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Flued or unflued gas heaters? A pros and cons analysis

Choose the perfect gas heater for your home

Gas heaters are an ideal addition to Australian homes, and prove very popular in the cooler months. Considering the amount of use your household will get out of your heater, it’s essential you choose the right type, per your requirements.

As a consumer in the market for a gas heater, a plethora of options await you. If you’re anything but well-versed in the area, you’ll be sure to have some difficulty not only differentiating between the various types of heaters on the market, but ascertaining what the right choice is for your family’s winter comfort.

Fortunately for you, our expert Sydney gas fitters have the answer to your queries. Flued and unflued are the most common types you will come across on your search. To ease the decision-making process, we’ve broken down the differences between, and the pros & cons of, these indoor heater mechanisms.

What is a gas heater?

Whilst traditionally, household heaters mostly operate through electricity usage, gas heaters work through the burning of gas. Provided you have a natural gas connection on your premises, it’s a cheaper alternative to electricity, after the initial purchase. Not only is it a less costly investment over time; warming your home via a gas heating system, environmentally-speaking, is a better option.

With regard to space warming, gas heaters are regarded as more quick and efficient than their electrical counterpart in heating rooms If you would prefer having a gas heater in your home but don’t have a natural gas connection, you can organise installing one; simply contact your local gas distribution network.

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Flued vs unflued gas heaters

In case you were wondering, a flue is a pipe carrying exhaust gases to the outdoors from your heater or fireplace. This is to avoid your room filling up with dangerous fumes.

Flues are considered to be an important part of your consideration. Generally speaking, if you’re looking for a fuss-free option, a portable (also referred to as unflued) gas heater may be the best way to go.

There are positives and negatives to either type of heating system, which will be looked at below.

Flued gas wall heaters

A non-portable option, flued gas heaters are implemented into a particular area of your home. They have a pipe vent, also known as a ‘flue’ to funnel hazardous combustion gases from your homes interior.

Positively speaking,

  • Flued gas heaters are safer to operate than unflued models, as only a minimal amount of combustion gases, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide remain in the room.
  • There are larger sizes available, which means the size of your living space shouldn’t be an issue in your decision.
  • Less water vapour remains in the vicinity of flued gas heaters, reducing the chance of mould and mildew growth.

On the other side of the coin,

  • Flued gas heaters aren’t as energy-efficient as unflued, considering that a small amount of heat can at times escape from the flue.
  • These systems require professional fitting by a licenced gas fitter.

Unflued gas heaters

Unflued gas heaters are a cheaper, more versatile option for your home. It is worth mentioning that these heaters need regular ventilation in their functioning room, as with no flue in their system, there isn’t any other way for their dangerous gases to escape.

The advantages of unflued heaters are:

  • That they are easily maneuverable; wherever you require your heater to be, any room with an accessible gas bayonet can be warmed.
  • No hot air leakage; all heat produced contributes to warming your room.
  • Unflued heaters are a less expensive option that flued.
  • Various portable models come fitted with safety features to negate risks associated with gas flames.

Disadvantages of unflued heaters include:

  • The difficulty for dangerous combustion gases to escape from your room; this holds a potentially serious health risk. Remember to properly ventilate whichever room you’re warming via the unflued system.
  • Laws apply in some states to the use of unflued gas heaters, concerning room sizes and positioning of heaters. This limits the means for warmth in your home if your premises has modest living areas.

* If you don’t adequately ventilate the room which your unflued heater is operating in, prolonged exposure to its gases can form a significant hazard.

Serious health problems can occur from over-exposure to carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. See your health professional if you suspect you have been affected by these gases. Symptoms can include:

  • flu-like symptoms
  • chest pain
  • respiratory irritation
  • frequent colds
  • shortness of breath
  • asthma attacks

For all enquiries regarding gas heating, get in touch with Pure Plumbing Professionals today by completing our online enquiry form, or calling us on (02) 9191 7374.

Resources used

https://www.canstarblue.com.au/electricity/whats-cheaper-electricity-or-gas/ https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/heating/gas-heaters/buying-guides/gas-heaters http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/unflued-gas-heaters.aspx https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/447-comparing-flued-and-unflued-gas-heaters

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