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How a Gas Wall Heater Works

Heating and HVAC

In the past, many homes were warmed by a gas wall heater, perhaps centrally located in a hallway. Nowadays they are not as common in homes as they once were. However, they are relatively inexpensive to purchase, easy to install, and make efficient use of fuel. Thus they may be a good choice if you wish to install a new heating system in your home, but do not want to go to the trouble and expense that a complicated central heating system installation demands. Also, if your home lacks the ductwork required for central heating, a gas wall heater may be a good option for your home.

Most of us have a general idea how the more familiar central heating systems operates. But in exploring all heating options, it may be a good idea to find out how a gas wall heater works. You may find that their simplicity and ease-of-use make them an attractive alternative to more complicated central heating systems.

Wall heaters can be either vented or ventless. Vented heaters use the oxygen from the outside to carry on the combustion process; this oxygen is carried into the heater by a vent in the bottom of the heater. Harmful carbon monoxide that is created as a byproduct of the heating process is then moved out of a vent at the top of the heater and then carried through an exhaust pipe to the outside to dissipate harmlessly in the open air.

Ventless wall heaters, on the other hand, draw the oxygen for combustion from the air in the room. Heated exhaust is then vented directly back into the room, by either convection or radiant heating. This direct venting process means that ventless wall heaters are extremely fuel-efficient – almost all the heat they create remains within a room. This is in contrast to a vented gas wall heater which exhausts a great deal of heat to the outside. Modern ventless wall heaters have the built-in safety feature of an oxygen depletion sensor that automatically shuts down the heater if it detects unsafe levels of oxygen in a room. However, a ventless gas wall heater is most appropriate for use in well-ventilated rooms.

Gas wall heaters can work through the use of either convection heat or radiant heat. In the case of radiant heat, natural gas or propane is used to heat a ceramic panel. This super-heated panel then radiates heat out into a room. This type of heat directly warms the occupants of a room.

A gas wall heater that uses convection to heat a room functions by using a gas-produced flame to heat air. The heated air is then blown out into the room with a fan. Convection heat warms the air of a room, which in turn warms the occupants of the room.

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