Space Heaters

How to Put a Thermostat on a Propane Heater? Step by Step Guide

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Winter is coming, and it is now essential for you to ensure that your house is adequately heated if you don’t want to be freezing all the time!

While it might be helpful to have a centralized heating system, in some cases where using a propane heater might be more suitable for smaller houses or rooms and those who don’t have the budget for heating systems for the whole home.

However, it might be best for your propane heater to have a thermostat for safety reasons. One might be wondering if you can even add a thermostat to a propane heater in the first place. Well, we have the answer down below for you!

You can indeed add a thermostat to a propane heater. Ensure that you have bought the right thermostat for your propane heater. Connect the wires of your new thermostat to your propane heater, and make sure you read the manual to know where you should connect the cables. Also, make sure that no wires are left open.

Having a thermostat on your propane heater is an excellent way to regulate the heat from the heater so that you don’t have to worry about it combusting into flames or producing too much heat for your room to handle. If you want to know more about adding a thermostat to your propane heater, read on.

Can You Add A Thermostat To A Propane Heater?

If you are looking for space heaters that give you a bang for your buck, propane heaters are much more affordable than electric heaters. You don’t even have to worry about propane because it is a clean-burning gas that doesn’t emit harmful substances.

But the problem is that some propane heaters (especially the cheap ones) don’t come with their thermostats. A thermostat is essential because it allows you to regulate and monitor the propane heater’s heat to prevent it from producing too much heat, which can be dangerous. Heaters that are left unregulated can cause fires.

So, if you have bought an older propane heater or, in case you can’t afford a propane heater with a thermostat, can you put a thermostat on a propane heater? Of course, you can!

If your propane heater doesn’t come with a decent thermostat or doesn’t even have one, you can add one. Ensure that you are using a thermostat made for your heater and is already complete in its programming. Of course, ensuring that your thermostat is compatible with your propane heater is best.

How To Put A Thermostat On A Propane Heater

Putting a thermostat on a propane heater shouldn’t be that hard, and you don’t have to hire a professional to do it for you. As long as you ensure you do it correctly, it is pretty easy!

With that in mind, here are the steps you need to follow when you are installing a thermostat on your propane heater:

1. Ensure Safety is a Top Priority

It is always essential for you to prioritize your safety before anything else, especially when working with something as volatile as propane or other types of gases.

After all, you wouldn’t want to get into an accident if you suddenly ignited the propane while installing the thermostat on your propane heater.

For this reason, you first need to close all of the gas connections and the power inlets of your propane heater to ensure that the gas does not suddenly ignite while you are working.

All connections, including the gas and the water, should be closed. If you have any other heater working close by, you may also want to turn it off for the moment for your safety.

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2. Remove The Old Thermostat From Your Heater

As we mentioned, most propane heaters nowadays come with built-in thermostats. However, the cheaper ones come with outdated thermostats that you probably wouldn’t want to use if you want a thermostat that works on par with the best in the market.

In such a case, you can add and install a better and more advanced thermostat by removing the old thermostat from your propane heater. If your propane heater doesn’t have a thermostat to begin with, you can, of course, skip this step.

Unscrew the old thermostat from the propane heater and make sure that you take it out as carefully as possible because it is not a good idea to force it out of the propane heater.

When you take it out, you have to ensure that all of the electrical components connecting the propane heater to the thermostat are removed as well, or else they might end up sparking, which would cause the gas to ignite.

3. Fix The Thermostat On The Propane Heater

Before anything else, you must ensure that you have purchased a thermostat compatible with your propane heater.

Otherwise, you have to stop right here and get yourself a compatible thermostat, or you won’t be able to install it properly on your propane heater.

If you have bought a thermostat compatible with your propane heater, please check the instruction manual first to know which wires to connect to the propane heater and understand how to install and use the thermostat adequately. Different brands of thermostats may differ from one another.

Connect the wires of your thermostat to your propane heater, making sure you check the manual to see where you should connect the cables.

Ensure that no wires are left open, or they can cause an electrical spark that could be disastrous. If the cables cannot be closed, tape them together using electrical tape.

4. Turn The Power Back On

After installing the thermostat on the propane heater, the next thing to do is turn the power on your propane heater back on to see if the thermostat is working. However, it would be best to wait a while to use the heater for safety purposes.

When the heater is ready to be turned on, you should read the settings through the thermostat. If not, you might have made a mistake in the previous step, or the thermostat might not be compatible with the propane heater.

5. Configure The Thermostat

After checking whether you can change the propane heater’s settings with the thermostat, you will need to consider configuring the thermostat, depending on your needs and preferences.

Correct setup is crucial when using a programmable digital thermostat, but it is not as relevant if you use an older analog thermostat. 

When you turn the thermostat on, it should be on the default settings. In most cases, the default settings of the thermostat are somewhere near 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

You are free to change depending on your preferences, especially if you think 120 degrees are too warm for you.

Doing so is easier when using a programmable thermostat, but you should be able to do so quickly enough on analog thermostats.

Final Thoughts

Overall, installing a new thermostat on your propane heater is relatively simple. You do not need professional help if you know what you are doing. We hope this has been a good guide for you to be installing the thermostat in the correct place for your propane heater. You will soon be able to use it ideally in no time!


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.