FC824 is no exception. This 22,000 BTU vent-free garage heater is a compact unit built from stainless steel. It is 99% efficient and is also one of the safest propane garage heaters on the market.
Its safety features include a cut-off switch that automatically and immediately disconnects the gas supply if the heater falls over or is disconnected.
Still, for safety, the heater has an in-built oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that keeps track of oxygen levels in the rooms. If dangerously low levels of oxygen are detected, the ODS automatically switches off the heater.
The Rinnai runs at 8,000 BTU in the LOW setting and 22,000 BTU in the HIGH setting, more than enough to warm up a 1,000 square foot garage.
A programmable thermostat makes it easy to flip through these heat settings. The heater allows you to adjust temperatures in two-degree increments, though you can only keep the temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees.
- Delivers up to 22,000 BTU
- It’s incredibly efficient
- Packed with safety controls
- Mounting equipment included
- It runs noiselessly
- It’s the most expensive unit on this list
Check how to troubleshoot some of the common Beacon Morris Garage Heater problems
In the end, ventless propane heaters are an excellent option for heating the garage. They generate plenty of heat, which will instantly turn your garage into a warm, cozy space. Any of the five models on our list will prove a worthy acquisition. But, feel free to shop for other brands and models outside the list.