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Purchasing A Gas Heater

When it is wintertime, we all need to heat our homes. This is true, especially for people living in colder temperatures. You need to consider the amount of use in your house for you to get a gas heater that will fit perfectly with your requirements.

There are a variety of options available for anyone wanting to purchase a gas heater. Suppose this is not an area you are knowledgeable in, and in that case, it won’t be easy to differentiate amongst the different types of gas heaters available on the market and ensure that it is the correct choice for your family’s comfort during winter.

When you begin searching, you will come across flued and unflued, the most commonly used. To help you make a good decision, let us look at the differences between the two, giving the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Who Is A Gas Fitter?

A gas fitter is a certified contractor who installs, inspects, repairs, and maintains your gas lines and gas equipment.

They are usually contracted by companies, businesses, or domestic homes to install or service gas appliances and fixtures. For instance, a gas fitter may be called to set up a heating system for a new building. Likewise, they may be called to service gas-run systems in a residential place or repair gas-run appliances and systems regularly.

These jobs include:

  • Connect gas pipes.
  • Check cylinders used for gas appliances.
  • Read and understand conditions, diagrams, and procedures.
  • Note and estimate points where gas fittings will be fixed.
  • Set-up LPG system.
  • Set up machines and equipment that use gas.
  • Set-up flues for gas equipment.
  • Set up gas identification and gas controlling structures.
  • Customer training.
  • Comprehensive gas equipment repairs.

Do not be alarmed if you see vans that specify the worker does both plumbing and gas work around your place. It is not strange that a plumbing worker enrolls in additional classes to get specialised gas fitter training. Regretfully, some plumbers take on jobs that are specifically for gas fitters. This is a grave mistake and can lead to serious accidents.

Selecting a gas fitter

Since you now know who a gas fitter is and what he does, you may not know exactly what to look for when you are choosing a gas fitter. The first thing you need to check is the certification. Verify all the licenses and check if they have been trained well. Do not hesitate when asking for credentials, as this is the only way to know if you are choosing the correct person for the job.

You can also check if the gas fitter can be called in case of an emergency. You might come across a crisis, for instance, gas leaking and pipes breaking at any time, and as such, this service is essential.

Bottled Gas Vs. Natural Gas

Many houses in Australia use a mixture of propane and butane bottled gas. This kind of gas is delivered to homes in gas bottles where natural gas is not available, complex, or inefficient to connect.

This can be defined as substances that are in a gassy condition at an average temperature and pressure. These gasses are kept under compression in steel, galvanised steel, aluminium, or composite gas bottles, or other containers.

LPG gas is also referred to as bottled gas together with propane, butane, and a combination of these gases. Bottled gas is made from natural gas refinement and oil purifying.

Advantages of bottled gas

  • It is economical to use bottled gas in homes where natural gas is not accessible.
  • It is readily available in many areas compared to natural gas.

Disadvantages of bottled gas

    Although bottled gas is easy to handle, they need to be checked and replenished/replaced.

Unflued Gas Heaters

Gas heaters generate heat by burning gas fuel. Air pollutants and water vapour are produced when this gas fuel is burnt. Unflued gas heaters release the air pollutants and water vapour straight into the house. This may cause serious health problems if the room is not well ventilated. The air pollutants emitted by unflued gas heaters include carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

The intensity of the air toxins generated by an unflued gas heater can differ based on:

  • The kind of heater used.
  • If the setting up of the heater and gas supply was done correctly.
  • If the heater is being used correctly.
  • How frequent it is examined.

Furthermore, the degree of air toxins in the area you are heating can differ based on:

  • How big or small the room being heated is.
  • Ventilation.
  • Other unflued gas appliances in the area of the house, such as gas ovens or cooktops.

Moisture or vapour is not considered an air toxin, but when moisture builds up in the heated room, it can grow mould. There is a likelihood this will have an impact on your health.

Probable health impacts of exposure to air toxins

Coming into contact with air toxins can have an immediate or delayed health effect. The impact will also be determined by the kind and the number of toxins you came into contact with. Several people are more vulnerable than others, and the effect will be immediately compared to others.

Since carbon monoxide is invisible to the naked eye and has no odour or taste, it isn’t easy to notice it in your house. It becomes dangerous because it deprives the body of oxygen. This will result in an impaired mind and reactions. If you are using unflued gas heaters in your home, the carbon monoxide levels will rise.

There can be too much carbon dioxide if the heater is not installed correctly or if the room has no proper ventilation. This can cause carbon dioxide poisoning. If an individual is exposed to too much carbon dioxide, they might develop flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include headache, faintness, weakness, vomiting, breathlessness, confusion, blurry vision, and loss of consciousness.

Overexposure to air toxins

Overexposure to carbon dioxide can lead to death. People most vulnerable to the health impacts of carbon dioxide are people with heart disease, babies, unborn children, and older adults.

Nitrogen dioxide is also an invisible and tasteless gas, but it has a strong smell so that it can’t go undetected. If the nitrogen dioxide levels are high in a room, they might cause discomfort in the air passage and breathlessness.

Asthmatic people and people with pulmonary illnesses are mainly vulnerable to the impact of coming into contact with nitrogen dioxide. If children are exposed to nitrogen dioxide for long periods, they may experience flu-like symptoms or asthma attacks.

If you are in an area where you are exposed to carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, it is dangerous for your health. You can seek medical help if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Flu-like signs
  • Pain in the chest
  • Breathing irritation
  • Suffer from colds frequently
  • Breathlessness
  • Asthma attacks

Minimising exposure to air toxins

Prevent exposure

  • If gas is your chosen heating fuel for your home, buy a flued heater.
  • There are no air toxins if you use electric heaters.

Decrease risk

  • Make certain that the gas heater is the right size for the room you intend to heat. Get proper advice from the store person to decide the kind and dimensions of the heater you require. Getting the wrong heater will use more energy and produce air toxins that will affect you or your family members.
  • If you purchase an unflued gas heater, make sure it has an electronic ignition system. Several heaters have a safety mechanism to detect if the ventilation is not adequate and shut the gas heater off.
  • Ensure that a certified person sets up the gas supply in your house. A certified tradesperson will follow all the building code requirements. Ventilation is very significant, and if there is no adequate air moving around the room, a window or door must be left open to prevent the build-up of moisture and breed mould.
  • Read and follow all the instructions for how to use the appliance. If it has a safety device, know how to operate it correctly.
  • Do not use an unflued gas heater at night when you are sleeping.
  • Constantly inspect and service your gas heater so that it functions properly. If the gas heater is not working properly, it can emit high amounts of combustion toxins in your house.
  • If you use a gas stove or gas cooker, they also produce air toxins. Ensure that you have a range hood that emits these toxins outside or leaves a window open.

Pros of unflued gas heaters

  • These are portable gas heaters, and you can shift them to any room you want to be heated. Any room which has a gas bayonet nearby can be heated.
  • There is no hot air seepage; all heat generated helps in heating your room.
  • Unflued heaters are affordable.
  • Some portable models have a safety device to counter risks related to gas fumes.

Cons of unflued gas heaters

  • Unsafe burning gases are emitted into your home. This could cause severe illness. Ensure that your house is well ventilated when using an unflued gas heater.
  • There is an indirect effect of using an unflued gas heater in that it emits water vapour which increases the growth of mould and dust mites.

Flued Gas Heaters

Flued gas heaters are non-portable and are set up in one specific part of your house. They have a ‘flue,’ a chimney pipe that channels poisonous burning gases from inside your home.

Pros of flued gas heaters

  • Flued gas heaters are nontoxic compared to unflued gas heaters because they emit their fumes outside. Only a few burning gases (carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide) still linger in the room.
  • Flued gas heaters are much safer to operate than unflued models, as only a small quantity of combustion gases, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide remains in the room.
  • You can buy big sizes. This means that the dimensions of your area should not be a consideration in your choice.
  • There is little chance of mould growth because there is a small amount of water vapour left in the flued gas heaters.

Cons of flued gas heaters

  • When it comes to energy performance, flued gas heaters are less efficient than unflued, bearing in mind that a little heat can sometimes leak from the flue.
  • A professional has to set up a flued gas heater.

Speak To A Professional

Before you decide on the type of gas heater you would like to install, do a little bit of research. You can ask the store person for recommendations. If you still feel you are unsure of what to buy, call the professionals.

The company will send out a certified contractor who will come to examine your home or business, and they will make recommendations on what you require. They will take you through the pros and cons of each one. We advise you to contact a professional before making the final decision.

Blueline Plumbers are your local specialist for all domestic plumbing and gas fitting needs.

Get in touch for a free quote or speak with a qualified plumbing specialist. We will help you find a solution for your emergency plumbing or plumbing repair needs.
We are experts in Canberra hot water systems, providing plumbing and gas fitting solutions for all plumbing issues.