battery powered heater

The Best Battery Powered Heaters – Alternatives

Nobody likes to be cold. Whether it’s a fall day or the dead of winter, heat is crucial to keeping us happy, healthy, and comfortable. So, it’s no surprise that heaters are so popular amongst those looking to warm their toes and get feeling back in their fingers.

While a battery powered heater would allow for incredible versatility, portability, and low power consumption, they simply cannot provide enough power to be used for heating. Their BTU (British thermal unit – how heat output is measured) is too low to provide effective heat over even a smaller area, so they do not exist.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to freeze. A battery powered heater may not be viable, but there are a variety of other options that can still address your needs.

portable heater on floor

We’ve assembled a list of heaters that can keep your car toasty in the morning, help you stay warm when camping, or warm up your home office for the winter months.

Ready to find the right heater for you? Keep reading to discover what to look for, and some of our favorites to consider.

Disclosure:It is important you understand that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

Safety First!

When you’re dealing with heat or flames, it’s essential that you are careful.

Fuel-based heaters create a smoke or gas from combustion, which can cause health problems if there isn’t proper ventilation. There is also the risk of something coming in contact with the flame (if exposed), which can lead to fires starting or burns if safety precautions aren’t in place.

Electric heaters are also dangerous because the coils they use to create heat reach exceptional temperatures. Contact with a heating element can lead to bad burns and setting things on fire with longer exposure.

Disclosure:It is important you understand that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

Comparison Table

Use this handy comparison table to quickly compare models or keep scrolling to the full reviews.

ProductDetailsWhere to Buy

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX

Mr heater F232000 propane heater

Fuel Type: Propane
BTU Output: 4,000-9,000
Power Required? No
Indoor Safe? Yes
Safety Features: Oxygen Depletion Sensor, Auto-Shut Off for Tipping or Pilot Light
Check Price

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B

Mr heater F215100 MH4B

Fuel Type: Propane
BTU Output: 3,800
Power Required? No
Indoor Safe? Yes
Safety Features: Oxygen Depletion Sensor, Auto-Shut Off for Tipping or Pilot Light
Check Price

AmazonBasics 500W Ceramic Mini Heater

Amazon Basics 500W Mini Heater

Fuel Type: AC Power
BTU Output: 1,700
Power Required? Yes (AC)
Indoor Safe? Yes
Safety Features: Auto-Shut Off for Tipping
Check Price on Amazon

Maradyne H-400012 Santa Fe 12V

Maradyne H-400012 Santa Fe 12V

Fuel Type: 12V Power
BTU Output: 13,200
Power Required? Yes (12V)
Indoor Safe? Yes
Safety Features: N/A
Check Price on Amazon

Triclicks Diesel Air Heater

Tricilicks Air Heater

Fuel Type: Diesel
BTU Output: 27, 000
Power Required? Yes (12V)
Indoor Safe? With Caution
Safety Features: N/A
Check Price on Amazon

Sengoku HeatMate OR-77

Fuel Type: Diesel
BTU Output: 27, 000
Power Required? Yes (12V)
Indoor Safe? With Caution
Safety Features: N/A
Check Price

The Best Battery Powered Heater Alternatives

Buying Guide

While battery powered heaters are unfortunately not a viable option, there are plenty of other options to consider. As long as you are careful with your usage, you can achieve many of the same results of a battery powered heater with a different type of heater. Once you find the right fuel type for you, you can make a decision on which model will address your needs.

Fuel Types

The right fuel type for you will depend on how you plan to use your heater. Some fuels provide a higher BTU output, are more portable, or are 100% emissions free. So, it’s important to decide which fuel source you want your heater to use as one of the first steps when buying a heater.

AC Power

AC power, mains power, or any other name for the often 120-volt AC power that comes from your power outlets is a 100% emissions-free fuel type. They often work by using electricity to superheat a coil, producing heat that radiates from the heat source either through the use of a fan or exhaust.

In general, AC power struggles to produce high BTU counts for a similar reason that battery heaters aren’t used in large-scale heating. They cannot draw enough power to produce immense heat in the same way combustion can.

However, for use in an office, bedroom, or other interior location without large heat requirements, an AC heater can get the job done.

12V Power

12V-powered heaters are often used in cars. These heaters connect to the car’s battery through the cigarette lighter, which provides the amperage required to produce effective heat.

12V power sources come in a variety of BTU outputs, with some personal heaters falling around 1000 BTUs and larger options exceeding 10,000. However, there is more power drawn as the BTUs increase.

Propane

Propane is a convenient fuel source for powering your heater because it can be contained in tanks. Propane also burns very cleanly, which lessens emissions (though ventilation is still highly recommended). Propane models come with a hose or a connection that allows the tank to be connected. This enables the propane to flow into the heater, ignite, and create heat that is circulated by an exhaust or fan.

Propane tanks use combustion, which allows them to provide more heat more easily. To create this reaction, an ignitor is powered by a battery, electricity source, or friction, or a pilot light is lit.

Propane tanks are often used for camping or smaller-scale heating solutions like a ventilated outdoor cabin.

Diesel and Kerosene

Both diesel and kerosene are liquid fuels that create heat when ignited. They also use an ignition source like a battery, electrical igniter, friction, or a pilot light. They should have proper ventilation for safety reasons due to their higher emissions and the unsavory smells they put out along with the heat.

Diesel burns less cleanly than kerosene, but also can produce more BTUs in many cases. However, both produce odors. Generally, they are also the hottest-burning fuels.

A garage or other larger outdoor location is where these two fuel types would excel.

Safety

Any appliance that creates heat or emissions poses a potential safety hazard. Whether it’s a live flame burning, incredibly hot coils that are exposed, or harmful gasses that are created by burning fuel, it’s essential that you take safety precautions.

When it comes to safe use of your heater, the location where you are using it is the most important factor to consider. Indoor locations without ventilation have very different options to consider than an outdoor, well-ventilated area.

For indoor use in smaller locations or locations without proper ventilation, electricity-powered (AC or 12V) options are safest. They provide no emissions because they don’t burn fuel. They also often include auto-shutoff for tipping and grates to protect you from the burning coils, which helps keep users safe and prevent igniting something you didn’t intend to.

If ventilation is adequate but the location is still indoors, electrical and propane are usable fuel sources. As long as the propane emissions are able to escape and the heat source is protected from contact with anything, semi-interior use can be safe when caution is exercised.

For outdoor locations, any fuel source can be used as long as the flames or heating elements are protected from contact. However, if ventilation is obscured, these heaters can pose a serious risk of harm. An oxygen depletion sensor also helps to encourage safe use by shutting off the heater before a problem occurs.

The Wrap Up

Heaters can be your best friend when the weather starts to get chilly. However, as with anything that uses a heat source, they can also be dangerous – both to touch and to inhale the fumes. Because there are no real battery powered heaters to consider, it’s important that you do your research to find out how you can safely address your needs with an alternative.

Depending on where you want to use your heater, the right choice for you may vary.

Electrical heaters are generally safer and less expensive, but they can struggle to produce the heat required to cover a whole room.

Meanwhile, gas heaters are able to produce more BTUs, but also require you to consider ventilation to be safe (and supply fuel to burn).

Hybrid options like a diesel air heater can provide a good combination of both benefits, but require the correct connections to work properly.

Overall, there is no battery powered heater or any other single kind of heater that will work for everyone. But, with the help of our guide, you can learn the benefits of the different fuel sources and decide on which works best for your situation. From there, it’s simply staying within budget and ensuring it can cover the entire area you want to keep warm. Stay toasty!

Pricing last updated on 2020-08-15 at 01:52 / affiliate links - Details

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