Table Of Contents
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Choosing The Right Heater For Your Space
It is time to start considering turning the switch in your home from cold to hot as the summer months come to an end. In other words, to prepare your home for heating during the colder months of the year, there is no better time than the present. There are a variety of heaters from which to pick.
And the right option depends on several factors, such as your home's specific requirements, your preferred fuel source, and any other additional features you might want. Many people gravitate towards gas heaters, which are commonly fuelled by either liquid propane or natural gas. It is, however, essential to understand that some gas heaters are powered by electricity and occasionally a combination of the two.
There are many types of gas heater units of various sizes, with features created for different living spaces and requirements; they are not all the same. This article will look into the various types of gas heaters, their working mechanisms, and other factors to consider. Using this information, you can then choose the gas heater that best suits your household.
Gas Heater Types
Radiant convectors, convection heaters, and radiant gas heaters are the three main categories of gas heaters. Each gas furnace has a different gas heating mechanism, heat production, LPG or natural gas selection, and venting options. Based on fuel, there are two categories of home gas space heaters: (a) natural gas heaters and (b) LPG gas heaters.
As far as venting goes, there are two main types of gas heaters: unflued and flued gas heaters. There are numerous subcategories available for gas heaters, even within one category. The following is a list of every kind of room furnace or gas heater:
Unflued gas heaters
Since they have no flue, flueless or unflued gas heaters are essentially portable, though you can also have them permanently fixed to your wall. The maximum amount of gas converts to heat, making these heaters highly efficient. The trade-off with unflued gas heaters is that you frequently face restrictions when considering where to set it up in your space.
Unflued gas heaters are only permitted in large rooms because the gas and water vapour are not directed outdoors. As a result, you cannot have this heater for unventilated rooms, bedrooms, and study rooms. Unflued gas heaters must always be turned off before going to bed, have sufficient ventilation, and be cleaned regularly. A non-flued gas heater's primary emissions, when operated correctly, are water vapour, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
Flued gas heaters
Flued gas heaters, also known as fixed flue gas heaters, are not portable; they are permanently fixed to walls. These heaters include a fixed flue pipe across the ceiling or wall for cleaner interior air that transports all combustion gases and water vapour outside. These heaters come in types with balanced or direct-vent flues.
Gas room heaters
This gas heater is designed especially for the home to keep you warm and comfortable. Typically, they are of excellent quality and are highly reliable. Gas room heaters can fit into an existing fireplace and be set to heat specific areas of your house. You can get gas room heaters as open-flued heaters, wall heaters, and radiant convectors.
Wall gas heaters
Wall furnaces are a subset of vented gas heaters. You can install them between the wall studs and the drywall in a room. For them to function, cool air must be drawn in from the bottom, heated, and then expelled from the top. Smaller homes, apartments, and home additions frequently use wall furnaces.
Infrared or radiant gas heaters
Infrared gas heaters emit heat similar to that of the sun, hence the name. They use electromagnetic radiation to warm objects in indoor spaces. As a result, you can get warm air much more quickly because the heat is delivered directly. However, for the same reason, infrared heaters need a few extra gas safety measures.
In particular, when it malfunctions, furniture, clothing, and children should all be kept a reasonable distance away from the heater itself. These heaters can be set to heat selected areas of your indoor space. Infrared gas heaters are a less expensive option and do not require an electrical connection to operate, making them a popular choice.
They come in smaller sizes, meaning you can install them in small spaces like bedrooms, and they are relatively simple to operate. The only drawbacks are their unattractive designs and the fact that they do not distribute heat evenly—the latter results in the concentration of heat in the area directly in front of the heater.
Gas convector heaters
Gas convectors or space heaters operate like air conditioners by heating a room using moving air or convection. They use a fan and a gas burner to distribute the warm air across the room. They have high-tech features, including remote controls, electronic thermostat controls, low-emission technology, and a modern appearance. Compared to other types of gas heaters, these are a little more expensive.
Blue flame gas heaters
A blue-flame gas heater works by ultimately warming the air in the room where it is positioned rather than the items. Blue flame gas heaters are more efficient and ideal for insulated environments. However, they might take longer to heat a space. These cost-effective units often function at around 99.9% efficiency. These gas heating appliances typically contain a fan to distribute the warm air throughout your area.
The Working Mechanism Of Gas Heaters
A gas heater operates by lighting several burners within the combustion chamber. The heat is produced after the igniter sparks, or the pilot light moves into the heat exchanger. The blowers then start running, and the warm air gets sent through ducts into the various rooms that need to be heated. The burners are powered by liquid propane or natural gas.
Troubleshooting Gas Heater Problems
Try the following gas heater tips if yours does not function for some reason:
Clean the air filters regularly
A filthy air filter on your gas heater can often obstruct the continuous flow of air. If that is the scenario, keep in mind to regularly clean or replace your filters. The vents in your house should also be open and unblocked.
Check the switch on the heater
You must turn the switch on your gas heater to the "ON" position for it to operate. As a result, you will have to be sure to confirm whether the switch is turned on or not.
Set the thermostat
Make sure the thermostat on your heater is on. You should check if the temperature is set to the highest function when your thermostat is on auto or heat mode. However, it can take some time to get to that level.
Check the pilot light
Your gas heater or furnace will frequently not turn on if the pilot light is damaged or dusty. If you trust your DIY skills, you can fix the pilot light yourself. Start by turning off the gas and electricity in your furnace. But we recommend you speak with a professional in this situation.
Confirm there is enough gas supply
You must check that your appliance is correctly linked to a gas supply. Then, verify that it is getting enough gas. After that, make sure the gas regulator valve is in the "ON" position by inspecting it.
Considerations Before Purchasing A Gas Heater
What is the size of the area you want to heat? When purchasing a gas heater for your space, you will be looking at other factors besides your indoor space size. You should check to see how fast the heater can warm up that area. The size of the gas heater to properly heat your room depends greatly on your climate's locality and the size of your space.
You cannot install an unflued portable gas heater in a space that is too small for the device's rated capacity. This is because they emit combustion gases and water vapour into the room. Indoor gas heaters, which come in various sizes and shapes, are the best options when evaluating the majority of gas heaters for your home or office.
Whether it is a flued or unflued gas heater, the ideal indoor home gas space heater should be the right size for the area you are planning for heater installation. And it should have the features you need, such as a thermostat, remote control, and other crucial safety and timing features.
Below are essential factors to consider before purchasing a gas heater for your indoor space.
The size of the heater
The size of the heater should be the next thing you should consider after deciding to get a gas heater. Spending too much on a more powerful gas heater could result in upfront money wastage. Additionally, it might result in massive running costs. On the other hand, if you decide to underspend, your room might not heat up adequately.
Energy efficiency star ratings
Your energy-saving plans or energy usage depends on the type of gas heater you purchase and how you plan to use it. You have to be sure of what this means to you before you buy a gas heater:
- Will your apartment's indoor gas heater be on for a long time?
- Do you only intend to heat one medium-sized room?
- Do you require flexibility to heat numerous rooms, perhaps not all at once?
Is a flue required?
No, having a flue is not essential. But, having one is a great idea. It is possible to install a gas heater and connect it to an existing fireplace. If not, you can utilise a firebox and put the flued gas heater unit anywhere in your room.
Are there any health concerns?
According to several studies, gas heaters are one of the factors that contribute to issues such as childhood asthma and other respiratory health issues. Their flames emit pollutants like nitrous oxide and small particulate matter in tiny but detectable concentrations.
Gas appliances must adhere to the set emission guidelines to reduce the number of contaminants they create. Small amounts of these pollutants do, however, continue to escape, with flame failure and malfunctioning heaters. For this reason, it is advised to service your heater as and when required.
Studies have also shown a connection between unflued gas heaters and a higher incidence of childhood asthma and, occasionally, increased symptoms in asthmatic adults from gas cooking. Acute respiratory infections are more likely to affect such kids. But this risk is less likely to exist with flued and central ducted gas heaters. Nevertheless, they can still emit some fumes into a room.
Does a flued gas heater require a chimney?
No, not always. The maximum units of the heater can be fitted into an existing fireplace, with the flue fitting into an existing chimney. If you can incorporate a flue to the outside of the house, you can use a firebox and place the unit anyplace in the room.
The installation cost
Installing the heater is an additional expense when purchasing a gas heater. You can choose to request a model from the previous year and ask for a discount. It will save you money, which you can apply to the installation fees. Be sure to get a professional to do the installation because a variety of things could go wrong if you attempt to do it yourself.
At this point, you may need to take extra caution because the manufacturer might have delivered the wrong parts. They can also provide you with the incorrect manuals. And you might build some sections incorrectly to the point where it becomes potentially harmful.
Before using any room furnace or gas heater, you must install a carbon monoxide alarm. A nearby hardware store may sell one of these gadgets. It could be a lifesaver not just for you and your family but even your pet that shares the room where you installed the heater. An alarm is activated to alert you to the oncoming danger if the heater develops flaws and starts to release potentially harmful levels of this poisonous gas.
Are Gas Heaters Worth It?
Although portable gas heaters often cost more than portable electric heaters, this is compensated mainly by cheaper operating expenses and the relatively low cost of gas in Australia. To make up for the higher purchase price, you will likely need to retain your gas heater for a long time.
Portable gas heaters often range in price from around $500 to more than $2,000. But portable electric heaters cost less than $200 and provide a lot of power. The only drawback is that, depending on whether your property has a gas connection for natural gas or LPG, gas heaters may only cost half as much to operate.
Apart from the increased purchasing price, you might not choose a gas heater or wall furnace for the following reasons:
- A gas heater needs to be wholly replaced if its heating element malfunctions.
- You or a household member are allergic to or sensitive to the pollutants that unflued gas heaters produce.
- In the case of open-flued gas heaters, you do not want to install a flue in your space.
Despite their high initial costs, gas heaters are cheaper to run in the long run than electric heaters or furnaces. Gas heaters are a fantastic and ecologically beneficial alternative to electric heaters. This winter, stay warm!
Find The Ideal Gas Heater For Your Needs
Consider purchasing a gas-powered heater if you are in the market for a new room heater. However, do not be seduced by the style; instead, place value and functionality first. Before making that purchase, putting all the factors mentioned above and reading its fine print will definitely be beneficial.
If you find that the gas heater is ultimately not ideal for you, it would be excellent to know that there is some kind of warranty available for you. You should also seek professional guidance before making a purchase. You can be sure that licensed and reputable gas fitters will give you the information and expertise you need to make the right choice.
The specialist you hire should have years of experience installing gas heaters and dealing with gas heater-related issues.
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