Gas Heaters Buying Guide

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One of the most popular heating systems installed in homes across North America, gas heaters primarily run on natural gas and offer a cleaner, cheaper alternative to conventional oil and electric heaters. One of the most important things to consider before purchasing a gas heater is to check whether the energy source is available in your area. Many areas can supply the user with most fuels, but it needs to be piped directly into the house from the street. More and more cities and town are having gas lines laid each year, but there are still some areas where gas furnaces and burners are unavailable. Usually, if you want to install a gas system, the user would have to have a pipe run from the street to their house, which can be expensive. Luckily, many houses already use natural gas to run other appliances, so much of the hard work has already been done. One of the biggest advantages of using a gas heating system is that you don’t have to deal with the fuel after the gas lines have been connected. The gas is run into your house similar to water or electricity, so you don’t have to arrange for fuel deliveries like you do with oil or propane.

Gas heaters can also run on liquefied petroleum gas, also known as LPG, which comes from a gas main or in LPG bottles. Liquefied petroleum gas is typically used in portable heaters because it’s much easier to bottle and transport than natural gas. Gas heating systems are easy to control and they’re much more convenient then other heating choices. Gas heaters are also much more fuel-efficient that other heating systems, which makes them cheaper to run. With gas heater, the homeowner can decide how they want the heat to be distributed throughout the house. Many people choose to have a central gas heating system that can heat the entire house from a central control panel, or separate heaters for each individual room.

Portable Gas Heater

Some of the most cost effective heating appliances currently available, portable heaters are great for providing extra warmth in indoor and outdoor environments. They are ideal for inadequately heated areas where central heating might not be installed, such as garages, workshops, and basements. They’re an excellent solution for people who are sensitive to colder temperatures, because they provide warmth to a specific room without affecting the overall heating of the house. When used correctly, portable heaters can increase the energy efficiency of your entire heating system, by allowing the user to maintain a set temperature throughout the house and heat a specific room. Under normal circumstances, in order to get one room warm in a house, you would have to turn up the entire system. Here are some of the pros of using a portable gas heater:

  • A gas heater may cost up to 50 percent less to operate than a conventional electric heater, which is more than enough reason for many users to switch over
  • Gas heaters are easier to move around because they don’t have to be plugged in, the fuel comes in a can and can be mounted to the device
  • They can function during power outages, which is a critical time to produce heat
  • Gas heaters achieve their maximum temperature quickly, with little to no waiting period between when you activate the device and when you start feeling the heat

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a portable gas heater:

  • They typically require a higher initial investment, because the heating mechanism is much more sophisticated than a conventional space heater
  • Many of the devices require adequate ventilation and should only be used in semi-outdoor and outdoor environments to reduce the risk of an accident
  • Some of the devices should only be used in open areas because they use an open flame to produce heat
  • The heater can be noisy when the fuel flows and ignites

Portable natural gas heaters work very well and are entirely dependable, which makes them a great option if you’re going camping or if you’re preparing for a power outage. Some natural gas heaters can be hooked up to your gas main and run from there, and then disconnected when not in use. Many units don’t need to be vented outside because they contain sensors that automatically turn the device off if the air quality becomes too poor. For the most part, portable gas heaters are meant for outdoor use.

Types of Gas Heaters

In any type of gas heating system (wiki) there’s two main parts: the heat source and the heat distribution system. The heat source is where the fuel is converted into heat, usually by boiling water or heating the surrounding air. The heat distribution system is what delivers the heat to the rest of the house. Everything is operated at a control system, which is a subsection of the heat source and distribution sections. Here are the two main types of heat sources:

Gas Furnaces

One of the most common types of furnaces, a gas furnace runs on a simple principle that allows the device to be compact and easy to operate. The furnace burns the fuel, which heats the air inside the furnace and blows it throughout the house through a series of ducts. Depending on the system’s age and the fuel type, a gas furnace can be anywhere from 59 percent efficient to 98.5 percent efficient. Gas furnaces have always been a popular choice because they are much more competitively priced than other types of heaters, and they don’t require very much maintenance. It’s recommended that the user clean the air filter every so often, but other than that the device runs itself.

One of the main distribution systems used by gas furnaces is a forced air system. Commonly found in HVAC systems, forced air takes heated air and distributes it throughout the house using ducts and vents. One of the biggest pluses of using a forced air system is that the same ducts can also be used to set up air conditioning and ventilation systems. Once you have one system installed, you simply have to tap into it with your preferred device and you’ll have a complete HVAC system. Forced air systems require very little maintenance, which makes the system ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to constantly be tending to the appliance. It’s recommended that homeowners clean the air filters monthly and replace them every year or so. Even those guidelines aren’t set in stone, and some people might not have to clean a filter for several months at a time. One of the only drawbacks of a forced air system is that it can draw dust and allergens into the ductwork, and spread them throughout the house if you don’t keep the intake vent clean.

Gas Boiler

One of the most efficient ways to heat a building, a gas-fired boiler is a pretty sophisticated piece of machinery, but it is designed to be as efficient as possible. Boilers can use almost any type of fuel, but many people prefer natural gas boilers because natural gas is abundant and inexpensive in many places. Propane, oil, and electricity can also be used in boilers, but the majority of boilers run on natural gas. A boiler is used to heat water until it reaches an optimal temperature, and then the water is distributed though the house in a series of pipes. A gas boiler can be anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent efficient, depending on the system’s age. A mid-range gas boiler has a life expectancy of approximately 15 to 30 years, so a boiler is an excellent choice for a long-term heating system.

There are three main types of distribution systems that can connect to a boiler, but each of them works on a similar principle. Gas boilers can connect to steam radiant heaters, radiating heating panels, or hot-water baseboards. Steam radiators are the oldest heating system design found in a modern house, but they still work like a charm. Steam runs through a series of pipes to the radiator, and release heat through the pipes as the water cools off. This process then radiates heat into the room, which is why it’s called a radiator. Many models of steam radiator are relatively trouble-free, but they require the owner to install a separate cold-water return system.

Radiating panel heating is a relatively new development in the field of radiant heat, and many modern homes have them installed in kitchen and bathroom floors. Many newer houses have started installing radiating heat panels in walls, floors, and ceiling to increase the amount of heat that’s transferred to each room. Homeowners like the radiant heat panels because they don’t kick up dust and allergens the way forced air systems do. One of the main drawbacks is that the system can be expensive to install and difficult to repair.

Finally, hot water baseboard heaters (ehow) are the most common type of heat distribution system connected to a gas-fired boiler. They are very similar to the classic steam radiant heaters, except the entire apparatus can fit on a baseboard. Baseboard heaters use hot water to heat a room through convection heating. Baseboard heaters limit furniture placement, but they throw off a great deal of heat and they’re easy to control.

How do gas heaters work and their safety

Gas heaters are fuel and energy efficient household space heaters and many people have such a heater. Safety is an important issue and because you can’t see a gas leak, it’s important to know how to use a gas heater properly. Read this article for more explanation about safety of portable gas heaters. Watch the youtube movie as well to get a good idea on how portable gas heaters work.