30,000 BTU Vent Free Radiant Series
Comparing Vent-Free Gas Heater Options
Believe it or not, we’re just about into September – which means that soon it will be time to think about how we’re going to heat that spare room or workspace as the cool days and evenings arrive here in Louisiana.
One of the most efficient ways to heat a difficult-to-warm space is with a vent-free propane gas heater. But what kind of equipment is available for this task? Let’s take a look.
Vent-free heater basics
Vent-free propane heaters (ones that do not need to have their exhaust release directly outside) are available in two basic types: blue flame or infrared (the latter is often called a “radiant” heater). Neither option requires venting or ductwork to operate, and both are available in a variety of capacities to suit just about any home or work space.
Both blue flame and infrared heaters are extremely efficient (typically more than 99 percent), using about the same amount of gas to produce the same amount of overall heat.
Infrared heaters use gas to heat ceramic panels that radiate heat outward. The effect of their heating is very targeted: if you stand directly in front of a radiant heater, you will feel the heat immediately. This is because infrared energy is absorbed by the objects with which they come in contact; if you are standing outside on a cloudy day and an opening in the clouds occurs, for example, you will suddenly feel warmer. This is not because the air became warmer, but because your skin absorbed the infrared energy.
By contrast, blue flame vent free heaters operate by warming the actual air in the room.
Blue flame and infrared space heaters: Advantages and disadvantages
- Compared to an infrared heater, a blue flame heater may take longer to heat a room because it must heat the air rather than simply the objects in it.
- Because an infrared heater produces targeted heat, it can fade fabric and cause damage to furniture if it’s too close – a problem that won’t occur with blue flame heaters.
- Blue flame heaters typically offer more precise temperature control than an infrared heater, which usually runs on or off at its full rated output.
- Compared to direct vent heater options, both infrared and blue flame heaters are less expensive and offer greater installation flexibility, since they don’t require outdoor venting or access to an external wall.
- Unlike direct vent options, combustion fumes in both vent-free options are vented inside the home, which can affect some people who are sensitive to smell or allergies.
Choosing between vent-free options
- If you want a heater to stand in front of after coming in from the cold, chose an infrared model.
- If the space you want to heat is insulated, choose a blue flame heater; if not, choose infrared.
- If you want a heater that enables greater flexibility for furniture placement and / or more precise temperature control, choose a blue flame heater.
Cooler weather is coming – keep your favorite hard-to-heat space warm and comfortable with a high-efficiency propane space heater from O’Nealgas. Contact us today to learn more!
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I push in the igniter button, but get no spark?
The battery is missing or low or the igniter electrode or connection to it might be broken.
Why does the pilot light go out when the control valve is released?
Clean pilot assembly. If the flame still goes out, replace pilot assembly.
What are the Thermostat settings?
Setting 1: 60.8 F
Setting 2: 75.2 F
Setting 3: 89.6 F
Setting 4: 104.0 F
Setting 5: 118.4 F
Why does this heater produce unwanted or bad odors?
Hair spray, glues, cleaning agents and other types of products can produce fumes that can be changed when drawn into the heater while it is in operation. Try airing out room to see if smells go away.
Why does condensation or moisture develop on my windows or walls?
The room needs more ventilation or air circulation. The process of burning propane also produces water vapor.
What is the elevation limit for these heaters?
The elevation limit is 4500ft. It is not guaranteed to work past that.
What is the difference between Radiant and Blue Flame? Which is better?
Radiant is Infrared style heat, which is when the glow from the heater will heat an object in the area. For example, the sun is radiant heat. The heated objects then release the heat into the surrounding area. Blue Flame is Convection style heat, which is when the flame heats the air around it. For example, your home Furnace. It is heating the air moving through it and pushing that warm air into the rooms. When it comes to which is better, it is personal preference. Generally if you have a lot of objcts in the room your heating, Radiant heat would most likely be a better option. Open rooms would be more suired to the Blue Flame heat as there is more air movement.
Do I need an external regulator on this heater?
Yes, you need a .5 PSI regulator on the tank that should produce 11in-14in W.C. (water column). The regulater inside the heater is for the pilot only and controls the flame when kicking on/off. An external low pressure regulator is sold separately. We have multiple low pressure regulators available on the site. Click here for a listing.
What safety features does the vent free heaters have?
The Vent Free heaters have two saftey features. The thermocouple which closes the gas valve if no flame is sensed. And the ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) which will shut the heater down if the O2 levels in the heated area go below 18%.
Can these heaters be converted between gas types?
Unfortunately, no. These heaters are set up to run either Propane only or Natural Gas only. There are no availible conversion kits.
What accessories do I need to install this heater?
For connections to smaller propane tanks (20lb or 40lb), you will need a 3/8in adapter fitting, a 3/8in fitting hose, and a .5 PSI regulator. There are multiple options on our site for each item. If you are hooking directly to a gas line, you will need to contact your gas company. Then you would also utilize the One Stop" Universal Gas kit to complete the connection. Click here for part number F271239."
What is the benefit of purchasing the blower fan?
This accessory is not a required item but is useful to push the residual heat away from the top of the heater.
What is the pressure required to properly run this heater?
The proper pressure for a Propane heater (either blue flame or radiant) is 11in-14in W.C. (water column) [1/2in PSI] and for a Natural Gas heater (either blue flame or radiant) is 5in-7in W.C.
The room gets too hot at the lowest setting. Can the thermostat be adjusted beyond the manufacturers setting?
Unfortunately you can not adjust the Capillary Tube that is set up with the thermostat valve assembly for specific heat settings. This high level of heat could be caused if the wall that the heater is mounted to is too cold and not allowing the Capillary Tube to heat up to shut off the valve. If this is not the issue, please contact our Technical Support and we will walk you through additional troubleshooting.
There are blue flames coming out of one of my tiles. Is this ok?
A little bit is okay, but if it is more then a 1/4in, you need to turn the gas pressure down about a half a W.C. Inch (Water Column) until the flames stop.
Is this heater adequate to use as a permanent heat source?
No, these heaters are meant for auxiliary heat to help supplement your rooms that need the chill taken out. These heaters are not meant to run continuously or unattended.
Can I purchase these in Canada? Or California?
No, vent free are not approved for sale in either California and Canada. Both locations have restrictions on gas heating products being used indoors (especially dwellings). Please always refer to your local codes before purchase as they may vary from state mandates.
Radiant heater ventless
.MR Heater LP 30,000 BTU Ventless Radiant Heater 2nd Year Review.
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