Everyone needs to be warm, and everyone’s home needs to be able to keep them warm, especially in the colder months. Having the right heater for your home will ensure that you and your family are comfortable and cosy when you need to be. A gas heater isn’t just capable of heating a large room, but it also can heat a room very quickly, so they are an excellent choice for heating your home, but like most things, there are a variety of gas heaters on the market so how do you choose the right one for your property?
When it comes to any energy appliances, size really does matter because if you choose a heater that is too big then not only will you have wasted money upfront but you will also continue to waste money and energy when you use the heater as it will be too big for what you need and give off more than enough heat which you will still have to pay for. Then of course if you choose a gas heater which is too small, you won’t be able to heat your room adequately. Go with the rule that 1 kWh roughly heats 10 square metres and work out what size you need. This is only a rough guide, and there are other things which make a difference to the size you need. For example, the climate zone you live in will play a part in what size you need. Then there is the height of your ceilings, whether the other rooms in your home are heated, whether you have insulation in the property, whether the room gets direct sunlight, how big the windows are and whether you have solid curtains in them or double-glazed windows.
Types of Gas Heater
There are two types of gas heater, and these are flued and portable. A flued gas heater is one that has a ‘flue’ which is a pipe that goes from your heater to outside and carries with it the exhaust gases meaning that your room won’t be filled with fumes. These are great, but they also need to be installed, and if you rent your property, then you might not want to bother with this so instead you could go for a portable gas heater. Like everything, there are pros and cons to both, so it’s essential to do your research and to find what is right for you and your property.
Pros of a portable gas heater
There are obvious benefits to a portable gas heater, and that is that you can move it. So this means you can point it in whichever direction you would like, you can move it from room to room, and then you can put it away for the summer when you don’t need it anymore, and if you move house, then you can take it with you.
Portable gas heaters are also very efficient, and about 90% of the energy content of the gas is transformed into heat and not only that, but the heat is instant, and you get plenty of it. Then there is the fact that they are safe as they include a switch to turn them off and many also come with oxygen depletion sensors, flame failure protection and a tilt switch in case the heater tips over.
Portable gas heaters are also much cheaper to run than portable electric heaters, even though they’re more expensive to buy and compared to electric heaters, portable gas heaters produce a quarter to a third of the carbon.
Cons of a portable gas heater
There are of course cons to having a portable gas heater too, and they are the fact that the emissions from the gas combustion process in the heater are vented back into your room because there is no flue to release them outside. Because of this you also can’t use them in bedrooms or bathrooms or other small rooms. These heaters also produce condensation on walls and ceilings, which can cause mould.
While portable gas heaters only produce small amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrous oxides (NOx), they can still cause problems for asthmatics or people with specific allergies or respiratory problems. In contrast, a flued gas heater is a much better option for these people.
What to look for in a flued gas heater
If you choose to go for a flued gas heater, then look for one which has remote controls so that you can control the temperature settings and fan speeds from a distance. You can also find them with programmable timers which will help you to save money and energy, and an electronic ignition will also save energy as you won’t have the pilot light running all the time. Choosing a flued gas heater with a thermostat makes it easier to set the right temperature for your home, and if you have one with a filter-clean warning, then you’ll know when it needs cleaning. If you have children, then you can also get a heater that features child locks.
How to Install a flued gas heater
It’s not a good idea to install a flued gas heater yourself as there are far too many things that can go wrong. Getting it professionally installed will be something you have to pay for on top of buying the actual heater, but it is worth it as it is much safer to install it this way by someone who knows what they are doing. Another thing to make sure you install when you get any gas heater is a carbon monoxide alarm.
What to look for in Portable gas heaters
There are two different types of portable, unfluted gas heaters, and these are convection heaters and radiant-convection heaters.
Convection heaters rely on the natural movement of hot air, but they also have a fan to speed things up. Most of them are electronically controlled, meaning they have a thermostat and remote control which provides better temperature control, but this also means that they use standby power which can be wasted energy.
Radiant-convection heaters have an exposed area that radiates heat into the room. These are usually cheaper to buy than the convection heaters, but they also have fewer features, so there won’t be a thermostat, timer or remote control. You will have to operate them manually with an electronic ignition which you will need to press and hold down usually for about 20 seconds.
If you need a gas heater for your property then it’s best to speak to the plumbing experts who can not only give you the advice you need and answer all your questions, but they can also help you when it comes to installation too.