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Propane Tank Heater

Updated on December 2, 2010

propane tank heater

Propane Tank Heater

The propane tank heater, such as the Mr. Heater MH 12T Single Tank-Top Propane Heater, steps up when the electricity is down. This tank top heater will keep you warm and smiling in an emergency, while your neighbor’s nose turns blue from frost. But of course you’d invite him over to share the heat, right?

This portable propane heater brings the heat where you need it and when you need it. Turn a knob, light and instant heat. It’s that simple.

Facts on the Propane Tank Heater

Here are the primary facts you need to know about the Mr. Heater MH 12T Single Tank-Top Propane Heater:

1) Mounts directly to a 20 pound propane tank

2) Uses manual ignition

3) Full heat in seconds

4) Safety shut-off

5) Must use with good ventilation

6) One year limited warranty

7) Weighs less than 3 pounds

8) $39.97 cost

9) Three settings - 8,000 BTU, 12,000 BTU, 14,000 BTU

Propane Tank Heater Reviews

So let’s look now at the reviews that users of the tank top heater posted on Amazon. The consumer, after all, is the ultimate judge of how well a product works. From the synopsis of these Amazon reviews, you can make an fair reckoning if this heater suits your needs.

The review base is 54 Amazon reviewers, with 30 five star reviews; 15 four star reviews; 1 three star review; 5 two star reviews; and 3 one star reviews. The average customer review for this Mr. Heater tank top heater is 4 stars. You can read all the reviews for this tank top heater at Amazon.

Reliable Like a Zippo

Reliable, like a Zippo, says the first reviewer. This propane tank heater works better than gas logs to heat a room, he says. One tank of propane will last 30 to 36 hours with the setting on low - 8,000 BTUs. This single burner will knock the chill from a room fast.

Heats a two car mostly uninsulated garage from 30 to 65 degrees in about 30 minutes, writes another reviewer.

It doesn’t heat the whole area, wrote this reviewer, so you must stay in the heat flow to stay warm.

Tank Top Heater Requires No Maintenance

The next reviewer found it great for a fishing shanty or small enclosed space, but get a convection heater if you want to heat an area. It’s also fragile, so don’t throw it around.

We live in Florida and use it on chilly mornings, said this reviewer. The reviewer uses it in a 10’ by 15’ room and it will raise the temperature from 47 to 72 degrees in 15 minutes.

This next reviewer complained that kerosene heaters are messy and smelly, while this tank top heater requires no maintenance and always works.

Warms a Garage

A reviewer named Bill uses this propane tank heater in his uninsulated shop and he wrote that this unit keeps him comfortable. Before he didn’t work in the shop during the cold months but now he can.

This next gentlemen lives at 5,400 feet above sea level and it warms his two garage to comfortable in about 30 minutes.

This is an Outdoor Heater

And to reinforce this item’s designation as an outdoor heater, we give you this review: This reviewer has a workshop in a bus. He fired up the heater and within an hour he was disorientated, had wobbly knees and a severe headache. After a few hours he was okay. He concluded: “Be sure not to use it indoors.”

Easy to Use

This next reviewer lives in California and he heats only the room he’s in, rather than the whole house. After kerosene jumped to over $6 a gallon, he made the switch to this propane tank heater. From out of the box and attached to a five gallon tank took five minutes and it worked “flawlessly,” he wrote. No hassles, no pouring kerosene, no smell, no wick burn off each week, only instant and focused heat.

Here’s something to think about from this review: easy to find fuel makes this worth a look.

Double Tank Top Propane Heater

If you need more heat than a single burner provides, you can opt for the Mr. Heater Double Tank-Top Propane Heater - 8,000-28,000 BTU, Model# MH24T.

You can read about this portable propane tank heater here or click on its picture to the right.

Briefly, you have the option of using one or two burners on this heater.

It has a high, low and medium regulator. The operating time is 10 to 52 hours on one propane tank, depending upon the outside conditions and the settings you use. It sports three safety shut-offs and mounts directly to a 20 lb tank.

Be forewarned that this heater puts out a lot of heat so don’t place anything flammable within 4 feet. And you must use it in a ventilated area.

Triple Tank Top Propane Heater

If you need a flamethrower, consider looking at the Mr. Heater MH42T 42,000-BTU Propane Tank - Top Radiant Heater.

You can read about this tank top heater by clicking on its picture to the right.

This triple tank top heater is rated from 8,000 to 42,000 BTUs. You can operate 1, 2 or 3 burners at a time. It runs up to 10 hours on the low setting.

It has an automatic shutoff should the heater tip over. The heating unit is enclosed to prevent accidental combustion of flammable materials.

Big Buddy Portable Propane Heater

If you’re looking for a portable propane heater designed to safely heat your house or a large room, you have two good choices - Mr. Heater’s Buddy or the Big Buddy.

You can read how users rate this portable propane heater, see the specifications and peruse reviews for the Big Buddy by clicking the link above.

Briefly, the Mr. Heater MH 18B Portable Big Buddy Heater can heat a room to comfort in about 30 minutes.

This propane heater has three settings - 4,000 BTUs, 9,000 BTUs and 18,000 BTUs. Unlike the tank top propane heaters described above, Big Buddy can run off the small 16 ounce disposable propane tanks or be hooked up to a 20 pound or larger propane tank.

Because of its selector, the Big Buddy can run on low for up to 9 days on a single tank of propane, which makes it a money-saver. It will heat up to 400 square feet of space.

Again, this propane heater is a good option as an emergency back-up should the power go out. Reviewers praised the Big Buddy’s performance during blackouts caused by ice storms and winter weather.

So should you need a portable propane heater to heat a couple of rooms inside your home, the Big Buddy may be your answer.

A Camping Heater and an Outdoor Heater

If you don’t need all those BTUs but you do need to heat a fishing shanty, a tent, a workshop, a hunting shack, an RV trailer or a small room, this Buddy may be your target of choice. You can read a detailed review about this camping heater and outdoor heater here.

The Mr. Heater F232025 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Portable Radiant Heater is the Mr. Heater of choice for sportsmen and campers looking to heat those out-of-way places in the woods, mountains and frozen lakes with a portable propane heater.

It has two settings - 4,000 BTUs and 9,000 BTUs. Like its Big Buddy brother above, it can run off the small propane bottle or the 20 pound tank. It weighs a tad more than the M-1 or M-14 rifle your daddy or granddaddy carried into battle, so getting this heater to your destination is no big hassle.

Buddy is rated to heat up to 200 square feet of space. A small cylinder of propane will heat for 3 to 5 hours, depending upon the setting and outside conditions.

Propane Heater Accessories

Buying the right accessories for your portable propane heater will help assure your heater lives a long and maintenance-free life. Plus it saves money. For example, buying the right propane hose will save you hundreds of dollars each heating season. Learn about which accessory you need for your portable propane heater.


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    • profile image

      Silvana 3 years ago

      Just try wearing a pair of thin (not thick, thin) *cotton* (or silk) geovls: they're more than enough to keep the hands warm, without overheating them and retaining moisture. We're talking about an air-conditioned office, not the north-pole ... 10b0C at the very worst, not -20b0C :)I suffer of poor blood circulation in the feet, and sleep with the heating off in winter - wearing a pair of thin cotton socket is like night and day.

    • profile image

      Ombretta 3 years ago

      We have been praying daily for God's heainlg miracles for Ezra and strength for all of you. Your faith is such an inspiration and Ezra's heainlg progress is testimony to God's faithfulness and answered prayer. It was a delight to see you all at church yesterday! Praise God! So glad you are finally home:)

    • profile image

      stew 4 years ago

      i have a portable tank heater with one burner that I use for icefishing.the igniter is not do I fix this myself?

    • MrWaterheater profile image

      MrWaterheater 6 years ago

      I like propane heaters and this hub is really informational!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 7 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Some good information here - thanks! I've been considering a heater of some kind for my own shop - a propane tank heater may be just the ticket.


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