How Long Does a Gas Space Heater Last?

A gas space heater can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on factors such as the quality of the heater, frequency of use, and maintenance. Regular inspections and proper care are crucial to ensuring the longevity of a gas space heater.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Gas Space Heater

Quality of the Heater

The quality of the gas space heater is a significant factor in determining its lifespan. Heaters made with high-quality materials and components tend to last longer than those with cheaper construction. Reputable brands that adhere to strict manufacturing standards often produce gas space heaters with a longer expected lifespan.

Frequency of Use

The frequency of use is another crucial factor in the longevity of a gas space heater. Heaters that are used more often, especially for extended periods, will generally have a shorter lifespan compared to those used less frequently. Proper maintenance and rest periods can help extend the life of a heavily used gas space heater.

Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections are essential for maximizing the lifespan of a gas space heater. This includes:

  1. Cleaning the heater’s components, such as the burners, filters, and vents, to prevent buildup of debris and ensure efficient operation.
  2. Checking for any signs of damage, such as cracks, frayed cords, or loose connections, and addressing them promptly.
  3. Ensuring the heater is properly ventilated and that the exhaust system is functioning correctly to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  4. Scheduling professional inspections and tune-ups at least once a year to identify and address any potential issues.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which the gas space heater is used can also impact its lifespan. Heaters exposed to high humidity, extreme temperatures, or corrosive substances may experience accelerated wear and tear, leading to a shorter lifespan.

Calculating the Runtime of a Gas Space Heater

how long does a gas space heater last

The runtime of a gas space heater depends on several factors, including the size of the space being heated, the desired temperature change, and the BTU output of the heater.

Determining the BTU Requirement

To calculate the runtime of a gas space heater, you first need to determine the BTU requirement for the space you want to heat. The formula for this is:

BTU Requirement = (Square Footage × Ceiling Height × Temperature Change) / 45

For example, a 1,000 square-foot workspace with 8-foot ceilings and an outside temperature of 30°F, requiring a temperature change of 40°F, would need a little more than 42,500 BTUs per hour to maintain a temperature of 70°F.

Calculating the Runtime

Once you know the BTU requirement, you can calculate the runtime of a gas space heater using the following formula:

Runtime (in hours) = Fuel Capacity (in BTUs) / BTU Requirement

For instance, a 20-pound propane tank holds approximately 430,000 BTUs of liquid propane. Using the previous example, a 20-pound propane tank could heat the 1,000 square-foot workspace for more than 10 hours.

Safety Considerations

It is crucial to prioritize safety when using a gas space heater. Here are some important safety tips:

  1. Never leave a gas space heater unattended or running overnight, as this increases the risk of accidents, such as short circuits, power surges, or overheating.
  2. Always supervise children and pets around gas space heaters to prevent injuries or fires.
  3. Ensure the heater is certified by the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) and has safety features such as automatic shut-off and a long cord.
  4. Use combustion space heaters that burn kerosene, natural gas, propane, or wood pellets only in well-ventilated areas, as they produce carbon dioxide.


A gas space heater can last between 10 to 20 years with proper maintenance and inspections. The runtime of a gas space heater depends on the size of the space, the desired temperature change, and the BTU output of the heater. By following safety guidelines and performing regular maintenance, you can maximize the lifespan and efficiency of your gas space heater.