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Is your gas heater safe this winter?

Hands up who’s pulled their ugg boots from the back of the wardrobe, or settled into their super comfy pair of holey slippers that they just can’t bear to throw out…

With the dark evenings upon us, it’s time to think about those jobs on your to-do list that are waiting to be ticked off. ‘Sort the gas heater’ might not be top of the list, but don’t treat it like a leaky tap or wobbly door handle. Careful maintenance and professional servicing will not only extend its life expectancy but will help keep you and your family safe this winter.

Did you know that more than 40% of all deaths from fire happen during winter? A common accident involves fire caused by heater sparks, often from leaving clothing on top. Fire is not the only concern though, gas poisoning is another scary but very real risk to your home. Symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness and a state of sleepiness or confusion. Would you know if your gas heater was faulty? Here are five signs to look for:

5 signs of a faulty heater

  1. Is the outer casing discoloured or are there soot stains? This could be an indication of a faulty flue.
  2. If the pilot light ‘pops’ when lighting or goes out unexpectantly.
  3. A yellow flame can indicate that your heater is not running correctly and needs servicing.
  4. Are the walls too hot to touch? This isn’t normal.
  5. Is there an unusual smell? Or is the fan noisier than normal? Both are signs that there could be a fault.

Over 41,000 potentially faulty heaters were recalled last year, so it’s vital you check yours.

At Kleenheat we want to make sure you’re safe before you go into hibernation. You might not have the cosy log cabin, pine forest, red wine (ok you might have the red wine), but we want you to enjoy the colder seasons with the safe use of your gas heater. Neglect may convert your heater from a source of comfort to a real safety risk. Here’s how you can extend the life expectancy of your gas heater and keep your family safe:

Simple tips to maintain a safe gas heater

Certification

When buying a heater, make sure it’s been certified by the Australian Gas Association and displays plates that indicate that it meets current emissions standards. That’s not to say you have to go and buy the best on the market, but it’s vital to invest in a certified product to ensure its safety.

Service your gas heater at least every two years

You might be a jack of all trades when it comes to fixing stuff, but your gas heater is one to stay away from – contact a licensed professional. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and keep note of all previous services.

Old heaters need more care

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it – right? Correct, they just need a little more TLC. Make sure that any heater ten years or older is serviced annually.

Hazards

Keep your heater away from furniture and never place anything over the top, especially clothes. Do you have small children or pets? Ensure your heater is upright and positioned so that it will not be knocked over. Never use or store aerosols or solvents near your heater.

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).

Clean it

Clean with soapy water before connecting, there may be years worth of dust and deceased spiders in there. Areas to clean include: air filters, air ways, fans and burners. They can become blocked, leading to overheating and burner problems, which can produce carbon monoxide. If you are not sure how to do this, leave it for the licensed gasfitter.

Wear and tear or a safety hazard?

When connecting the gas, ensure all leads are tight and free from leaks. If there are signs of corrosion, get it checked by a professional, it’s just not worth the risk.

Suspicious smells

If you suspect a leak or smell gas, don’t ignore it. Turn the heater off immediately and call in a licensed gasfitter.

Don’t use a heater intended for outdoor use

Your heater’s bit the dust, but it’s okay because you have a brand new outdoor gas heater still in its packaging? Leave it for the next camping trip – outdoor gas heaters should never be used inside the home.

Where to get a service

Manufacturers often recommend service agents, otherwise you can search on Yellow Pages. Whoever you choose, make sure they are a licensed gasfitter endorsed for gas appliance servicing.

At Kleenheat, the safety and wellbeing of our customers is a priority. We are commited to providing safe and secure products to the community. Make sure ‘gas heater’ is top of your to-do list this winter.

10 Responses to “Is your gas heater safe this winter?

  1. May 24, 2016 at 11:33 am
    Mike ELLIOTT said:

    It would be nice if a standard fee was mentioned…. Recommend gas fitters do a “special”

    • Eva
      Kleenheat logo
      May 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm
      Eva said:

      Thanks for your feedback Mike. This post was around general gas heater safety but it could be an idea for a future blog post on recommended gas fitters. Thanks, Eva.

  2. May 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm
    Kelly said:

    What are the starting costs involved for a service please

    • Eva
      Kleenheat logo
      May 24, 2016 at 3:01 pm
      Eva said:

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your question. As this was a general blog post on gas heater safety, we don’t actually have any information on starting costs to disclose. Might be an idea for another blog post.

    • Eva
      Kleenheat logo
      May 24, 2016 at 3:01 pm
      Eva said:

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your question. As this was a general blog post on gas heater safety, we don’t actually have any information on starting costs to disclose. Might be an idea for another blog post. Thanks Eva.

  3. May 24, 2016 at 1:41 pm
    Anne Rietveld said:

    Thanks for the info I will take a good lookout my heater and see if any of the points you made in your article will apply to my heater. I never knew the many things that could go wrong and have not had mine serviced for quite a while. I appreciate the information

    Kind regards Anne

  4. May 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    John Verrier said:

    I”ve been extremely happy since I changed over to Kleenheat.
    But in particular its great to receive the different tips and guides that you send out regularly.
    I agree with having your gas heater serviced but I also wrap the heater in a large plastic bag over the summer. It”s amazing how much dust and bugs can get in whilst in storage.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. May 24, 2016 at 6:15 pm
    Joan Langford said:

    I have just had mine Done today cost $150 to come out and clean it .

  6. May 25, 2016 at 2:07 pm
    mark said:

    Hi Joan, who did you get to come out?

  7. May 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm
    Karl Huszti said:

    It is important that your “Gas Heater” is looked after not just for the winter months, but for the whole year around! Covering with a plastic “Hood” is practical idea!