Apart from not choosing Afrigas and blue rhino tanks, what other considerations should you make when choosing a propane heater? Portability would certainly be important; especially when it’s not cold throughout the year and a wall unit would be an overkill. Again, propane heaters work better in Environments where air flow is limited (such as in garages) compared to kerosene ones that give headaches due to fumes. The only real risk when working with a propane heater is that they use up oxygen too and if the room is air tight, you may suffocate. Luckily, Mr heater, one of the heaters we’ll be looking at today has an oxygen sensor and auto shutdowns once the oxygen is low. Dyna Glo is a great propane heater for your garage too but how do these units compare? We’ll look at their similarities and differences and you’ll know which one to go for. They both make moisture through condensation when in operation and this may be a surprise.
Mr Heater: how it performs
This portable heater is a popular item for campers, woodworkers, van dwellers and people who just want a cozy garage. It works in the basement too. Of course, this heater is propane fueled and certain precautions have to be taken when using it lest you end up with accidents. Either way, the unit is fairly easy to use and the manual it comes with contains detailed instructions.
Many people prefer propane heaters over electric ones as you can use them in indoor spaces with limited ventilation such as in tents, homes and huts. I’ve seen fishermen take them in boats when ice fishing too. It comes equipped with a few safety features with the most notable one being the oxygen sensor that shuts off the unit preventing suffocation.
At maximum setting, the unit produces up to 9000 BTU which is enough to comfortably warm a 250 square feet room. It comes with a cylindrical propane tank – that’s easy to screw in place without tools. The manufacturer also guarantees that you can use this unit with larger third-party tanks as long as they don’t exceed 40 pounds and that you use an external hose and filtering kit.
This will be the easiest heater you’ll ever use: Turn the control knob to switch on and off the pilot burner. Of safety, this unit has an oxygen sensor (which you’re already aware off) and a tip off sensor. It will turn off when tipped over accidentally, or knocked past the 45-degree mark. This is certainly a handy feature that keeps accidents away.
At 9 and a half pounds, this won’t be the lightest portable propane burner you could get but it’s easy to carry around thanks to its foldable handle. The company recommends that this heater shouldn’t be left unattended as a precaution. It should also be left to cool down before storing; with the propane tank disconnected from the unit if possible. With regular cleaning once in a while, this unit will last a decade.
Why I would get the Mr Heater.
Looking at its safety features, price, innovative design and portability; this device will certainly be helpful when working in chilly garages, huts, patios, tents and even in outdoor spaces.
Dyna Glow: How it fairs
Propane heaters are practical in that they don’t require electricity and can bs used as backup heaters in power blackouts. With models ranging from 4500 BTU to well over 30,000 BTU, this heater will come in handy when you need to heat excesses of 1000 square feet of space. Unlike the Mr heater that’s free standing, the Dyna Glow comes with a wall mount bracket and the necessary hardware to mount it if you choose to install the unit permanently.
Again, even though this is a vent free heater – where you don’t need to install external ducts for it – you will notice that it produces moisture just like all other propane heaters. This is most notable when working in very cold weather. It has an elegant black exterior casing too if aesthetics is your biggest consideration when getting a heating unit.
This unit wouldn’t be popular if it weren’t responsive. You will notice that the room starts to feel warmer as soon as you switch on the unit. Please note that it’s only for use in indoor venues and will be of little help in outdoor spaces.
Of convenience, the piezo-ignition system it comes with ensures that operating this heater is a breeze. There are two sturdy handles on each side of the unit and I’ve seen people carry it while it’s in operation though this isn’t recommended. You should switch it off before moving the unit as a safety precaution.
How much propane do they typically use?
There’s no “right” answer to this question. It will depend on how long you use the unit everyday and the heat setting it operates under. Using it for an hour every day, you’ll require one tank of propane every two weeks
Are they safe?
Mr Heater that we’ve featured above has an oxygen sensor that shuts the unit when oxygen levels get low. It also shuts down when knocked over or tipped off. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt getting a Carbon Monoxide detector (Amazon) that warns you when oxygen levels are low. Unlike furnaces that burn clean air from the outside, you’re sharing oxygen with these indoor propane heaters which explains why they shouldn’t be left running all night long.
Are they reliable?
The units themselves are quite reliable and won’t fail to start up. However, their gauges aren’t. Get a backup tank (and a backup for it too). A larger propane tank (about 30 pounds) is cheaper when filling by the galloon and gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t run out of gas any time.
THE TWO TYPES OF GAS HEATERS
It is true that both natural gas and propane gas heaters are costly compared to electric heaters. This is due to installation cost. It is a fact that gas type heaters can produce more amount of heat. It is also a fact that you can save more energy on using gas type heaters overtime.
Installation of a gas type heater may cost you a lot today, but remember, savings shall pay off because you do not have to pay for skyrocketing monthly electric bills during cold weather. Also, you do not have to worry for possible power interruptions during winter knowing that your gas type heater will still keep you warm. Now for important things.
There are places where permit(s) and inspection are needed specifically for installing gas type heaters. If these are implemented in your location, know that it is important due to potential hazard it might cause for a faulty installation. Read again: faulty installation. Gas type heaters are still of choice by many because theirs were installed properly.
A bad ventilation system for your gas type heater might directly affect you and your family for the harmful emissions released by the gas type heater to produce heat. Read again: a bad ventilation system. Gas type heaters are still of choice by many because theirs have a good ventilation system.
It is about time to learn the difference between a natural gas heater and a propane gas heater!
TYPES OF GAS HEATER: Natural Gas Heater
Natural gas heater is usually favored by many compared to electric heaters. The natural gas used for heaters is actually composed of several types of gases such as butane, methane and ethane. This composition makes the natural gas roughly twice cheaper than the propane gas. However, natural gas for heaters have a higher consumption compared to propane gas.
- Natural gas heater usually burns about 97 cubic feet an hour for a 100,000 BTU heater.
- Natural gas heats more effectively and quickly than of the heat produced by electric heaters.
- Natural gas used for heaters is a greenhouse gas or known as green gas, but it is a clean-burning one – the reason why it is called clean energy alternative. In addition, it produces less harmful emission compared to fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Therefore, natural gas is environment safe.
- Natural gas can heat up small to large areas.
- Natural gas is lighter than propane gas. So when natural gas is released, its smell quickly subsides. Though for leaks, natural gas could be harder to detect compared to propane gas heater.
Natural gas continues to be on its gaseous form and does not need truck assistance and/or scheduling for delivery. This is because natural gas is delivered through a pipeline, so there is no need to worry of running out in the middle of the night.
- Direct pipe supply.
- You can only use gas operated appliances that are connected through the gas pipes.
- You cannot just transfer the pipes anywhere you want because it needs clearance from your local government for safety purposes (to prevent gas leak that could lead to chaos if neglected).
Some are reluctant to opt for a natural gas heater due to possible huge combustion that might put the life of their love ones in danger. But generally, use of natural gas heater is not dangerous at all if safety precautions have been satisfied. After all, the local government will not approve of it if natural gas heaters normally take lives. Below are the few things you need to keep in mind when using natural gas heater.
- Check with your local government for the clearance and requirement(s) needed prior to installation of natural gas heater in your home. Diligently comply with utmost honesty.
- Assessment might include survey of the local government and/or natural gas supplier. Clearly explain to them your plans on specific machines you intend to run with natural gas apart from the heater so they can provide you sufficient supply and they can plan for accurate safety measures.
- Installation of natural gas heater must be done by professionals. Almost any home improvement can now be done by anyone by simply following our ever dependable DIY manuals. Buy hey, installation of natural gas heater is one of the exceptions.
- Any suspected leaks or beyond normal occurrences must be reported to the authorities immediately.
- Never use machines that are not compatible with natural gas.
- Natural gas heaters must be kept well ventilated at all times.
- Refrain storing other any items crowding near or around the natural gas machine.
- Never store or use combustible materials near the natural gas heater such as spray paints, paint thinners, greasy rags, sawdust and others that might initiate fire. It is safer to use such things far from the machine or with the machine turned off. If you just turned off the machine, allow at least 30 minutes to an hour to disperse the natural gas emission prior to working within the area.
- Always keep the area clean and tidy.
TYPES OF GAS HEATER: Propane Gas Heater
Propane gas heater is the most popular type of gas heater. It uses the raw natural gas called propane, thus where its name was derived. Some find it safer and easier to use than natural gas. But what most people like about using propane gas is its capability of being portable which allows them to use in any gas propane operated machines or appliance in their house or garage at their own disposal.
Though propane gas costs roughly twice than of the natural gas, it remains the solid choice of many not only for its effectivity but also for its efficiency. This is because it has a lot of advantages such as flexibility and low amount of consumption. Use of propane gas cuts you half of what is consumed when using natural gas.
Propane gas heater usually burns only 40 cubic feet an hour for a 100,000 BTU heater, does saving half of the consumed amount of the natural gas heater.
- Like natural gas, propane gas heats more effectively and quickly than of the heat produced by electric heaters.
- It is an eco-friendly gas also known as green fuel. The reason behind this is its clean pre and post combustion emissions, in short it is non-toxic.
- The propane gas is also known as LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
- Like natural gas, propane gas is environment safe.
- Propane gas can heat up small to large areas.
- Propane gas is denser than natural gas. So when propane gas is released, its smell slowly subsides as compared to natural gas. Though for leaks, propane gas is easier to detect.
- Propane gas tanks are portable, you can transfer it from one place to another as needed. Say you can use it on propane gas heater in your garage and when not in use, you can transfer it at the backyard for propane gas operated griller and return it to the garage afterwards.
- Or you can buy as many in different sizes as needed, if transfers could be a hassle on your end and have dedicated propane tanks for each of your propane machine.
Propane gas is compressed into liquid form stored in either portable or permanent storage tanks. One needs to have scheduled delivery or refill at home for propane consumption. This means that propane providers can help you each delivery or refill to address and maintain your fuel needs.
- Delivery or on-site propane gas refilling supply.
- Familiarize yourself with the smell of the propane gas for easy detection in case of any leaks. You can ask the one making propane gas delivery to help you for this.
- Ask your propane supplier to teach you how to read your propane gauge.
- Seek for your supplier’s advice on how to do basic maintenance on your propane gas that you can do on a daily or weekly basis.
- Ask your propane supplier about the important symptoms you need to keep watch, and workaround(s) you can do if possible.
- Let your propane supplier do a routine checkup with your propane gas tanks each time they deliver or do a refill.
- Some suppliers can be asked to do a routine checkup as well on your propane heater for safety and propane consumption effectivity.
- You can store extras in a cool, dry and safe place in your house.
The propane gas is highly versatile. It can be used in a permanent place, but since it is portable, it can literally roam anywhere your house as needed. It can be used not only with propane gas heater but with other machines.
- Check with your local government for the requirement(s) needed prior to installation of propane gas heater in your home. Diligently comply with utmost honesty.
- Installation of propane gas heater can be done by anyone, but must be with care. If you are unsure, seek for professional help.
- Only use propane gas that are approved or accredited by the local government. Never settle with propane gas tanks provided by suspicious suppliers.
- Any suspected leaks or beyond normal occurrences must be reported to the authorities immediately.
- Set regular inspection of propane tanks by professionals, who supplies and/or install propane gas in your home. Do not hesitate to discuss or consult with them any matter concerning your propane gas heater and other machines run by propane gas tanks.
- Keep away from reach of children. Never allow children to operate with propane gas tanks.
- Transfer the propane gas tank from one place to another only as needed with proper handling. Store in a safe place, preferably away from direct heat and from combustible materials. Avoid crowding both propane gas tank and heater with any items in your house or garage to prevent obstruction.
- Never attempt to use propane gas on a natural gas heater.
- Never use machines that are not compatible with propane gas.
- Never use combustible materials near the propane gas heater such as spray paints, paint thinners, greasy rags, sawdust and others that might initiate fire. It is safer to use such things far from the machine or with the machine turned off. If you just turned off the machine, allow at least 30 minutes to an hour to disperse the natural gas emission prior to working within the area.
- Always keep the area clean and tidy.
- Do not forget to turn off propane gas and propane gas heater when not in use.
- Never attempt to use propane gas apart from its purpose.
THE SUB-TYPES OF GAS HEATERS
Each gas heater sub-types has its own uniqueness though having the same function, that is, to turn the gas into energy to produce heat on your house or garage. Also, because each sub-type has its own mechanism, prices vary as well.
Each listed gas heater sub-type has its own strengths and weaknesses. And not all can be used widely for different purposes you may have.
This section is strategically structured to easily determine the difference of each gas heater sub-type.
- It has several sections, partitioned according to sub-types.
- In each section, you can find Description, PROs, CONs and the Best Use of the specific gas heater sub-type.
This way, it would be easier to go back and forth on each sub-type for comparison and assessment. Also, it will be easier to understand their differences and it will be easier for our eyes to read.
Remember though that the best gas heater always depends on your needs and how well you can maximize the features of a chosen gas heater.
SUB-TYPES OF GAS HEATER: Forced Air
The Forced Air Heater has its name derived from its force drive of heat into the air. This has become a popular gas heater because it can quickly heat up even a large area.
It has models that can be wall mounted and also the ones that are portable. It typically almost looks like a cylindrical fan. Others note it as a huge telescope-like in figure while others say that it looks like a big flashlight. Can be used in house or garage. Force Air Heaters are available in Natural Gas Heater and Propane Gas Heater.
- Can quickly heat up a large closed area.
- Can efficiently heat up to the direction where the heat blows in an instant.
- Cheapest initial installation compared to other gas type heaters.
- Does not quickly overheat surrounding area.
- Reliable even after several years of use, with proper cleaning and maintenance.
- Has rigid safety controls that filters toxic fumes and byproducts produced during combustion.
- Uneven heat distribution in large or open areas, normally cold settles at the bottom because the heat quickly subsides as well.
- Costly purchase and installation.
- Contributes for a lower or drop of humidity.
- Long recovery time to heat up when area becomes exposed to cold for a bit. The best scenario for this occurrence is when you open the door briefly.
- Can blow air along with tiny debris due to force drive.
- Can be expensive in the long run.
- As portable heater.
- In large, closed and highly insulated areas.
- For a single ray or direction of heat distribution.
- To prevent your tools, wheels, hose and other garage materials from freezing.
- Practical for seldom or temporary use.
SUB-TYPES OF GAS HEATER: Ventless
The Ventless Heater derived its name from of course, being ventless. It is a self-contained heater without a vent – does not need to take fresh air from the outside while containing all emissions inside. It was acclaimed as non-producing harmful fumes during combustion progression so logically there is no need for a vent. Also, it has fan rigged inside to force circulation around the room.
It has models that can be wall mounted and also the ones that are portable. And the best part is, it also comes in a display variety that is appealing to the eye which can be considered as a display furniture.
Most Ventless Heater looks like a window type air conditioning unit. Some looks like the front side of a single gas oven with the grills outside. But large versions of the Ventless heater generally looks like the outdoor unit of a split type air conditioning unit.
Can be used in house or garage.
Available in Natural Gas Heater and Propane Gas Heater.
- It has about 99% extreme fuel efficiency.
- Cheap initial installation cost.
- Highly cost efficient in the long run.
- Better heat distribution.
- Completely silent.
- Easy to install and remove.
- Noticeable increased level of humidity in the area.
- High maintenance, needs professional offsite servicing.
- In any place of the house and garage.
SUB-TYPES OF GAS HEATER: Closed Combustion
The Closed Combustion Heater derived its name from its process. It is also known as Sealed Combustion. It utilizes two pipes: (1) for bringing the outside air into the machine and (2) for exhausting its byproducts outdoors. Therefore, the in and out business of this gas heater is closed or sealed from the inside of the house or garage.
It typically almost looks like a stainless sleek drum with gauges.
Can be used in house or garage.
Available in Natural Gas Heater and Propane Gas Heater.
- Unlike most gas heater sub-types, heated indoor air is not being recycled back over and over again.
- Efficient gas consumption.
- Tightly sealed compartment, no fumes to worry about.
- For wall mounting only.
- Costly unit.
- Costly maintenance in the long run.
- In the garage.
SUB-TYPES OF GAS HEATER : Infrared
The Infrared Heater derived its name from the infrared radiant energy used in it to distribute heat. It is also known as Radiant Panels.
It typically almost looks like a regular light but looks like a grill when turned on.
Can be used in house or garage.
Available in Natural Gas Heater and Propane Gas Heater.
- Produces warmth instantly.
- Reaches its peak intensity in about five minutes.
- Little noise.
- Highly cost efficient in the long run.
- Uniform heat distribution.
- Quicker recovery time to heat up when area becomes exposed to cold for a bit. The best scenario for this occurrence is when you open the door briefly.
- Heat retention is high.
- No tiny debris free flowing in the air because it operates without air movement.
- Reduces required heat needed by 15%, thus help you save for gas consumption.
- Costly initial installation.
- High precision of installation is vital due to complicated installation, wrong distance may lead to exaggerated heat effect in you.
- Cannot be installed within a specific distance between other objects.
- Highly efficient in small areas.
- In frequented part of the house or garage.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Now that you have already learned about the types and sub-types of gas heaters, there could be a hint on your mind which one to choose, right? Perhaps you are now excited to choose one. But not too fast!
Deciding which type of gas heater to choose when long term budget is the deciding factor might entail you to go with the natural gas because it is far cheaper than propane gas. But do mind that the natural gas consumes twice than propane gas. In that case, they could be equal. Yet do mind as well that it may depend on your actual consumption based on the specific model of the gas heater. But then again, it may depend on current price of both kinds of gas which is unstable.
However, when it comes to consumption, maximizing what a gas heater can give you is still the best option to take. Now how can you maximize what certain gas heater can offer? This is where your needs come in. Can it suffice all your needs? Or it can give even those you don’t need at all? If the latter is the case, you might only be spending energy into waste.
Discussed in this section are the factors, yes, important factors to know the specific (type and sub-type) gas heater that might fit your needs best:
- Area to be Covered
- Area of Installation
- Climate Zone
- House or Garage Structure
- BTU Rating
- Heater Capacity
- Personal Preference
FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Area to be Covered
Gas heaters does not only come in different types and sub-types but also in sizes too. Different sizes covers specific range and this is one among the important things you want to consider. Pause for a while and ask yourself, which part(s) of the house do I need to get warm during winter?
- You have to consider the area of your house and/or garage to be covered.
- You have to consider the furniture and other things inside your house or garage that could be absorbing heat or blocking or repelling the heat.
- Is your house or garage insulated? If yes, then it would be easier to consider the size of the heater to choose. It is also beneficial to determine the quality of insulation you have at home.
- But if not, you might want to have your area insulated first or choose a size higher than what it should be to compensate the uninsulated part of the area.
- Do you need the whole area to be covered? You might be eyeing for a gas heater of a larger size because your area is huge but you only need to heat up a specific corner because that is the only frequented space. Then you might have to choose the smaller one and plan for the best spot to install it.
- What are the priority areas in the house or garage to get warm?
FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Area of Installation
This covers both your location and physical location of your would be gas heater. These two areas of installation are very significant factors to consider prior to installing a gas type house or garage heater.
Check with the local authorities in your area about the permit(s) and requirement you need to secure prior to having you gas heater installed. This is also the best time to consult with them the following:
- List of accredited or legal natural or propane gas supplier, whichever you are choosing.
- Grounds for renewal of permit.
- Emergency hotlines.
- Your options of installation.
Determine the exact area(s) you are about to install the gas heater. This one is vital especially if you are using a natural gas. The physical location of your house or garage may affect the approval of your gas heater installation. At some point you may need clearance for vents and other safety measures. Read on below questions for other matters connected to this concern:
- Shall it be placed permanently on a specific place?
- Shall it be mounted on the wall or ceiling?
- Would there be ample space allocated for proper ventilation, inside and/or outside the house and/or garage?
- Do you plan to transfer the location in the next few months or years?
FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Climate Zone
There are indeed some standards across the globe on computing for the area, BTU needed and the likes to maximize the efficiency of the gas heater. But often times, climate on a specific geographical location are neglected. As a result, some experience either too much heat or too low heat even if they follow the standards. So climate zone must be considered too to maximize the efficiency of your gas heater.
- Not all places around across the globe have the same climate zone.
- Some place could be colder than the other, so houses and garage of different climate zones are built differently, with ranges of possible insulation thickness.
- Some might be situated in plains, others on mountain side.
- If you are living on a location with much colder weather, better go up one bracket based on the standard computation of BTU against cubic area.
- If you are living on a location with lesser cold weather, better go down one bracket based on the standard computation, or stick with the standard computation and control the thermostat or your gas heater and the time of use to keep the warmth at par.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER: House or Garage Structure
The built of the house, with or without insulation, directly affects the heat containment in the house or garage. There are materials that conduct heat and there are materials that repels heat.
- You have to consider the materials used to build your house, interior and exterior.
- You have to consider the type of insulation used in your house and/or garage.
- Does the area to be covered have too much walls (for divisions) or no walls at all?
- Are you warming up a house with several rooms with doors or without doors?
- Are you warming up a garage with divisions or plain white space?
- Are you warming up a garage with how many cars and other stuff installed or residing in it?
- Are the windows or doors properly sealed?
- Are there permanent vents within the perimeter of the area you want to warm up?
- Are there any interior structures that might block the warmth circulation?
Not only living things need warmth and not only living things absorbs warmth. So look around you, consider everything you can see in your house and/in your garage.
Remember the difference of a large area to cover with so much stuff and blocking structures than of a large area with too little stuff and little to no blocking structures at all – they need a different approach and volume of energy to get warm.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER:BTU Rating
The British Thermal Unit or BTU is the unit of measurement for energy. It is defined as “the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit”. You may see it as part of the specifications of gas heaters.
This part could be a bit tricky as it needs a lot of computations. But there are several websites with existing BTU calculators for your ease and there are also few apps to help you on computations. But if you wish to do it yourself, here’s how:
How to Compute Required BTU:
- Get the insulation quality.
- For great insulation, specify 0.5
- For average insulation, specify 1
- For little insulation, specify 1.5
- For no insulation at all, specify 5
- Get the square foot measurement of your house or garage floor space.
- Measure the length and the width by foot.
- Multiply the width by the length.
- The product (answer) is the total square feet measurement.
- Get the total cubic footage of the area to be heated.
- Multiply the square footage (from step 2) by the height of the ceiling.
- The product (answer) is the total cubic feet measurement.
- Get the temperature difference.
- Determine the lowest seasonal outside temperature in your location.
- Determine the temperature you want to maintain in your house or garage.
- Subtract the lowest seasonal outside temperature from the temperature you want to maintain in your house or garage.
- The difference (answer) is the temperature difference.
- Get the BTU needed to raise the temperature inside your house or garage.
- Multiply the insulation quality (answer on step 1) by the total cubic feet measurement (answer in step 2) by the temperature difference (answer on step 4) divided by 1.6 (constant).
- The answer is the BTU needed.
- Get your BTU requirement.
- Add at least ten percent of the BTU needed (answer on step 5).
- The answer would be your BTU requirement.
- From there you may add accordingly depending on other factors you need to consider.
Computing the BTU that your house or garage may require is important so you can easily make an approximate on considering other factors. This way you accurately determine the range of BTU you need as specified on gas heaters. You don’t want to install a gas heater with a lower BTU than of what your need requires.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Heater Capacity
So you got the correct BTU you need in your house and/or garage. You have factored in other factors such as number of people frequenting the area(s) alongside with the furniture that might affect the heat distribution. Ask yourself of the following to verify the capacity of the gas heater you have chosen versus your actual usage.
- Are you going to use it for long straight hours?
- Can your chosen gas heater manage to function for such long hours?
- Are you going to use it in frequent short hours or intermittently?
- Can your chosen gas heater manage to function intermittently?
You have at some point double check if your requirements can actually be done by the chosen gas heater before the actual purchase. It cannot be considered a good buy if you’ve got all features you need at a justifiable price yet cannot function within the expected hours of operation. However, it is upon your discretion to adjust to whatever extent, but make sure that you do no compromise too much.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Durability
You want a gas heater that is highly durable and will last for a couple of season cycles. It is not only about getting the best or maximizing what you are about to spend for it and its installation, but also because durability means less worry for maintenance (and another spending spree occurrence) and repair.
Since we are dealing with cold to warm air, moisture could be present anytime around. As natural or propane gas gets burned for energy, your heater shall emit tiny fumes that might affect the physical appearance and mechanism of your heater.
- Is it water resistant?
- Does it prevent rust?
- Is it easy to clean?
- Is it durable enough for accidental tippings? (for portables)
- Can it be used in most hours both day and night without frequent failing or overheating?
- How many hours can it be used straight?
- How many hours shall it be kept rested?
- How frequent must it be maintained?
You may not mind the aesthetic features of your gas heater so long as it function to its best extent. But hey, when the exterior starts to deteriorate, internal parts of your gas heater shall be exposed and might be prone to unwanted defects. Also, if corrosion from the outside arise, there is a higher chance of getting the internal parts corroded as well. It is best advised to have your gas heated checked before winter arrives.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Safety
It is seldom nowadays to find a gas heater without safety features. Gas heaters could be harmful due to faulty installations, that’s a general fact. But it could be harmful as well for wrong handling and other things which may lead to a minor accident.
Remember though that the safest gas heater always depends on accuracy of installation, proper usage and religious maintenance of the machine and surroundings.
To ensure that you and your family are safe all throughout, here are the safety features you might want to look for in a gas heater:
You may want to use one with overheating protection. Logically, any heater produces heat but there are times that the heat could be too much for the machine. Overheating may cause combustion which could be fatal especially when the surrounding areas and the gas heater itself have no proper cleaning and maintenance.
- It is really a nice to have or rather important feature you have to look for:
- This feature automatically shuts off the machine as soon as overheating is detected to prevent it from further heating which may lead to combustion.
- This is great especially when your both your hands are fully tied doing your tasks or errands.
- Also stay in peace when you have started to take a rest or nap.
With it, you do not need to get worried and stop from doing what you have to just because your machine overheated.
Tip Over Protection
Another feature you may want to have if you opt for the portable gas heater is the tip over protection. This is applicable for propane gas heaters. Since propane can be placed anywhere in the house or garage and can change location as needed, tip over occurs especially if you have large pets and toddlers. Accidents do happen such as accidental dragging and your portable propane gas heater might get tipped over on an unexpected moment.
The tip over protection entails the following:
- This feature automatically shuts off the machine, just like the overheating protection feature when tipped over.
- This will prevent your portable propane gas heater to blow heat at the wrong angle when tipped off which might lead to minor accident as well.
Oxygen Detection Safety-pilot
Low oxygen happens when there is carbon dioxide build up in the room. This happens to closed areas. And when it is winter time, we tend and always see to it that all window and doors are closed to keep us warm.
Low oxygen can be avoided if your gas heater has Oxygen Detection Safety-pilot or ODS. Simply because it detects low level of oxygen.
And the safety feature enclosed?
- Upon detection of low level of oxygen, the ODS will cause to extinguish the pilot flame which will allow the thermocouple to cool down so the gas valve will close.
- It cues for the machine to shut off until normal oxygen level got back.
Another safety feature that is nice to have is the pressure switch. It sends power to the inducer so that the ignition sequences begin. Once turned on, the pressure switch detects if the combustion air blower is blowing, if it is, then it will tell the inducer to initiate ignition sequences.
Why is it so important? Because the air combustion blower:
- Cleans residual gases and other foreign materials from the combustion chamber.
- It removes byproducts of burnt gases.
- It supplies combustion air to the burners.
Therefore, if pressure switch is not present, there is nothing to verify if combustion air blower is functioning well. If it is not and there is no pressure switch, ignition sequences will automatically begin and combustion air blower undetected problems might cause a domino effect to other parts of the machine and that could be a bigger problem.
Since heaters produces heat and thus inevitable not to get its surfaces hot, a cool-touch feature could be beneficial especially if it does not come with a remote control. You’ll be needing it most on portable gas heaters, especially in times that you need to move it around.
Not all gas heaters have the cool touch feature, but hey, at least look for safety handles when you are using portable heaters.
If you have children especially toddlers at home, a child lock feature would be beneficial. Child lock systems on gas heaters allows only adults to operate just by pushing a button or few to deactivate the command buttons of the heater.
However, you don’t really need this if you have preferred a wall type heater since children cannot reach it. This feature is highly recommended for portable heater especially inside the house or heaters that are placed within the reach of children.
To maximize the efficiency of your heater, it is logical to have run it only for a specific time of use. However, due to our busy schedules, it is often than not to have been kept on running even when it is no longer needed.
If you are determined to save gas consumption by having your gas heater turned-on only for a specific span of time, then a programmable timer is the best solution to your needs.
This sub-type of gas heater co-exist with other sub-types and sometimes categorized as one of the feature of a gas heater. Flues are the duct or pipes we use to let the exhaust travel outside the house or garage. This is the best sub-type/feature to answer the cares of homeowners about combustion emissions, especially for those suffering with asthma or other respiratory problems.
Flues typically looks like a regular pipe like the one used in a chimney but commonly made of stainless steel for gas-fired machine or appliance. There are gas heaters with flue already attached or included on the heater itself, while there are others that have optional feature for attachment of flues. There are also flues that are permanently attached to your wall. There are types of flues that can be temporarily attached to the walls so you do not have to make a hole in your wall, such flues are designed by manufacturers for those who are renting houses or units.
If you or your household members are amenable to any type and frequency of noise, then noise level should not be a problem. However, if you or your household members have sensitive ears or cannot stand extra sound caused by the gas heater machine, then you need to consider choosing a gas heater that operates from mild noise to no noise level at all.
This especially applies to those who have babies, toddlers, elderly, in-house treated sick patients, work from home and hearing sensitivities. There are a lot of gas heater models available in the market that operates quietly, so there is no need to panic for this case. Just choose wisely.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER: Ease of Use
We utilize heaters during winter to make us comfortable and keep us from the possible ailments us people get due to cold. Shall we say that it is a bonus, or is it a must to have that heater used with ease as well? Well the answer is on your preference.
Adjustable Thermostat Function
We can never tell if the coming winter will make you cold, chill or freeze. There have been drastic changes in our environment lately and it directly affects the weather. Even if you have considered everything discussed before this section, some additional features pay off in cases like this. There are also days that you just want a bit of warmth while there could be days when you really want to be real warm. The adjustable thermostat function might come in handy for weather induced changes or just your body needs. This can also be beneficial when you suddenly have visitors, you don’t want that uncomfortable added heat then you can easily adjust the heat. Also if you don’t want to be chilly when they left, this feature can be your magical wand.
Louvers on heaters are also known as angled shutters or slats allowing air to pass through. You can also find one on air conditioners or exhausts apart from heaters. If you are getting a gas heater that can heat the one directional area, then adjustable louvers can be of great help.
There are louvers that can automatically move according to your preference or depending on the programmed preferences made available. There are some that you can move manually should you wish to change your position without touching or moving the heater by any means. But of course, we would like to look for louvers that are pre-programmed to move and stay, and to move and keep on moving.
If remote on television is a breeze as you laze on your couch, how much more if you have a remote control for your gas heater with chilly fingers? Of course this could easily help you turn on your gas heater or change its thermostat level without having to go around where the heater is situated.
- On and off.
- Programmable timer.
- Louver adjuster.
- Thermostat adjuster. Low and high could be great but hey, if you can get other levels or exact temperature then why not?
Indeed it could be harder to move during the winter chills, but hey, if your gas heater comes with a remote control then it would be such a comfort.
Portability (for Portable Gas Heaters)
Portable gas heaters used to be bulky and heavy. Even when it has the cool-touch feature, it could still be hard to move it around when it is heavy. However, manufacturers today strive their best to ease your burden from chilling. Most portable gas heaters models today are ergonomically designed and comes with footings or rollers that are easy to move. Here are few things you need to look for:
- Light weight.
- Safety handle.
- Easy glide footings or rollers.
- Sleek design for easy navigation.
So you have stumbled upon the gas heater that is so far the best of your choice. Immediately ask the sales agent about the maintenance that you need to do periodically.
- Do you need to clean the air vents? How? How frequent?
- Do you need to manage the motor dirt? How? How frequent?
- Do you need to clean the burner? How? How frequent?
The truth is, whether you like it or not, you will do it. So it is important to have it known right before the purchase to evaluate if it can be done by you or anyone within the household. Periodic maintenance of gas heater and any other appliance helps the appliance last longer. But if you insist on not doing it, there is a way, but remember that it means another cost to pay for the gas heater maintenance services.
Did you know that warranty tells it all? A manufacturer can only provide warranty of their product within the maximum period of time the product can perform well based on the quality guidelines of their company. And they normally cut time within the buffer period they have set. Meaning, they have to be 100% confident to assure their consumers that their product can undoubtedly work at its best within the warranted period of time.
The longer the warranty means the better the product is. No manufacturer warrants a specific product that is short of their metrics to avoid future problems, extra costs, lawsuit and damage to the reputation of their company.
- It is recommended to have the extent of the warranty reviewed prior to purchase of the gas heater
- Read carefully the fine prints and see if everything is amenable to you.
- This is the best time to inquire of the process and contact numbers of their support should the gas heater you are about to purchase experienced a problem within their warranted period.
- Have every detail cleared, note of it at the back of the warranty card for future references.
- Also, take advantage of free services they might offer within the warranted period of time.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER: Personal Preference
Do not forget the most important part of choosing your gas heater, your personal preference. No matter how well you have computed the thermal resistance along with the outside temperature, BTUs, wattage, area to be covered and so on, the thing is that you will never be satisfied if you do not base it on your own preference.
- How much warmth is it that you want inside your house or garage?
- Are you the only person that would be roaming around the place? You do not want to compute for yourself alone (unless you live alone!) if you do not want to think that your heater is providing too much heat. Remember, each person has its own heat count. So it may get warmer the more person you have in a room.
- Do you want the whole area to be evenly covered with warmth?
- Or do you only want to warm specific area(s)? Say just one corner of the house or garage where you frequent?
- Do you prefer the area to get warm quickly?
- Or is it better for you to get your house or garage gradually warm?
At the end of the day, your preference is what really matters. Getting the ‘best of quality’ or the most ‘efficient’ gas heater will just go to waste if what it brings is not what you really need. Here’s a quick recap:
- Know what you need.How much warmth do you want?
- Know where you need it.Which areas in your house and/or garage you want the gas heater to work on? What are the current conditions of this/these palace(s) that might affect the specific warmth you intend to have?
- Know who needs it apart from you.How many people lives (or visits) in your place who would frequent the nominated areas and for how long?
- Know why (not the obvious why) you need it.Are you trying to keep other things from freezing within the nominated areas in your house and/or garage?
The term ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ is actually subjective and may always depend on what you are trying to satisfy.
Now you know everything you need to consider on choosing the ‘best’ gas heater for your house and/or garage, congratulations! Happy gas heater hunting!