Unflued Gas Heaters Banned in Victoria – Gas Heater Regulations VIC
When an unflued gas heater is used to heat a room in Victoria’s cold weather, the level of combustion gases may exceed safe levels. Other indoor gas appliances also produce combustion gases.
Special Note for Victoria Residents Only
Victorians cans still buy both portable unflued gas heaters and flued gas heaters.
There are just some simple rules you need to follow…
UPDATE: 28 May 2018
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) banned further sales of the Vulcan Heritage and Pyrox Heritage open flue gas heaters.
This is not a recall and the ban is only effective in Victoria.
Furthermore, ESV has urged owners of these units to stop using them until checked by certified gas fitters.
ESV also published a list of other open flue gas heaters imploring owners to have all gas heaters serviced every two years.
For more information, please see Heritage Open Flue Gas Heaters Banned from Sale in Victoria
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 unflued LPG gas heater with a new unflued LPG gas heater if it conforms to Energy Safe Victoria requirements:
- The unflued gas heater being replaced operated on LPG
- The new unflued gas heater also operates on LPG
- The new unflued gas 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 an unflued gas 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:
Unflued Gas Heaters for VIC LPG Replacement Installations:
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.
Are Gas Heaters Safe – Are Indoor Gas Heater Safe – Are LPG Gas Heaters Safe?
Indoor gas heaters are safe when properly maintained and used as instructed. The same is true for LPG – LPG gas heaters are safe, too. Major brands make quality indoor gas heaters so Paloma, Everdure, Calor (UK) and Rinnai gas heaters are normally safe when well maintained.
NEVER use an outdoor gas heater indoors, as they are not designed for safe inside use.
Keep your indoor gas heater safe by having it serviced by a qualified gasfitter at least every two years. The safety advice is the same regardless of whether it is to keep a natural gas or LPG gas heaters safe.
Most manufacturers recommend servicing at no longer than two year intervals.
Adequate ventilation is also important, especially if it is a portable unflued gas heater.
You should always read and following the instructions in the owner’s manual.
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.
So, remember to use kW as a comparison and not MJ.
Energy Efficiency Matters – Star Ratings
The efficiency of the heater, in converting gas energy to heat, is a key factor. Unflued gas heaters are more energy efficient than flued models.
For example, a 25MJ unflued gas heater with a 5.8 Star rating has an output of 6.2kW.
A 25MJ flued 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 unflued gas 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 gas heaters. Unflued gas heaters should not be used in bedrooms, bathrooms or hallways.
Minimum room sizing also varies between thermostatically controlled and manually controlled heaters.
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.