How Much Propane Does a 30,000 BTU Heater Use?

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A propane heater is a great investment for every person. Not only is it extremely efficient for warming up your home, but it is also the perfect choice for you when you go camping.

In the event of a power outage or a natural disaster, it will also make sure you don’t freeze to death in the cold.

You have a 30,000 BTU heater – but how much propane does it use? How much will you have to pay for it? Is there any way for you to save up on the propane while using such a unit? Keep reading the article to find out more.

How Much Propane Does a 30,000 BTU Heater Use?

In most cases, one gallon of propane will yield around 91,500 BTU every hour. As a result, if you have a 30,000 BTU heater, the unit will run for around 3 hours on just one gallon. In 24 hours, the same unit will burn through about 8 gallons.

If you have a 20lbs tank, then you will likely get about 14 hours out of it. Bear in mind that this only applies if you are blasting the heater at full heat, continuously. If you use it intermittently and at a lower heat level, then you will be able to reap more hours out of this.

Understanding BTUs

BTU is short for “British Thermal Unit.” This globally recognized unit representing energy is one of the most common options for measuring energy in the United States. The BTU is, simply put, the energy amount required to heat one pound of water, warming it up by one degree Fahrenheit.

To measure heat energy, we also make use of megajoules (MJ). 1,000,000 megajoule is one joule. This is the force required for moving one newton on a one-meter distance.

Why does this matter to us? It matters because 1 megajoule is 942.82 British thermal units. In most cases, the United States uses BTU to rate heat-delivering produce and calculate the average running cost. However, for easier comparison, it is always a good idea to compare one unit to the other.

How to Calculate Propane Gas Consumption

There are certain steps that you need to follow if you wish to determine how much propane your gas heater will use. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Find the BTU or MJ rating of your unit. In your case, it’s 30,000 BTU. This will indicate the energy amount consumed every day (not how much energy is put out). In most circumstances, this information is written down in the user manual.
  2. Take note of the energy content for the fuel. In the case of propane, a gallon every hour releases an energy content of 91,500 hourly.
  3. Take that energy content, and then divide it by the appliance’s consumption rating. Taking your 30,000 BTU heater, if you divide 91,500 by 30,000, you get 3.05 hours.

Rounding it up, for one gallon of propane, you may fuel a 30,000 BTU propane heater for an average of three hours. Using that information, you should be able to figure out exactly how many hours you can use the propane heater for, and how much you will have to pay every day/month.

Keep in mind that this calculation only applies to continuous use of the heater, at full power. You should also mind the times when you aren’t home (ergo, when the heater isn’t working), or nighttime when the temperatures may drop.

That being said, with this formula, you may be able to come up with an estimate of how much propane you need to operate your unit.

After you figure out the gas consumption, you also need to determine how much it will cost you to operate the unit. To keep the example, let’s say that you plan on using the propane heater for an average of 8 hours every day.

To find out exactly how much it will cost you to pay by the month, you need to multiply those hours by 30 days – which results in 240 hours.

To run a propane heater for an hour, it will cost you an average of $0.80. Therefore, if you multiply that cost by 240 – which is the number of hours you are planning to use per month – you will have to pay around $200 ($192 as the final result, but we’ve rounded that number up).

Read also: 7 Best Low Wattage Heaters | Space Heater that Won’t Trip Breaker

How Much Propane to Use

When you are using a propane heater for your basement or living room, you will see that you’ll get a recommendation as to how much propane you should use. That being said, there are various factors that will change that number, so to speak.

For one, the main factor that you have to keep in mind is the outdoor temperature. If the weather outside is slightly warm (for example, in a milder climate), you might not have to use as much propane.

When you blast the propane heater at full power, you will be using the maximum energy amount noted for that particular heater. However, if you turn the heat down, you won’t be using as much fuel. This is why you may want to turn the heater off when you don’t need it and keep the temperature as low as possible for you to be comfortable.

You can also opt for the best gas heater for your home in case you’re looking to heat a large area.

Safety Precautions When Using Propane Heaters

When you are using a 30,000 BTU propane heater, there are certain safety concerns that you might want to consider.

  • Reconsider using a propane heater if you have children

Unless the propane heater is installed quite high on the wall – which is very rare – you may want to reconsider the installation of such a unit. Propane heaters are hot to the touch, so they may burn the little hands of those who do not yet know that the device can be harmful.

The same thing applies if you have animals around the house. They may want to simply warm up by the unit, but they may just end up burning their small paws. If you need such a heater, consider keeping them out of the area when you turn the unit on.

  • Do not use a propane heater indoors

Propane heaters give off carbon dioxide when they are burning so you may want to only use them outside. Using them indoors might lead to an accumulation of carbon monoxide – something that can be deadly.

Certain high-tech propane heaters may have a lower carbon monoxide emission, as well as a shut-off feature for when the oxygen level drops. However, if you plan on using the heater indoors, make sure that you use indoor direct vent propane heaters or the best electric heater for homes. This way, you will be kept safe even when you use the unit indoors.


Final Thoughts

In the end, 30,000 BTU propane heaters don’t use too much energy and propane, considering that you’re only likely to pay $200 every month for the unit.

You will need one gallon of propane per three hours with such a unit. Depending on how often you use it, you should be able to save up on whole-house heating costs by simply warming up an area.