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Gas Space Heater, Propane Heaters and More

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Energy efficient heaters Micrathermic space heaters are a newer style of portable space heater that combines the best of convection (fast room heating) and radiant (comfortable heat) style heaters.  They are able to heat a room and make the object in the room feel comfortable as well.  They are useful for matching what you need to different situations in your home.  Since they are portable they make a very good choice if you need only one heater but need it to do different tasks.
Other Types of Space Heaters

At Buy Energy Efficient, we don’t recommend the following style of heaters due to energy consumption and exhaust fumes.  These include Kerosene space heaters and any type of heater that exhausts fumes into your home.  In addition, space heaters such as wood or pellet stoves can be quite energy efficient but have high environmental emissions which make us hesitant to recommend them at this time.
However, if you do find that one of these is the better choice for your situation, here are some facts for your consideration.

Kerosene space heaters are a great tool to have on hand during a power outage.  However there are some additional concerns you must consider when using a kerosene space heater.  Kerosene is safe to store for extended periods of time as long as it is stored in an outside unit and the contents marked clearly in an approved storage container.  You must keep kerosene on hand at all times so you are able to refuel the unit when it runs low.  It is recommended that you purchase enough for at least 3 months, so you are sure not to run low during the times you will need it most.  If you have adequate storage and want an efficient space heating source then kerosene will make a great choice for your home.  If you chose to use a kerosene space heater, always adhere to the following safety guidelines in addition to those by your manufacturer.

  • Never use gasoline in a kerosene heater. Even very small quantities of gasoline in the heater tank can cause a fire.
  • Only use 1-K kerosene in kerosene heaters. Kerosene should be purchased from a dealer who can certify that it is 1-K grade kerosene.
  • Never fill the fuel tank of a kerosene heater beyond the full mark because as the fuel warms, it expands and could spill and cause a fire.
  • Do not attempt to remove the fuel tank, or refuel the heater when it is operating or hot. The heater should not be moved while it is operating.
  • Refuel heater out of doors.
  • If flare-up or uncontrolled flaming occurs, do not attempt to move the heater. A good heater is equipped to manually shut off or you can turn the switch to off
  • Do not attempt to extinguish a kerosene-heater fire with water or blankets. If activation of the shut-off switch does not extinguish the flame, leave the area and immediately call the fire department.
  • Keep kerosene stored outside in a sealed blue container labeled “Kerosene.”

Wood Burning heaters are mostly known as built in fireplaces, which most homes today use as a decorative choice rather than a heating source.  If you currently have a built in fire place make sure it is of the modern metal type as older style fireplaces are not energy efficient.  If you do not have a built in fire place but want to utilize wood as a source of heat, consider a free standing wood burning stove. These offer the same warm and cozy feeling as a built in fireplace, but with additional energy savings. 

There are a lot of models to choose from that will fit nicely with your décor.  Remember these units are not portable and you must consider your space before purchasing this type of space heater.  Building codes require a minimum 2 foot of clearance in all directions of the unit.  If you chose to install a new wood burning space heater, please follow all the following safety guidelines in addition to those by your manufacturer.   

  • Existing building codes and manufacturer’s instructions must be followed during installation.
  • Buy wood-burning stoves that are certified as meeting EPA emission standards.
  • Check chimney and stove pipes frequently during the heating season for creosote build-up and have them cleaned annually.
  • Stoves must be placed on an approved floor protector or fire resistant floor.
  • Do not burn trash or anything other than the proper fuel.
  • Use a metal container for ash removal.

Gas space heaters do not require the use of electricity which directly relates to your energy savings goals and like kerosene space heaters; they are great to have on hand during power outages.  They are excellent for warming hard to heat rooms as long as you select a newer model that is equipped with a small blower fan. 

Gas space heaters typically use propane or natural gas, so before purchasing this type of space heater make sure you have a local dealer who is a reliable and convenient provider of your gas choice.  You must also have a safe outside storage area for storing the gas needed to fuel the unit.  If you select this style of space heater, please follow the safety guidelines in addition to those recommended by your manufacturer.

    • Keep away from combustible surfaces. 18 inches is recommended.
    • Make sure unit has auto shut off switch in the even the unit is toppled over.
    • Always turn unit off when leaving the room for an extended period of time.
    • Vented gas-fired heaters can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning if they are not vented properly.

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