Portable gas heaters can be a good alternative heat source – however, they must be used correctly. Here are some useful house rules for the safe use of gas heaters.
Portable gas heaters produce heat by burning propane and oxygen from the surrounding air. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is then produced, along with water vapour. Portable gas heaters do not ventilate out into the open air, so the carbon dioxide will remain indoors and the air quality will gradually decrease. If you intend to use a portable gas heater you must therefore remember to ensure good ventilation so that the poor quality air is replaced. Never use this type of heater in small spaces over a long period.
If gas heaters do not burn effectively, carbon monoxide is produced, which in turn can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. This can occur if the gas heater is used incorrectly or if there is a fault in the components. If gas heaters function properly and are used correctly, this risk is minimal.
Portable gas heaters must have safety functions. It is most common that these types of heaters have tip-over protection and a safety feature that turns off the gas if CO2 or carbon monoxide levels become too high. Note that other types of heaters, that are not intended for heating indoors, do not normally have these safety functions. Examples of this type of heater are gas jets, primuses and patio heaters.
Portable gas heaters are extremely effective and produce a lot of heat. Therefore it is essential to maintain a good distance from flammable materials so that these do not catch fire.
Always read the user manual and safety instructions from the manufacturer. It is important to be completely sure that the portable gas heater is suitable for indoor use.