Even though gas heaters are much more efficient than wood-burning heaters, the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide they emit has always necessitated an outside air vent for safety. So, it’s very important given the health hazards associated with the emissions, to have proper ventilation in the room where a gas heater is burning. You should ensure that the air vents in the room are not blocked. If the room has no air vents, or they’re blocked, keep a window or a door open for ventilation.

All these precautions and hazards apply to unvented gas heaters. They are also called vent-free or vent less heaters and using them in rooms lacking proper ventilation is not safe. However, they don’t produce smoke or a yellow flame like vented gas heaters do. Having a lower flame with no smoke, they burn very cleanly.

Advantages of Vent-free Gas Heaters

Vent-free gas heaters are cost-effective. They come in a range of sizes and don't require vents or ductwork to provide heat. Not only do they save you from the trouble and cost of installing a ducted system, but also they reduce the energy costs. They reduce the energy costs as they prevent heat from escaping up the chimney, keeping your home warm. On the other hand, the heat from a vented gas fireplace escapes through the flue, which uses more fuel to generate the same amount of warmth.

The installation cost of vent-free gas heaters is lower than direct vented heaters. They can be installed more easily since they do not require external venting.

There are two basic types of vent-free gas heaters: blue flame and infrared; both are highly efficient, meeting 99 percent of your heating needs.

An infrared vent-free heater does not heat the air but rather heats ceramic panels which then radiates heat onto people or objects in the room. This makes the infrared heater a highly targeted source of heat: standing directly in front of one will make you feel the warmth immediately. That’s why,  it is considered ideal for standing in front of after a long, cold day.

Unlike infrared heaters, blue flame vent-free heaters warm the air inside the room. This heater takes more time to heat a room since it heats the air rather than people or objects in the room. However, it’s better than an infrared heater for maintaining a warm temperature inside. If your house is insulated, you may be better off with a blue flame heater.

Why Ensure Proper Ventilation?

Burning an unvented gas heater in a place without proper ventilation can be very dangerous. There is a risk of losing your life as the gas heater emits dangerous gases including Carbon dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen dioxide, and water vapors.

CO is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and non-irritating poison that is highly toxic and can permanently damage the brain of a person. In the worst scenario, it can cause death.

CO2 is not toxic and it can cause headaches, sleepiness, and dizziness. Some heaters also produce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which is toxic and can cause cough, headache, vertigo, sore throat, and nausea. It worsens asthma in winter.

Keeping in view the hazards unvented gas heaters pose to human health, Quick Air experts highly recommend that unvented gas heaters not be used in a room without adequate ventilation, and never sleep in a room where a gas heater is burning.