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The Complete Guide to Gas Heaters

Updated on December 16, 2013

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The heater is an integral part of the house. Heaters are as important in the household as air conditioning units. There are several choices when it comes to heating the home and water. The most commonly used fuel for central-heating systems is gas. There are many things to consider when thinking about buying gas heaters. Here is a short list of the things that should be considered in buying gas heaters.

The size does matter

Gas heaters come in different sizes and capacities. Knowing the size of the house and the number of people who will be living under one roof helps in knowing the specifications of gas heaters that will fit that home’s needs. A furnace that is too small for a big house will not make that home comfortable enough during very cold weather while a gas heater that is too big will cost more money to maintain and pay for.

Gas heaters have varying efficiencies

Gas heaters have a rating system called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) which indicates how well a furnace changes gas into heating energy. Gas heaters from the 70s typically have an AFUE of over 60%, while today’s lowest gas efficiency requirement according to the law is 78%. Simply put, the higher the AFUE rating, the more heat can be produced with less emissions. Some of the newest models of gas heaters go as far as 97% efficiency.

According to consumer studies, new models of gas heaters that are more efficient also save the owners about $17 for every $100 of fuel spent compared to older models. $17 does not seem like much but a year’s worth of accumulated savings on an efficient heater will definitely be felt.

Check the manufacturer’s reliability

Investing on gas heaters is not a menial task. Knowing about the reliability of different brands also helps in making the right decision. Consumer Reports National Research Center has come up with a very helpful list of the most and least reliable brands of gas heaters.

Get help from the pros

Gas heaters are not as simple as other home appliances that can be bought, installed and repaired by so easily. A reputable contractor helps every step of the way. Before the purchase, contractors discuss options by factoring in things such as climate, size and design of the house to find the perfect gas heater to use. Contractors also ensure proper installation and adequate maintenance of gas heaters.

Of course, hiring a pro does not come cheap but it would mean increased safety and decreased costs of repair in the future.

This guide is a simple enumeration of the most basic things to know about getting gas heaters. Essentially, it points out that gas heaters are not purchases that are to be made impulsively. Shopping around to compare the options is the right thing to do. At the end of the day, choosing gas heaters that truly serve their purpose of bringing warmth and comfort to the home is the most important thing to remember.


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