Does a Propane Heater Take a Filter?

A propane heater may or may not require a filter, depending on the model and the type of fuel source it is connected to. The Buddy Heater, a popular portable propane heater, is a prime example that may require a filter when used with certain hoses or cables. This is because some hoses can leach oils and contaminants that can clog the heater’s system, reducing its performance and lifespan.

The Role of the Filter

The filter in a propane heater is a simple baffled chamber that allows contaminants to precipitate out of the propane and get captured, preventing them from entering the heater’s small orifices. This is crucial for maintaining the heater’s efficiency and longevity.

Technical Specifications of the Filter

  • The filter is typically made of a metal or plastic housing with a fine mesh or paper element inside.
  • The baffled design creates a tortuous path for the propane, causing larger particles to drop out and get trapped in the filter.
  • The filter’s pore size is typically between 10-40 microns, small enough to capture most contaminants while still allowing adequate gas flow.
  • The filter’s pressure drop is usually less than 0.5 psi, ensuring minimal impact on the heater’s performance.

Hose Compatibility and Contaminants

does a propane heater take a filter

The type of hose or cable used to connect the propane tank to the heater can significantly impact the need for a filter. Regulated low-pressure hoses are less likely to leach contaminants, but there are no regulated bulk-to-1lb adaptor hoses available on the market.

Unregulated Hoses and Plasticizers

Unregulated generic hoses, often made with plasticizers, can leach these chemicals into the propane, causing clogging and damage to the heater’s components. In these cases, a filter is highly recommended to protect the heater.

Mr. Heater’s Hose Solutions

Mr. Heater, the manufacturer of the Buddy Heater, offers special hoses that are designed not to leech and gum up the system. However, not all of their hoses are safe to run from a tank without using their filter, so it’s essential to check the specifications.

DIY Filter Installation

If a filter is required for your propane heater, the installation process is relatively straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Screw the filter onto the regulator built into the Buddy Heater.
  2. Thread the other end of the filter onto the hose.
  3. Tighten the filter with channel locks or a wrench.
  4. Turn on the propane and ignite the heater to ensure it is working correctly.


In summary, a propane heater may or may not require a filter, depending on the model and the type of fuel source it is connected to. It’s essential to check the specifications of the heater and the hose to determine whether a filter is required and to install it correctly to protect the heater from damage and maintain its performance.