Advice on ventless propane heater

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by desdawg, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I am looking for a ventless propane heater to install in an 8' X 36' park model mobile home with two slide out room extensions (only about 400 sq. ft. total). I bought the home used and the forced air furnace had been removed. Also I am off the grid so I prefer something that doesn't require electricity. The heater would be centrally located with the LR and kitchen on one side, hallway, bath and bedroom on the other. I am not sure how many BTU's would be required. I see them advertised for heating x amount of sq. ft. but is that one big open room with no hallways, doorways, etc.? I was also wondering if anyone has any experience with the ventless heaters and what you contend with as far as fumes. Seems to me if you are burning gas there has to be emissions of some sort. Anyway, I was hoping to draw on some of your experience before I purchase a unit and wind up disappointed.
     
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    The first 2 years my DH & I were married, we lived in an 8X38 ft. mobile home. We bought a used Dearborn heater & it heated the whole trailer. They are really expensive if they are bought new, but used ones can often be found in second hand stores that are almost as good as new. We never noticed the fumes, probably because we were raised with gas heaters. Here is a site that shows pictures of new ones.
    http://www.dearbornheater.com/CREST2.htm
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I've used one that I bought from a local hardware in colorado. It shouldn't have a problem heating the partk model. You will need to be sure you get one of the heaters that has a co and O2 monitor on it. And it will put out a lot of moisture which can be pretty hard to deal with. The fumes are not too bad unless you are sensitive.

    I also in another house had a thru the wall vented propane heater. It was a little bit more trouble to install, but I was MUCH happier with it. It is a little less effecient than the unvented, but, no moisture, fumes, or using up your O2. It is safer than the ventless. Most codes will not allow a ventless in sleeping areas because of safety concerns.
     
  4. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    You are playing with dynamite if you're using a ventless heater in a sleeping area and could wake up DEAD. There is a reason why these deathtraps are forbidden by code in most residential dwellings.

    A far more practical heater is the direct vent propane heater. My better halfs parents use one in their house in Northern Wisconsin. The direct vent heater does not require any electrical usage to operate.

    Why gamble with your life?
     
  5. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

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    I had 2 ventless propane heaters that required no electricity in my older model mobile home just north of Yellville, Arkansas. I had a big one in the living room and a small one in the hall facing the back bedroom and bathroom. I think the size was 14 x 70 or so and they keep the whole place warm. I do not recomend them for super tite houses. Last ice storm we had and the power went off they really saved our behinds, but they did occasionally shut off when O2 levels got low. Get the vented kind - what if the O2 sensor broke?
     
  6. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everyone who responded. I agree that a vented heater would be better. The location I was going to use is not on an outside wall which is why I was wondering about the ventless model. That little house is so small it is hard to find a good central location for a small but adequate heater. Any ideas about how many BTU's I should be thinking about for that square footage?
     
  7. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    the moisture problem should not be understated - usually, by the time a problem is detected, you've got a serious mold and mildew predicament that can be as much a health hazard as oxygen deprivation and much harder to remedy - with o2 all you need to do is open a window - mold is a different thing altogether -
     
  8. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    oops - forgot -
    with any type of vented heater it is a good idea, especially if you're doing the install yourself, to consider an intentional source for combustion air so that you are not drawing room air in and then out the flue - that room air has to be replaced by outside air leaking into the space, and, that outside air is pretty darn cold usually -
     
  9. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I am not sure what type non vented yall are talking about. I have on eof those wall mounted five brick "infrared" type heaters. It is the one with the thermostat and it kicks on and off and has a o2 sensor that would shut it off if there were to be a oxygen deprivation scenario. If anything lack of moisture was a problem. It really dried the air out. I can heat my whole house with it for about 120 a month in propane. I like it because it is small and doesnt take up much space and heats better than any of the older large chest types I have ever encountered. My house is very very airtight and I have never known of it to kick off due to lack of oxygen. On the other hand I have had two occasions where a vented heater almost killed us. In tow different homes I had a heater that malfunctioned and almost killed us. One had small vent near the floor to suck through and my six year old at the time pushed a recliner in front of it and we awoke with a serious headache and was ill a couple days. the other one leaked the exhaust out in the house with similar results. I have mine in the living room near the hallway with a small fan sitting in the hall and we never get cold. In my new house I am building I will be using radiant floor heating. By far the cleanest and most efficient out there
     
  10. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    We have a wall-mounted five brick none-vented propane heater and have had really good luck with it for about the past ten years....

    They recomend that you don't place them in sleeping areas though....In a small space like yours I would get a good smoke detector, GOOD CARBON MONOCIDE DETECTOR----PLUS I would ALWAYS sleep with at least one window cracked!

    I had a friend who had an air tight house and had those kind of heaters iin his BEDROOOMS and I was staying with them one night and I woke up THROWING UP and had to go to the ER!!!! But they just slept right on!
     
  11. kittiemeow

    kittiemeow Member

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    We bought one of those wall mounted unvented models to use last winter.
    We did not notice any fume problems but our house is not very tight. Although it was very good at heating our 500 square foot house, it was too expensive for us. Cost us about $40 per week. And we had some cold spots in the house that we had to suppliment with space heaters. We went back to kerosene and used the propane heater only as a back up.
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Is there any poss of a wood heater? If not enough room in the trailer, you could add a small room and put the stove in there. You can buy a box heater that won't cost any more than the ventless propane to buy.
     
  13. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Ventless heaters have their place. We have two, one 10,000 BTUs the other 30K. The one on the third floor is only used when we are up there or company is and is attractive and the only heat source there. The one in my office is on some part of most every day, otherwise its on 'pilot' setting this time of year.

    We have had NO MOISTURE problems, but so many other people have, that I would recommend you listen to them and get a direct vented model. Our house is 4 stories counting the basement and almost 100 years old and not airtight so that might explain the lack of moisture. Plus we use forced air as primary heat source and that can be fairly drying in and of itself.
     
  14. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Once again my thanks. Cyngbaeld, I intend to use wood eventually. I have an abundance. Must be 500-600 cedar trees on this property and lots of dead stuff ready to cut up. This is a weekend home (or every other weekend or once a month or however it works out) and I don't have time before winter to install a woodburner properly so I was going to use this for the time being. And it would be good to use to take the chill off while a woodburner is getting heated up.
    The climate in AZ is pretty dry so I don't know about moisture problems. In fact I hadn't even thought of that until I posted this thread. This is a mobile home so by definition, not too tight.
    BamaSuzy, I had thought about cracking a window when it is in use. Then I thought lite a heater, open a window, hmmmm........but that would provide some fresh air for combustion and help with any fumes.
    After reading these comments I think I will give it a try, make sure I have the O2 sensor, put a fresh battery in the smoke detector and see how it works for me. I have my caveats in place and will be aware of the potential problems. Meanwhile, my deer hunt starts Oct. 29 and I want to be warm at night. And I picked up a kerosene heater at a swap meet yesterday for $3.00 so one way or another I am covered. Mucho Gracias.
     
  15. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Good luck with the hunt and have fun!
     
  16. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Rinnai makes a ventless infrared propane heater that is incredible. Whether they make one that could be used in a small trailer, I don't know. These produce no fumes and are 99.9% efficient. Just thinking off the top of my head, I would think that the main problem would be finding wall space with the required space on each side in such a small trailer.