According to customers, Rinnai is the best gas heater brand in Australia with 97% of surveyed owners recommending the brand. The Japanese manufacturer received the highest overall score with high ratings for safety, temperature consistency and build quality.
Australian gas heaters come in two main types: flued and unflued.
Flued gas heaters
One thing that causes a lot of concern when buying a gas heater is the fear of a room filling up with dangerous fumes and emissions. A flued gas heater solves this problem as it has a pipe that takes gases outside so the air in your room stays clean. Since installation is required, there are extra costs involved, and you won't be able to move your heater from room to room. Many models offer features like a remote control, a programmable timer and child locks, and you can often use an existing fireplace to place your heater and take advantage of the chimney.
Emissions are directed outside rather than into the room
Better for spot heating
Can be used in smaller areas
Suitable for allergy sufferers, asthmatics and people with respiratory issues
Require installation which adds more cost
Not as energy efficient
Needs gas filter installation
Unflued gas heaters
An unflued gas heater is a portable heater that uses a gas bottle tucked into the back. Most of the gas turns into heat, and it can heat up a room quickly. There are rules around what type of room you can use an unflued heater in, so they are recommended for living areas rather than bedrooms or studies. Unflued heaters come in two different types:
Radiant-convection. Cheaper to buy and without as many features, these unflued heaters send heat out into the room from an exposed area. They operate by pressing and holding an ignition button.
Convection. Most often convection heaters are electronically controlled and come with a remote. They have a thermostat for temperature control and a fan to speed up the movement of hot air.
Portable so you can take it from room to room
More energy efficient and cheaper to run
Heats a room faster
Some models have safety features
Gas emissions go back into the room, so airflow is crucial
Illegal to use in small and enclosed spaces
Produces carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide
May irritate respiratory issues or allergies
Can cause condensation
How to compare gas heaters
Unflued heaters tend to cost anywhere between $400 and $1,500, whereas flued heaters range from $400 to $2,200.
Not all gas heaters have the same heating ability, so it's important to understand what you should be looking at when browsing your options. Check out our round-up of the best gas heaters on the market this year for more information.
The heater that you buy should be able to adequately heat the room size that you will keep it in. Since it is illegal to use unflued heaters in smaller rooms, you will need to check the regulations on what is considered a small room in your state. Unflued heaters are better for larger rooms and living areas, but you'll also need to consider the heat output versus the size of the room.
As a guide, you can count on 1kWh being able to heat around 10 square metres (sqm). So if you have a smaller room of around 30sqm, your heater will need 3kWh of heat output to heat the room efficiently. Larger areas of 80sqm will need 8kWh of heat output.
To heat your room faster, look for the highest MJ/h rating in the heaters that are suitable for your room size. Gas is measured in megajoules (MJ), and the higher this number, the more gas will be used for faster heating. Flued heaters have a maximum input of more than 20MJ, and unflued heaters have a maximum input of around 10MJ.
Options for flued gas heaters
If you are specifically looking at flued heaters, consider the following features:
Monique Law is a New Zealand writer for finder. She has superb research skills and is experienced in writing about a wide range of topics. When she’s not in front of her keyboard, she’s usually staying updated with the latest world events or exploring a new and interesting place.
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