General Question

patg7590's avatar

How safe are ventless gas heaters indoors?

Asked by patg7590 (4608points) October 13th, 2009

there’s one in the home we’re renting, and there’s a CO detector plugged into the same outlet, (so about 6 inches away from the unit). The furnace may or may not work, it hasn’t been used in two years, we haven’t tried it yet. Is it safe to use the ventless gas heater as the main source of heat? It’s a small house, not very well insulated, and we’re poor, so cost is a big issue.

I read that in some states that it is illegal to use a ventless gas heater indoors? Or was that just back in the 80’s when they weren’t as well researched yet?

Also trying to decide on getting some kind of heater for the bedroom, (it’s the farthest away from the scary ventless gas heater) and we currently have a little space heater that just plugs into the wall, but I’m being told that oil water heaters are better?

Basically we are poor and live in Michigan and we dont want to freeze to death.

Any ideas?

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10 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

I don’t know specifically about the gas heater, but:
Make sure your CO detector is at or above head level, otherwise it’ll go off too late.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Here are tips on how to safely use your ventless gas heater and another on how it works

I wish I could assist you better, but I don’t have one. I do use portable heaters during cold spells here in Wisconsin. I find the oil/wax filled ones are safe, effective and fairly efficient at heating a room up quickly.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

I don’t know about the gas heater, but an oil heater for your bedroom is a great idea. They are eork well and use little energy. Also, many of the new ones are affordable and have automatic shutoffs and timers, they are very safe.

RedPowerLady's avatar

We use walmart space heaters to heat our house. The furnace vents in the house are mostly blocked and we feel they are dangerous to use, not to mention our landlord mentioned having ‘issues’ with it. We use two space heaters and it heats our entire one bedroom place. I love the white noise they produce as well. They also have safety features that if they get too hot or tip over they shut off. The bad side of space heaters is they last only about one year before they break down (no matter what the box says).

patg7590's avatar

@grumpyfish so get an extension cord and nail the sucker up high? It plugs into a wall outlet…

SpatzieLover's avatar

@patg7590 I re-read your question. I see you’re asking if this is a safe method for your main source of heat. From my limited knowledge, I’d say that’s a NO for you in Michigan. I certainly wouldn’t feel safe sleeping with that as my source of heat. I’d want a window open a crack (which isn’t ideal in a January arctic freeze).

I’d use one of these in my bedroom, if this were my situation. It heats like a radiator, and really warms the floor and the whole room, without creating a breeze. I have a couple that we use as back up and in our basement during freeze spells. Ours have lasted a few years so far.

jqlyn's avatar

We have a ventless gas heater and we love it. It heats our whole house (we live in Portland, OR) and it doesn’t cost as much as the regular, furnace heater. They are safe now, we researched and found this one to be the best. It looks like a fireplace and has a blower in it. I don’t know how old yours is, it will probably be good to find out. Also maybe you should get the landlord to get it looked at by a professional.

ventlessgasheaters's avatar

I have a ventless gas heater in my apartment and it works well for me and is completely safe. I think the safety of the product is going to depend on variables like age and model and also the length of time you have it on for. Take a look at some excellent information on ventless gas heaters right here. I hope this is useful :)

majorrich's avatar

We use a ventless fireplace in the family room for atmosphere and supplemental heat. The CO detector has never made a peep and it throws off a lot of heat, especially once the hearth is warmed up. it has a thermostat and as the evening goes, the cycles of flame get shorter, so there goes the romance. But I’m old anyway and like the warm.

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