Choosing the Right Size Portable Gas Heaters for Your Needs

Whether you are a tent camper an RV enthusiast or backpacker a manufacturer somewhere makes just the right size of portable gas heater for your needs. From the one man tent to the large backyard shed, they can all benefit at some point with a little bit of extra heating.  There is pretty much only one consideration that you need to take into account when you are choosing portable gas heaters for your situation and that is how big an area do you want to heat?

The size of the room or area that you want to heat will tell you everything you need to know about what size of heater and also what type of heater. Portable gas heaters come in two varieties, radiant heaters and convection heaters. Radiant heaters do not heat up the air but instead will heat objects directly in front of it in much the same way as the sun works. These are great for small personal heaters but not so good for heating up a large area quickly. They are also no good for using in environments where there may be hazardous vapors and gases present.

Convection heaters work through the natural rising of hot air. As the air in the heater rises upwards a vacuum is created forcing the cooler air in to be heated. Natural convection heaters are generally bigger than portable radiant heaters as they need a larger element to heat up the required amount of air. You will find that convection heaters are suitable for larger rooms as they have the ability to heat up large quantities of air. Forced air convection heaters work by using a fan to force air over an element and into the environment. For this reason they can be smaller and more portable than a normal convection heater but may also be a little bit noisy.

For working out the required heat output you will need for your  shed or home you will use a measurement called the BTU or British Thermal Unit.  The simplest and most basic method is to just use 50 BTU for every square foot of area you need heated. There are other more complicated methods that take into account the window size of the room and the amount of insulation but for these you can just do a search online and use those. You will need all of your measurements of the room beforehand.

Things are a bit simpler with portable propane heaters that you are going to use on your camping trips as most are on the smaller size to make them easy to transport. Catalytic heaters that can output 3,000 BTU’s are excellent for hikers or for use in a one or two man tent as they operate without a flame once you get them going. A radiant propane heater that can output 8,000 BTU’s would be perfect for larger family tents or an RV. Like all heaters you need to be careful where you situate them and monitor them at all times. Most propane gas heaters require the room to be ventilated so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times.


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