About a month ago, we were contacted by the folks from Mr. Heater about a new product called Mr. Heater HERO. It’s a small form factor, propane heater similar to the forced-air, propane heaters you see contractors use on a job site. The claim to fame is that Mr. Heater HERO provides quiet, powerful, spot heat without needing an extension cord.
How it Works
Mr. Heater HERO setup is fairly simple. The unit features a rechargeable battery to power a fan and a hose that connects to a liquid propane tank. The battery lasts up to eight hours, and the regulator assembly connects to propane tanks like those used on propane grills. To operate Mr. Heater HERO, you open the propane tank valve, press the on/off button to start the fan, then press the igniter button.
The HERO is really easy to carry with the top handle and weighing only 12lbs. The propane tank is actually way more cumbersome to lug about.
Last week, a bunch of friends and I attended the Army-Navy football game at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland. We started tailgating at 10:00am with a 2:30pm game time. I took the HERO along as the forecast was a very breezy, 40° high for the day. What better way to test HERO’s power than spending the day outside in frigid temperatures?
I charged the battery the night before, and picked up a fresh 20 gal. propane tank. As soon as we got there, I fired it up and let it run until it was time to pack up and head into the stadium. It was really cold, and the HERO was an instant winner. HERO formed a small pocket of warmth about 5-6 feet out from the front of the unit, and everyone took advantage of the heat at one time or another. The wind limited how far away you could feel the heat, but I’d expect the same from any comparable propane blower/heater.
We also fired up the heater in our OPC workshop (a well-insulated, converted 2-car garage), and it quickly brought the room up to a comfortable temperature, raising the temperature about 10 degrees in 6 minutes.
What impressed me about this heater was that it didn’t use very much propane. For running it about 3.5 hours, my tank didn’t feel much lighter at all. I’d guess the HERO went through about 1/5 of the tank. Eight hours of battery life is pretty good, and not needing electric is very convenient.
Mr. Heater also boasts that the HERO is very quiet, and I’d agree. It’s not amazingly quiet, so don’t expect silence. It’s just better than other propane heaters I’ve used before.
- Price: ~$150
- Runs up to 8 hours on built-in battery
- Charges in 5.5 hours
- Charger safety system prevents overcharging
- Heater can operate while battery charges
- 35,000 BTU Per Hour
- Runs up to 12hrs on a 20lb Tank
- Heats up to 800 square feet
- 50% less noise than standard heater
- One Touch Gas Valve with Piezo Igniter
- Durable ABS Composite and Steel Construction
- Ships with 10′ Hose, Regulator, Charging Cord
I was impressed with the heat this unit put out in our workshop, and could see it as a nice add-on for tailgating, or even winter camping trips (of the not-so-rugged kind).
It’s worth noting that HERO says its for indoor use (in a well-ventilated area), and not designed for weather or an outdoor job site–although it would probably function for some time in those environments with no problem. My guess is that its not well-equipped for rain.
For as simple as the device is, I think that $150 is a little steep and was expecting the price to be about $75-100. That’s just a “gut”, no-research type feeling based on the materials I see on the heater.
The big problem with a propane heater in an enclosed space is the moisture, if you were to heat your garage with this, you would be pumping tons of moisture into the air from the propane combustion. This turns int a really bad thing when you turn the heater off and it cools back down in the room, all of the moisture will condense, possibly causing tool rust, or mold issues.
Good addition, Joe, and something to keep in mind if you were using this as a more permanent fixture in an enclosed space. It’s also worth mentioning, as I think about it, that you have to remember you now have a fire in that space, which means care with fumes, sawdust, etc.
wow i never thought about a propane heater giving off moisture . this is some good information to know . Thanks
Just so the readers know what they are getting into…Unvented propane heaters are estimated to add 0.000078 pounds of water vapor for each BTU heat generated (ASHRAE. 1985. ASHRAE Handbook, 1985 Fundamentals. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Atlanta, GA.)
That’s 35000 * .000078 = 2.73 pounds of water vapor per hour
Multiply that by the 12 hour estimated run-time and you get 32.76 pounds of water vapor per tank.
In my area (Central Minnesota) this heater would cause frost in my space when everything cooled down but that would eventually dissipate into the extremely dry winter air.
Its cool looking, i’ll say that much. Is a propane heater better than an electric one?
I was reading the comments about moisture and propane. This heater
Is only for semi enclosed areas which means plenty of ventilation. Right?
When it is cold moisture in the air is at it’s lowest concentration thats The
Reason people add expensive humidifers to there furnace. Warm moist
Air feels better on our skin.
This could possibly serve as a back-up heat source in a power outage. Would it be safe to use placed inside a fireplace? ( Obviously, the propane tank wouldn’t be in there with it?) I would expect that the price will drop in time.