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Does your gas heater need a safety check?

While gas heaters are usually safe and reliable, you should always check they are working properly and keep track of when they’re due to be serviced.

The following are some signs that your gas heater is not working correctly:

  1. The outer casing is discoloured or soot stains are present on the walls near the heater.
  2. The pilot light makes a ‘pop’ noise when lighting or goes out unexpectantly.
  3. The heater’s flame is yellow or sooty.
  4. The walls are too hot to touch.
  5. There’s an unusual smell, or the fan is noisier than normal.

Follow our tips on how to maintain a safe gas heater:

1. Check that your gas heater is certified

Check that your heater has been certified by the Australian Gas Association and displays plates indicating it meets current emissions standards and regulations.

2. Get your heater serviced every two years

It’s important to have your gas heater serviced at least every two years. A service will keep your gas heater running for longer and uncover any issues with your heater before they become dangerous. If you have an older gas heater, you should plan to have it serviced annually.

Remember that your gas heater should always be serviced by a gas appliance expert, and you should never try to repair your heater yourself. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for advice on whom to contact or search online for a licensed gasfitter who specialises in gas appliance servicing. Remember to keep a record of your gas heater services and repairs.

3. Check for flue blockages

Discolouration or soot stains on your walls or the heater itself could indicate a blocked flue, which means emissions have been released into the room rather than outside. If you notice signs of a blocked flue, turn the heater off and call a licensed gas fitter to inspect it for blockages, holes, or other issues.

4. Check for any unusual smells

If you can smell gas or suspect your heater has a gas leak, turn your gas heater off immediately.  Ventilate the house by opening doors and windows, vacate your property until the gas has had time to dissipate, and call in a licensed gasfitter to service your heater.

5. Ensure you have the right ventilation

Make sure that the permanent ventilation openings of your heater are not blocked. If you own a flueless heater, make sure the room is adequately ventilated. A flue is a pipe that carries exhaust gases outside.

6. Check that you have the right heater for your space

Always use the right-sized heater for the room it’s in. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the space. Most heaters will carry a sizing table advising the area the heater is appropriate for. Otherwise, try searching for a heater sizing calculator online.

It’s also important to only use gas appliances for the purpose for which they are intended – never try to use an outdoor gas heater indoors.

7. Keep your heater away from hazards

Always keep your heater away from furniture, curtains, paper, and clothes. Ensure your heater is always upright and positioned so it can’t be knocked over by children or pets. And don’t use or store aerosols or solvents near your heater.