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The Heater For Your Space
Cold regions or cold seasons necessitate the use of gas heaters. Gas appliances are also essential for the general provision of warmth in the house. There are various types of gas heaters that one can choose from when in need of a purchase. These types are based on multiple factors, including the type of gas used (LPG or Natural Gas). Similarly, the presence of flues or the absence thereof determines the categorisation of gas heaters.
Gas heaters are also categorised depending on the methods of heating, venting, etc. Besides these issues, there are various factors that one needs to consider in a gas heater. Advanced features such as remote controls, thermostatic controls, programmable timers, child lock functions, and safety functions are essential features that add an advantage to a gas heater.
It is also necessary to consider the gas heater's cost before purchasing one. This is inclusive of the installation, operation, and maintenance costs. This article provides detailed information about the various types of gas heaters and the factors to consider before purchasing a gas heater.
However, before we get into that, let's first look at what gas heating is. Gas heating refers to heating outdoor and indoor places in a home using gas heaters. The heating process involves using LPG, natural gas, or biogas. However, most people would instead use natural gas because it is easily affordable, more convenient, and durable.
Main Gas Heater Types
The categorisation of gas heaters is based on various factors. Depending on the venting criteria, gas heaters are categorised into flued gas heaters and unflued gas heaters. Gas heaters are also classified depending on fuel. Under this category, there are natural gas heaters and LPG gas heaters.
Generally, there are three primary types of gas heaters; radiant gas heaters, radiant convectors, and convection heaters. We discuss these types in detail below.
Flued gas heaters
Flued gas heaters are installed in a particular area of your home. Flued gas heaters distribute warmth in your house without producing any kind of indoor combustion. With flued gas heaters, combustion of gases happens outside the house, and the heat is directed into the house through a pipe or a chimney, meaning that there will not be any water vapour in your house or combustion gases.
They are available in direct vent and balanced flue models. If you desire functionality and style for your gas heaters while using flued gas heaters, you should consider purchasing power-flued gas heaters.
Power-flued gas heaters
Powered flue gas heaters have power-driven flues and provide various installation options. They facilitate an even distribution of heat throughout the selected region, and they have advanced remote controls, thermostatic controls, safety functions, and programmable timers. Consequently, powered flued gas heaters are more expensive than other types of flued gas heaters.
Wall gas heaters
Another flued gas heater option is wall gas heating. Wall gas heaters are installed between the room's drywall and the studs of the wall. Wall gas heaters draw cool air found at the bottom of the room, heat this air and distribute the warm air at the top in the selected area. Wall gas heaters are more efficient and suitable for use in smaller spaces, homes, and apartments.
Flued gas heater advantages
Flued gas heaters have various advantages, including:
• Do not produce emissions or water vapour in your house.
• Efficient for spot heating.
• Suitable for people with allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory problems.
• Effective for use in smaller areas.
• Programmable timers enable you to program the heater to power on or off at the desired time to help save energy.
• Have remote controls for easier operation, with specific models having wired and wireless connections to facilitate connection over long distances.
• Some models of flued gas heaters have an LPG conversion kit that facilitates heater use in regions with no natural gas.
Flued gas heater disadvantages
Flued gas heaters also have disadvantages:
• Very expensive as compared to unflued gas heaters.
• Require the installation of gas filters.
• Incur higher installation costs.
Unflued gas heaters
Unflued gas heaters are portable in nature. They have a bottleneck tucked at the back to enable their operation. Unflued gas heaters obtain combustion air from within the room and the surrounding of their location. This means that they will emit combustion gases and water vapour back into the atmosphere, including within the room where they are located.
However, their ability to draw combustion within the room enables them to heat the room very quickly by converting gas into heat. Unflued gas heaters generally have advanced features such as thermostatic controls, remote controls, a strong warranty, double programmable timers, a tip-over cut-off safety function, and a child lock function.
They can use both LPG and natural gas to produce a maximum of heat ranging from 6.2 to 6.5kW. Unflued gas heaters require extra caution and are recommended for use in larger spaces. Types of unflued gas heaters include:
Blue flame heaters
These types of gas heaters are known to use a strategy of heating the air surrounding their location and not the items around them. Blue flame heaters are thus more efficient and suitable for use in insulated areas. They facilitate faster and even distribution of heat through the use of a blower. Blue flame heaters are affordable and have a wok efficiency of 99.9%.
Infrared heaters are also known as radiant heaters. They use electromagnetic radiation to facilitate the production of heat. Infrared heaters heat the items around them to produce warmth, thus differentiating them from blue flame heaters.
This feature enables infrared heaters to provide warmth faster than blue flame heaters. However, they require more caution, especially when the young or elderly are involved since they heat the items around them, not the air.
Unflued gas heater advantages
The advantages of unflued gas heaters include:
• Are slightly cheaper.
• Have a wide range of advanced features.
• Are energy-efficient.
• Heat the room significantly faster than electric heaters since they convert 90% of the energy into heat.
• Can be moved from place to place during moving out or just to heat different areas in the house.
Unflued gas heater disadvantages
The disadvantages of unflued gas heaters include:
• Emit water vapour into the room, which causes condensation.
• Emit carbon monoxide and dioxide into the room.
• Can cause respiratory problems. Thus, they are not suitable for people with respiratory issues such as asthma or allergies.
• Not suitable for use in enclosed or smaller spaces.
• Require ventilation or air conditioning.
• Not suitable for use in rooms with no ventilation or smaller spaces such as bathrooms since they lack flues.
Gas convector heaters
These are also known as space heaters. They use convection movement to facilitate the production of heat or warmth. Similarly, gas convector heaters use gas burners and a fan to facilitate the distribution of heat evenly all over the house.
Gas convector heaters have advanced features, including remote control, a contemporary look, electronic thermostatic control, and low emission technology. Consequently, gas convector heaters are more costly than other types of gas heaters.
Gas radiant heaters
Gas radiant heaters are efficient and produce warmth like the sun. They can be designed to provide heat in specific areas in the house. Their small sizes make them suitable for use in enclosed or smaller spaces such as indoors. Similarly, due to their small sizes, they are easy to install.
Gas radiant heaters require no electrical connection and are cheaper than other gas heaters. This makes them one of the top selections in the market. However, gas radiant heaters have an unattractive look. Further, they have an odd heat distribution as most of the heat produced can be felt in the region directly in front of the heater.
Gas room heaters
This type of gas heater is designed for domestic use, solely to produce warmth during cold seasons. These types of gas heaters work with specificity as opposed to an entire house ducted heating system. This means that gas room heaters for home are fitted into an existing fireplace to provide warmth to specific or selected regions in the house.
Gas room heaters for home are known to be high quality and thus reliable. Gas room heaters come in various categories, including wall gas heaters, flued gas heaters, and radiant convectors.
Considerations Before Purchasing A Gas Heater
There is no better gas heater than the one that fits into the heating space in your home. You will need a gas heater that will heat your home fast while not subjecting you to unnecessary expenses.
You may also want to consider other control measures such as the availability of remote controls, thermostatic controls, child lock functions, and safety functions, just to mention a few. So then, what are the factors to keep in mind before purchasing a gas heater?
The size of your house or the desired heating space determines the size of the gas heater that you are going to buy. It is important to note that purchasing a bigger gas heater than required may call for unnecessary installation, maintenance, and operation costs.
Similarly, purchasing a smaller gas heater may lead to inefficiency and insufficient heat production in the house. Therefore, buying a gas heater that suits your heating space is important.
Gas heaters do not have a standard price. The distinction in sizes and features contribute to the variation of prices. Therefore, it is essential to identify a gas heater that suits your requirements and budget. It is important to note that the installation cost contributes to the final cost of the gas heater.
One of the foremost things you must do is to ask for a discount from your seller as you buy a new model of gas heater. You could also hire an expert to handle the installation of your gas heater to prevent incurring further expenses due to poor or wrong installation. It is also critical to pay attention and make use of the user manual for any errors that may be present.
The user manual will also enable you to determine whether the seller has supplied you with all the gas heater parts before beginning to assemble your gas heater. It is also within your and your family's best interest to install a carbon monoxide alarm. However, this will also add to the total cost of installation.
However, you can't put a price on your or your family members' safety. Other extra costs to be on the watch for are maintenance and operation costs. Including these in your budget is helpful before you purchase a gas heater.
Research indicates that unflued gas heaters are among the primary causes of acute respiratory problems in children. Whereas flued gas heaters do not primarily cause this problem, they may still emit little particles of contaminants or harmful gases through flames.
Such health concerns require considerations before deciding what type of gas heaters to purchase, especially when you have small children. Similarly, other types of gas heaters heat the items around them instead of the air around them. This may cause accidents, especially among children and the elderly.
Needless to say, it is vital to abide by safety regulations while using gas heaters to at least do away with or minimise such health concerns. One of such regulations is the installation of carbon monoxide alarms.
Getting A Gas Heater
It is crucial to make an informed decision before doing anything in life. This applies to purchasing a gas heater too. Knowing all the necessary information about the various types of gas heaters is essential. Especially when you are making an informed decision about what gas heater to purchase. It is helpful to consider the above factors before you buy one.
The cost of a gas heater itself, the cost of installation, operation, and maintenance costs are all essential to consider when drawing a budget for a gas heater. Another important factor to remember is that gas heaters, although not all, pose the challenge of emission of water vapour and harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
These are known to cause respiratory problems, which can be fatal under certain circumstances, especially concerning carbon monoxide. Therefore, it is necessary to abide by safety protocols such as installing a carbon monoxide alarm before you start using your gas heaters. Most importantly, the installation process should be left to a professional gas fitter to avoid poor installations and health hazards.