How Long Will A Buddy Heater Run? | 1lb & 20lb Tank

how long will a buddy heater run

Last updated on August 17th, 2023 at 08:20 am

The Big Buddy heater run times vary depending on whether they are connected to 1lb or 20lb propane tanks and whether the heater is set to high or low.

Buddy heaters always save the day one way or another. When all you need is to warm your house using the furnace, a winter storm may take that option away. And that is where buddy heaters come in.

The Little Buddy heater, portable buddy heater, hunting buddy heater, and big buddy heater runtimes consist of approximately 5.6, 5.4, 3.5, and 11, respectively on a 1lb tank when on low, they are not classed as a solar heater for camping.

This article explains more on the setting and runtimes for the different types of Buddy heaters.  

What are people saying about the Big Buddy Run Times

How Long Will A Big Buddy Heater Run On A 1lb Tank? 

how long will a buddy heater run

Buddy heaters are generally space heaters that provide instant heat and are durable, portable, and conveniently lightweight. They are to be connected to propane tanks that provide fuel that powers the heater.

Depending on the size and capacity of the heater, they can warm up rooms ranging in size from 8.8 square meters to 42 square meters. 

These heaters have different run times depending on the size of the tank used and whether it is on high or low.

Mr Heater Big Buddy Heater Run Time

The general rule of thumb is that the Big Buddy portable heater and the Portable Buddy heater have the longest runtimes. Typically, the big buddy heater run time is approximately 11 hours on a 1lb tank when set on low. 

Run Times On Low 

Setting the heater on low is often a good idea when there is a power outage in freezing weather and it is uncertain when the power will be back. The downside is that it does not provide much warmth, but at the same time, you will be saving on propane so it lasts longer. 

Some users will advocate for wearing warm clothes and setting the heater on low. This way, you are feeling warm and conserving your propane. When set on low, the little buddy heater runtime can last for 5.6 hours on a 1lb tank.

The portable Buddy heater and Hunting Buddy heater will run for 5.4 and 3.5, respectively. The big buddy heater run time, on the other hand, lasts for 11 hours. It provides the longest runtime on low with a 1lb tank. 

Run Times On Medium 

The Big buddy heater is the only one with a medium setting. Also, it can accommodate two 1lb propane tanks. This offers you more flexibility when it comes to the amount of heat it can produce.

That being said, the heater can last for 4.8 hours when it is connected to two 1lb tanks and a whooping 48 hours when connected to a 20lb tank. 

Run Times Of High 

If you are sure that the power outage will not last long, you can comfortably set your heater on high. When connected to 1lb tanks, the little buddy heater, portable buddy heater, hunting buddy heater, and big portable buddy heater last for 3, 2.4, 2, and 2.8 hours respectively. 

How Long Will A Big Buddy Heater Run On A 20lb Tank?

The big buddy heater is approximated to run for 108 hours on a 20lb tank when set on low. The portable Buddy heater has the longest runtime when using a 20lb tank. When set on medium, the big buddy heater lasts for up to 48 hours when connected to a 20lb tank. 

When set on high, the Big Buddy heater runs for 24 hours.

What Are The Different Buddy Heater Models? 

For you to better understand the runtimes of Buddy heaters, it is advisable to look at the different models they come in. They are four main types of heaters in this range and their main difference is the size and BTU rating. 

Portable Buddy Heater 

This is one of the popular models with a BTU rating of 4000/9000 per hour. It is designed to heat spaces up to 21 square meters. This heater is ideal for heating up small cabins and RVs. 

Hunting Buddy Portable Heater 

As the name suggests, it is the perfect companion for hunters. This model features a BTU rating of 6000/12000 per hour and thus is capable of heating spaces up to 28 square meters. Moreover, it is suitable for warming hunting cabins, blinds, and treetop hunting lookouts. 

What is Big Buddy Portable Heater Runtime

The Big Buddy Heater Runtime can comfortably heat up to 400 square feet of space for up to 220 hours in a low position. Say goodbye to chilly nights and embrace warmth wherever you go with BIG Buddy.

BrandMr. Heater
Special FeaturePortable
Indoor/Outdoor UsageIndoor
Power SourceGas Powered

Key Features

  • Bundle Includes: Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater and Brass Propane Tank Refill Adapter
  • BTU Output: Utilizing propane gas and featuring an impressive 4,000, 9,000 or 18,000 BTUs of heat output, the Big Buddy Portable Heater is capable of heating up to 450 square feet of enclosed space
  • Effortless Use: In addition to its impressive technical capacity, the Big Buddy Portable Heater features a variety of elements that enable effortless use and maximum performance. With its easy-start four-position control, fold-down handle, swivel-out fuel connection, and a large overall heating surface, this unit raises the bar when it comes to portability and distinction in heating
  • Safe Heating: The Big Buddy Portable Heater is built for safety and features an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and tip-over detection system, which accounts for low oxygen or accidental falls and automatically turns off the unit, ensuring safety and ease of use for a long time to come
  • BTU Output: Utilizing propane gas and featuring an impressive 4,000, 9,000 or 18,000 BTUs of heat output, the Big Buddy Portable Heater is capable of heating up to 450 square feet of enclosed space

It is the largest model in the Buddy heater range. This model is capable of heating spaces up to 42 square meters. It has a BTU rating of 4000/9000/18000 per hour, enough to provide adequate warmth for big cabins and large, open-plan living spaces.

BIG Buddy from Enerco/Mr. Heater is the ultimate portable heater that takes heat to another level! With a powerful 18,000 BTU/HR capacity.

Big Buddy Review

This heater is great! I’ve used it for ice fishing/camping trips, and it has kept my 9×9 shelter warm in even -4F temperatures. The medium setting was perfect for night, and low during the day. The high setting definitely puts out some heat! It lasted on a 20lb propane tank from mid Friday to mid Sunday with some left over. Very pleased with this product.


Little Buddy Beater 

This is the smaller model in the range with a BTU rating of 3800 per hour. It can heat spaces up to 9 square feet and is ideal for small spaces such as tents. 


These heaters are conveniently simple to use. You are only required to turn them on by pushing and rotating a knob. Also, you do not have to light them as they come fitted with Piezo sparking mechanisms for that purpose.

Moreover, they come with several safety features including an Oxygen Depletion Sensor which works to switch off the unit automatically when it detects low oxygen in the room. 

Before using any Buddy heater, you will have to connect it to a propane tank. All the canisters in the range can be connected to the 1lb tank, while not all are compatible with the 20lb tank. Therefore, you can choose accordingly depending on your heater size. 

Buddy heaters are essential in warming up spaces when much needed. Choosing the best one depends on your budget, fuel efficiency, and how you will be using the heater.

When it comes to budget, the little buddy heater is the cheapest with extended runtime. Fuel efficiency will depend on the space to be heated and how much heat needs to be produced. 


Given the capacities and BTU ratings of the heaters in the Buddy range, it will be easier for you to choose one for your needs. These heaters always come in handy to keep you warm in a freezing night. Therefore, they are a worthy investment. 

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