Written by Bill Lawson

It’s that time of year when we start noticing that one cold room we all have. One of the biggest debates is Space Heaters: Vented or Unvented?  Whether we should go with a vented or unvented space heater, everyone has their own opinion which one to go with.

vent-free heaters

Vent-free Heaters are quickly installed because no venting is needed which will reduce the labor cost. Most units need no electric to run the units unless a blower is added. This means that the unit will continue to run when there is a power outage. Today’s models are quiet, easy to use, and efficient. Most units available now are 99% efficient.  Vent-free units were designed to heat single rooms, and additions while reducing your home heating cost.

Something to consider.Vent-free heaters have no chimney so when the unit is located in the space being heated you run the risk of depleting the air within that room.  Most units now have an oxygen depletion sensor or “ODS” on them. The ODS immediately stops gas flow to the burner if oxygen levels are not above safe levels.  Most common fuels used are natural gas and Propane.  While these units offer a quick fix for cold rooms you will need air filtration within that room or space. Consider this, heating a room with a Blue flame unit is not much different than using a gas stove or oven.

vented heater mounted to a wall

Vented Heaters, these units come in many different shape and sizes similar to the Vent Free units. These units are vented out from its back into a chimney or a vent pipe so the combustion exhausts are directed outside. Many states and local codes only allow vented units within a home.

I have experience installing both vented and unvented units for more than 30 years and I’ve found that each one has their own place in the market. I’ve put vented units in areas that had limited or no air filtration and then I’ve installed unvented units in drafty area and garages.  Dollar for dollar it’s hard to beat a little blue flame 30,000 Btu space heater for cost and comfort. I hooked one of these up to a 20 lb. tank in my two car garage and find that I can work out there in 20-30 degree temperatures in a tee shirt.  It just depends on your preference and what your budget is.


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Salesman Bill Lawson

Bill Lawson

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