Trusted Review™ Scorecard
Average Score: 4.8 out of 5.0
Each product or service is rated on Quality, Reliability, Price/Value, and Referability. Each area has an individual score, and creates an overall Trusted Review™.
“HERO – The world’s first cordless forced air heater.” Man that got my attention! When I got the opportunity to review Mr. Heater’s latest offering into the portable heater market, the HERO Forced Air Propane Heater, I was the kid at the back of the classroom raising my hand, trying to control my enthusiasm.
Like many outdoorsmen and garage tinkerers, I spend an inordinate amount of time fiddling with gear or working on projects in an un-heated workspace. In my case, it’s a garage workshop that looks more like organized chaos than a functional workshop. But it works for me. Pacific Northwest summers are quite comfortable out there but for the other 7-9 months, it’s damp, clammy, and cold. I’ve used electric forced-air heaters for years with meager results at best.
Diesel forced air heaters are well-known for their ability to kill the cold quickly in workshops, on loading docks, and locally around job sites. The catch has always been their size, extreme noise, and power cord, which tethers the heater and limits its portability. A 10’ propane hose (included with regulator) allows for easy local positioning of the heater, plus you can easily pick up and move the propane tank and heater together, one in each hand. The HERO heater weighs a mere 12 pounds and packs a whopping 35,000 BTU punch despite its compact size: 7.25” x 14.25” x 12.75”.
According to Jeff Bush, Mr. Heater’s Senior VP of Sales/Marketing,
We designed HERO to solve two of the most common issues experienced with forced air heaters portability and noise. The patent pending cordless technology allows our HERO forced air heater to be used in areas without power that could previously never be reached and the patent pending QBT burner is 50% quieter and draws over 70% less power than all the other forced air heaters available today.
I used the HERO throughout last winter and was impressed with the unit’s design and overall performance. Mr. Heater’s HERO features a built in battery and charging system that delivers 35,000 BTU’s of heat for 8 full hours on a single charge from the internal battery, which is positioned low in the base resulting in greater stability for the heater. Need more time? No problem - HERO can also be plugged in and charged while it is running. The rechargeable battery will last up to 3 years and can easily be replaced by contacting Mr. Heater directly.
The HERO is well-made and proved to withstand plenty of abuse. The heater’s upper heat shield “tube” is made of heavy-gauge sheetmetal (painted black) while the base appears to be molded ABS plastic, which is impact and chemical resistant. The entire assembly is rock solid and built to last.
The HERO’s unique cone‐shaped design and custom engineered fan reduces turbulence and produces more efficient heat while keeping the unit cool to the touch. And while traditional propane heaters are loud and irritating, HERO’s output noise is cut in half with patent-pending Quiet Burner Technology (QBT). Working outside, noise isn’t a concern for me but when working in a garage-sized space, it matters.
This is a “direct-fire” heater, which means that all of the combustion products (propane) enter the heated space. Even though this heater operates very close to 100% combustion efficiency, it still produces small amounts of carbon monoxide, which is toxic. The HERO has two key automatic safety features: the flame safety shut-off and high temperature limit switch; both prevent the heater from operating in unsafe conditions. Be sure to read all safety precautions before operating this or any fuel-burning heater in a confined space.
I have used the HERO heater regularly during the long cold winter of 2011 here in the Pacific Northwest. We saw upwards of three feet of snowfall at my home, which is not normal. I used the heater to work on my generator during a long power outage, heat my garage for hours at a time while working on a selfbow project, and even used the HERO to melt snow and ice from the driveway. It has performed flawlessly. I’ve found that for most usages in the garage keeping it plugged wasn’t an issue, thus keeping the battery charged. I ran it down as much as the Low Voltage Shutdown feature would allow to verify the recharge cycle time, and it was nearly spot on to the claim of five hours.
I experienced no issues with the fan and Peizo igniter system, and I appreciated the simple instructions and well-labeled warnings on the control panel. I also enjoyed the freedom of the long 10 ft. propane hose + regulator (included). I want to point out that this attention to detail is a clear example of how well Mr. Heater balances product features with manufacturing costs. A shorter hose would cost less but would limit portability in the field. Mr. Heater’s design team made the right trade-off decision for you, the consumer!
I found the price range varied from about $170 - $230 so be sure to shop around for the best price, and don’t forget to figure in any applicable shipping/handling charges. Mr. Heater has links to a long list of retailers to make your buying experience quick and easy. Given the size/weight, portability, quiet operation and that fact that this heater simply cranks out the heat, it is well-worth the best price you can find.
I highly recommend the Mr. Heater HERO heater for those looking for an effective localized heating solution. The HERO heater runs up to 12 hours on a 20 lb. propane tank, consuming roughly 1.6 pounds/hour.
Mr. Heater has built a brand around their reputation for quality products and customer service. Mr. Heater products are available at hardware and sporting goods retailers across the USA and Canada as well as online. For more information, visit: www.mrheater.com or call 800‐251‐0001.