Written by Eric Hahn
Victoria Gas Heater Regulations
Special Note for Victoria Residents Only
Victorians cans still buy both portable (unflued) and flued gas heaters.
There are just some simple rules you need to follow…
The Victoria Gas Safety Regulations - 2008
In 2008, the State of Victoria changed their gas heater installation regulations.
The revised Victoria Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2008 took effect in 2009.
The following is a brief summary of the requirements:
For Portable (Unflued) Gas Heaters
You are permitted to replace an existing flueless (portable) LPG heater with a new flueless LPG heater if it conforms to Energy Safe Victoria requirements:
The heater being replaced operated on LPG
The new heater also operates on LPG
The new heater must meet ESV performance requirements. These are noted as "VIC compliant" in the Elgas catalogue and web pages.
VIC residents may not install a new bayonet, for a portable heater, where one did not previously exist. If this is the case, VIC residents can choose from the various flued heater models shown below.
For Flued Gas Heaters
There are no special Victorian rules regarding the purchase of flued gas heaters.
Essentially, you can purchase any flued heater that you want.
List of Compliant Heaters
The following is a list of just some of the available Victoria compliant gas heaters.
Please click on the product name for more information:
Flued Heaters for All VIC Installations:
Braemar SH25 Space Heater
Braemer SH18 Space Heater
Braemer WF25 Wall Furnace
Rinnai Energy Saver K559
Rinnai Energy Saver K561
Rinnai Energysaver 309FT
Rinnai Ultima II Gas Heater
Rinnai Ultima II Inbuilt Gas Heater
Portable Heaters for VIC LPG Replacement Installations:
Rinnai Dynamo 15 Portable LPG Heater
Rinnai Enduro 13 Portable LPG Heater
Paloma PJC-18FRL LPG Gas Heater
Paloma PJC-W25FRL LPG Gas Heater
What Size Gas Heater Do I Need?
It is important to get the right size gas heater for your home.
You want to select the ‘Goldilocks’ heater that is just right for your needs.
What to Consider
If you buy too small a heater, it will not be able to adequately heat the intended area.
Selecting a heater that is too large will cost you extra money and oversizing can be unsafe.
A number of things need to be considered when determining your heater sizing:
♦ The volume of the area to be heated including consideration of ceiling height.
♦ The climate zone that you live in.
♦ The physical features of your home including wall & ceiling insulation, window coverings and carpeting.
♦ The kW output of the gas heater, not to be confused with the gas Mj input.
Heating Area Volume & Climate Zone
The required kW output required is primarily dependent upon the area to be heater and the climate zone in which you live. (Please see climate zone map at bottom of page)
The following rough guide assumes your ceilings are no higher than 2.4M:
Very Cold Zone: 1kW output required for each 8.5m²
Cold Zone: 1 kW output required for each 10m²
Cool Zone: 1kW output required for each 13 m²
Mild Zone: 1kW output required for each 16m²
The indicated heating areas would be adjusted down by 5% for each of the following conditions: house built on pillars (non-slab), no carpets on floors, no drapes on windows or a ceiling height exceeding 2.4m.
Deduct an additional 10% if the area does not have ceiling insulation.
Please note that this is only a guide and individual home designs and situations may vary.
Gas Heater Sizing Example #1:
You live in the Cold Zone and you want to heat an area 5m X 10m, which equals 50m².
Because 1kW will heat 10m², you should need a heater with a 5kW output.
Gas Heater Sizing Example #2:
Same as the previous example but in this case your ceilings are over 2.4m and you have wood flooring instead of carpeting.
You would need to deduct 5% for each of these two items.
So, instead of 1 kW heating 10m², it would heat 9m² (10% total reduction).
This means you would need a heater with 5.6 kW of output (50 ÷ 9).
Use kW not MJ
Megajoules per Hour (MJ/hr) ratings on appliances actually indicate the gas consumption of the appliance, not the heat output.
It is often expressed as just MJ.
Kilowatt Hour (kWh or just kW) is how gas heater output is measured.
Energy Efficiency Matters - Star Ratings
So, remember to use kW as a comparison and not MJ.
The efficiency of the heater, in converting gas energy to heat, is a key factor.
For example, a 25MJ heater with a 5.8 Star rating has an output of 6.2kW.
A 25MJ heater with a 2.8 Star rating only has an output of 5.0kW.
As a result, in a Cold Zone climate, they would heat 62m² and 50m², respectively.
This means that the 5.8 Star heater will heat an area 24% larger while using the same amount of gas.
Please refer to the manufacturers’ specifications to determine the exact kW output for each heater you are considering.
Minimum Room Sizing
Some States specifiy the minimum room sizing (volume of room in M³) and minimum ventilation requirements for unflued heaters.
Minimum room sizing also varies between thermostatically controlled and manually controlled heaters.
Portable heaters should not be used in bedrooms, bathrooms or hallways.
All installations must comply with Australian Standard AS5601 - Gas Installations.
Your gas fitter will be able to guide you on many of these points.
Manufacturer Sizing Charts
To make it even easier, most manufacturers have sizing charts, for their heaters, based on climate zone maps.
Take the time to measure the area you wish to heat and use these charts and maps to get the correctly sized heater.
It is always wise to follow the manufacturers' advice.
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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.