The controversy surrounding ventless gas heaters

The controversy surrounding ventless gas heaters

Over the years, there has been growing controversy over ductless gas heaters. On the one hand, the manufacturer of non-vented gas heaters asserts that these heaters are extremely energy-efficient and safe. On the other hand, scientists say that ductless gas heaters can produce toxic emissions that make occupants sick. Somewhere in the middle, architects are wondering whether ventless gas heating systems will degrade building structures. It's really a hot topic - no pun intended!

Ventless gas heaters have been widely used in Europe for years. Those approved by Underwriters Laboratories comply with building codes in 42 of the 50 US states. The problem is that ventless gas appliances emit water vapor and toxic gases into the space where they are installed. These toxic gases can reach a level that can become dangerous for the occupants.

The controversy began in 1983 when Greg Traynor, a former researcher on indoor air quality at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and six other researchers at the Department of Energy stated that "ventless gas heaters are potential threat to the health of the occupants of homes where such appliances are used "

Mike Calderrera of the GAMA (Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association) stated that ventless gas heating systems have built-in safety measures to protect themselves from toxic emissions. According to Calderrera, "Every heater since 1980 must be equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), which has certainly improved safety."

Ken Maitland, engineering director for Fireplace Manufacturers Incorporated (IMF), says; "As an engineer, I think they are sure they are properly designed and that the ODS is installed."

Apparently, it's a big "SI". Just ask Sandy Weisner from Medford, Oregon. In 1996, she installed a ventless gas heater FMI and soon developed symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Sandy took the extra protection of installing a carbon monoxide alarm at home. Every time she used her gas fireplace without a vent, the alarm clock went off.

Sandy's symptoms were so pronounced that she visited her doctor. Blood tests revealed that she had carbon monoxide levels 30 times higher than normal. Its mission is to warn the public of the dangers of non-vented gas heaters and spend many hours lobbying for non-gas heaters to be banned.

If you are considering installing a ductless gas heater, take the time to search the internet. To begin, enter "Gas free heaters" or "Gas free heaters" in your favorite search engine.

Only you can make the best decision for you or your family. Take the time to learn all the facts before making your final decision. Although there was no reported death caused by ventless gas heaters; many cases of illness and carbon monoxide poisoning have been reported.

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