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Ventless propane heater thoughts


Max Death

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Have been living in our fifth wheel toy hauler for over three years. The heat really does not reach the garage. We have been using electric heaters to keep the area warm. DW has two parrots that we house in the garage.

Next year we will start wintering in areas like Arizona where electricity is high priced. Have been looking at ventless propane heaters to take the place of the electric heater.

Like the looks and size of the Olympian wave heater but worried that the bird dander may poison the pad.

Have looked at the Mister Heater blue flame heater but the size is a bit on the large size.

Any thoughts or ideas would be very much appreciated.

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We use a Pro-Com Vent-Free Gas Blue Flame Heater Model: 20K in our Titanium and are quite pleased with its performance.

In cold sites we warm up the unit prior to bedtime. Turn off the furnace and heater through the night and the Pro-Com warms us up in short order in the morning. The Titanium will maintain a 10+°F differential through the night without heat which helps a lot.

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Have not been above 5K' yet so I'm still uninformed on that aspect.

Heaters that use flames have oxygen depletion sensors that make them unreliable above about 5000 to 6000 feet elevation. Our Empire brick heater mostly worked at 7000 feet, but would sometimes shut off expectantly. Catalytic heaters, like the Wave, which do not use a flame, will continue to work at much higher elevations. I have been told up to 12000 feet, which works in most places, with the exception of some towns in Colorado.

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Heaters that use flames have oxygen depletion sensors that make them unreliable above about 5000 to 6000 feet elevation. Our Empire brick heater mostly worked at 7000 feet, but would sometimes shut off expectantly. Catalytic heaters, like the Wave, which do not use a flame, will continue to work at much higher elevations. I have been told up to 12000 feet, which works in most places, with the exception of some towns in Colorado.

My blue flame works at 8500' in CO. But it will occasionally shut down...like once a day, perhaps. My Olympian worked fine at 8500'. But it had other issues that caused me to get rid of it. Namely, I could not get a reliable pad on it after the initial pad needed replacing.

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For the years we fulltimed, we stayed in parks for winter parking and used ceramic heaters to supplement our furnace and save on propane but keep enough going downstairs to keep our tanks and inlets from freezing. Never unvented gas. But there are concerns and each can make their own minds up.

 

Every winter this comes up. I have an in-depth article for those genuinely interested in the facts for max safety here: http://home.earthlink.net/~derekgore/rvroadiervfulltimingwhatisitreallylike/id110.html

 

If you are going to use a ventless heater be prepared and at least have a CO detector with an LCD readout and a memory to be able to read the highest levels reached. I personally won't have any ventless heaters including fireplaces. The result of burning any carbon based fuel are lots of things toxic but the CO, CO2, and moisture just make them too dangerous for us. http://www.ehow.com/about_5854549_dangers-ventless-propane-heaters_.html

 

From Iowa State University:

 

" Can the health hazards of an unvented heater be reduced?

 

The most effective method to reduce the hazards is to discontinue use of the unvented heater by switching to vented gas or electric appliances.

 

Where unvented gas appliance use is permitted the following are suggested:

1.Use only approved gas heaters with ODS pilots.
2.Follow all operation and maintenance instructions carefully.
3.Clean the burner yearly, or more often, as required in the owners manual.
4.Do not use an oversized heater. The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) recommends limiting the amount of pollutants by correctly sizing the heaters. A 3840 Btu/hr heater is the largest that should be used in a tight 10 x 20 foot room located in Iowa.
5.Do not operate for more than 4 hours at a time. Unvented gas heaters are designed for supplemental use only.
6.Do not use unvented heaters in bedrooms, bathrooms, or confined spaces.
7.Provide adequate ventilation, as required in the owner’s manual. If the home has weatherstripped doors and windows an outside air source will likely be required.
8.Provide even more ventilation, or discontinue unvented heater use, if the pollutants cause health problems.
9.Install a U-L or IAS listed carbon monoxide detector. Because low concentrations of carbon monoxide can cause health problems, purchase a detector advertised as a “sensitive” detector or one with a digital display.

 

Will a “properly sized” heater be large enough to heat the room in cold weather? Unvented heaters are meant primarily as supplemental heat sources. A GRI study conducted for the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association noted that “it may not be possible to create a comfortable temperature” with a correctly sized heater. Alarger heater, in cold weather, will pollute the air beyond allowable standards.

 

What type of heater is recommended? A vented gas heater, a direct-vent wood stove or an electric heater will all provide enough output to safely heat a room for long periods of time. Combustion products from vented gas heaters or woodburning fireplaces also contain CO, CO2 , NO2, and water vapor. Improper design or installation can allow combustion products to enter the house. However, if the vent system operates correctly, all the pollutants will escape to the outdoors through the vent pipe. Pollutant levels will not increase.

 

Prepared by
T.H. Greiner, Ph.D., P.E.
Extension Agricultural Engineer

The Iowa Cooperative Extension Service’s programs and policies are consistent with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age and disability."

 

The complete article among many others can be found here: http://www.abe.iastate.edu/extension-and-outreach/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-unvented-gas-space-heating-appliances-aen-204/

 

Safe sleeping in your travels!

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The Buddy heaters are popular, but only their smallest model is approved for use in an enclosed space. That's on their website.

I beg to differ. Per their site all three buddy heaters are intended for use in campers. The only exception are the models designated for use in Mass. and Canada.

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I beg to differ. Per their site all three buddy heaters are intended for use in campers. The only exception are the models designated for use in Mass. and Canada.

You are correct, they now make duplicate models for the original lineup. My bad. The original lineup only approved the smallest model for use in a unvented space. Now the owners manual has this:

WARNING:
If the recreational or commercial enclosure does not
have a window or roof vent, DO NOT USE THIS HEATER

INSIDE

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