Are Propane Heaters Safe In Garages? (Answered Plus Safety Measures)

Propane Heaters

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Propane heaters can be safe to use in garages, but certain precautions are necessary. Ensure proper ventilation in the garage to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Propane heaters should never be used in enclosed spaces without adequate airflow. Consider investing in a vented propane heater or open garage doors/windows for ventilation. Regularly inspect the heater for leaks or malfunctions.

Can I Use A Propane Heater In My Garage?

Yes, you can use a propane heater in your garage, but it must be done with caution and following safety guidelines. Proper ventilation is essential to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide, a potentially deadly gas produced when burning propane. Ensure your garage has sufficient airflow by opening doors or windows while using the heater.

Alternatively, consider using a vented propane heater specifically designed for indoor use. Regularly inspect the heater for leaks and malfunctions, and never leave it unattended. It’s also crucial to keep the heater away from flammable materials. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in the garage is highly recommended for added safety.

Are Propane Heaters Safe In A Garage?

Propane heaters can be a convenient and efficient way to heat your garage during the cold winter months. However, it’s essential to prioritize safety when using propane heaters to prevent any potential hazards. In this listicle, we will delve into the safety aspects of using propane heaters in a garage, providing you with important information and tips to keep in mind.

  1. Ventilation is crucial:
  • Proper ventilation is the most critical factor when using a propane heater in a garage. Propane heaters produce carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless and colorless gas that can be deadly in high concentrations.
  • Ensure your garage has adequate ventilation, preferably with open doors or windows, to allow fresh air to circulate and remove any harmful CO emissions.
  • Never operate a propane heater in an enclosed space without proper ventilation, as this can lead to serious health risks.
  1. Use certified propane heaters:
  • To ensure safety, always choose propane heaters that are certified and approved for indoor use. Look for labels indicating UL (Underwriters Laboratories), CSA (Canadian Standards Association), or other recognized certifications.
  • Certified propane heaters have undergone rigorous testing for safety, efficiency, and emissions to ensure they meet strict standards.
  1. Keep flammable materials away:
  • One crucial safety precaution is to keep flammable materials, such as gasoline, paints, and solvents, away from the area surrounding the propane heater.
  • Maintain a safe zone of at least three feet clear of any flammable objects to minimize the risk of fire or explosions.
  1. Check for leaks and defects:
  • Regularly inspect your propane heater for any signs of leaks or defects before each use. Look out for damaged hoses, loose connections, or strong gas odors.
  • Test for leaks by applying a soapy water solution to the propane connections. If you spot bubbles after releasing gas, there might be a leak. If so, discontinue use and have a professional inspect and repair the heater.
  1. Ensure proper storage:
  • When not in use, store your propane tank for the heater in a cool, well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors.
  • Ensure the propane tank valve is tightly closed and that it is stored in an upright position. Avoid storing propane tanks near heat sources, flames, or ignition sources.
  1. Invest in carbon monoxide detectors:
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in your garage as an added safety measure. They can alert you to potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, allowing you to take immediate action.
  • Test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly and replace batteries as needed to ensure they are functioning properly.
  1. Follow manufacturer instructions:
  • Always read and strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for your specific propane heater model.
  • Pay attention to maintenance requirements, usage recommendations, and any safety precautions outlined to ensure the optimal functioning of your propane heater.

Types Of Propane Heaters

There are several types of propane heaters available, each designed for different purposes and environments. Here are some common types:

  1. Portable Propane Heaters: These are small, lightweight heaters suitable for temporary heating needs, both indoors and outdoors. They often come with a built-in propane cylinder and are convenient for camping, workshops, and emergency heating.
  2. Tank Top Propane Heaters: These heaters attach directly to the top of a propane tank. They are ideal for outdoor spaces and can provide radiant heat efficiently.
  3. Wall-Mounted Propane Heaters: These heaters are fixed to walls and provide a space-saving heating solution for rooms or garages.
  4. Vented Propane Heaters: Designed for indoor use, these heaters have a ventilation system to expel combustion gases safely.
  5. Propane Garage Heaters: Specifically designed for garages, these heaters offer powerful heating to keep the space warm during colder months.
  6. Propane Forced Air Heaters: These heaters use fans to distribute heat quickly, making them suitable for large areas and construction sites.
  7. Propane Infrared Heaters: Infrared heaters emit radiant heat that directly warms people and objects, making them energy-efficient and suitable for outdoor use.

Safety Measures To Follow After Installing A Propane Heater In Your Garage

To be safe and warm after installing a propane heater in your garage, you must incorporate some safety measures.

These measures include:

1. Choose The Right Propane Heater For Your Garage

The size of your garage will inform the right propane heater for your garage. The size will determine how much heat you need to be released into your garage to keep it warm without the warmth not being too much or not enough. 

Once you know this, you can go to the shop and give the details to know which product is right for you. The bigger the garage, the bigger the propane heater needed.

2. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors/ Low Oxygen Detectors On Your Propane Heater

Carbon monoxide detectors and low oxygen detectors work almost the same way. And, it is advisable to install either of the two in your house and garage. 

Carbon-monoxide detectors peep to alert you when the levels of carbon monoxide rise. Similarly, the low oxygen detectors on the propane heater work by monitoring the amount of oxygen available in the propane heater. If the oxygen levels go lower than 21%, the normal percentage, the oxygen detector will shut down the propane fuel and protect you from impending danger.

It is important to purchase a propane heater with low oxygen detectors. Nowadays, most propane heaters are pre-installed with a detector installed. But, always ask to ensure the heater has the detector as some do not come with it. 

3. Schedule An Annual Inspection Of Your Propane Heater

It is recommended to have your propane heater regularly inspected to avoid complications due to wear and tear. Have a professional scheduled to do annual check-ups on your heater.

4. Buy A Propane Heater That Is Made For A Garage

Propane heaters are many and are all built for different purposes. Purchasing a heater that is right for your need is important and safe. When doing your shopping, ensure you inform the salesperson of the size of your garage and its setup. This gives them the direction and guidance to sell you what best suits your space.

5. Place Your Heater Away From Combustible Items

The propane heater should be placed far away from any materials that can easily catch fire. A suitable point has no obstructions, is not on the path where people pass by, not near curtains or any other material that can catch fire. Also, you should not place anything on top of the propane heater.

6. Never Leave Your Propane Heater Unattended.

It is important to ensure that you shut the propane heater off after you are done with it. Never assume that you will come back later and shut it off. Leaving the heater unattended is dangerous. 

7. Know What You Can Use Around Your Propane Heater.

As advised earlier, you cannot place a propane heater near combustible items. It is the same with tools or other flammable materials. Items such as air fresheners and hairspray should never be used near a propane heater or kept around it. 

8. High Temperature Coated Safety Guard

When using a propane heater in your garage, ensure that it has a high-temperature safety guard installed on the front.  

9. Other Safety Measures

The other safety measures that may seem obvious but worth your attention include:

  • Ensure the propane heater has an overheat protection feature.
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you notice a change of color in the flame notify your supplier. Typical propane flame is usually glowing blue.

Benefits Of Using Propane Heaters In Your Garage 

They Are Very Economical

The cost of using propane heaters is up to one-third less expensive to operate than its counterparts like electric heaters. Once you install the heater, you can save up some money compared to people who use other alternatives. Also, its operating cost is low.

Better For The Environment

With the rise of global warming and environmental disasters, you can reduce the carbon footprint on the earth. With propane heaters, you can positively take care of the environment while meeting your needs as it is not harmful to the environment.

Actually, propane heaters have become very popular in commercial buildings and projects. It is a good alternative since it does not leave any spills or residue behind. The energy policy act, approved by the National Policy and clean air act of 1990, proves that propane heaters are good for the environment.

It Is A Versatile Source Of Heat

Depending on the size of the place you want to install the propane heater, it will work efficiently. You can use it to heat your entire home or use it to create a fire in your fireplace without all the smoke that comes from burning wood.

Furthermore, you can use propane if there is a power outage in your home. One gallon of propane can supply you with almost as much as 30 kilowatts of power.

Safe Heating Option

Propane is incredibly safe when compared to its alternatives. It will not catch fire if it is exposed to air unless the temperature in the air is almost 1000 degrees. One thousand degrees air is unlikely in any commonly used environment.

This gas is also not toxic. Homeowners with children and pets, therefore, have nothing to worry about.

How Much Does A Garage Propane Heater Cost?

The installation of a garage propane heater is around 400-800 dollars. The fuel and installation of ventilation could add a few extra dollars to the overall cost. Thus, the total cost can add up to 1000 dollars.

Is It A Requirement To Have Ventilation In Your Garage When You Have A Propane Heater?

Propane heaters need oxygen to function, so to be safe and warm in your garage, you require adequate ventilation. If you have a closed-up garage, the ventilation must be properly done; otherwise, you risk getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

Alternative Ways To Improve Heating In Your Garage 

Electric Garage Heater

This converts your electricity into heat. Electric heaters are ideal if you are not looking to deal with gas lines and propane tanks. They add around 20-100 dollars to your electric bill.

Natural Gas Garage Heaters

This usually uses the existing gas lines. Natural gas heaters are very expensive, but when compared to electric heaters, they end up capitalizing and saving you more money after some time.

Infrared Garage Heaters

This sort of heater doesn’t work like the others. It only heats up what is under it or just around it. They are very economical, and even for high-end users, they can get to just about 500 dollars.

You can also use the following:

  • Ductless mini-split system
  • Radiant heating
  • Installation of better insulation

These are a few other ways you can keep your garage warm in the cold season. The use of propane heaters is also one of these methods. It is much cheaper to operate and easy to install when compared to the other alternatives.

However, there are many different types of propane heaters in the market. It is important to shop and ask for guidance on which is suitable for your garage.

Final Word

Propane heaters are economical, easy to install, available in very many designs and sizes, they are suitable for the environment, and most importantly, you can install them in your garage. The propane heater should be your number-one choice for your garage. It will satisfy all your needs without any complications if you follow the recommended safety precautions.