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Gas Heater Types

With the autumn and winter seasons approaching fast, it is about time to get ready to flip the switch in your home and change the temperature from cold to hot. In other words, as the summer months are giving way, you need to make plans so you can get that much-needed warmth during the cold months of the year. The usual approach is to find a heater or ensure that the one you have will not fail when needed the most.

There are different types from which you can choose. However, there are factors to consider before you choose one. Your choice will depend on the specific needs of your home and the desired fuel source. Many people would prefer to have gas heaters rather than any other type in their homes. Gas heaters are typically fuelled by natural gas or liquid propane.

The units come in different sizes and have features designed to benefit diverse living spaces and needs. With the correct information about these gas heaters, you will be able to make an informed decision before the purchase. You can easily do this with a heater's buying guide, and that is what this article is all about.

How To Choose A Gas Heater For Your Space

Making comparisons before you get a heater for your home or office is good. However, right off the bat, know that the best choice of gas heater depends on your space heating needs.

To find the right type of home gas space heater, ensure that the size will fit the area you plan to install it. Whether you choose a portable style, i.e., unflued heater or a flued gas heater, there are some features your choice should consider, including remote control, a thermostat, and other critical safety and timing features.

Categories Of Gas Heaters

There are three main kinds of gas heaters: radiant convectors, convection heaters (which use a fan to distribute warm air) and radiant gas heaters. These employ different heating methodologies, venting, choice of LPG or natural gas, and heat output.

Home gas space heaters can be broadly divided into two main types based on their fuel: natural gas heaters and LPG heaters. Regarding venting, there are two primary forms of heaters; flued and unflued gas heaters.

Gas room heaters

This heater is specifically designed to offer cosy radiant warmth in your home. They are very reliable and of excellent quality. They can be made to fit into an already existing fireplace and be configured to warm selected house areas. Gas room heaters are available as open-flued gas heaters, radiant convectors, and wall gas heaters.

Unflued gas heaters

Unflued gas heaters offer various advanced features, including remote control, thermostatic control, twin programmable timers, child lock function, a strong warranty, and tip-over cut-off safety features. They can deliver between 6.2 and 6.5 kW of heat while powered by LPG or natural gas.

The ease of installation, capacity sizing, physical size, weight, maintenance, and portability make these heaters most sought after and the best for your home. However, they emit combustion gases and, as such, may affect unborn babies in pregnant women, very young children, senior citizens, and those with health challenges.

Gas radiant heaters

These heaters are designed to give warmth similar to what we get from the sun. They can be configured to provide heat to specific areas of an indoor space. Radiant heaters are easy to install and come in small sizes, making them suitable for small indoor spaces like a bedroom.

Since they are a low-cost option and do not require electricity to run, many prefer them over others. The only downside here is their unattractive style and uneven heat distribution because most of the heat is felt within the space that lies directly in front of the heater.

Gas convector heaters

These heaters work by warming the area within a given space through convection movement. They use a fan alongside a gas burner to evenly distribute warmth within a room. Gas convector heaters have several advanced features such as low emission technology, electronic thermostatic controls, a contemporary look, and remote control. However, gas convector heaters are somewhat more expensive than other types of gas heaters because of these features.

Flued gas heaters

Due to their design, flued gas heaters can only be placed in specific places. They are capable of delivering warmth without generating indoor combustion emissions. The name fixed flued was derived from the fact that combustion gases are generated due to gas-burning directly in the outer space of the house via a fixed flued pipe.

The pipe is fixed either across a wall or ceiling. Flued gas heaters feature 90-degree bends and are pretty expensive. If style and functionality are what you seek, consider a powered flued gas heater.

How Gas Heaters Work

Gas heaters and furnaces operate by lighting several burners located in the combustion chamber. Once the igniter sparks, the heat generated travels into the heat exchanger. The blowers are engaged and send air out through ducts that go into different rooms.

Natural gas or liquid propane is utilised to power the burners; a few of these furnaces are designed to use either of these two fuels.

If somehow your gas heater doesn't work, try the following hacks:

Clean the air filters

A dirty air filter can typically obstruct the continuous flow of air. If that happens to be the case, remember to always clean or replace your HVAC filters. Moreover, your home's vents should be open and unobstructed.

Check the heater's switch

In order for your gas heater to be up and running, you should turn your gas heater's switch 'ON' for it to work. Therefore, make sure to double-check that it is actually switched on.

Program your thermostat

Ensure your thermostat is turned on. If your thermostat is switched to "Auto" or "Heat," make sure that the temperature is set to the peak level. However, this could take a few moments to achieve.

Examine your pilot light

A faulty or dirty pilot light will often prevent your gas furnace from switching on. It is generally recommended to consult with an expert in this scenario unless you believe you can repair the pilot light yourself. Begin by switching off the electricity and natural gas to your furnace.

Ensure proper gas supply

Make sure that your gas heater or appliance is correctly linked to a gas source and that it receives adequate gas. Next, check to ensure that the gas regulator valve is in the "ON" position in order to accomplish this.

Factors To Consider Before Buying A Gas Heater

What is the volume of space you are looking to heat up? To measure a gas heater's warming capacity, you are not only going to be looking at the room size. You will need to consider how quickly the heater can warm that space. Therefore, the local climate and the room size will go a long way in determining the size of the gas heater required to heat your room effectively.

You must avoid installing any portable gas or unflued gas heater in a room that is too small for the rated capacity of the device. This is because of the emissions they produce. If you have a fast-heating appliance, go for the most considerable capacity. Of course, a lower capacity can still heat the room, but it would take longer.

The size of the heater

As soon as you make your choice about buying a gas heater, the next thing you want to consider is the size of the heater you should buy. Spending unnecessarily on a more extensive gas heater could mean wasting money upfront. In addition, you might incur higher running costs in terms of maintenance. On the other hand, your room may not heat up properly if you choose to underspend.

Is a flue necessary?

It is good to have a flue for your gas heater, but this is not necessary. It is possible to have a unit installed and linked to an existing fireplace. If not, you can use a firebox and place the unit anywhere within your space, so long as you incorporate a flue.

Are there any health concerns?

In various studies, gas heaters have been identified as a factor that is partially responsible for childhood asthma and other respiratory health problems. Small but measurable amounts of contaminants like nitrous dioxide and fine particulate matter are released in gas flames.

There are strict emission standards that gas appliances must meet to minimise the number of pollutants they produce. However, small amounts of these pollutants still escape, and when faulty, heaters can produce a lot more. For this reason, it is recommended to service your heater as and when due.

Studies also show that unflued gas heaters are linked with a higher occurrence of asthma in children and, in some cases, increased symptoms in asthmatic children. Such children are at a greater risk of acute respiratory infections. While flued gas heaters and central ducted gas heaters are less likely to have this risk, they can still release some emissions into the indoor space. The same goes for gas cookers.

The cost of installation

There is an extra cost included with buying a gas heater which comes in the form of installation costs. One thing you can do is ask for the previous year's model and request a discount. The money saved in this way can be used to cater to installation costs. Instead, get a professional to take care of the installation because different things can go wrong.

You have to be extra careful at this point because the manufacturer could supply wrong parts, manuals may be printed incorrectly, and you may wrongly assemble some parts to the extent that it becomes potentially dangerous. While using a gas heater of any type, you must ensure that you install a carbon monoxide alarm.

You may get one of these from a local hardware store. This could be a lifesaver for you, your family members, and even your pet with whom you share the space where the heater is installed. If the heater develops faults and begins to put out dangerous amounts of this hazardous gas, an alarm is triggered to warn you of the impending danger.

Before You Make The Purchase

Remember to consider all necessary factors before buying a gas heater. Do not be taken in by the beauty but let functionality and value be topmost in your mind. Going through the fine prints will surely help you before making that purchase. It would be great to know there is some form of warranty for you should you find that the gas heater is not suitable for you in the end. Another thing you can do is to be guided by professional advice before you make any payment for a gas heater.

Licenced and trusted gas fitters are guaranteed to provide you with the necessary knowledge and know-how to get the job done right. The expert you choose to utilise should have years of experience in handling anything wrong about gas heaters from clogged filters to faulty pilot lights, and many more. These experts can quickly and accurately find the issue before quoting you for the repair.