How Much Propane Does a 30000 BTU Heater Use? | Expert Opinion

A propane heater is a great investment for every person. Not only is it highly 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 BTUs per hour heater – but how much propane does a 30000 BTU heater 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 Many Gallons of Propane Do 30000 BTU Heaters Require?

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

If you have a 20lb propane tank, then you will likely get about 14 and half hours a day. Bear in mind that this only applies if you are blasting the propane wall heater at full heat continuously.

If you use it intermittently and at a lower heat level, you will 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.

BTU  is the energy amount required to heat one pound of water, warming it up by one degree Fahrenheit. To measure heat energy required, 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 overall cost of heating. However, it is always good to compare one 30,000 BTU blue flame burner wall heater to the other for easier comparison.

How to Calculate Propane Gas Consumption

You need to follow certain steps 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 blue flame burner propane wall heater. 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. For example, a gallon of propane per hour releases an energy content of 91,500 hourly in propane.
  3. Take that energy content and then divide it by the appliance’s consumption rating. So, for example, taking your 30,000 BTU heater, if you divide 91,500 by 30,000, you get 3.05 hours.

Rounding it up, with one gallon of propane, you will be consuming propane at a rate of 30,000 BTU propane heater for an average of three hours a day.

Using that information, you should figure out exactly how many hours you can use the propane heater 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. Therefore, it would be best to mind when you aren’t home (ergo, when the propane wall 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 30,000 BTU wall heater. Therefore, a propane heater needs a pressure regulator to control the amount of propane flowing into the heater.

Cost to Operate Propane Wall Heater

After figuring out the natural gas consumption, you also need to determine the cost of operating the wall heater. To keep the example, let’s say that you want a gas heater using propane for an average of 8 hours a 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, resulting in 240 hours.

So, for example, running a propane heater will cost you an average of $0.80 per hour, which is higher compared to natural gas.

Therefore, if you multiply the cost to operate by 240 – which is the number of hours you plan to use per month – you will have to pay around $200 ($192 as the final result, but we’ve rounded that number up) fot the natural gas.

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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, various factors 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 heating unit 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.

Propane Wall Heaters

Propane wall heaters can also be small and compact enough to be installed on the wall. Depending on the model you get, they can be very efficient, save space, and create enough heat to warm up a whole room.

  • Vented vs. Ventless Heaters

When it comes to propane wall heaters, there are two types that you may go for vented and ventless heaters. Vented heaters will take the exhaust air through the vents, sending it outside.

Ventless heaters, on the other hand, do not have this type of ductwork. As a result, many people prefer installing vented heaters, as they don’t allow the exhaust fumes to slip inside the home.

Health-wise, they are the sensible choice. However, they are not the most energy-efficient option, as they tend to burn more fuel.

Not only is this some bad piece of news for your wallet, but the environment won’t like it either. That extra gallon of propane can do a bit of damage.

How to Install a Wall Propane Heater

Depending on the case, you may or may not need professional help to install the heater. However, here is what you’ll have to do:

  1. Find a good spot for the gas heater using propane. Ideally, the heater should be installed close to the bottom of the wall. This way, heat can rise, which will allow the room to warm up faster and evenly.
  2. Screw the included brackets on which the heater is supposed to hang.
  3. Temporarily hang the heater just to see where the hole for the propane tank hose is supposed to go.
  4. Take off the heater from the brackets and drill the hole.
  5. Put the heater back and slide the propane hose in the hole, connecting the propane tank and heater.
  6. If you go for a vented heater, make sure also to connect it to the appropriate ducts.

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 installing such a unit.

Many 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 warm up by the 30,000 BTU propane heating system, but they may end up burning their small paws.

If you need such a heater, consider keeping them out of the area when turning the 30,000 btu wall heater on.

  • Do not use a propane heater indoors.

Propane heaters give off carbon dioxide when burning, so you may want only to use them in the outside temperature. However, using these small cylinders indoors might lead to an accumulation of carbon monoxide – something that can be deadly.

Certain high-tech propane devices may have a lower carbon monoxide emission, as well as a shut-off feature for when the oxygen levels drop.

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 propane wall heater indoors.


How many square feet can a 30,000 BTU heater cover?

Many aspects will influence the room size that your 30000 British thermal unit (BTU) propane heating system will heat. Whether the room is insulated or not is one of them.

However, on average, a 30000 heater should easily cover somewhere around 600 square feet and 750 square feet.

How long will a 30000 BTU propane heater last?

One gallon of propane contains around 91,500 BTU of heat per hour. This means that a propane burn rate of 30000 BTU gas heater should last you somewhere around 3 hours a day.

This will also depend on the setting of your heater. The higher you arrange the setting, the more the propane tank will burn – and the faster the fuel will run out.

What is the best propane heater?

The best propane wall heater will deliver the gallon of propane per hour amount that you require. Now, this will depend on your needs entirely: some may benefit more from a wall heater, whereas other propane devices will need a portable propane tank option.

A 30000 BTU wall heater is a good choice for large spaces, whereas a 10000 heater should work for a small apartment.

Heater types – which one is easier to set up?

A ventless wall mounted heater is easier to install, as it does not require the ductwork of the vented type. So you can get a portable heater that will only require you to plug it, or you can go for a smaller 10000 BTU wall heater, which needs to be placed on brackets. The latter is also quite easy to install.

What is the right heater size for my home?

This mostly depends on the space that you have available. Think of it this way: the average propane tank can deliver 40 BTUs per hour for one square foot. This means that if you have a space of 250 square feet, you will only need a 20,000 BTU wall heater.

Is propane cheaper to heat with than electricity?

Whether you believe it or not, propane is much cheaper to heat with than the electric system and natural gas.

One gallon per hour of propane will likely cost you less than the kilowatts you would need to run your heater continuously on electricity or natural gas.

In fact, electricity costs twice as much as one gallon of propane, which is why you are better off with the latter.

Final Thoughts

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

You will need one gallon of propane per 3 hours with such a unit. Depending on how often you use it, you should be able to save up on whole-house propane heating costs by simply warming up an area.

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Melanie Mavery is an aspiring HVAC technician who is fascinated by the trends and opportunities in the HVAC industry. She spends most of her day writing content on home improvement topics and outreaching to prospects.  She's always looking for ways to support HVACs!