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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Gas Vent Free heater unattended operation

    I have a customer asking if your general run of the mill, wall hung propane infrared or blue flame can be operated unattended. They are looking for backup heating and these models use a pizeo ignitor and pilot. They also want to go on vacations to the mountains in the winter for sometimes a week or so at which time they want to leave the unit ON at a low temp setting. These models have a thermostat and an oxygen and high limit switch, and included in all quotes is a carbon monoxide detector whether they have one or not its non negotiable. I feel that the flame is actually pretty inaccessible. I know other customers leave them on during their work day in the basements to add humidity and keep the furnaces from running, and even in the home. Im not sure however about long unattended operation something does not sit right with me that does not have a heat exchanger and a full protective shell of sheet metal for that type of unoccupied operation. However most people dont pay any mind to the equipment when they are there as well. I guess this could be an opinion inspired question, or am i over concerned?

    Thanks for any interest in the later.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    S.E. Pa
    Post Likes
    Ventfree is a specialty. The 'oxygen' you refer to is simply the special Oxygen Depletion Sensor or ODS safety pilot. It is not field adjustable and very special. If you're quoting off the shelf UL listed CO alarms just understand these are not designed to protect against CO poisoning but high level CO death. These units are listed as "unvented room heaters" and thus approved for unattended operation when properly sized, installed and installed into a space that meets the requirements for ventilation and construction. There is no need for a heat exchanger since it vents into the ambient air. Your lungs are the chimney. Leaving such a unit on for extended periods may or may not result elevated CO and Rh% levels. Better to have a hearth pro experienced with ventfree and who is certified in carbon monoxide and combustion analysis to inspect and test it.

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