Written by Julie

What is the difference between butane and propane gas?

With patio heaters and barbecues, you can either use butane or propane gas. The type of gas you need depends on the product and the gas pressure regulator that you're using. A number of heaters and barbecues only work on one of these 2 types of gas, while others can be used with both types. We'll explain which type of gas you need.

Comparison of propane gas and butane gas

Propane gas Butane gas
Gas pressure regulator Propane or butane/propane Butane or butane/propane
Can be used up to a temperature of -42 degrees Celsius 0 degrees Celsius
Can be used during these months Summer and winter Summer
Suitable for Patio heaters and gas barbecues Patio heaters and gas barbecues
Costs More expensive than butane gas More affordable than propane gas

Summer versus winter usage

Winter barbecue

Propane gas in summer and winter

If you want to use your patio heater or barbecue when it's winter, you need propane gas. You can use propane gas at an outdoor temperature of up to -42 degrees Celsius. There is only a slight chance it will be that cold during winter, but at least you'll know for sure that you can also use your barbecue or patio heater when it's freezing outside.

Patio heater under a roof

Butane gas in summer

If you only want to use your barbecue when it's warm outside, butane gas is a great choice. Butane gas can be used at a temperature as low as 0 degrees Celsius, so you can also use it in the fall and spring. Do you have a barbecue or heater that works on butane, but can also be used with propane gas? Replace the gas pressure regulator and you can easily switch to a propane gas supply by the time it's winter.


Gas pressure regulator on gas bottle

In principle, all gas patio heaters and gas barbecues are suitable for both butane and propane gas. Which type of gas you need depends on which time of year you want to use the barbecue or patio heater and the gas pressure regulator. The manual tells you which gas pressure regulator you need for your gas heater or gas barbecue. Can't find the manual? Check the gas pressure regulator. In the case of butane gas, the letter 'B' is on the pressure regulator. You'll see a 'P' on it for propane gas and 'B/P' if both gases are possible.

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