How to safely use a gas heater this winter


Published: 2018-11-22 11:16

Last Updated: 2024-04-14 05:45

If used incorrectly, gas heaters can be fatal. (Alinta Energy)
If used incorrectly, gas heaters can be fatal. (Alinta Energy)

Now that winter is here, many of us will warm up our homes using a gas heater, as the cost of using an electric heater is much higher.

However, if used incorrectly, gas heaters can be fatal.

On Wednesday night, November 21, the Civil Defense Directorate (CDD) were called in to rescue nine people in West Amman, who suffered from shortness of breath due to inhaling gases emitted from their gas heaters.

The CDD said that the patients are currently being treated at the King Husein Medical Center, adding that their health condition is intermediate.

To avoid gas heater-related incidents this winter, keep your heater well-maintained and follow these safety tips, courtesy of Alina Energy:

Use the right size heater for the space

Not only will this ensure that you are only consuming the energy necessary to heat the room, using a heater that is too big can discharge excessive pollutants into the room in which it is being used. Most heaters will carry a sizing table advising the area a heater is rated for. There are also several heater sizing calculators available online.


Ventilation is key

It’s important to keep the room which the gas heater is heating well ventilated to adequately remove fumes from your home and keep a source of fresh air coming in. This will also prevent condensation from the small amounts of water vapour produced.


Know in which rooms you shouldn’t use a gas heater

Unflued gas heaters should never be operated in a bedroom or any other room in which people spend an extended period of time asleep.


Position it away from hazards

Place your heater in a position away from children, pets and foot traffic and store it safely away when you are not using it.


Regular maintenance

Dust, dirt, lint and hair can clog up the mechanics of a gas heater, preventing it from operating efficiently and potentially making it unsafe. For this reason, gas heaters should be kept clean and serviced by a licensed gas fitter every couple of years. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what you can and can’t clean yourself and let a professional service what you can’t.


Read the manual

Always read the instruction manual before operating your gas heater for the first time.


Check for certification

To ensure your heater has been tested to the latest standards, check that it has been certified before use.


Ensure flues on flued heaters aren’t blocked

Signs such as discolouration or stains on the walls or on the heater itself could indicate a blocked flue, which means any pollutants will be spilling into the room and not outside. Turn the heater off and call a licensed gas fitter to inspect it for blockages or holes. They will also check that the flue cowl hasn’t collapsed into the flue outlet, thereby obstructing it.