7 Best Direct Vent Propane Heaters – (Reviews & Guide 2020)

The best direct vent propane heaters offer efficient and convenient indoor heating whenever you need it. Read more to pick the right product for your needs.The best direct vent propane heaters offer efficient and convenient indoor heating whenever you need it. With a suitable unit, you can quickly raise your room temperature and avoid the adverse health effects of cold indoor air.

That said, buying the best vented propane heater is not as straightforward as you may think. Before walking (or clicking) into a store, you need to get familiar with what the market offers. This understanding can save you a significant amount of time and money, both in the short-term and long-term.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vented Propane Heaters

By physically looking at vented propane heaters, you can guess their pros and cons.

Advantages  

  1. Compact sizes– Vented propane heaters have compact sizes. So, no matter how small or big your space is, you can easily fit them without compromising aesthetics.
  2. More secure– The venting system is designed to expel unwanted carbon dioxide outside. Only radiated heat is allowed to circulate in the space. The propane tank features puncture resistance properties and a device to maintain the pressure.
  3. Multiple uses– Besides warming your space, a vented propane-fuelled heater can be used to cook, dry objects, and wash.

Disadvantages

  1. Inefficiencies– The ventilation system in a vented propane heater losses some heat during the combustion process, thus causing inefficiencies and increasing expenses.
  2. Difficult to install– In cases where the ventilation pipes aren’t installed, the installation process can be quite tricky. You may also need to hire an installation expert, which is an extra cost.

Propane Heater Safety Tricks and Tips

Here are expert tips and tricks to implement if you’ve installed a propane heater in your home, cabin, or office.

  • Install a smoke and carbon dioxide detector

Electrical and mechanical machines or parts fail without warning. Since it is impossible to know the amount of carbon in your surrounding space, a detector would definitely save your life.

  • Check fuel gauge regular and refill whenever its below 20%

The only way to ensure constant warmth in your house, cabin, or any other space is by maintaining scheduled regular checks on the propane tank.

  • Have the vented propane heater manual at your figure tips

How else would you be able to do minor repairs on the heater without involving an expert if not by reading the manual inside out?

B-vent Vs. Direct Vent Propane Heaters

When looking for a vented propane heater, you have two choices: 

– B-vent

– Direct Vent. 

Natural vent or B-Vent heaters require installing a pipe running through your home and out via the roof. They operate by burning a little room air and then expelling the fumes outside. 

Not only are they affordable and easy to maintain, but they are also very efficient. The only thing is that you might need a professional if you don’t have your roof installation already sorted.

The latter uses a vent devised, particularly by the supplier. One part of the direct vent propane heater functions as an exhaust, whereas the other part takes in the air. It is also worth noting that the unit is enclosed; therefore, it doesn’t burn the room air. The fumes from the exhaust are expelled through a sidewall or roof. These low-cost heaters are more efficient than B-vents.

 

Direct Vent Propane Heater Reviews (Updated List)

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These heaters are available in various shapes and sizes, prices, designs, and performance levels. Unless you have all the time in the world, you must begin by trimming your options.

To help you, we have scoured through the Web and developed a list of the best direct vent propane heaters available. 

So, do not begin your hunt for the right heater from the bottom. Start from here, and you will have the heating companion of your dreams in no time.

1. Rinnai EX08CP Wall Mounted Direct Ventilation Furnace Propane

Rinnai EX08CP Wall Mounted Direct Ventilation...
  • NEW Cabinet Design
  • NEW User Friendly Control
  • NEW Setback Features
  • Standby Power Less than 1-Watt
  • Temperature Setting in Celsius or Farenheit

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Rinnai EX08CP comes with easy to use controls and a generous set of features. It has a simple and compact cabinet-style design that makes it ideal for tight spaces.

As expected for small-space heaters, the EX08CP is not among the strongest performers on the market. With a maximum heat output of 6,400 BTU, it is only effective in rooms smaller than 300 square feet. Remarkably, however, this unit comes with an inbuilt fan to aid warm air circulation.

Rinnai has equipped the EX08CP with a thermostat for smarter temperature control. You can set your desired temperature and leave the device to do its job. When the room reaches the desired temperature, the heater automatically reduces the fan speed and the BTU output. Similarly, if the temperature drops, the heater adjusts the fan speed and heat output to quickly restore warmth to the room.

Safety is a crucial consideration when buying any heater. So, it is commendable that this direct vent unit has an electronic-spark ignition instead of a pilot light. It also features a cool-to-touch cabinet and child-lock settings to enhance safety around children. 

The Rinnai EX08CP is quite expensive for the performance it offers. Nevertheless, it justifies the price with its compact size, air circulation capabilities, and safety features.

Pros

  • Easily fits in small spaces.
  • Energy efficient with AFUE rating of 83%.
  • Commendable fan performance
  • User-friendly control panel.
  • Comprehensive safety features

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

 

2. Martin 766013 Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater

Martin Direct Vent Propane Wall Heater Furnace...
  • WARM, ADJUSTABLE HEAT – Keep living or work spaces heated with a direct vent wall heater with room thermostat that lets you monitor your heat dispersion, BUILT-IN THERMOSTAT (Low - High Dial) - 11,000 BTU
  • EXCLUSIVE GLASS CERAMIC WINDOW – A true market exclusive accessory, ONLY available on 11,000 Btu and 20,000 Btu indoor propane gas units
  • STYLISH & CLEAN ENERGY – A sleek fireplace design, our direct vent gas heater produces safe, clean energy that’s economical and aesthetically pleasing.
  • QUICK & EASY INSTALLATION – Connect our propane wall heater direct vent to a gas fitter and it will heat your living space effectively with low maintenance required.(The wallʼs thickness cannot be less than 4-1/2” (11.5 cm) nor can it exceed 12-5/8” (32 cm).)
  • CERTIFIED QUALITY – Heavy-duty grill made with die-cast aluminum and glass ceramic window for more safety, Product is certified for use in the USA and Canada.

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Because Martin 766013 does not need electricity to operate, it is ideal for off-grid applications like camps and emergencies like power outages.

This unit boasts an inspiring modern design. The glass-ceramic window enables you to see the blue flame produced by the burner. Meanwhile, the heater’s body is made of cast aluminum, which protects it against wear and tear. The installation is also straightforward as the package comes with a complete installation kit.

With AFUE rating of 80.6%, the Martin 766013 offers 11,000 BTUs of heat. According to the manufacturer, it is best deployed in spaces no larger than 323 square feet. Users have lauded this unit for its ultra-quiet operation and inbuilt thermostat. Both features make it exemplary for night-time heating. 

Controlling the Martin 766013 is remarkably straightforward. You can set the temperature you want and leave the thermostat to do its job. The piezo ignition system also eliminates the need for electricity and the potential danger of pilot lights.

The Martin 766013 is a small direct vent propane heater for medium spaces. It is stylish and portable, and it offers the convenience of non-electric operation. Like the Rinnai EX08CP, however, it is more expensive than most competitors.

Pros

  • Stylish design with a beautiful ceramic glass front
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Inbuilt thermostat

Cons

  • Modest safety features
  • Relatively pricey

 

3. US Store AGDV12L Ashley Direct Vent Propane Gas heater.

US Stove AGDV12L Ashley Direct Vent 11,000 BTU...
  • Natural gas heater safe to use anywhere, including in bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Cabinet remains cool to the touch, with heat outlets in front and on top
  • Includes all direct vent pipe for typical installation, as well as wall thimbles
  • Heats up to 275 square feet, safety valve shut off
  • Approved for use in mobile or modular homes, approved for sale in WA and CA

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The US Stove AGDV12L Ashley is another stylish and compact direct vent propane stove for small rooms. It offers commendable safety options and convenience at a competitive price tag.

The AGDV12L features a slim-line design that makes it blend easily with most decors. It comes with a complete installation kit to relieve the installation headache. Some shoppers have complained that the installation instructions are not clear. Fortunately, this unit is common. You can find useful DIY mounting guides online.  

Like its competitor, the Martin 766013, the AGDV12L does not need electricity to operate. The matchless piezo ignition makes lighting convenient and safe. With AFUE rating of 76%, it can provide a maximum heat output of 11,000 BTU. US Stove recommends using this unit in spaces of up to 275 square feet. According to users, however, it maintains decent performance in rooms as large as 350 square feet.

The AGDV12L has a built-in thermostat for autonomous temperature control. It also offers a great set of safety features, including automatic shutoff and a thermocouple safety gas valve. Moreover, the cabinet remains cool to the touch, making it safe to use around children and pets. 

All things considered, the US Store AGDV12L is a reliable option for small rooms. It assures you of easy operation and consistent comfort at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Slim, elegant design
  • Non-electric operation
  • Commendable performance for its size
  • Inbuilt thermostat
  • Generous safety features

Cons

  • Installation instructions are not straightforward

 

4. Rinnai EX38CTWP Wall Mounted Direct Vent Propane Heater

Rinnai EX38CTWP Furnaces, EX38CTWP-Propane/White
  • Rinnai EX38CTWP Direct Vent Wall Furnace - Propane
  • Input Range 13,200 - 36,500 BTU/hr. Dimensions-12.6 L x 36. 6 W x 26.4 H inches
  • Capable of heating your whole home or complementing your existing heating system (Heating area varies by geographic region and location of install within the home)
  • Control panel locking feature prevents unintended operation – especially by children.
  • Programmable thermostat in celsius or fahrenheit that consistently detects temperature changes of less than 1 degree

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Rinnai EX38CTWP is Rinnai’s alternative for shoppers looking for a larger version of the Rinnai EX08CP. Its inspiring performance, comprehensive safety functions, and user-friendliness make it a favorite among shoppers. 

The EX38CTWP comes in a beautiful cabin design that fits into any room effortlessly. The installation kit included in the package provides everything you need to set up your unit. The instructions are also easy to follow. 

With a heating capacity range of 13,200 – 36,500 BTU, the Rinnai EX38CTWP can heat areas as large as 2,500 square feet without breaking a sweat. Thanks to its seven-stage modulating gas valve, this model is one of the most efficient amongst its peers. The valve feeds just the right amount of gas required to maintain your desired room temperature. 

The onboard blower fan offers robust air distribution when you need it. It is not the quietest fan you will find in a direct vent heater. Nevertheless, you can slow it down when you want some peace while working or sleeping.

Rinnai heaters are famed for their user-friendliness and safety features. It is, therefore, no surprise that the EX22CWP comes with a programmable thermostat. Just set the temperature you want, and the heater will achieve and maintain it without supervision. For safety, you get a cool-to-touch cabinet and child-lock functionality.

Overall, the Rinnai EX22CWP is a high-quality, reliable, and safe. If you are on a budget, however, the price will likely be a deal-breaker.

Pros

  • Elegant cabin design
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Decent heating performance for medium-sized rooms
  • Efficient operation
  • Generous safety features

Cons

  • Costlier than most competitors

 

5. HouseWarmer Slim-Profile Direct Vent Heater with Blower

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The HouseWarmer Slim-Profile is a compact and powerful unit that offers excellent value. Its slim design makes it easy to fit in tight spaces. Meanwhile, the simple look enables it to blend well with its surroundings. 

Best of all, it does not require electricity to ignite. You can therefore deploy it in your garage or cabin without worrying about extra power outlets. 

As a 15,000 BTU heater, the HouseWarmer Slim provides enough heat for 525 square-feet rooms. It comes with a blower fan, which you can ramp up for quicker air distribution. However, it does not come with an onboard thermostat. You will need to adjust the heat output manually, depending on the warmth you want. 

Unlike many of its rivals, the HouseWarmer Slim-Profile does not offer the peace-of-mind of safety features. Its body gets hot after a few hours of continuous operation. Furthermore, the lack of child-lock functionality means you cannot prevent unsupervised tampering. 

Nevertheless, this heater offers excellent performance for its price. It also comes with a decent kit and straightforward instructions for easy installation. If all you want is to heat a sizeable room on a budget, you will not be disappointed.

Pros

  • Simple, practical design
  • Non-electric ignition
  • Admirable heating performance
  • Robust blower fan
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • It does not come with a thermostat
  • Lacks most standard safety features

 

6. Mr. Heater Big MHU80NG Heater 

Sale
Mr. Heater F260560 Big Maxx MHU80NG Natural Gas...
  • Your purchase includes One Mr. Heater Big Maxx Natural Gas Heater with 2 angle brackets & Liquid Propane conversion kit | Thermostat, hose & regulator not included
  • Heater dimensions – 29.33” L x 15.50” W x 26.37” H | Coverage area – 2000 Sq. Ft. | Performance – 80,000 BTU | Amps – 2.3 | Voltage – 120 V | Min 8 ft. clearance from floor to base of unit
  • For use with natural gas | Category 1 vertical, category 3 horizontal venting
  • Powered exhaust allows for vertical or horizontal venting | Spark ignition features self-diagnostic control module
  • This heater offers the operating versatility and safety that you have come to expect from Mr. Heater | Limited 3 year warranty on parts and burners

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Although box heaters are becoming increasingly outdated, this unit is an excellent option for affordable large-room heating. 

As expected, this heater’s design is as simple as they come. It is meant to offer performance and practicality over aesthetics. Because of the box body, installing this unit is significantly more demanding than the other models on our list. Successfully mounting it on your wall or ceiling will require professional help.

Once installed, however, the Mr. Heater Big MHU80NG gets right to work. With a whopping 80,000 BTU heat output, this heating machine can warm up to 2,000 square feet of space. Its high-velocity electric fan spreads heat evenly in your room for quicker warming. Furthermore, the powered heat exhaust allows for either vertical or horizontal venting. 

The MHU80NG is not as user-friendly as other options on our list. The lack of a thermostat means you will need to buy a portable option for accurate temperature control for starters. The unit is also too bulky to move around the house with ease. 

On the bright side, the spark ignition makes it safe to light. The unit also features a self-diagnostic control module that lets you monitor the ignition system to prevent accidental gas leaks. 

Admittedly, the Mr. Heater Big MHU80NG is not a sophisticated product. Nonetheless, if you have a massive room to heat and you are on a budget, it is an excellent choice. 

Pros

  • Excellent heating performance for large rooms
  • High-velocity fan
  • Spark ignition with a self-diagnostic control module
  • Can use either propane or natural gas

Cons

  • Bland design
  • Lacks a thermostat
  • Difficult to install

 

7. Empire Comfort System’s DV35SGLP Direct-vent wall heater

Empire Comfort Systems Direct-Vent Wall Furnace...
  • Model #: DV35SGLP
  • BTUs: 35,000
  • BTU Output: 24,500
  • Finish: Beige Powder Coated
  • Overall Dimensions: 37" (W) x 11.5" (D) x 27.75" (H)

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This unit has been around for over 20 years, yet it is still flying off the shelves. Although it does not offer modern-day convenience features, its reliability is unquestionable. 

The DV35SGLP comes in a classic, textured beige coating cabinet. It may not be stylish, but it looks decent on a wall. It is also relatively compact, which is good news if you want to conserve wall space. 

It generates 25,000 BTU of heat. It is, therefore, at home in spaces measuring 1,000 square feet and below. Empire Comfort Systems sells the DV35SGLP’s fan kit separately at a reasonable price. We recommend buying the fan as well, as it offers dependable warm air circulation without being noisy. 

As you would expect from a 20-year-old heater model, the DV35SGLP is not nearly as user-friendly as newer devices like the Rinnai EX38CTW. Its pilot light ignition system makes it relatively complicated to light. 

Moreover, the controls are not straightforward to access. It also lacks safety features like a cool-to-touch casing and child-lock settings. Thankfully, the manufacturer did not omit a thermostat. 

When it comes to convenience, the DV35SGLP leaves quite a lot to be desired. However, its performance and reliability make it well worth considering.

Pros

  • Simple, compact design
  • Commendable performance for medium-sized spaces
  • Long-term reliability

Cons

  • The fan is sold separately
  • Lacks some standard convenience features 

 

The Best Direct Vent Propane Heater No Electricity

Although the units we have listed above are exemplary in their own right, some models are better than others. 

If we had to rank these models, the Martin 766013 Direct Vent Propane Wall heater would take the top spot. It is aesthetically pleasing, easy to install, safe, and user-friendly. It also offers adequate heating for an average-size room. Moreover, although it is a bit costly, it is still priced competitively relative to rivals like the Rinnai EX08CP.

The Martin 766013 is a great product. However, budget shoppers might want to look elsewhere. If you are cash-strapped, you can consider the HouseWarmer Slim-Profile as an alternative. It does not offer much in terms of convenience, but it gets the job done efficiently and reliably.

Buying Guide

What to look for

Having understood how direct vent propane heater works, it’s critically important to know what to look for when buying. And although the propane heater market is awash with some of the world’s leading brand names, there are specific features you should keenly consider when selecting the most suitable heater beside the name;

  • Heating Capacity 

The key reason you intend to buy a propane heater is warm your space. The BTU rating indicated on vents determines the vents heat capacity. With some spaces being less than 250 sq. ft, it will be absurd to buy a 50,000 BTU heater, and yet a 7,500 BTU direct vent heater would be enough.

But what is the recommended BTU rating per sq. ft? For standard operation, a direct vent propane heater rated 20 BTU/sq. ft would be ideal. With that in mind, the most confusing question is, would you go for the experts suggested 40BTU/ sq. ft or the government’s recommended rating?

  • Safety features  

Despite their many benefits, the heaters can be a threat to your health and life. And if you’ve got children and pets, you need to put extra caution.

Whereas some brands boast of glass-ceramic windows, heavy-duty grills, and die-cast aluminum, others have automatic switch-off mechanisms. Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) or Automatic low-oxygen shutoff system, adjustable thermostat, and control locking features are the main aspects to consider.

  • Maintenance and installation

How much does it cost to install and maintain? Buying a heater that would require an expert every time it has a mechanical or electrical problem is equal to adding another mandatory bill. A simple and easy to use propane heater should top your list as some have in-built fragile components.

Installing a direct vent propane heater can be too complicated if your house plan does not match the installation’s heater design. The heater’s piping system, venting system, and mounting method should not significantly differ with your house plan. Check the heaters installation system on the manual and compare it with your house plan.

  • Heating efficiency

From the amount of fuel you use, how much thermal energy is released? A heater rated 65% means it has an inefficiency of 35% mainly caused by combustion inefficiency or the ventilation system. When you compare the two-pipe vented models and single pipe models, the latter’s efficiency is 50%, while the two-pipe heaters is 70%.

But before you read the heaters efficiency rating, consider models with Energy Star certification as their efficiency is unmatched.

  • Extra modern features 

With more homes turning to smart devices, a heater that is able to connect to Wifi is more suited than the old fashioned ones. Among the extra features to look for are; remote control, programmable timer, thermostat control, and multiple heating settings.

  • The radiant or conventional heating mechanism

A convectional heater is more suitable for heating large spaces since they are designed to heat the surrounding area and objects, thus warming the air,  and circulating it evenly. On the other hand, radiant heaters, which are known to be more efficient, heat objects directly.

How to Light a Propane Heater

The general process of lighting a propane heater is as follows;

Step 1: Set the thermostat to the lowest level and turn the valve control knob counterclockwise to open.

Step 2: In case it’s equipped with programming devices, check their settings. Again, if it’s electrical, turn the power off.

Step 3: Light the propane heater. If it has a pilot, use a matchstick to light, and for those with the ignition system, push the knob in and turn to light.

Step 4: Adjust the heat settings to the desired level.

FAQs?

The best direct vent propane heaters offer efficient and convenient indoor heating whenever you need it. Read more to pick the right product for your needs.Choosing the best direct vent propane heater starts by filtering out the best units on the market. Once you have your top choices, you need to rank them according to your needs and preferences. 

If you are wondering what to keep in mind when buying one of these units, you are not alone. Shoppers are asking the same questions you have. So, read on for some credible answers. 

  • Are vented propane heaters safe?

Modern indoor units are generally safe home-use appliances. The top units come with sturdy brackets for reliable securing to a wall. They also have safety functions like cool-touch cabinets, overheat protection, and child-lock settings. 

Furthermore, unlike vent-free propane heaters, vented heaters do not expel combustion byproducts like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide back into the room. Instead, they vent them outside through the wall of your house. This factor makes them less likely to deplete the oxygen in indoor air or cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • How can you measure the heat output of a direct vent propane heater? 

The heating performance of propane heaters is explained in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The more the BTUs, the more the heat you can get from your unit. High-BTU units can warm rooms quicker than lower-BTU models. They can also be comfortably deployed in large rooms. 

To buy a product that will give you the best heating performance, consider the size of space you intend to heat. A general rule of thumb is that 40 BTU is enough for one square foot. 

  • Are direct vent propane heaters easy to light? 

The units come with a variety of ignition methods. The older models usually have pilot lights, while newer units can have more advanced piezo-electric and electronic ignition systems.

Most users consider pilot lights more complicated to light than automatic spark systems. Moreover, since a standing pilot requires a constant fuel supply, it is considerably less cost-efficient than spark ignition. 

  • What is the best position for a vented propane heater?

When buying a direct vent heater, you must consider where you will place it. The right mounting position is crucial for safe and efficient heater operation. 

They do not offer flexible placement options. Installing one will require you to access your house’s external wall and run the vent pipe outside. You will also need to mount the heater close to the propane tank for easy piping. 

Additionally, it is best to place the heater as close to the ground as possible. That way, you can get an even warmth distribution around your room. 

  • How Much Propane Does a Tankless Water Heater Consume?

The amount of propane needed by a tankless water heater mainly depends on; water quality, the number of people using it, geographical temperature plus tankless water heater support.  For a family of two, you can consume 15 gallons monthly. If you’re more than 5 members, 35-40 gallons of propane should be enough to do all household chores.

Wrap Up

Direct vent propane heaters are excellent devices for indoor heating. They provide the heat you require without impacting your energy bill significantly. Moreover, despite the reputation of propane gas, these units are safe heating solutions. 

If you are in the market for one, you will realize that they differ in features and prices. So, do not walk in the dark. Let this post be your guide towards making the right choice.