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Salamander Heater

A salamander heater is a portable, forced-air convection heater useful in large, well ventilated areas. Salamander heating units use propane, kerosene and natural gas fuel. They are commonly used on construction worksites, but can be used in workshops and garages if they are well ventilated.

Mr. Heater and Reddy Heater are popular brands.

Mr. Heater Model #MH50K – 50,000 BTU Kerosene Salamander Forced-Air Heater

Ideal for workshops, worksites and other large, well ventilated areas, this portable kerosene heater will heat up to 1,200 square feet. With 50,000 BTU and a 4 gallon fuel tank, this salamander heater will run for up to 11 hours.

Features include:

  • 50,000 BTUs of heating capacity
  • Clean burning with continuous ignition
  • 4 gallon built-in fuel tank
  • Safety shut-off with loss of power or flame
  • Up to 11 hours of heating time
  • 1 Year limited warranty
  • CSA Certified

NOTE: This unit requires adequate ventilation for proper ignition and safe operation. Check the manual for details.

Mr. Heater Model #MH55FAV – 30,000 – 55,00 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater

The Mr. Heater model MH55FAV is a variable output forced air salamander heater than can heat up to 1,250 square feet at the maximum setting. This lightweight model includes a hose and regulator, but requires the use of an external 20 pound propane tank (5 gallons). Features include:

  • 30,000 to 55,000 BTUs of heating capacity
  • Efficient, economical heating with nearly instant heat
  • Steel construction for durability
  • Includes a high output fan
  • 1 Year limited warranty
  • CSA Certified

NOTE: This unit requires adequate ventilation for proper ignition and safe operation. Check the manual for details.

Reddy Heater 125,000 BTU Model #RLP125VA – Propane Forced Air Heater

The Reddy Heater model RLP125VA offers adjustable BTU output between 75,000 and 125,000 BTUs, and is capable of heating areas up to 2,900 square feet. This easily portable and lightweight unit must be connected to an external 20 pound propane tank (5 gallons, like what is used on most BBQs). Features include:

  • 75,000 to 125,000 BTUs of heating capacity
  • Able to heat up to 2,900 square feet
  • Up to 14 hours of heat with a standard 20 pound propane tank
  • High output fan for quick heat distribution
  • 1 Year limited warranty
  • CSA Certified

NOTE: This unit requires adequate ventilation for proper ignition and safe operation. Check the manual for details.

Mr. Heater Model #MH75KT – 75,000 BTU Kerosene Forced Air Heater

The Mr. Heater model MH75KT is a kerosene fired, forced air salamander heater can heat up to 1,750 square feet. This “all in one” model has an on board 6 gallon fuel tank that will provide up to 11 hours of heat on one tank of kerosene fuel. Features include:

  • 75,000 BTUs of heating capacity
  • Thermostatically controlled temperature with LED diagnostics
  • Clean, efficient heat
  • Steel construction for durability
  • Includes a heavy duty, high output fan
  • Built-in 6 gallon fuel tank with fuel gauge and air pressure gauge
  • Approximately 11 hours of heating time on one tank of fuel
  • 1 Year limited warranty
  • CSA Certified

NOTE: This unit requires adequate ventilation for proper ignition and safe operation. Check the manual for details.

See more Salamander heater models at Amazon.com(opens new window)

Salamander Heater: Uses, Pros, Cons and Alternativess

Although a salamander heater is not the ideal garage heater, it will provide almost instant heat and is a great portable option if your garage or workshop is well ventilated. With many sizes and fuel types available, there is likely a model to meet your needs. If you are looking for a permanent garage heater, there are better options (see below).

Things to consider before buying a Salamander Heater

Fuel types include kerosene, propane and natural gas. Heaters are available in sizes to heat from 500 to 3,000 or more square feet. Salamander heaters are often used on construction sites where instant heat is needed and adequate ventilation is available (very important!)

Some units are equipped with built-in fuel tanks and some require connection to an outside fuel source. Because they are typically fan forced-air units, they also require electricity to operate, rendering them useless during a power outage. They are also not advisable for enclosed areas or living spaces.

This type of space heater will do a nice job heating a workshop or garage with a large, open door or several open windows. Be sure to read all of the safety precautions in the owner’s manual before operating a salamander heater.

Another downside to this type of heater is that they become very hot when operating and they typically sit on the floor. If you have small children or pets in the area where the heater is located, this could pose a significant danger.

Most salamander heaters come with a number of safety featuers, including a safety shut-off to turn the heater off if they lose power or flame. Some, but not all models also include a thermostatically controlled temperature setting. External, plug-in thermostats can typically be purchase separately for heaters without an on-board thermostat. An example would be the Reddy Heater Thermostat for Kerosene Heaters #HA1210.

Pros and Cons of a Salamander Heater


  • Will quickly heat large areas
  • Many fuel options, from kerosene to propane and natural gas
  • Provides clean, efficient heat
  • Operation is very simple
  • Most models are portable and easily transportable


  • Electricity is required so they will not operate in a power outage
  • Heated areas must be well ventilated
  • Units get very hot when heating and can be dangerous to children, pets, etc., since they typically sit on the floor when operating

Safety Considerations

  • Keep flammable objects away from the heater.
  • Adequate ventilation is a must.
  • Keep your children and pets away from the heater at all times.
  • Keep adequate clearance around the heater to prevent burns.

Alternative Garage Heater Options

If you want to consider other garage heaters, there are other options, including:Propane garage heaters (LP heaters), electric garage heaters and natural gas garage heaters. Electric heaters are the easiest to install, they are very convenient and can be portable. The down side to electric heaters is their generally higher operating cost.

In many cases, propane garage heaters, unlike electric heaters, require ventilation. Their operating cost is quite low and they are available in portable and permanently installed models. Natural gas garage heaters are eco-friendly, clean and effient, if you have natural gas available in your home.

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