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Winter storms have impacted most of the U.S. over the final weeks of December, leading to rolling blackouts and power outages. Many struggle to stay warm during severe winter weather, but you also have to worry about staying safe, as many of the gadgets and products that promise instant heat can be dangerous if not used properly.
Every year, more than 400 people die in the U.S. from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which is why you should never use a grill, camping stove or fuel-powered generator indoors, even with the windows open. However, there are some ways to safely heat at least a small part of your home when the power is out, such as a fireplace or even a homemade candle heater, provided you keep an eye on the flames.
Propane heaters that are rated for indoor use are another safe option that you can use when the power is out. The Heat Hog portable propane heater is an example that’s safe for indoor and outdoor use and doesn’t require any electricity. The Heat Hog comes in the following three models.
The 4,000-Btu Heat Hog Piglet propane heater is perfect for warming up your personal space. It runs on a one-pound propane cylinder. This indoor propane heater has a stationary, 45-degree angled heat head to direct heat where you need it. The curved design provides a 33-degree wider heating area than standard portable propane heaters. It also comes with a mountable base.
“This is such an awesome little heater that has given me peace of mind as winter sets in,” wrote a reviewer who gave it five stars at Amazon. “This heater is exactly as advertised. It is very powerful and throws off a good amount of heat! I love having a backup plan, in case we lose our power.”
Usually $119, the Heat Hog Piglet is marked down to $99 as of this writing.
This bigger option from Heat Hog features a tilting design that allows you to adjust the heat angle. It promises to heat up to 225 square feet with up to 9,000 Btu of radiant heat output. You can run it on a one-pound propane cylinder or a 20-pound propane tank with an accessory hose (sold separately).
The durable safety guard, a safety tip-over switch and oxygen-depletion sensor help you stay warm safely. The sensor can detect low oxygen or accidental falls and will automatically turn the heater off if it does. This Heat Hog 9,000-Btu portable heater sells for $120 at Amazon and has a quiet ignition, four-position temperature control and a fold-down handle with lightweight construction.
“I used this in my shop for four hours while running my laser cutter, kept me and my dog nice and toasty,” wrote a reviewer who shared a photo. “It really does the job well.”
The largest of the Heat Hog portable heaters, this 1,800-Btu model heats up to 450 square feet. It runs on a one-pound propane cylinder or a 20-pound propane tank with an accessory hose (sold separately) and a single AAA battery.
“The tilt function is awesome,” a reviewer wrote. “The convex heater plates also help immensely. The heat control is infinitely adjustable if you don’t mind the noise that comes with it not being fully set to a position. The other pros are it can run both heater elements off of a single [1-pound] canister. Storing them off the ground and the magnets that keep them somewhat more secure is also great.”
Like the 9,000-Btu model, this $155 portable heater features a tiltable design for heat-angle adjustment and the same safety features, including the safety guard, tip-over switch and oxygen-depletion sensor. It also has an electric ignition, three heat settings, a fold-down handle and a rail swivel-out fuel connection.
Tips for Using Propane Heaters Indoors
If you want to use a portable propane heater as a backup for power outages or in small areas without heat, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper use and safety features.
Never leave a propane heater unattended or in use while sleeping, even if it is rated as safe for indoor use. And never use a heater rated only for outdoor use indoors or in enclosed places such as a garage, tent or camper.