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Martin Propane Heaters vs. Minisplit: Which Is Better?

by Hunter Kissam September 13, 2022 3 min read

Whether you live on or off the grid, you need a reliable heating system that’s energy-efficient and less harmful to the environment. Luckily, you have options. Let’s compare Martin wall heaters with heat pumps and see which is better for you!

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Heating Capacity

The exact capacity of a unit will depend heavily on your home’s seal, passive solar heating, and more. However, heating capacity is generally measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and Martin heaters offer anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000. Most heat pumps cap at around 18,000, but you may find more powerful ones available. 

Either way, heat pumps are not quite as effective at heating or cooling large areas as propane heaters. This is because heat pumps work by pulling heat out of the air, which is difficult to do in severe weather events. Generally speaking, a wall heater will have a higher (and more reliable) heating capacity, even with similar BTUs.

Energy Efficiency

Both systems are unbelievably efficient. A heat pump mini-split is known to be the most efficient option for heating and cooling a home, but Martin heaters still have plenty of high-efficiency ratings from third-party reviewers. Either way, they are a step up from most heating systems and fuels.


If you live off the grid, then there’s no comparison. Even with a solar system and large battery, you still have a limited energy supply. If you find yourself low on power at one point, running a 1,000W heat pump is not going to help secure your reserves.

On the other hand, a Martin direct vent heater will connect directly to a propane tank and usezeroelectricity to operate. For off-grid living, this is by far the best heating solution that doesn’t require hundreds of hours of chopping wood!


In the long term, heat pumps tend to be the biggest savers. They run at around 3x the efficiency of electric resistance heat, and the price for electricity is less volatile than fossil fuels. However, in terms of upfront costs, there’s no comparison.

While heat pumps are becoming more popular, installing them is still quite a challenge. You will need professional help, which will cost thousands of dollars, including the system itself. Conversely, you can easily install Martin heaters yourself if you’re handy, which could save a lot of money!

Also, because Martin heaters have a higher heating capacity, you may need to install fewer units. For a smaller home or off-grid cabin, installing one 20,000 BTU wall heater is much more affordable than installing two 12,000 BTU mini splits!

Environmental Impact

If you currently use electric resistance heat, oil, or natural gas, then either system will be a major improvement. Propane is the cleanest fossil fuel by far for indoor safety and environmental impact. However, heat pumps are the best option for the environment. Still, if you want a more affordable way to reduce your carbon footprint, Martin propane heaters are quite efficient and clean!

Martin Propane Heaters vs. Heat Pump

These are both formidable technologies when it comes to energy savings, and it really depends on your needs. Both systems are excellent for reducing your carbon emissions, saving money on utilities, and achieving energy independence.

Whatever you choose, stay up to date with our latest tips for homeowners, and check out Martin heaters to learn more!

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Hunter Kissam
Hunter Kissam

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