Many people have problems paying their heating bills during the winter. Often times, especially for the elderly and disabled, this either means they don't eat properly, or worse, they sit in a cold home. At the extreme, many people freeze to death during the winter because the can't afford to pay for heating. This is extremely sad, and can be prevented using a propane space heater.
Propane is cleaner burning, longer lasting, and relatively cheaper than conventional heating methods, like wood stoves, electric or oil heaters. They are reasonably priced, depending on the size and model, and comparable to kerosene and other combustion heating units. Unlike kerosene, and liquid fuel heaters, a propane heater uses a pressurized cylinder, either the small disposable kind or larger refillable units, and won't spill when refueling, or smell like kerosene or gasoline.
There are many features to propane space heaters. While there are many vented wall mounted units, many are completely portable and can easily be moved from room to room as needed. While it is not recommended to heat bathrooms or small bedrooms, some models can be used in these areas. Although they don't require electricity to heat, some units have blowers that require they be plugged into an outlet, to force the heat throughout the room. Whether or not you need a blower really depends on your use, if you are trying to heat up a whole house you may want to consider this added feature.
Many come with electric starters, turn them on, hit a button and an electric spark ignites the flame. There are models that have built in thermostats, and carbon monoxide detectors. A really good feature incorporated into some units is a low oxygen detector, which will automatically shut down if levels get too low. Now if the one you buy doesn't have some of these features, you can get around this. As with any combustion heater, they use up oxygen, so you should crack a window so you don't suffocate. If you are concerned with carbon monoxide poisoning, you can pick up a detector at any hardware store or home improvement outlet.
If you are concerned about this kind of safety, consider how much pollution is emitted by wood stoves. Many chimneys don't function properly, and allow harmful carcinogens into your home, which you breathe in on a regular basis. Carbon monoxide levels are usually higher, than with propane heaters. Electric space heaters can fall over and start fires, and many of these heaters use twice the energy that a propane model uses.
Propane tanks are easily available, and can be found at many hardware stores. Many mass merchandisers and gas stations even have propane tank exchange services. You purchase the first tank, many times under $50, and then when it is empty you simply bring it back in, exchange it for a full one, and just pay for the gas inside. You could also take the empty tank to a propane outlet and get it filled there.
You can find propane space heaters online on at local retailers, and you will spend anywhere from around fifty dollars to well into the thousand dollar range, depending on your needs, the style of the heater, and the amount of space you need to heat up. Check around closely for pricing, and try not to buy anything used, because you don't know what you're getting, and you might end up with a dangerous product.