Battery Operated Heaters and Their Alternatives

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Are you looking for the best battery-powered heater? Battery-operated heaters would be a great solution to keeping warm during the winter, living off the grid, and heating your home during emergencies such as power outages.

But unfortunately, rechargeable battery-powered heaters aren’t widely available yet. The technology is just not there.

Heaters run by battery power may be on the technological horizon, however, know that many alternatives can provide the same level of warmth and comfort.

We will discuss portable propane-powered heaters, big propane torpedo heaters, and other options and how to power an electric heater with a generator or power station.

We will also cover the safety risks of using indoor heaters and how to use them safely. Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about battery-operated heater alternatives.

Alternatives to Battery Operated Heaters

While battery-operated heaters aren’t available yet, there’s hope that they will soon hit the market as battery technology improves and more and more consumers express an interest in off-grid and emergency heating options.

In the meantime, here are some alternatives that are often considered in place of a battery-powered heater, though some work better than others.

12-Volt Car Battery Heaters

These car battery heaters might be the best battery-operated heater if they weren’t so small. Although compact and easy to use, 12-volt car battery heaters can only generate about 500 BTUs.

For reference, a home heating system often generates anywhere between 20,000 and 500,000 BTUs. Even heating a tiny room with a 12-volt car battery heater would drain the battery quickly.

For this reason, a 12-volt car battery heater is not a great option as a battery-powered heater.

Portable Propane-Powered Heaters

Propane is a good option if you’re looking for a portable heater solution that doesn’t require electricity. Portable propane-powered heaters are available in various sizes and generate between 5,000 and 25,000 BTUs.

They can be used indoors or outdoors and are relatively safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Are you looking for the best battery-powered tent heater? A portable propane heater is an excellent alternative to a battery-powered tent heater. You could also use one of these battery-powered heater alternatives to heat an RV.

One downside of a portable propane heater is that it would require a constant supply of propane and propane tanks, which can be expensive and difficult to store. A propane-operated heater may require about 1/3 gallon of propane per hour of usage.

They are also not as efficient as electric heaters and can generate harmful fumes if used indoors without proper ventilation.

Big Propane Torpedo Heaters

Torpedo heaters generate significantly more heat than a propane-powered portable heater, but they are not an option if you want a portable heater that you can move around.

Big propane torpedo heaters can generate up to 400,000 BTUs and are often used in construction sites or large warehouses.

If you are caught in a power outage, a propane torpedo heater would be the best way to heat your entire home, but it would require an enormous amount of propane to be on hand. Like portable propane-powered heaters, big propane torpedo heaters require a constant propane supply.

Also, these heaters can generate harmful fumes if used indoors without proper ventilation. They are also not as efficient as electric heaters.

Kerosene Heaters

A kerosene heater is another option as an alternative to battery-powered heaters. Kerosene heaters are not as popular as they once were, but they can still be found at most hardware stores.

They work by burning kerosene, which then heats a metal plate that in turn radiates heat into the room. Kerosene heaters are available in both portable and stationary models.

The biggest downside of a kerosene heater is that it can be dangerous if not used properly. They must be operated outdoors, away from any ignition sources like flames or pilot lights, and should never be used in an enclosed space.

Electric Heater Powered by Generator or Power Station Combo

Electric heaters are the most efficient battery-powered heater alternative, and one electric heater can generate 5,000 BTUs for just a few hundred dollars.

However, an electric heater will require a source of electricity. If the power goes out, it will not work unless you have a backup generator or another source of power, like a power station combo.

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Power an Electric Heater with a Generator

A generator is an excellent option for those who need battery-operated heater alternatives for an emergency heating system. A generator can provide the power you need to run an electric heater and other necessary appliances like a fridge or lights.

The downside of using a generator to power an electric heater is that it can be expensive, and you’ll need to have fuel on hand to keep it running.

Power an Electric Heater with a Power Station Combo

A power station combo is a battery-operated portable power station with an AC outlet, USB ports, and sometimes even a built-in solar panel. This means that you can recharge the battery with solar power, making it a great option for those who want to be prepared for a power outage.

The downside of a power station combo is that they are not as powerful as generators and can only run small appliances like an electric heater.

Wood Burning Stoves

Another battery-operated heater alternative is a wood-burning stove. Wood-burning stoves are a reliable way to heat your home and can be used with or without electricity.

The downside of using a wood-burning stove as an alternative to a battery-operated heater is that the stove requires regular maintenance, and you need to have a source of dry, seasoned wood available.

Wood-burning stoves are also not as efficient as electric heaters. Proper ventilation is also important when using a wood-burning stove, as the fumes can be harmful if not properly vented.

Using Indoor Heaters Safely

While all of these options could work in place of a battery-powered heater, some safety risks are associated with using them indoors.


The most common risk is fire. Heaters can start fires if they are not used properly or if something falls on them.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that can be released by any type of heater, battery-operated or not. Make sure to have proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.


This can happen if you are using an extension cord with an electric heater or if the cords are not properly insulated.

Water Damage

Finally, using propane-powered heaters indoors creates a lot of water vapor. This can lead to condensation on walls and windows and ultimately to mold and mildew growth. Make sure to vent them properly to avoid these problems.

Safety Tips

  • Only use heaters indoors that are specified for indoor use.
  • Keep combustible items like newspapers and curtains away from your heater.
  • Do not use an extension cord with an electric heater.
  • Make sure any cords on your heater are properly insulated.
  • Follow all safety instructions that come with your heater.
  • Do not use a propane-powered heater indoors if you do not have proper ventilation.
  • Vent propane-powered heaters outdoors to avoid creating too much moisture.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.
  • Have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home and test it regularly.


Finally, here are some answers to pertinent questions regarding battery-powered heater alternatives.

Q: How much heat do I need?

A: This depends on the size of the space you are trying to heat and the temperature outside. A general rule of thumb is that you need about 50 watts of power or 40-45 BTU generated for every square foot of space.

Q: Can I get any heat from a battery?

A: Yes, but it is only a tiny amount. For example, there are small battery packs that can heat gloves.

Q: What kind of battery-heated clothing is available?

A: Heated clothing includes battery heated gloves, jackets, vests, and socks, which have very small batteries that can help keep you warm for a short amount of time.

Q: Can light bulbs create heat in place of battery-powered heaters?

A: Yes, but they are not very efficient at it. For example, a 60-watt light bulb gives off about 85 percent of its energy as heat and only 15 percent as light.

With all this useful information, hopefully, you can now choose the battery-powered heater alternative that is right for you.

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