How To Vent A Mr. Buddy Heater

Mr. Buddy Heaters are portable propane heaters that can be used as emergency or alternative heat sources. You might have brought one and are now wondering how to vent the heater. Don't worry because we have done the research to provide you with everything you need to know about venting Mr. Buddy's heaters. 

To ventilate a Mr. Buddy heater, only use it outdoors or indoors with sufficient air circulation. Allow the heat to flow freely through the black vent grilles in front of the device. Do not block the heater or attach a makeshift ventilation system. 

Mr. Buddy heaters are portable heaters that can be used indoors or outdoors. The heater is safe to operate as long the product is being used as intended. Continue reading below to understand all the essential information you need when using a Mr. Buddy heater.

The warm glow reflecting off a heating element while warming up hands on a small space heating gas heater in a dark area, How To Vent A Mr. Buddy Heater

How To Vent Your Mr. Buddy Heater

A Mr. Buddy heater is a portable device that can supply heat to the user. It is important to know that Mr. Buddy heaters are not catalytic heaters. Mr. Buddy supplies heat by creating flames made with the propane gas that needs to be installed before use. 

An isolated gas heater on a freezing cold winter night burning at full capacity, glowing orange and radiating heat.

Because of the fire that Mr. Buddy creates to supply heat, the heater emits carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon monoxide is dangerous at high levels and can lead to poisoning. To avoid excessive exposure to the substance, air must be circulated where the Mr. Buddy heater is being used. 

If not used outdoors, proper ventilation is required indoors when using a Mr. Buddy heater or any other propane gas heater. 

To properly vent a Mr. Buddy heater, simply use the device as intended, which is indoors or outdoors but not inside an enclosed area. There is no need to install an auxiliary vent for a Mr. Buddy heater. The open section shielded by black grilles, as seen in front of the device, already acts as the main vent of the heater. 

Mr. Buddy heaters also have a low oxygen sensor which detects whether there is sufficient oxygen in the air. If the Mr. Buddy heater detects low oxygen levels in the air, the device will decide that there is insufficient ventilation and automatically shut off.

This means that not only is proper ventilation needed for the user, but the device itself will shut down if it detects no oxygen circulating inside. 

Is A Mr. Buddy Heater Safe For Indoor Use?

Mr. Buddy heaters are safe for indoor use. However, it is important to note that the 'indoor' areas indicated are residential or commercial areas where air circulation is present. This means that Mr. Buddy heaters can be used at home or even inside factories if the area has proper ventilation.

The warm glow reflecting off a heating element while warming up hands on a small space heating gas heater in a dark area.

It is not safe to use Mr. Buddy heaters inside tents, garages, or other spaces with no sufficient air circulation. In addition, Mr. Buddy heaters and other propane heaters can not be legally used indoors everywhere.

Canada and Massachusetts do not allow indoor usage of propane heaters, ventilated or otherwise. Check with your local authorities if indoor use of a propane heater is legal in your area. 

It is important to know that while Mr. Buddy heaters are considered space heaters, not all space heaters are allowed for indoor use. Electric space heaters can be used indoors and inside an enclosed room since they produce no carbon monoxide. On the other hand, gas space heaters should only be used indoors with precaution.

How To Use A Mr. Buddy Heater Indoors?

When using a Mr. Buddy heater indoors, make sure to provide at least 1 square inch of ventilation per 1,000 BTU, depending on the heating capabilities of your specific Mr. Buddy unit.

It is also important to set the heater where the heat can safely flow out of the grilles. Place the heater away from flammable objects such as fabrics and wood.

It is essential to be aware of the difference between an indoor and an enclosed area, especially when using a propane heater that can emit dangerous levels of poisonous chemicals.

The term 'indoor' indicates an area under a roof or a cover. Indoor does not equate to an enclosed area, which refers to a closed space on all sides. Mr. Buddy heaters are safe for indoor spaces, not enclosed areas.

When using a Mr. Buddy heater indoors, avoid closing all ventilation. Keep windows open, ajar, or a ventilation system running inside the indoor area. 

Can Mr. Buddy Heaters Be Left On All Night?

man sitting on sofa with an electric heater near his hands

You should not leave a Mr. Buddy heater, or any propane space heater running all night. Space heaters are only alternative heat sources, but their safety gauges are not on par with central heating systems. Mr. Buddy heaters should not be left running unsupervised. 

Mr. Buddy heaters utilize a form of radiant heating that produces flame with propane gas.

This flame is kept alight inside the heater's housing by the 6.5 by 4-inch ceramic burner tile located in the open section of the heater. This 1-inch thick tile will keep burning fire as long as the heater runs.

A Mr. Buddy has multiple security features. The heater has a low oxygen sensor and an anti-tip sensor that shuts off the flame when the device detects that it is about to fall. Mr. Buddy's safety features reduce the chances of a fire breaking out, but the device should still be used responsibly.

Apart from placing the heater in an area far from flammable materials, Mr. Buddy heaters should also not be left running all night.

All types of heaters can cause fire, injury, and even death. Accidents relating to fire or poisoning caused by heaters are more frequent when used inside an enclosed area due to odorless carbon monoxide.

How Long Will A 20lb Tank Last On A Mr. Buddy Heater?

Close up of portable electric halogen heater on black background

Buddy heater is a series of portable propane heaters manufactured by Mr. Heater. The Buddy series includes Hunting Buddy heaters, Little Buddy heaters, Big Buddy heaters, Buddy Flex heaters, and portable Buddy heaters. These heaters can be connected to a 20lb tank except for the Little Buddy heater.

Each type of Mr. Buddy heater has various running times when connected to a 20lb tank. The length of time it operates will also depend on the level of heating that the Mr. Buddy is set on.

Below is a list of Mr. Buddy heaters that can be connected to a 20 lb tank, as well as the running time of each heater type. 

Hunting Buddy

A Hunting Buddy heater can run up to 36 to 72 hours on a 20lb tank. The span will vary depending on whether the heater is set on high or low heat.

The running time of a Hunting Buddy will reduce when used in an area where the temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. A Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy can be used in freezing temperatures where a 20lb tank is recommended for use.

Big Buddy

A Big Buddy heater has three heat settings ranging from 4,000 BTU to 18,000 BTU per hour. There are two available gas ports on each side of the heater where two 20 lb tanks can be connected.

On one 2-lb cylinder or two 10-lb cylinders, the Mr. Heater Big Buddy can run up to 3 to 12 hours, depending on the heat setting. When two 20 lb tanks are connected, the Mr. Heater Big Buddy can run up for 50 to 220 hours. 

Buddy FLEX

Buddy Flex heaters can provide 8,000 to 11,000 BTU to up to 275 square feet of space. There are available adapters to connect a 20lb tank to a Mr. Heater Buddy Flex. On a 1 lb tank, the heater can run up to 2 hours on high and almost double the time when set on low. 

Click here to shop for a 20lb tank hose adapter on Amazon.


Infrared heater. Cozy warmth for home. The included electric red heater close-up with a metal grill is an excellent solution in winter for heating a room.

When connected to a 20lb tank, a Buddy heater can last from 48 to 110 hours. Like a Mr. Heater Big Buddy, the running time will depend on the heat settings.

To Wrap Up

Mr. Heater Buddy heaters can be ventilated in an area with sufficient air circulation. The user must not operate the heater inside an enclosed area.

This article discussed the method of providing ventilation for a Buddy heater.

We also discussed why it is important to use the product with precaution and how long it will last, depending on the propane tank used. Make sure to use propane heaters safely.

Made it to the end? Check out some of our other related posts!

How Long Will A Mr. Heater Run On Low?

Do I Need A Regulator For My Buddy Heater?

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