Your Guide to Choosing a Portable Natural Gas Heater

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Your Guide to Choosing a Portable Natural Gas Heater

Portable natural gas heaters are portable heaters that use natural gas as a fuel. Like other portable heaters, whether electric or gas heaters, they provide warmth indoors. Portable natural gas heaters also lower the cost of warming a home by directing heat to where it is necessary instead of heating a whole house. Portable heaters are readily available at brick and mortar stores and online. Buyers can choose from among several types of portable natural gas heaters. Some offer more features than others, so buyers should also know how to choose a heater that meets their needs.

How Portable Natural Gas Heaters Work

There are two types of portable space heaters: electric and gas. Gas heaters use eitherpropane, natural gas, or kerosene as fuel. Natural gas heaters, of course, use natural gas as a fuel. Whatever fuel a heater uses, it can be designed to warm a small area, a large area, or even for use outdoors. Gas heaters, whether they use natural gas, propane, or kerosene, may be flued or unflued. Flued heaters exhaust hot gases directly into a room, so buyers should not use them except in properly ventilated rooms. Natural gas heaters warm a room using one of two methods: infrared (radiative) heating, or convection heating.

Convector Heaters vs. Infrared Heaters

In a natural gas convector heater, the fuel heats air, which moves into cooler areas. This process is known as "convection". This results in the room's air temperature rising. A fan moves the hot air out of the heater and into the room. Users plug a convection natural gas heater into both a gas source and an electric outlet (to run the fan). The exposed surface of convection heaters does not get hot, so they are safe for households with small children.

In infrared natural gas heaters (also called radiant natural gas heaters), the fuel heats a surface that in turn radiates infrared rays. The rays heat objects inside the room. These objects gradually warm up, and they in turn warm the air around them.

Type of Heater


Infrared heater

Can achieve targeted heating

Compact size

Can be turned on and off within seconds

Low maintenance requirements

Less noise

Convector heater

Even heat throughout a room

Larger size for the same heat output

Longer reaction times

Requires more maintenance

Fans can cause higher noise levels

Rooms with complex shapes benefit from a convection heater, because the entire room eventually reaches an even temperature. However, infrared heaters can target heat to specific areas, so hot air rising upwards to unused parts of a room is not wasted. Combination heaters combine the advantages of both radiant and convection heaters.

Portable Natural Gas Heaters vs. Portable Electric Heaters

Unflued portable natural gas heaters are only for use in rooms with adequate ventilation. This can reduce the heater's efficiency. Users should not operate them in bedrooms or bathrooms. Some states restrict the use of unflued natural gas heaters. However, portable natural gas heaters emit 65 to 75 per cent less greenhouse gases than electric heaters of the same capacity. They are more expensive to buy, but cost less to run. Portable gas heaters require a gas outlet in the room. If one is not available, a licensed contractor should install it.

Portable electric heaters are also available as radiant heaters or convection heaters. They can be inexpensive, but cost more to operate. Portable radiant electric heaters are excellent for use in bathrooms because they can warm the occupant without heating the air. Convector heaters use a fan to pass air over an internal heating element, sending hot air into a room. The efficiency of all types of electric heaters is similar. Depending on their usage and power source, electric heaters sometimes produce high greenhouse gas emissions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Portable Natural Gas Heater

Artificially heating a home can be expensive. Before selecting a portable natural gas heater, buyers should first make their homes as energy efficient as possible. To do this, buyers can fit insulation to ceiling cavities, add curtains to windows, stop draughts through doors, windows, and floorboards, and wear appropriate clothing. These steps let buyers choose a less powerful unit than they would otherwise need, resulting in lower running costs.

Next, buyers should choose a heater that adequately heats the room. A heater that is not powerful enough can leave the room cooler than desired, and a heater that is too large can cost more to operate and overheat a room. Buyers can find online calculators to estimate their requirements. They can also use this rule of thumb: 0.10 kW of heat output per square metre (for rooms with standard 2.4m high insulated ceilings).

Though price is an important factor, buyers should also consider operating costs. Gas heaters have a star rating (a maximum of six). Heaters with more stars use less gas and have lower running costs.

One final consideration buyers should make is the design of the natural gas heater. While most are designed for use indoors, buyers can choose heaters designed for use on patios and other outdoor areas.

How to Buy a Portable Natural Gas Heater on eBay

Users can move portable natural gas heaters to different rooms easily. Buyers should first calculate their requirements to buy a heater that suits their needs, and reduce both buying and running costs. A wide range of portable natural gas heaters is available on eBay. Buyers can use the search field located on every eBay page to locate what they want. For example, entering a search for "portable natural gas convection heaters" returns all the portable natural gas convection heaters currently available on eBay.

Buyers should review a seller's return or exchange policy before committing to a purchase. They can ask sellers any questions they may have about a heater, and even arrange for a local pickup to reduce postage charges. Buyers can also check eBay for deals on heaters.

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