Can You Leave a Propane Heater On All Night?

Can You Leave a Propane Heater On All Night?

When used correctly propane heaters are safe but can you leave a propane heater on all night? This is a question that many ask. We will give you the facts so that you can enjoy the convenience and warmth of propane heaters safely. 

The Short Answer:

It is generally not recommended to leave a propane heater on all night while you are sleeping. Propane heaters produce carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can be harmful or even deadly if it builds up to high levels in a confined space.

If you are using a propane heater in a bedroom or any other enclosed space, it is important to ensure that the room is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. You should also make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe operation of your propane heater, which may include recommendations for ventilation or other safety precautions.

Can you sleep with a propane heater on?

The first rule with a propane heater is to never leave it unattended. Going to sleep means that the heater will be unattended. This is not safe. While it might be tempting on cold nights it is not a safe practice. Rather use the propane heater to warm the room up before you go to sleep and get comfortable. 

You want to ensure that your propane heater has all of the necessary safety features. You also need some form of ventilation. A carbon monoxide sensor is an additional safety feature you can add when using a propane heater indoors. Despite all of these, it is still not a good idea to go to sleep and leave the propane heater on. 

Is it safe to sleep with a propane heater? 

Modern propane heaters have excellent safety features such as tip-over protection, automatic shut-off, and an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS). These make them safe to use indoors. However, you are dealing with propane and open fame. It is not safe to sleep with a propane heater on. 

There are several risks. The flame is one of them. Left unattended, it could ignite fabric or other materials. The main risk is that of carbon monoxide. This is a harmful gas that results when the propane heater burns too much oxygen. Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous and potentially fatal.  

Although the heaters have good safety features these are not foolproof. The answer to the question – “is it safe to leave a propane heater on overnight?” is a resounding no. 

It is always a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector for added safety. This will alert you when the levels get near a dangerous level. Again, this is not foolproof so it is still recommended that you not leave your propane heater on overnight. 

Some propane heaters have an external vent which does make them safer and less likely to cause carbon dioxide issues. Even with these units, it is still not advisable to leave them on all night while you sleep. 

How long can you leave a propane heater on?

So long as you do not leave a propane heater unattended you can leave them on as long as you like. The propane tank will not last forever but provided you keep an eye on the heater it is safe to leave them on for extended periods. 

Apart from other safety features, most propane heaters have built-in overheat protection. This will shut the unit down if it gets too hot. 

Remember to always have some ventilation and possibly a carbon monoxide detector.  Also, make sure the heater is in good condition and that all hoses, connectors, and parts are not damaged or worn. 

Can you suffocate from a propane heater?

The sad reality is that yes, you can suffocate from a propane heater. The heater burns oxygen and reduces the oxygen levels in the room. This could result in a build-up of carbon monoxide.  Any decent heater will have an ODS or oxygen depletion sensor. This still does not guarantee safety. 

You should always keep an eye on the propane heater and ensure you have sufficient ventilation in the room. 

Can you get carbon monoxide poisoning from a propane heater?

Again, the answer is yes. Despite the safety features of modern propane heaters if they are faulty or there is no ventilation there is always a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is hard to detect and is often fatal. 

No safety feature is perfect. Don’t, however, let this scare you or put you off. Provided you exercise common sense, have some ventilation, and use the heater correctly they are perfectly safe. Having said that, you should still not leave them unattended or while you sleep. Better safe than sorry as they say. 


We have looked at some of the risks involved in using propane heaters indoors. This is merely a warning. When used correctly a propane heater is extremely safe and provides fast efficient heat to the room. 

Yes, there are some risks involved and they should not be left on all night. Ensure that you use a heater designed for indoor use, use it according to instructions, and use common sense. If you do that, you can enjoy the comforting warmth of a propane heater to keep your area warm and cozy.