The use of gas heaters in many households has increased over the years. Gas heaters are favoured by many because of their convenience, faster heating time and easier temperature control.
In general, gas is a safe, cost and energy-efficient fuel source for many households, commercial and even industrial applications. Sadly, recent reports say that gas heaters can adversely affect your health.
Can a gas heater affect your health?
Essentially, gas produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide that cause toxic effects to the body. In most cases, it greatly affects your lungs or causes serious illness that may lead to death.
When it comes to gas heaters, it is safe to say that if your heater is properly flued or ventilated, it is far from creating bad effects on your household. So, it helps to make sure that your gas heater is equipped with a vent, chimney or pipe that will carry the combustion products outside your home.
Thanks to modern innovation, many gas heaters are designed with flue or vent lines that you can connect to a chimney. This way you can be sure that you and your loved ones stay warm inside the house while ensuring everyone’s safety, too.
What are the signs that your gas heater is leaking carbon monoxide?
One of the many signs that say your gas heater is leaking carbon monoxide is condensation. Notice how your windows near the furnace produce too much moisture. When this happens, your gas heater may need fitting replacements or a timely maintenance routine.
Another sign that you should look out for is the fast building soot stains around your furnace. Soot is a product of combustion that helps emit carbon monoxide. Aside from soot, you will also notice an increase in smoke, black daft and fumes.
You will also experience some odd smell coming from your furnace. It’s like burning coal or when an appliance is overheating. And lastly, and probably the worse sign of it all is when someone in your home starts feeling sick or weak coupled with difficulty in breathing.
When any or all of these signs become evident, it may be best to check your gas heater and see if it needs new fittings. You may also call your gas supplier to help you check on your gas heater.
How can you make sure your gas heater is safe?
Here are 8 tips to ensure you’re using safe gas heaters:
- When you’re heater seems to be older than you, it might be the right time to upgrade it. The rule here is to never hesitate to replace an old appliance that causes harm to the health.
- After buying a gas heater, there are 3 things you need to check before installing it. First, check for the safety sticker alert in the gas heater. Second, check the warranty or guarantee of the unit. And third, check if the room or location where it is to be installed has adequate ventilation.
- Regularly check the service sticker on the heater to know if it is due for a service. Make sure to call for a licensed gas fitter to help you.
- If you notice that the outer case of the heater is beginning to get discoloured, it is an indication that you need to replace the flue. Again, ask a licensed gas fitter to check it.
- If you are using your kitchen range hoods or vents, make sure to turn off your gas heater. Operating them simultaneously can create negative environmental pressure. In which case, carbon monoxide may be drawn into your living room.
- Never leave your gas heater on for longer periods. Always turn off your gas heater when it’s not needed. This way, not only can you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning but reduce energy consumption as well.
- If it needs to be, install a carbon monoxide alarm. This can help warn you if there is too much carbon monoxide emission inside the house.
- If you do not have air vents, chimney or flued heaters, make sure to open a window when the heater is running. This allows ample air movement in and out of the room.
Choosing Gas Heaters
The popularity of gas heaters increases because of their advantages, especially during the winter days. It helps keep every member of your family warm, preventing hypothermia from happening. However, gas heaters may also have disadvantages.
The best thing to do is to ensure that the gas heater you are using is of high quality. It also helps to maintain it regularly – schedule regular checks with a licensed gas fitter every two years or more frequently.
Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. At the first sign of carbon monoxide leaks, check your gas heater right away. Never hesitate to call a gas fitter to assist you with replacing any damaged or deteriorated part of the heater.
Contact Plus Gas for more information!