How to Add a Propane Heater in a House: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

Adding a propane heater to your house can be a cost-effective and efficient way to heat your living space, especially in areas where natural gas is not readily available. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of installing a propane heater in your home, covering everything from selecting the right equipment to ensuring a safe and proper installation.

Understanding Propane Heater Components

To add a propane heater in your house, you’ll need several key components:

  1. Propane Tanks: The size and number of tanks required will depend on the heater’s usage. Typically, a 40-pound propane tank can cost around $200 and can be refilled at local retail stores.

  2. Dual-Tank Connection Kit: This kit, costing around $40, is used to connect two propane tanks together, ensuring a continuous supply of fuel.

  3. Regulator: The regulator is a critical component that reduces the high-pressure gas from the tank to a safe level for the heater. The pressure regulator setting should match the heater’s requirement, which is often around 10 inches of water column.

  4. Thread Tape or Sealant: These are essential for creating a tight seal at all connections, preventing any potential gas leaks.

Selecting the Right Propane Heater

how to add a propane heater in a house

When choosing a propane heater for your home, consider the following factors:

  • Heating Capacity: Determine the appropriate heating capacity (BTU) based on the size of the room or area you want to heat. As a general rule, you’ll need around 30-50 BTU per square foot of living space.
  • Efficiency: Look for a propane heater with a high efficiency rating, typically 80% or higher, to maximize energy savings and reduce fuel consumption.
  • Safety Features: Ensure the heater has built-in safety features, such as an automatic shut-off in case of tipping or low oxygen levels, to prevent accidents.
  • Ventilation Requirements: Propane heaters require proper ventilation to ensure safe operation and prevent the buildup of harmful gases. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate ventilation setup.

Installing the Propane Heater

Follow these step-by-step instructions to install your propane heater:

  1. Connect the Propane Tanks: Use the dual-tank connection kit to securely connect the two 40-pound propane tanks. Ensure a tight seal at all connections using thread tape or sealant.

  2. Install the Regulator: Screw the regulator into the opposite end of the tee, making sure the pressure setting matches the heater’s requirements.

  3. Connect the Heater: Attach the propane supply line from the regulator to the heater, again using thread tape or sealant to prevent leaks.

  4. Test for Leaks: Once all connections are made, use a leak detection solution or spray to check for any gas leaks. Tighten connections as needed.

  5. Secure the Heater: Properly mount or position the propane heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it is level and stable.

  6. Provide Adequate Ventilation: Ensure the heater is installed in a well-ventilated area, with proper airflow and access to outdoor air, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  7. Follow Safety Precautions: Always exercise caution when working with propane. Avoid smoking or using open flames near the installation area, and ensure the work area is well-ventilated.

Regulatory Considerations

Before installing a propane heater in your home, it’s essential to check with your local authorities and follow all relevant regulations and codes. This may include:

  • Obtaining the necessary permits for the installation
  • Ensuring the propane tank placement and size comply with local zoning laws
  • Adhering to any specific safety requirements or guidelines for propane heater installations

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines or even legal consequences, so it’s crucial to do your due diligence.

Maintenance and Safety

Proper maintenance and safety practices are crucial when operating a propane heater in your home. Remember to:

  • Regularly inspect the propane tanks, connections, and hoses for any signs of wear or damage
  • Keep the heater and surrounding area free from combustible materials
  • Ensure the heater is turned off and the propane supply is shut off when not in use
  • Install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe and efficient operation of your propane heater for years to come.


Adding a propane heater to your home can be a practical and cost-effective way to stay warm, but it’s essential to approach the installation process with caution and attention to detail. By understanding the necessary components, following the proper installation steps, and adhering to all relevant safety and regulatory requirements, you can enjoy the benefits of a propane heater in your home safely and confidently.