Can You Use A 20 Lb. Propane Tank On A Wall Heater?

Jessica Allen
by Jessica Allen

A propane wall heater is an energy-efficient option for heating a single room. But how much propane does a wall heater typically use? What size propane tank is required to keep it running?

Although you can use a 20-pound propane tank on a wall heater, it’s not recommended. A 20-pound propane tank will only fuel a wall heater for about 13.8 hours before it must be refilled. Most propane suppliers will require you to purchase a 250-gallon, 500-gallon, or 1000-gallon propane tank to run a wall heater.

This article will explain what a propane wall heater is, how it works, and how much propane it uses. It will also cover the pros and cons of using propane wall heaters to heat your home.

Related Guide: 20 lb. vs. 30 lb. Propane Tank

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What Is A Propane Wall Heater?

A propane wall heater is also known as a wall furnace. It’s a compact, self-contained heating unit. Propane wall heaters are usually permanently mounted in or on a wall.

Propane wall heaters don’t use ductwork and are vented directly through the wall or the roof. They’re intended to heat an individual room. You can use multiple wall heaters to heat your entire house or just a few to supplement particularly chilly rooms.

This type of heater usually has a thermostat built-in. Still, you can find some models with detached thermostats. This usually applies when the thermostat is meant to control multiple different wall heaters in the same space.

A propane wall heater is not the same thing as a space heater, however. Propane wall heaters are installed directly into the wall and aren’t portable like space heaters. In addition, wall heaters are directly wired to a circuit in the home’s electric panel, rather than being plugged in.

How Does A Propane Wall Heater Work?

Propane wall heaters produce heat by burning fuel. In this case, that fuel is propane. Then, the heater circulates air within a sealed internal chamber.

This air is warmed through combustion. Then, it’s blown out the front of the heater and into the room. None of the heated air escapes the home, which makes propane wall heaters very energy-efficient.

How Much Propane Does A Wall Heater Use?

A wall heater uses approximately one gallon of propane every three hours. One gallon of propane equals 92,000 BTUs. This can power a 30,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) propane wall heater for three hours.

A 20-pound propane tank contains 4.6 gallons of propane. Since one gallon can power a heater for three hours, 4.6 gallons can power it for 13.8 hours. Therefore, a 20-pound propane tank can provide around 14 hours of heat in total.

What Size Propane Tank Do You Need For A Wall Heater?

While using a 20-pound propane tank to power a wall heater is possible, it’s not recommended. This is because a 20-pound tank can only power the heater for less than 15 hours. If you wanted to run the heater consistently, you would need to replace the propane very frequently.

The chance of running out of propane is pretty high with a 20-pound tank. Running out of propane can be dangerous. It makes your tank more prone to leaks and rust build-up. There’s even a chance of your pilot light going out.

Most liquid propane suppliers will require you to use at least a 250-gallon tank for a wall heater. However, you can also use a 500-gallon tank or a 1000-gallon tank. The larger the tank, the less frequently you’ll have to refill it.

How To Connect Wall Heater To A Propane Tank

Pros Of Propane Wall Heaters

Propane wall heaters are safe and non-toxic to the environment. The propane tank can be put underground and out of sight, and it’s very low-maintenance. This type of wall heater is generally inexpensive, and installation is simple compared to other kinds of heaters.

Plus, propane tanks can hold as much as 1000 gallons of propane. This means there’s no need to constantly fill up the tank. You can even power your entire home using the same source.

Since propane wall heaters are self-contained, none of the heat they produce escapes to the outdoors. Instead, all of the heat is sent directly into the room it’s located in. This makes propane wall heaters very energy-efficient.

Cons Of Propane Wall Heaters

One drawback of a propane wall heater is that the propane doesn’t burn as hot as oil does. Also, if you’re switching to propane from another heating system, you can expect high installation costs. You may even need to pay a rental fee for your propane tank if you don’t purchase it outright.

Related Questions

How does a wall heater work?

A gas wall heater uses either radiant heat or convection heat. For heaters that use radiant heat, propane or natural gas heats a ceramic panel. Then, the panel radiates heat out into a room, providing warmth directly to the people in the room.

Heaters that work with convection use a gas-produced flame to heat the air. A fan then blows the heated air into the room. This warms the air in the room, and the air, in turn, warms the people in the room.

Is a propane wall heater vented?

Propane wall heaters are vented. There are ventless wall heaters, but they do not use propane. Instead, they draw oxygen from the air in the room for combustion. The heated exhaust is vented directly back into the room using radiant or convection heating.

Are wall heaters safe?

Wall heaters are generally considered safe. One thing to steer clear of is fire hazards. Always keep combustibles like furniture, blankets, cleaning products, rugs, and piles of magazines away from wall heaters.

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Main Takeaways

  • A propane wall heater is a self-contained, ventless heater that is installed in the wall. It can heat a single room and is usually controlled with a built-in thermostat.
  • It’s possible to use a 20-pound propane tank to power your wall heater, but it isn’t recommended. A 20-pound propane tank will only be able to power your heater for 13.8 hours before needing to be refilled. Experts recommend a 250-gallon, 500-gallon, or 1000-gallon propane tank instead.
  • Propane wall heaters are energy-efficient, safe, non-toxic, and reliable.
  • Switching to propane wall heaters from another heating system can be expensive. Aside from installation, propane wall heaters are associated with low purchase prices and maintenance costs.
Jessica Allen
Jessica Allen

With a lifelong passion for writing plus strong enthusiasm for home improvement and DIY projects, joining the team at Upgraded Home was an easy choice. Jessica Allen likes to share helpful information with current and aspiring homeowners. Aside from writing, Jessica loves doing yoga, playing the piano, and dabbling in graphic design.

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