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Camco 57331 Olympian Wave-3 3000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic HeaterHeaters are a necessity especially as temperatures fall to their coldest. There are a variety of different heating systems to choose from and each function in a unique way. Gas heaters are one popular option and they work slightly different than other common heaters.

Here is some vital information about how gas heaters actually work:

Home Furnace

A gas heater is often referred to as a home furnace or a domestic furnace. This is due to the fact that gas heaters are normally installed within homes to offer warmth during the coldest months of the year. As temperatures drop, you can use your home furnace or gas heater to provide the warmth that you require. The amount of space that gas heaters warm within a home differs depending on the type that is being used.

What Makes Them Unique?

Gas heaters are permanently installed and have been transformed over the years to keep up with environmental concerns. Some of the earliest models of  heaters burned a range of substances including coal, oil or wood in order to keep certain areas warm. However, due to concerns with environmental issues gas heaters became the predominate choice.

What Types of Gas Heaters Are There?

When you are considering how a gas heater functions, there is more than one type to choose from. Natural gas heaters were one of the first of its kind, but now propane and even bio gas methane gas heaters are commonly used.

3 Sections of a Gas Heater

Understanding how all types of gas heaters work comes down to learning their different components. The first part of any gas heaters involves venting, draft inducers, heat exchanges and burners. Controls and safety devices make up the second part of gas heaters and the final part consists of blowers. All of these sections of a gas heater work in unison to provide optimal levels of heat to any house or building.

Radiant Method of Heating

Most gas heaters rely on the radiant method of heating to provide warmth. This method is unique because it involves the combination of gas and air to create a flame that in turn heats the air, which can be spread throughout the space where the heater is located.

How Does This Method of Heating Actually Work?

ProCom Radiant Vent-Free Natural Gas Heater - 6000 BTUPart 1

The first part of how a gas heater functions involves the use of a thermostat. This thermostat is required to act as a sensor to determine the temperature of the room and detect when it has dropped below a specified degree. If the room has dropped to a certain point, the thermostat works to open the gas valve and enable gas to enter the heater. This means that a working thermostat is critical to the overall function of any gas heater.

Part 2 

Gas enters the furnace through the intake duct, which is the point where the gas meets cold air to produce a flame. Cool air comes in contact with the heater at the top or the bottom. This can be a matter of preference and is set up at time of installation. The air that comes into the heater moves over the hot tubes and results in hot air. This step is important to the overall function of a gas heater, because it is the part that actually creates the hot air required to provide warmth in any space.

Part 3

The final part of how a gas heater works involves the process of moving the air. This requires the hot air to be passed through the heat exchange and then moved through a vent. A heat exchange is simply a device that moves heat from one medium and transferred to another. This type of device is common and is used in many different appliances. After the hot air passes through the heat exchange and is moved through the vent, it is then allowed to enter the home.

The actual function of your gas heater can be a bit different depending on the type that you have. Permanent and portable gas heaters work a little bit differently, which can change the way that your gas heater works.

Permanent or Portable

Both permanent and portable gas heaters can be a effective way to heat your home (wiki). A permanently installed gas heater does not require the use of a second heat source, which is preferred by many homeowners. However, a portable gas heater can be a great way to heat a smaller space in a cost effective manner. This type of gas heater uses a fan instead of vents to circulate the air, but works in similar fashion to a permanently installed gas heater. Portable gas heaters are cheaper, but are also known to have less ventilation. Permanent gas heaters should be regularly checked and serviced by a heating specialist.

Now that you understand the basics of a how a gas heater works, you can choose the best option for your home.