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Gas heaters are wonderful appliances for using in your home when the winter season starts. They’re efficient and can save you money on expensive electricity bills. These heaters warm up the air more than your conventional electric heater. Best of all, they’re environmentally friendly when compared to the impact of electricity generation.
But, as with most appliances, there are safety issues you need to take into consideration when using gas heaters. If your home is supplied by a gas pipeline, correct gas heater installation is essential. But, this isn’t the only safety consideration you need to factor in.
Read on to find out five safety tips you could use to get the most out of your gas heater while keeping you, your family and your home safe.
1. Gas Heater Installation
We’ve already mentioned the importance of installing a gas heater correctly if you’re using a pipeline to your home. But did you know there are specifically trained plumbers who will install your gas heater? By using licensed plumbers you can be sure your heater installation complies with the local regulations.
You should also have your gas heater regularly inspected and serviced if you want to keep it functioning optimally.
2. Know the Difference Between Flued and Unflued Gas Heaters
When a gas heater is in operation it will release pollutants and water vapour into the air. A flued gas heater is one which uses vents such as a chimney or flue to release these pollutants outside. A portable unflued gas heater, on the other hand, will be releasing these pollutants straight into the room.
Carbon monoxide is one of the most common air pollutants found when using unflued gas heaters. It’s hard to detect as it has no smell and can’t be seen. It can be harmful by depleting the body of oxygen, eventually leading to death.
Unflued gas heaters are best used in large rooms with ample ventilation to prevent inhabitants being exposed to toxic emissions.
3. Using LPG Gas Heaters Safely
If you’re not using a home gas supply system, then you may decide to opt for the LPG gas heater. Also known as liquified petroleum gas, LPG is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases. It’s commonly used in many gas appliances such as gas stoves, barbeque grills and water heaters.
LPG gas heaters are safe to use as long as they’ve been made according to strict standards. You should also have them regularly maintained to ensure they’re operating within optimum safety levels.
4. Do Not Use Outdoor Gas Heaters Indoors
In recent years, manufacturers have been designing gas heaters for outdoor purposes. While excellent for using outdoors, never be tempted to bring them indoors. Indoor heaters have been designed to minimise emissions of toxic pollutants. But outdoor gas heaters have been designed to function in large, open spaces with more than enough ventilation.
If you bring your outdoor heater indoors, you’ll be exposing yourself and everyone else around you to high levels of carbon monoxide as well as other toxic emissions.
5. Gas Heater Certification Requirements
Avoid buying any gas heater that has no certification proving it’s been designed and tested according to strict standards and legislations. Many countries stipulate all gas appliances undergo stringent manufacturing and testing processes. The same applies to gas heaters.
Check out the labelling and if you can’t find any safety compliance label then it would be advisable to not purchase the appliance. If you do have a gas heater, always be aware of safety recall measures. This happens when a manufacturer uncovers a fault that could pose a safety risk to users. You’ll often find this information online or the seller will contact you.
Quick Safety Tips
The tips mentioned above will help you when deciding how to install gas heaters safely, which design is best for your home and certification requirements to keep in mind. But here are some quick safety tips to take note of when using your gas heater:
- When you buy a new gas heater, always read the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you’re using your appliance correctly and safely.
- Keep your children and pets away from gas heaters. Do not allow your children to operate the heater.
- Pick the right size gas heater for the room you’re going to use it in.
- Never leave a gas heater on overnight when you go to bed. A heater should never be left unattended.
- Place gas heaters at least a metre away from any flammable materials. This includes books, furniture, bedding and more. Keep in mind the potential dangers of curtains blowing onto a gas heater if the windows are being left open.
- Under no circumstances should a gas heater be used when you’re painting a room or if it’s been painted recently.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to any toxic fume leaks.
A gas heater is very safe to use in your home when all the safety guidelines have been followed. Being aware of the different types of heaters will also help you be selective in the type of gas heater to use. By following these safety tips, you’ll be safe when warming up your home this winter with a gas heater.