Is your gas heater safe this winter?
On dark evenings, it's time to think about those to-do list jobs waiting to be marked. "Sort your gas heater" may not be at the top of the list, but don't treat it like a leaking tap or a wobbly door handle. Careful maintenance and professional service will not only prolong its life, but will also help to keep you and your family safe this winter.
Did you know that over 40% of all fire deaths occur in winter? A common accident is a fire caused by heating sparks, often by leaving your clothes on top. But fire is not the only problem, gas poisoning is another terrifying but very real threat to your home. Symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness and drowsiness or confusion. Do you know if your gas heater is faulty? Here are five signs to look for:
5 signs of a faulty heater
Is the outer casing discoloured or are there soot stains? This may indicate a faulty flue pipe.
If the indicator light "pops out" when lit or goes out unnoticed.
A yellow flame may indicate that the heater is not working properly and needs servicing.
Are the walls too hot to touch? It's not normal.
Is there any unusual smell? Or is the fan louder than normal? Both are signs that there could be a malfunction.
Last year, more than 41,000 potentially defective heaters were withdrawn, so be sure to check yours.
At Kleenheat, we want to make sure you're safe before you go into hibernation. You may not have a cosy log cabin, pine forest, red wine (ok, you can have red wine), but we want you to enjoy the colder seasons with a safe gas heater. Neglect can turn your heater from a comfort source into a real safety hazard. Here's how you can extend the life of your gas heater and keep your family safe:
Simple tips for maintaining a safe gas heater
When buying a radiator, make sure that it is certified by the Australian Gas Association and displays plates indicating that it meets current emission standards. This does not mean you have to go and buy the best on the market, but it is important to invest in a certified product to ensure its safety.
Servicing your gas heater at least every two years
When it comes to repairs, you may be the plug of all trades, but your gas heater is one to stay away from - contact a licensed specialist. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and keep all previous services in mind.
Old heaters need more care
If it's not broken, don't fix it, okay? That's right, they just need a little more TLC. Make sure every radiator that's ten years old or older is serviced annually.
Keep your radiator away from furniture and never put anything on top, especially clothes. Do you have small children or pets? Make sure your heater is upright and positioned so that it does not fall over. Never use or store aerosols or solvents near your radiator.
Make sure that the fixed ventilation holes of the heater are not blocked. If you have a heater without a flue pipe, make sure that the room is properly ventilated. (A flue pipe is a pipe that drains fumes to the outside.)
Clean with soap and water before connecting, there may be dust and dead spiders for years. Areas for cleaning include: air filters, airways, fans and burners. These can become blocked, leading to overheating and problems with the burner, which can produce carbon monoxide. If you are not sure how to do this, leave it to a licensed gas fitter.
Wear and tear or safety hazard?
When connecting gas, make sure that all lines are tight and free of leaks. If there are signs of corrosion, have them inspected by a specialist, this is simply not worth the risk.
If you suspect a gas leak or smell, do not ignore it. Turn off the heater immediately and call a licensed gas fitter.
Do not use a heater designed for outdoor use.
Your heater is a little dusty, but that's good, because you still have a new external gas heater in the package? Leave it for the next campsite - external gas heaters should never be used inside the house.
Where can you use
Manufacturers often recommend service agents, otherwise you can search on Yellow Pages. Whoever you choose, make sure it is a licensed gas installer