Are Vent-Free Heaters Safe?

Are Vent-Free Heaters Safe?

Learn more about these efficient heaters

By Sabah Karimi

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Vent-free heaters help improve indoor air quality and can be more fuel-efficient than radiant or oil-based heaters. Vent-free heaters are powered by natural or propane gas, and are designed to guard against dangerous combustion products. This makes vent-free heaters a good match for rooms where there are children and pets. When you're searching for the right type of heating installation for your home or office, there are several safety and functional reasons to consider a vent-free heater.

Types

If you want to reduce the risk of a home fire, you should consider the following types of vent-free heating systems: blue flame wall heaters, liquid propane heaters, convection vent-free heaters, vent-free gas fireplace units, and portable vent-free gas heaters. Some types of vent-free gas fireplaces can be mounted directly into a wall or fireplace surround to create a realistic-looking fireplace without the need for real, burning wood logs.

Safety benefits

Vent-free heaters emit heat without burning any combustible materials such as coal, logs or paper, reducing the risk of burns from ashes or runaway flames.The Vent-Free Alliance (VFA) is one of several organizations that supports the installation of vent-free heaters in the home because they are deemed safer than other heating appliances. Several model building codes also permit the installation of vent-free products. These codes include the National Fire Protection Assocation (NFPA), the International Fuel Gas Code, the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA).

Safety features

Some of the key safety features that differentiate a vent-free heater from fuel-burning heating systems include push-button ignition, automatic heat controls, programmable heat settings, handheld remote control options, and realistic flame and glow features (for fireplaces).

Warnings

Vent-free heaters may not be safe for homes that are inadequately ventilated or very small areas such as bathrooms or small kitchens. Vent-free heaters should not be installed near another fuel-burning appliance such as a clothes dryer or fireplace. While vent-free heaters can increase the moisture level in the air, they are not intended to replace a humidifier.

Considerations

When you decide to install a vent-free heater in your home or office for improved safety and better fuel efficiency, it's important to work with a home heating specialist or HVAC contractor. These professionals use the necessary tools and equipment to install the equipment safely, and to ensure that the heater is not positioned near flammable materials or devices. When comparing brands of vent-free heaters, consider the warranty coverage available to cover the cost of critical parts such as the gas or propane tank, wires and piping, and any filters inside the unit.

About the Author

Sabah Karimi is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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