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4 Mistakes to Avoid When You Buy a Gas Heater or Portable Gas Heaters for Sale

The gas heaters for sale may not be the right ones to buy. When it’s time to buy a new gas heater for your home, you want to make the right choice. 

There are some common mistakes that many people make, when they buy a gas heater.

You can sidestep these slip-ups by being informed. 

LPG Gas Heaters & Natural Gas Heaters

LPG gas heaters and natural gas heaters are both energy efficient and a wonderful way to heat your home. Gas heating is rapid and provides true warmth. LPG heaters are well suited for open floor plans and provide toasty warmth to all parts of your home.

Gas Heating - How to Find the Best Gas Heater for Sale

Avoid these four typical mistakes and you should end up with a brilliant gas heater buy that impeccably suits your home:

Buy a gas heater for sale avoiding 4 mistakes1. Choosing the wrong fuel

2. Selecting the wrong type of gas heater

3. Getting the wrong size gas heater

4. Paying too much when you buy a gas heater

1.  Choosing the Wrong Fuel Type

LPG gas bottlesThere are two types of gas heaters for sale, LPG and natural gas. Gas heaters are manufactured for use with only one gas type and will not work safely with other gaseous fuels. 

You need to make sure you buy a gas heater model that is made for the type of gas you have at your home. Always double check that the gas heater for sale is the right fuel type.

But why?

There are two main differences in the way that LPG (Propane) and natural gas (Methane) are burnt.   

The first difference is in the energy content. 

LPG has a higher calorific value, or energy content, so less gas is required to produce the same amount of heat.

The second difference is in the oxygen to gas ratio required for proper combustion. 

LPG requires an oxygen to gas ratio of approximately 25 to 1. 

Natural gas requires a ratio of around 10 to 1. 

To achieve this difference, LPG is typically provided in a smaller quantity but at a higher pressure, drawing more oxygen with it into the burner.

Never attempt to connect a gas appliance to the wrong type of gas, as it can be extremely hazardous. 

Buying a new or used heater with the intention of converting it can be very expensive, assuming conversion is even possible for the model in question. 

This option is best avoided.

2.  Buying the Wrong Type of Gas Heater

Portable unflued gas heaterGas heaters are broadly grouped as either Portable (unflued) gas heaters or Flued heaters. 

Within these gas heater groups are sub-groups for sale including radiant, convectors, radiant-convectors, power flued, flued radiant and wall heaters.

Radiant gas heaters warm you much like the sun. 

Radiant heaters allow specific spaces within an indoor area to be heated, primarily warming only the people and objects positioned in front of the unit. 

They also come in smaller sizes for minor heating applications. 

Radiant heaters are generally not suitable if you want even heating within a larger space. 

Think of them more as spot heaters.

Convector (Convection) heaters warm your space using convection or air movement. 

Along with the gas burner, they incorporate a fan to help distribute the heat more evenly throughout the space. 

Convectors are also sometimes referred to as Space Heaters.

Fan driven convection heaters are much more suitable for larger spaces, doing a much better job of even heat distribution than radiant heaters. 

However, if you only wish to heat a small area within a larger space, these may be more than you really need.

You should also consider if you want to buy a flued or an unflued gas heater. 

For the majority of people, unflued heaters are quite safe to buy when you follow all of the manufacturer’s safety instructions, including providing adequate ventilation. 

Care should be taken when using an unflued gas heater if the family includes very young, unborn, elderly or individuals with some medical conditions, as they may be more sensitive to the emissions. 

.For more information, please see:

Comparing Flued vs Unflued Gas Heaters

3.  Buying the Wrong Size Gas Heater

Gas Heater Sizing Facts

Once you pick your type of gas heater to buy, you will also need to decide what size unit you need, as each type comes in various heat output models. 

If you buy too small a gas heater, it will not be able to adequately heat the intended area. 

If you buy a gas heater that is too large will cost you extra money and oversizing can be unsafe.

Remember, the heat output of the gas heater is measured in kW, not to be confused with the gas input, expressed in Mj.

Read the in-depth explanation of sizing below.

4.  The Gas Heaters for Sale May Not be a Good Buy

gas heaters for saleMany people buy their gas heaters for sale through the closest retailer, without comparison shopping. While this may end up being a good deal, it may not be the most cost effective way to buy a gas heater. 

The good news is that you can now compare gas heater sale prices online for all the major brands including Rinnai, Braemar, Paloma and Cannon.

Compare Indoor Gas Heater for Sale Prices

Click on your category of interest to compare prices:

Portable Gas Heater Sale Prices

Flued Gas Heater Sale Prices

Gas Fireplace and Gas Log Fire Heater Prices

What Size Gas Heater Do I Need?

What to Consider with Gas Heating

If you buy too small a heater, it will not be able to adequately heat the intended area. 
Buy a gas heater that is too large and it 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.   
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

Gas Heating Adjustment Factors

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 buy the correctly sized gas 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.