Time to ban unflued LPG heaters
We think unflued LPG cabinet heaters are unhealthy, expensive and a fire risk.
So what’s good about them?
Not much other than they’re portable, cheapish to buy and can chuck out quite a bit of heat. Once they were cheap to run, but no longer. Current LPG prices make them the most expensive type of home heating.
When LPG burns it consumes oxygen from the air and replaces it with carbon dioxide and water vapour. With an unflued heater the carbon dioxide and water vapour end up in your house, so the house gets warmer and damper. When the heater is switched off the air cools and the water in it condenses on windows and other cool surfaces.
This is bad news because damp houses are unhealthy to live in.
Then there’s the fire risk. These heaters have an exposed flame. That means if anything gets too close – furniture, toys, children’s nightwear – a fire can quickly start.
We think these heaters should be banned. Their drawbacks outweigh any benefits.
To Wood or Not To Wood
A woodburner is one of the cheapest way to heat your home while unflued LPG heaters remain the most expensive and dangerously unhealthy forms of heating.
Even if you have to buy firewood (logs or pellets), running a woodburner is still one of the cheapest ways of heating your home.
We’ve used prices for pine firewood in our Fuel prices compared table – it’s more widely available and cheaper than macrocarpa or blue gum. Prices vary considerably so ring around the suppliers. Ask if delivery is included –there may be a charge for smaller quantities (less than two cubic metres) or for deliveries in remote areas.
Tip: Buy your wood well before winter (any extra moisture will dry off in Summer if logs are stored in an airy space).
Along with wind and hydro, wood is one of the few sustainable carbon-neutral home-heating options. But to get the most heat (and the least pollution), it must be burned hot and in a specially designed firebox. The firewood must also be dry and the pieces not too big (less than 11cm in diameter).