Propane Vs Kerosene Heaters for Garage: Which One is Efficient?

Propane vs. Kerosene Heaters for Garage: Which one is efficient?

In the digital era, everything is electronic. Coming from a toothbrush that automatically brushes your teeth to choosing your partners in a dating app, everything is a click away

Falling in these easy things, we sometimes forget what to do if there is no electricity! Imagine a cold winter, and you don’t have power! Your electric heater is of no use.

That is why you should buy portable heaters. And then you fall into the dilemma of propane vs. kerosene heaters.

It is quite natural if you are struggling between propane vs. kerosene heaters. It is the first step into switching for portable and more reliable appliances.

Portable heaters are more reliable than electric ones because your heater still works regardless of the power conditions.

But as some portable heaters have propane and some have kerosene in them, there is a question between propane vs. kerosene heaters.

Propane Vs. Kerosene Heaters

Propane Vs Kerosene Garage Heater

Before getting into the resolution, let us get to know more about each of the heaters. Knowing each heater and its effectiveness in daily life, we can figure out which one is the best in propane vs. kerosene heaters.

The difficulty in comparison occurs because the function of either of the heater is almost the same. The liquid form of propane or kerosene turns to vapor, and the vapor spreads through some means. The difference lies in the fuel.

Let’s begin with the most abundantly available heaters and the ones that people suggest you buy, kerosene heaters. And then let’s understand how kerosene heaters are disadvantageous.

And cross-check the disadvantages and functions of kerosene heaters with propane heaters. We can get a clear picture and a declared winner by the process of comparing these two with their total good and total bad.

Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene heaters are useful because they do not take much time, effort, and money as electric heaters take to warm individual rooms or an entire garage. Indeed, the kerosene garage heaters work more efficiently.

That is because kerosene heaters are straightforward, as simple as kerosene lamps. If you poured kerosene and the heater is lit, then it automatically converts the kerosene into gas by heating it.

Then the gas is spread through the convection in the heater that makes the garage warmer.

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  • Fuel capacity of 1.9 gallons
  • 1.9 gallons of kerosene will provide 12 hours of heat

If you buy electric ones rather than portable ones, you can still have them be kerosene heaters.

These electric kerosene heaters use electricity to turn the kerosene into gas. The process is the same, but in electric ones, all you have to do is turn the switch. But as we discussed earlier, the very notion of propane vs. kerosene heaters came into existence to replace the wave of electric heaters.

So, it would be best if you chose a portable kerosene heater rather than an electric one.


While it is more available than propane, it is also cheaper than coal and wood. A kerosene heater is better than having a fireplace that burns wood and coal. All you need to have is enough ventilation, and it performs better than a fireplace. 

It is eco-friendly when compared to coal and wood. Burning wood is even not allowed in some regions. So your automatic alternative would be gas and the popular one, kerosene.


While it is best because it is available in any limited unit and is eco-friendly compared to wood, it has its disadvantages in real-life. The disadvantages of function are something you can neglect, but the disadvantages of kerosene heaters risk your health.

Some reports claim the reduction in indoor air quality because of kerosene heaters. You can also get burns if there is an error in fuelling the heater. As kerosene is highly inflammable, it might cause dangers if there is no ventilation.

Propane Heaters

As you have seen how kerosene affects health, you might prefer something alternative. And that would be propane. Propane is an ultimate resolution if you are confused in the tug of war of propane vs. kerosene heaters.

Propane heaters are more effective than electric heaters themselves. Because of the efficiency, there are different types of propane heaters available in the market. There are cheap ones with fewer options and costlier ones with great features.

Dyna-Glo Forced air Heater, 135,000 BTUs, Black
  • 95,000 or 135,000 BTU
  • Heats up to 3,200 sq.ft.
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Similar to kerosene, propane is also stored in its liquid form. The liquid form is turned into a gas vapor form with the appliance that uses heat from an electrical fire. Again, as we are looking for a portable garage heater that is more reliable, let us only talk about portable garage heaters.

Appliances use convection that spreads the heat or radiation. People usually prefer convection over radiation and electric versions. Convection is just a fan that spread the heat through air.


According to the government, propane is certified as clean gas! Kerosene might be eco-friendly compared to wood and coal, but in the race of propane vs. kerosene heaters, propane leads the race of eco-friendly.

Using propane reduces the number of greenhouse gases, and that is why it hails as an eco-friendly gas heater.

Propane lasts longer than any gas, and it lasts up to 40 years when stored. If you have other appliances that use propane, too, then you can save a lot by buying propane in bulk.


Propane can cause frostbites because of its temperature. Propane poisoning cases are too many to neglect. Sometimes propane heaters can release carbon monoxide, which is a dangerous gas for humans to inhale.

And like kerosene, propane is also highly flammable. Both propane and kerosene have a tug of war in being flammable too. But being more volatile than kerosene, propane can give you more heat in less time.

This efficiency is what makes propane lead in the comparison of propane vs. kerosene heaters. But it would be best if you had little ventilation, even for propane, to avoid risks.

The Winner

Propane Vs Kerosene

Propane heaters are eco-friendly and the most effective heaters, even when it comes to cost. But compared to kerosene, propane is costly and a bit hard to find at regular stores. That is why people usually prefer kerosene rather than propane when it comes to propane vs. kerosene heaters.

But if you choose to buy propane in bulk, it is widely available. You cannot expect to find propane in limited units. Propane in the market is available only in bulk amounts because you can store them for a long time.

If you are looking for more reliable appliances than electric ones, it would be best that go for propane, like, grills and fireplaces. If you also have a fire pit, grill, or fireplace that uses propane, you can buy it in bulk and use the amount for good.

Propane is also available at different prices and different types. This way, you cut down most of your costs as all you need is propane to make your heating systems work. As propane is eco-friendly and most useful, it becomes the winner in propane vs. kerosene heaters’ question.

An Alternative

If you chose to avoid propane vs. kerosene heaters and select an entirely different gas heater, you should probably choose Natural gas. Natural gas heats more area in less time compared to a propane heater.

Installing a natural gas heater is a bit complicated than propane or kerosene heaters, but it is easy once you get used to it. Even when you compare costs, natural gas is 50% cheaper than electricity and up to 20% less expensive than kerosene and propane.

When we talk about reliability, the natural gas heater is not that reliable as propane or kerosene heaters. That is why propane and kerosene get the stage of fame. But, if eco-friendly heaters are at talks, the natural gas heater is your choice.

Wrapping Up

The ever-existing argument of propane vs. kerosene heaters will still proceed because of the conflicting advantages. Propane heaters are more efficient and the winner, but if you have different appliances that use other fuels, you must consider choosing one among all the fuels.

Propane is efficient and available only in a bulk amount. If your motive is to purchase limited amounts, you will place a lot of money on that. So, the conclusion is pretty much bland when it comes to availability and cost.

Look at your overall costs and choose propane or kerosene according to your other appliances. If you avail some ration in the form of basic needs from the government or other charitable subsidies, you might get some kerosene amount. If that is the case of available kerosene, you can choose kerosene.

That is just because it saves you more money. But if you must buy kerosene as you buy propane, then there is only a disadvantage to buying kerosene garage heaters.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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