Wall heaters are indoor heating units which are typically installed in small living spaces, such as apartments. This is because they provide a steady stream of heat without eating up any floor space. Since they start working immediately, they are a well-liked option among many people. However, all is not peachy with wall-mounted gas heaters.
This article will be discussing some common problems that you should keep in mind. This is not meant to be discouraging but an effort to promote safety and help educate people on the subject.
Unvented Wall Gas Heaters Are Inefficient
If you are considering an unvented wall gas heater, you should know that it is not very efficient. However, this is not because it does not provide proper heat. It is because gas is involved and that means you need some form of ventilation to prevent getting smothered by it.
Unvented wall gas heaters do not have any ducts which empty outside and as a result, you need to keep a door or window open. However, this means that you are letting in the cold air. The consequence is that unvented wall gas heaters turn out to be rather inefficient.
Since these heaters require gas to function, the threat of a fire is possible. It is not inevitable, but it is something to keep in mind since complacency can lead to carelessness. You should not clutter the area where the heater is mounted, especially with items like curtains or air fresheners since they are flammable.
The rule of thumb is that you should not place any furniture or items within 3 feet of the heater as a precaution. If the need arises, you should be prepared to rearrange some furniture in order to follow the rule. Note that this applies to all types of heaters and not just wall-mounted gas ones.
Older Models Can Be Dangerous
If you are running an older wall-mounted gas heater, you have to be extra alert when it is running. As older models are not as advanced, they tend to lack a lot of safety features which are commonplace in newer models. These features include oxygen depletion sensors and automated gas shut-off controls. Again, it is not necessary that these older models will cause problems, but the risk is present and being aware of it is the first step to prevention.
The Pilot Can Be Unreliable
The pilot is essentially the igniter since it lights the burner. If your wall-mounted gas heater is not functioning correctly, the pilot is the most common cause for the problem. Most often, the reported problems are that the pilot does not light up, the pilot does not stay lit, or the pilot is lit but the heater does not start up.
It can be inconvenient when this issue arises, but all is not lost. Each of them can be fixed. In fact, you can even fix them yourself! All you have to do is inspect the heater and determine which parts are causing the problem. Then, you can focus on replacing or repairing them.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Is Possible
This ties into the point of unvented wall-mounted gas heaters being inefficient. The presence of gas can pose certain risks to your health. Chief among them would be carbon monoxide poisoning. This kind of poisoning leads to flu-like symptoms, headaches, and nausea. Extreme exposure can lead to more serious effects. The reason unvented gas heaters require you to keep a window or door open is that without doing so, you would be exposed to unhealthy amounts of carbon monoxide.
However, as serious as this can be, preventing it and taking the necessary precautions is not hard.
Switching on the Heater Can Be Inconvenient
For most types of heaters, there is a simple switch for turning them on or off. With wall-mounted gas heaters, there is a bit of a process. You have to use either a match or lighter, keep the inward valve pressed and use the match (or lighter) to heat up the thermocouple. You have to release the valve one minute after keeping it pressed. However, after this, it is possible that the fire will be put out. This means that you might have to follow the steps more than once to get the heater operational. Hence, a simple 2-minute task can end up taking more time.
Not All Rooms Are Suitable for Installation
With wall-mounted gas heaters, one typically uses them in small spaces such as an apartment or a garage. However, the problem is that you cannot install one of these in any room you wish, particularly if that space is too small. This ties into the 3-foot rule. There has to be enough space in the room to provide the heater with the appropriate amount of combustion air.
Additionally, there should be enough space in the room so that doors are at least 12 inches away from the heater when opened. Depending on the living space in question, you might be required to leave all the doors inside the house open so that the heater has access to the space required.
Wall Heater Maintenance
Wall-mounted gas heaters are affordable and handy. They provide heat immediately to any room they are used in and keep your house more energy efficient. The problems associated with them are important to consider, but whether or not they factor into your decision to purchase one is up to you. There are also many benefits worth considering, but again, whether that affects your decision is your choice.
As with all types of heaters, there are some risks and dangers that one should be aware of. In this way, the necessary precautions and safety measures can be taken. Wall-mounted heaters can be used in a completely safe manner as long as you are mindful. In the event of carelessness, you will likely have to deal with more of the hazards.