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Added a non vented wall heater and almost screwed up.


After Hurricane Sandy, the wall heater in my Mom’s summer home was trashed. I decided to simply add a 30,000 BTU ventless wall heater. However, I almost choose poorly between infrared and blue flame.  

My parents had installed a wall heater in their summer home. The heater fit between the studs and had a fan. It worked very well. That model was vented.  Hurricane Sandy trashed that heater. Immersion in salt water just doesn’t do well for heaters so we ripped it out.   We close the house between about October and May. It isn’t winterized so we close it before the first freeze and don’t re-open until the last freeze of the winter.

The house is less than 1500 square feet. All we needed was some supplemental heat to take the chill off in the early spring and late fall.   I looked into the vent free heaters sold at Home Depot. For some reason, I was set on an infrared type, not the blue flame. Fortunately when I called, the woman who answered said they were out of the infrared models. She asked me about how we were going to use it and suggested a blue flame.


I looked into what she had said and it turned out she was absolutely correct. For our application, the infrared would have definitely been the wrong choice. Infrared heats people and objects who are in a direct line of sight, not necessarily the air. The blue flame models will heat the air.  We had installed a reversible ceiling fan in the living room.  That is perfect for distributing the heat back into the hallway and bedrooms.

When we removed the old wall heater, there was a gap in the knotty pine where the heater had been. Fortunately, we had purchased a load of knotty pine that had been salvaged from a house that was being torn down two blocks over.

Using the model we purchased saved about $1000 – $1500 over the cost of a replacement wall heater similar to what we had.  Below is the almost complete installation.

An infrared heater might be better suited to a garage or similar space.

Note – Check your local building codes before installing a space heater. Also, this type of heater will increase humidity. Because of how we are using it, that will not be a problem.


Installed Blue Flame Ventless heater

Installed Blue Flame Ventless heater

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