Gas Heaters- what you want and need to know

June 10th, 2016

Appliance Talk Buying Guide Heaters Heating & Cooling Stuff about appliances you'd be an idiot not to read

It’s getting cold in here!


The months of June, July and August in Australia can mean many different things to many different Australians.

Some people celebrate the Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, while others gear up to hit the slopes at Thredbo, as the Queen’s Birthday long weekend is also  traditionally seen as the opening of the snow season.

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Image courtesy of Ventrilock at

Over in the North our friends like to celebrate something called the Darwin Beer Can Regatta, while our other friends over in the west dress up in their finest puffed trumpet sleeved shirts, sturdiest protective armour and most beautiful renaissance gowns to celebrate The Balingup Medieval Carnivale.

Australian Beer Can Regatta_

Darwin Beer Can Regatta

But for the majority of Australians these months mean heated blankets, slow cooked dishes, and heater shopping, and we know this from the spike in heater sales here at Appliances Online during these months.


Image courtesy of sheelamohan at

So anyways, let’s get down to the nitty gritty about gas heaters….. (In my best Ignacio impression)


Nacho libre- image sourced from Giphy 

Heaters! Which one is best? Will a heater badly affect my homes power bill? How big of a heater do I need for my home?

As there are so many different categories and sup-categories of heaters, we thought it would be best to not try and cram your head with tones of information, by just sticking with gas heaters in this blog post.

In this blog we talk about quick fixes for cold snaps, but today we thought we would talk about the actual prevention of freezing your butt off.

And although the rest of the world picture Australian winter like this…..

Australian snow man

Australian Snowman

We here in Australia know it’s a little more like this….

Cat in snow

“What is this sorcery!?”- image sourced from Giphy  

So we need to learn all we can about trying to keep warm during these colder months without it affecting our wallets AND safety.

If you know very little about gas heaters there is no doubt that all sorts of questions are floating around in your head. Luckily enough for you we’re here to (hopefully) answer all your questions around ‘keeping cosy with heaters this winter’.

To flue or not to flue?… What the heck is even a flue?!


And no, we’re not talking about the type of flu that keeps your husband in bed for a week, we’re talking about a duct, or pipe that allows exhaust gases from your gas heater to travel straight outside, to avoid filling your home with nasty, unsafe emissions.

Now before you start putting holes in your ceiling or knocking down walls in your rental (Mr Landlord will definitely not appreciate that), you can opt for a portable, or unflued, gas heater.

Unflued gas heaters are ideal for renters, or homeowners that don’t want the fuss or extra costs of installing a flue. But, as they are unflued they SHOULD NOT be used in bedrooms, bathrooms and other small or badly ventilated spaces. These types of heaters still require some ventilation for safe operation.

Pros & Cons of a regular unflued gas heater

  • Pro- They’re portable, meaning they can be moved around your home with ease
  • Pro- They’re more energy efficient.
  • Pro- Much less expensive to run than portable electric heaters.
  • Con- Should not be used in small, confined spaces as unflued heaters do emit some combustion gases indoors.
  • Con- Without proper ventilation, build-up of condensation will occur.
  • Pro- Can be taken with you when you move house.

Pros & Cons of a regular flued gas heater

  • Pro- Can be used in smaller areas as the flue pipe (that’s installed in your home) directs emissions straight out of your home.
  • Con- These types of heaters tend to cost more due to installation requirements.
  • Con- Are not as efficient as unflued gas heaters.
  • Pro- These heaters are a better solution f or asthmatics or people with certain allergies or respiratory problems.


 Bayonet or Bottled gas?


Some gas heaters use LPG, or bottled gas as a means of fuel, while others connect to your homes gas supply by means of a gas bayonet fitting.

When purchasing your gas heater, another thing to consider is whether or not you want an LPG gas heater or a gas Bayonet (Natural gas) heater.

If you don’t have access to a fixed wall gas supply fitting, then you’re probably better off with a heater that’s fuelled by LPG

Pros & Cons of LPG (bottled gas)

  • Pro- LPG gas heaters can be moved around the home with ease.
  • Con- They tend to be more expensive to run compared to heaters that are fuelled by natural gas.
  • Pro- You won’t need to spend extra if you don’t have an existing bayonet fitting in your home.
  • Pro- Minimal installation cost

Pros & Cons of Bayonet (Natural gas)

  • ProCheaper than standard LPG fuelled heaters.
  • ConNeeds a femalebayonet fittingthat’s permanently attached to your homes wall or floor, otherwise one will need to be installed at an extra cost.
  • Pro- There is no need to refill gas bottles

LPG vs Natural gas

Size DOES matter


Another important factor to consider when purchasing a gas heater is the size of the intended space you wish to heat.

A heater too small won’t be able to adequately heat the area, while a heater too big may become unsafe and will end up costing you extra.

Right at this very moment our magical eCommerce Experience elf (AKA, Mr Arthur Vashurin) is hard at work creating a ‘heater size’ calculator to help take the guess work out of choosing the right sized heater for your home or office space.

elf giph

Arthur, I mean Elf hard at work- image sourced from Giphy  

 But for now, hopefully the below information and tips will help you calculate the right sized heater-

  • Gas heater output (the amount of heat that comes out of the heater) is measured in kWh, Kilowatt per Hour, while the gas consumption (the amount of gas that is consumed) is measured in MJ/hr, Megajoules per Hour.
  • Ceiling height, climate zone, flooring type and home insulation will also need to be taken into consideration.
  • As some States specify the minimum room sizing and ventilation requirements for unflued heaters, it’s always best to check your states regulations around gas heating.
  • Roughly- for colder climate zones, 1kW output is required for each 8.5m²
  • Roughly- for cooler climate zones, 1kW output is required for each 13 m²
  • Roughly- for mild climate zones, 1kW output is required for each 16m²

The above rough guides are for ceilings that are no higher than 2.4m, and have not calculated in any adjustment factors as mentioned earlier.

More than just radiant heaters


When we think of gas heaters, majority of us picture something like this


And yes, although radiant heaters are quite popular, there are also other types of gas heaters available.

Unflued (portable) radiant heaters


  • Generally cost less than other forms of gas heating
  • Does not require electrical connection, which also means there is no connection cost.
  • Great for spot heating


  • Uneven heat distribution
  • Should not be used in small areas
  • Aren’t normally aesthetically pleasing.

Rinnai-Cosyglow-Natural-Gas-Heater-650SN-Hero-Image-medAppliances Online’s bestselling portable radiant heater- Rinnai 650SN Cosyglow Natural Gas Heater

Flued radiant heaters


  • Great for spot heating and space heating
  • Sized to fit into existing fireplace opening or as a stand-alone console.
  • Emissions are directed straight outside via a flue.


  • Installation options are limited
  • Gas filter installation is required
  • Aren’t normally aesthetically pleasing


Appliances Online’s bestselling Flued radiant heaterRinnai LPG Heater + Flu Kit K309FTL

Convection gas heaters


  • Tend to have more advanced features
  • Great for space heating


  • More expensive than radiant heaters
  • Require an electrical connection to power the fan.


 Appliances Online’s bestselling convection gas heater heater- Rinnai AvengerPlus Natural Gas AV25PN

Radiant Convection gas heaters


  • Great for spot heating and space heating
  • Combine the two methods of heat distribution.


  • Electrical connections are needed
  • They don’t feature much advanced features
  • Aren’t normally aesthetically pleasing


Appliances Online’s bestselling radiant convection gas heater heater- Rinnai 151N Titan Natural Gas Heater

Hopefully with your newfound information, you can stay cosy and warm this winter, just like this Garfield lookalike

Cat infront of heater

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur- image sourced from Giphy

NOTE: If you live in Victoria and are considering purchasing a flued or unflued gas heater, please read the following-

There are gas safety regulations that apply specifically to the state of Victoria. Effective 1st December 2009:

Flueless (portable) NG & LPG gas space heaters are not allowed to be installed in new domestic houses. Previously only NG was not allowed.

New bayonet points are not allowed to be installed.

Flueless heaters are only allowed to be installed when they are replacing an existing old flueless heater in an existing dwelling, and even then, only in LPG.

The new regulations further impose a limit on emissions of 2.5 ng/J of NO2 on flueless heaters that are permitted to be installed, half the Australian Standard (AS4553) limit of 5.0 ng/J


All the way from the land of the flightless bird, Krissy brings a part of New Zealand culture to the Appliances Online content team. And although she is adamant she does not say 'fush and chups', she can't deny her continuous use of the term 'sweet as' and her ongoing argument with her team on the correct name for jandals (thongs). One thing is for certain, however, her passion for her kiwi slang is matched with her love for sharing news, hacks and buying tips for all things appliances! Krissy's favourite appliance is the Tefal Cook4Me multi cooker, as she believes it's ok to let an appliance do all the work for you.

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