Canadian alternative to the Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent-Free Heater

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skyfall's picture
skyfall
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Joined: Mar 18 2014
Posts: 32
Canadian alternative to the Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent-Free Heater

I would like to buy a Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent-Free Heater (as recommended in the "what should I do" guide), but it appears that this model isn't available in Canada.  I see that there is a Procom model that looks very similar, but is a wall mounted unit, and I would like to be portable. 

Does anyone have any recommendations for buying something similar to the Mr. Heater model in Canada?

Kevin Coulson's picture
Kevin Coulson
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Joined: Oct 26 2010
Posts: 9
Be very cautious with any "vent-free" heater

I The reason these types of heaters are hard to find in Canada is that the safety codes don't allow them.  There are even a few states in the US that don't allow them ( see the Mr. Heater website ).

Your life will be in your hands.  With no vent or flue pipe the combustion gases from the heater end up in the room/house with you.  If the carbon monoxide levels get too high then you die.  Here is a CBC story about recent deaths: 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-5-things-to-know...

Here's what the US dept of Energy has to say about portable heaters:

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/portable-heaters

I hope that this is helpful.

Kevin

skyfall's picture
skyfall
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Joined: Mar 18 2014
Posts: 32
Very helpful, thank you.  I

Very helpful, thank you.  I guess ultimately a properly installed wood stove trumps all when it comes to having a backup heating source in the winter (at least in my area where there is a significant amount of forest nearby and wood could be gathered for fuel).  I think this is something I will have to have installed in our house. 

dude59's picture
dude59
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Joined: Feb 22 2009
Posts: 8
Procom gas heater

I have had one of the Procom units for two years now without a vent and it works well. I bought the extra parts so that it can be used stand-alone (on the floor in front of my old and in-efficient gas fireplace) and not wall mounted. The unit runs at a higher temperature, and is supposed to turn the CO into CO2, All I know is that my carbon monoxide sensor does not trip, so it probably does work as advertised.

If you get a vent-less make sure that you have a working  carbon monoxide sensor and fire alarm system.

Kevin Coulson's picture
Kevin Coulson
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Joined: Oct 26 2010
Posts: 9
Going with a heating option

Going with a heating option that uses very local fuel (in your case wood) is always a sound line of thinking.  The amount of wood that you'll use totally depends on the amount of heat loss that the house has.  I know people that have nearly identically sized homes and one place uses 5 times more wood than the other guy.  If you have high amounts of insulation and low amounts of air leakage things can be very manageable.  I know a few homes that only use 2 cord per winter in PEI.

The ventless heaters are attractive when it comes to cost, ease of use and can operate without electricity, but for myself I won't want to take the chance with the combustion gas issue.  I noticed that the Procom unit has an oxygen sensor that is suppose to turn the unit off if the oxygen levels in the home/room get too low.

skyfall's picture
skyfall
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Joined: Mar 18 2014
Posts: 32
2 cord per winter, that's

2 cord per winter, that's amazing.

Thanks for everyone's input.  I had a contractor come to the house to investigate putting in a wood stove.  He recommended that I put in a wood furnace as opposed to a wood stove.  His thought was that due to the layout of my house, the radiant heat from the wood stove would have trouble circulating properly.  In contrast, the wood furnace would be hooked up to the duct work and the warm air would circulate through the house with the use of a fan. 

The problem I foresee with this is that a fan would have to be powered somehow, which of course presents a problem in the event of no electricity.

Do you guys have any insight on wood stove vs wood furnace?

skyfall's picture
skyfall
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2014
Posts: 32
candle heating system

Has anyone tried a very basic candle heating system?

gardenguy1960's picture
gardenguy1960
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Joined: Jan 30 2017
Posts: 1
Be very cautious with ANY heat source

Quoting Kevin above: "Be very cautious with a 'vent-free' heat source"

You could remove 'vent-free' from the line. All heat sources carry inherent risks. 

"With no vent or flue pipe the combustion gases from the heater end up in the room/house with you."

Modern kerosene and gas heaters have combustion efficiency exceeding 99.9% which reduces CO production down to miniscule levels. The  combustion gases then are essentially water vapour and carbon dioxide. If a heater is properly maintained, the greater risk is O2 depletion. 

Any indoor heat source using combustion is potentially lethal. Even wood stoves and fireplaces for example. Note the difference in this chart between gas stoves and home wood fire exhaust.

Bottom line, any heat source (Gas/oil/electric/wood, vented/unvented) carries risk, and following sensible precautions is a must at all times.

"Your life will be in your hands"; your life is always in your hands. 

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