If you love driving your golf cart no matter the weather, then having a golf cart heater makes those frosty days a little more comfortable. It’s an easy-to-install accessory and models are available for every budget and preference.
Let’s review the basics of golf cart heaters and break down the pros and cons of four top models.
Propane Heater for Golf Cart
- Operates up to 8 hours on a 16.4 oz. disposable propane cylinder
- Supplies 3,500 BTU's of heat
- Whisper quiet operation for golf or marine enviroments
- Matchless electronic ignition
- Durable heat reflector
This 3,500 BTU propane-powered model looks less refined than the competition, but has the best features without paying for bells and whistles.
• Matchless electronic starting system
• Heat reflectors to increase output
• A stand for using it outside the cart
Noticeable issues include a lack of wind screen and a cup holder that may not be as universal as described, but users report getting an impressive eight hours out of each canister of fuel.
This 4,000 BTU portable propane heater comes is a budget-friendly option that is sold alone or as apart of bundle that includes an adapter allowing you to refill the 1 lb. propane tanks it uses from an economical 20 lb. cylinder. This is one of the most popular golf cart cup holder heater styles on the market.
It fits in most standard cup holders and also includes:
• An sturdy handle for portability
• Porcelain-coated reflectors that focus heat output
• Heavy-duty safety guard to prevent direct contact with skin
• Flame-free integrated sparking mechanism
• Wind screen to keep the heat in the passenger cabin in breezy conditions
Features worth a special mention include a safety switch that turns the heater off if it’s accidentally knocked over and an oxygen depletion sensor that turns it off if cabin oxygen is low. Mr. Heater only certifies this model for outdoor use.
Complaints about this heater are rare, but include not it fitting into cup holders and fuel use that’s higher than other brands, however, at 4000 BTU, it’s a strong unit.
Expect about five hours of use per fueling.
Chances are you already have one Coleman outdoor product in your home, but here’s another good choice. It’s small at 1500 BTU, but runs up to 14 hours on a single canister of propane.
• High heat output is suitable for cold climates
Golf Cart Electric Heater
- Made in the USA
- 48 Volt Electric heater produces hot air for chilly days and a fan to cool you on warm days
- Adjustable vent to direct air where you need it most
- Revolutionary energy management technology to ensure minimal battery drain
- Easy installation with unique lay-flat power harness and adjustable cup-moun
- Made of durable high impact UV-resistant plastic with weatherproofing protection
- Specifications: Voltage: 48 Volts; Current: 1. 3 to 13. 6 Amps @ 48 Volt DC; Power Consumption: 63 to 655 Watts; Fan Rating: 700 to 900 F/M; Weight: 1. 1 lbs
- For optimal heater performance use with Golf Cart Enclosure
- Manufacturers Part Number SCC7701
• Bi-level louvered vents for directing air where you need it
• Durable high-impact, UV-protected plastic construction
• Carrying case included
Golf Cart Heater Basics
Both come in a range of sizes and produce proportionally similar heat, but each has unique benefits.
Propane golf cart heaters are the least expensive and simplest to use. They’re compact, lightweight, require no permanent installation and are designed to fit in your cart’s cup holder. They can used be used with a cart cover as long as there’s ample ventilation and some come with stands that allow you to use them in other places.
That’s why if you add a golf cart enclosure to keep the heat in, make sure you have at least one flap open so you can ventilate while using the propane heater.
The drawback to propane heaters is the ongoing cost of buying fuel. Most models use the typical pound canisters that power camp stoves and each will last about between five and eight hours.
Electric golf cart heaters are usually permanently mounted to the dashboard or steering column and run on power from the cart’s battery. A few are generic, but some are proprietary and may not fit all brands and sizes of carts.
They won’t keep you any warmer than propane heaters, but they have a few advantages. The most obvious is that there’s no fuel to buy. You’ll pay more for an electric heater, but when the cost of propane is factored in, the lifetime cost of ownership is lower.
As opposed to propane heaters, more electric models are equipped with adjustable temperature controls. It may be as simple as high and low, but that makes it more flexible in climates where the temperature fluctuates.
Other than the installation, the primary drawback of electric heaters is that they use battery power. If your battery is strong, that’s not an issue, but if it’s toward the end of its lifespan, you’ll need to replace it soon or you might get stuck out somewhere.
How do I choose the right size heater?
Most makers provide broad a estimate of the temperature increase you can expect, but it varies on a number of conditions including the outdoor temperature, the temperature setting if more than one is available, and if you use the heater with or without a cover.
Covered carts with a mid-size heater can expect an increase of up to twenty degrees in average conditions, and that goes up as the temperature setting is dialed up.
The use of a cover is considered safe with both types of heaters as long as there is adequate ventilation. Since the cover is normally shifted to get in and out allowing fresh air into the cabin, it’s unlikely you’ll run into a problem, but ventilation also equals heat loss and on the coldest courses, a higher output model is recommended.
Here’s a run-down of five models to get you started.